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Why Agege Deserves A Mudashiru Obasa

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Joseph De Maistre, the French polemical author, moralist and great exponent of the conservative tradition, who lived between April, 1753 and February, 1821, is credited with one of the most politically correct axiom that has reverberated over time. “Every nation gets the government it deserves.“

Here, however, we will not be looking at any nation in particular. We will be talking more about Agege, a highly populated metropolitan area of Lagos. It shares boundary with Ikeja, the heart of Lagos where government decisions are taken. As we have seen today, it is only a mischief-filled person who is not blessed with a heart that recognises development and progress that would not see the good that Agege has become.

Recently, Agege was described, figuratively, as a small London by an aide of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Mudashiru Obasa. And this has not been disputed by anyone. What is also not in dispute is that Agege never had it this good. Its nearness to the seat of power, in terms of distance, had only a minor influence on its growth. Before the emergence of Obasa as Speaker, Agege was just there – on a ‘straight line’ not curving upwards.

Even the staunchest of critics understands inside him that Pen Cinema used to be a heartache for motorists and users. You could remain on a spot for many minutes in the midst of an endless crowd of street traders and pedestrians. A distance of less than one kilometre could cost you two hours of your time. With a bridge that was unveiled in 2021, Pen Cinema now has a road network that has been declared of international standard. Obasa happened to the road positively.

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This is just one. Agege has some of the best road networks in today’s Lagos. Any need mentioning other areas of success? Check out the push by the Speaker to ensure the education of the majority. This drive is a topic on its own.

When Obasa, a quiet down-to-earth figure, decided to take the mantle of leadership of the legislative arm of government of Lagos in 2015, many, especially the apolitical residents of the State must have laughed it off. They must have thought he was only seeking power for himself. The man knew his direction. He understood what Agege wanted and he knew that such a vantage position would make it easy to attract the dividends of democracy to his people. Today, these same residents now champion the “Speak Again” mantra. They have seen the result, the influence that such a position wields and ushers.
It is easy to hear “Agege l’oga wa”. This translates to “Agege is where the boss comes from.” Obasa towers, politically, above his physical size.

The Neighborhood Safety Corps, initiated through a bill by the Speaker, today has thousands of employees and effectively complements other security agencies. The Lagos Sports law is another that has expanded youth participation in the scheme of progress. Get to Agege and see how the youth speak glowingly and excitedly about Obasa.

For those who find it mysterious that Obasa has continued to earn the mandates of the people without much hassles, the least is to try and understudy what makes the Speaker thick among his people. Despite the nature Nigeria’s politics, Obasa remains one of the small number of political office holders in Nigeria who could be in the midst of his Agege residents without any safety concern. A Speaker, he continues to live with the people, sharing in their challenges and seeking the best for them. He has never been known to run from his constituents only to return at the twilight of election. Does that sink?

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Why do you then think he will not continue to get the mandates of the people anytime he desires to serve them? The primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held recently in the constituency speaks that much. Apart from the fact that he won without an opponent, his leadership skills were brought to bear before the exercise. The primary election in Agege was one of the most peaceful in the State.

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Agege people know what they want. They know that having their own at the top is one of the best things to continue to happen to them. They know that Obasa is selfless and would always stand for them through thick and thin. He remains a course for study, not a subject of envy.

Ojole is the Senior Special Assistant on media to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

By Dare Ojole

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Opinion

Nigeria 2023 election and digital news media

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As the 2023 Nigerian presidential election draws closer, the importance of digital news media to the democratic process cannot be overstated. In today’s digital world, news media plays an integral role in informing citizens on the issues that are at stake in the election, as well as the various candidates and their respective platforms.

Given Nigeria’s rapidly developing digital infrastructure, digital news media has the potential to be an increasingly important tool for citizens to engage in the electoral process. Through digital news media, citizens can learn about the candidates, the issues at stake, and the wider political environment. Moreover, it can be used to reach more Nigerians, particularly those from rural areas who may not have access to traditional media.

Digital news media has the potential to be a powerful instrument for informing citizens about the upcoming election. Through it, citizens can access reliable and accurate information about the candidates and their respective platforms. This can help citizens make an informed decision when it comes to voting and help them become more engaged in the democratic process.

Furthermore, digital media can help to combat misinformation about the election. This is because digital media can be used to fact-check the claims of candidates and help citizens distinguish between fact and opinion.

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In order to ensure that digital news media plays a constructive role in the 2023 Nigerian presidential election, it is important that media outlets take the necessary steps to ensure their content is accurate and unbiased. This includes verifying news sources, fact-checking information, and providing a platform for citizens to voice their opinions.

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As a member of the larger media community, the Society of Digital Newspaper Owners of Nigeria, SDNON, has positioned itself through it members as a watchdog over misinformation and setting the pace in ensuring it members practise the trade at the highest level of professionalism.

In conclusion, digital news media is a powerful tool that can be used to inform citizens about the 2023 Nigerian presidential election and help them become more engaged in the democratic process. It is therefore important that media outlets take the necessary steps to ensure their content is accurate and unbiased, so that citizens can make an informed decision when it comes to voting.

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Entertainment

This thing called life is heavy – Timi Dakolo shares deep thought

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Singer, Timi Dakolo has taken to social media to share his deep thought about the human being existence, ‘life’.

The father of three took to micro-blogging platform, Twitter to share his thoughts. According to him, life is heavy and it only requires grace to live through it.

Sharing his two cent Dakolo advised that when the burden becomes too much, one should take out time to rest before forging on.

He tweeted: “This thing called life is heavy o, NA God Dey help Us carry am gracefully. Sometimes the weight go too much you even begin hear the cracks for ya shoulder. Abeg Sometimes Just stop and catch your breathe, before you move again. NA WHO DEY ALIVE DEY GET PURPOSE”.
Timi Dakolo shares powerful motivation with men

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TheHeute News recalls that Timi Dakolo shared a powerful motivation with men who might be going through a hard time in life.

Timi who fondly refer to himself as the ‘chorus leader‘ shared a powerful post on his Instagram page. In the post, he shared a picture of himself in black and white while a crown is being placed on his head.

Captioning the post, he told men that their crown didn’t fall but shifted; however if it did ever fall, they should pick it up, dust and wear it again because it is a symbol of glory.

Timi wrote: “Dear kings, the crown didn’t fall, it shifted. but even if it did, pick it up; dust it up and wear it again. Crowns are symbols of glory. Stay glorying, that’s what kings do”.

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Opinion

The ‘havoc’ of bad leadership affects us all, take 2023 seriously

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By Chukwuemeka Ezike

Plato is an ancient Greek Philosopher from centuries BC, whose philosophical influence still hold sway in the modern day. So, when he philosophised that the heavy price for apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men, and worse, by our supposed inferiors, he was not just stocking up quotes for use after his demise. Indeed, time and again, world over, this has been proven true.

Now it’s the politicking season again, an important period in the life of our dear nation. Though, today, we are seeing politicians covertly, overtly and systematically campaigning across ethnic, religious and regional divides-some doing their best to divide us along those lines, we will be doing ourselves an obvious disservice in believing that politics and governance are one and the same thing. It takes the aftermath of the elections to realise that the impact of bad leadership is not selective. It doesn’t discriminate against the Christian or Muslim, the Yoruba or Hausa or even the Idoma man in Agatu. It doesn’t even look at age, status or any other ‘lines’ that most of our politicians love so much.

So, the obvious question is, how do we rise above our own disinterest or even better, self-interests to serve the common interest? We must come to the reality of who we are as a people. Like Pythagoras, another philosopher cum mathematician advised, “Man, know thyself.” As Nigerians, we are different people with different orientations, identities, religions, etc. I was born as a Nigerian into a Christian Igbo family. It was not a choice of mine, but something to identify with. That is the organic nature of life! We are born into a certain identity that becomes part of our life. Our differences make us, who we are, make us unique. But despite these differences, we have common interests.

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When I go on Twitter, I see different forms of interest pursued diligently by people who have enjoyed the dividend of being close to the corridor of power. Such individuals will sell a goat as cow. Do you understand what I mean? How do you, the common man, buy into the message of the few who have been well-fed by the institution that has milked the country? There are situations that have become troubling for us as a nation and have not helped to harness the potential of us as a people.

The need for a leader that addresses the nation’s challenges in a disruptive way is what we should all seek as Nigerians. Decades have been spent on recycling the leadership of ‘settlements’ or ‘I need to be President.’ It should be a thing of the past. It has not helped move the nation forward.

We in the tech industry seek a better form of leadership to enable what we do. Great leadership will boost the tech ecosystem on a global scale. If you study blockchain technology in Nigeria, it has been self-sustaining and the tech founders have remained persistent in building on innovation within an unfriendly ecosystem. This will be due to belief in the potential of the nation.

In this forthcoming election, every Nigerian should seek the kind of leadership that will enable the different stakeholders in this country build toward a nation that we can all be proud of. At this point, we need to be positioned for all, not just for the few who have the privilege of globe-throttling whenever they want.

When you go to common places like a marketplace where you find all tribes and religions, ask if the leadership of today has affected their lives differently. I am sure you will get a certain answer that goes to show the common citizen will always get the dividend of bad leadership served. It is a call from your fellow citizens to go about this election season asking yourself the right question. The few people from this party who go door-to-door and fly around are trying to get into the circles of power to feel good about themselves.

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We have had enough of decades go by with promises made, repeatedly slammed in our faces and never delivered upon. How will Nigeria become a better nation if the people are not setting a course in that direction? As a people, we need to start demanding accountability from the leaders that we be put into positions. Let us not forget, they have demanded enough from us over the years, we have given but have received very little in return. We need to ask ourselves what we need to do differently to ensure that we are on the right track as a nation, this time.

For the 2023 elections, some of these politicians still believe that it is going to be business as usual and they are already forcing down non-existent ideologies, promises in well scripted manifestoes down your throats. They promise Eldorado itself and push ‘a superhero’ hero or heroes for the next four years. I implore you to ask yourself if that candidate is truly a superhero. How has he communicated his or her intentions to you? If a leader is communicating with only those that are seeking to keep an occultic form of fellowship, then you might end up voting a cultist into Aso Rock!

Why you are on the street facing reality on the ground. Those political influencers who talk more than they execute for any common interest will leave you behind and be settled in a position of power.

I’m from Nigeria’s tech community, and I think that with the right kind of leadership and a little bit of empathy, Nigeria will once again be able to play a big role in the world. Again, I say to you, don’t let anyone sell you on sentiments but focus on one with character towards nation-building. Due to inflation, every tribe and religion is paying more for items. This means that Nigeria is for Nigerians, and no one is safe from bad leadership except the few political operatives who rant on Twitter and elsewhere. Take the process of selecting a candidate for the 2022 elections seriously. This means a lot to the future of the nation.

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With 90 million plus voters as declared by INEC, now is your time to take that voting decision process like a research project. Obey the call for a better nation.

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Ensure you take the process of choosing your candidate very seriously. Not by sentiments or parades of beautiful uniforms sown by the milked wealth of the masses. However, through observations of practice and effective communication with the people they intend to serve, my hope is to see a greater Nigeria before my time elapses.

Chukwuemeka Ezike is a public affairs commentator who wears the dual caps of the Vice-President, Media and Publicity for the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), and Community Lead, Emurgo Africa.

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