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ALAAFIN STOOL: A Worthy Race – Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu




The Oyo Prince and the youngest contender to the vacant stool of Alaafin, Prince Siyanbola Oladigbolu told our news Correspondents his readiness to be the next iku baba-yeye, Alaafin of Oyo.

Question 1:
Kindly introduce yourself

I am Prince Kolade Afeez Siyanbola Oladigbolu.

Question 2:
How are you related to the royal family

My grandfather was the 40th alaafin of oyo, Oba Abubakar Akanbi Adedokun Siyanbola Onikepe Oladigbolu, he ruled between 1911-1944, also, my great-grandfather was also the 39th Alaafin, Oba Muhammad Lawal Agogoija who ruled between 1905-1911. My great-great-grandfather was also Alaafin Olujide Adelu Agunloye, who ruled Between 1859 -1875. Alaafin Adelu is a son of the Pathfinder of the new capital (Present day) Alaafin Muhammad Soliu Atiba Atobatele 1837-1859.

Question 3:
Are you saying five fathers of yours were Alaafins

I actually have more than that because I have a bloodline with Alaafin Abiodun, who reigned between 1774 – 1789. Alaafin Abiodun is a direct descendant of the 16th Alaafin Ajagbo who is also a direct descendant of Alaafin Oluaso who came directly from Alaafin Aganjusola who is a biological son to the great Alaafin Ajaka, the son of Oranmiyan.

Question 4:
What about your biological father ? Was he a king ?.

He is the only one who did not become an alaafin from my lineage to Oranmiyan due to the inevitability of death.

Question 5:
I have seen several publications about your readiness to be Alaafin. Are you really set for it without any fear ?.

No descendant of oranmiyan would be afraid of becoming an Alaafin, I am aware of all it takes to be alaafin and that’s why you see me being vocal with confidence without fear. If majorities of contenders know what is involved to be alaafin which no one will tell anyone until he’s crowned, am sure the list of contenders would be less than five and I shall be there.

Question 6:
Why did you say you shall be there ?.

No child is afraid of what his parent is known for. So I am kingly, and that is what my fathers was known for. No cause for alarm. No matter the number of contenders, we know ourselves.

Question 7:
So when you become Alaafin, preservation of cultural heritage is on your hands, how will you handle that ?.

Culture, tradition, religion and spirituality are different things entirely. But people mixed all together. If I become alaafin, the culture and tradition will be promoted to the supposed status.

Question 8:
Have you thought of withdrawing from the race, maybe due to delay or something else ?.

Ẹlẹdẹ a d’Ọyọ ariwo ẹ ni apọ. The pig will get to Oyo, could only be sluggish on the road. If I back out, who am I leaving it for ? The race is worthy of running for.

Question 9:
How many are you in the race ?.

Well, at initial stage, it was 119 contenders. But later trimmed down to 85. Because they find out majority of those on the list are not from the Agunloye rulling house.

Question 10:
So, how many contenders are left now ?.

I have no idea.

Question 11:
What are your chances ?.

I have the Brightest chance. I am the youngest, i am close to the Throne more than 95% of contesters. My grandfather, Alaafin Oladigbolu who I was named after is the owner of the slot. So, choosing me his grandson as next alaafin wont be a bad ideology. The next family to produce the next Alaafin is unarguably Agunloye’s extraction. How can anyone be contesting with a blueblooded Prince like me when there is hierarchies even within the family, I am the Most historically close to the throne more than anyone, and I challenge anyone to debunk this.

Question 12:
We heard from a reliable source that an 85years old Man is also on the race, who is he to you ?.

We are from the same rulling house. A very well respected and successful archbishop. Anyone could be any age. Age is just a number. The 85-year-old hold contestant is a grandson of the owner of the ticket to the throne, Alaafin Oladigbolu just like I am. His father and my father are sons to the owner of the ticket we are all contesting for. He has no upper hand more than I do in any ramifications. So we are both grandsons to the 40th alaafin of Oyo, Oba Abubakar Akanbi Adedokun Siyanbola Onikepe Oladigbolu. I am in the same category with him when it comes to the selection of the new Alaafin. You could ask him to debunk this.

Question 13:
Do you think Oyo people are supporting your candidacy ?.

Yes, even beyond my expectation

Question 14:
What if oracle don’t choose you, what happens ?.

Only a manipulated oracle will jump me and go for someone else.

In yoruba tradition of oracle worshipping (IFA), whenever you hear IFA JAK’OJE, that means the practitioners are planning to go against the recommendation of oracle. That slogan means manipulation. If oracle’s consultation processes are properly followed, I shall be chosen. I don’t know of others ooo, but as for me, I am going to the palace as new alaafin.

Question 15:
Are you ready for negotiation on the race ?.

Hmmm. No one can come up with such an ideology and present it to me. Look, I prefer to be an Alaafin than Nigeria and America president combined for life.

Question 16:
But there are Princes who never want to be king,

Maybe a Prince of one village. No Prince of exaulted throne like Alaafin won’t have interest. Even Almighty in heaven knows alaafin throne exist majestically. When you see a fulfilled man of 85 years hustling around to be a king even at 85years , that tells you how great the throne is. Alaafin throne is the most high in Yorubaland. No governor will send any representative to present a staff of office to alaafin. Even Mr president will like to witness the comprehensive cultural displays of Oduduwa son’s installation. The last time people experienced such great displays was 54 years ago, which I believe 75% of Nigerians were not born then. All the Artefacts would be brought out, the father of all crowns (Ade-Are) will be See. The event that’s not certain anyone would witness twice in a lifetime, the event that will gather over 300 kings in a single day both from Nigeria and abroad. The event that will be going on and every parts of Yorubaland will look like a public holiday because everyone wants to see how Oduduwa son ascends the Throne.

The most interesting life’s history of Governor Seyi Makinde would be installation of new Alaafin. Because his name will be recorded in historical journey of Oyo Empire. If you ask average Nigeria, who general Adeyinka Adebayo was, I am pretty sure majority will reference him to the installation of Alaafin before remebring he was a Governor of oyo State during military dispensation 54 years ago.

I got Oyos at my back, and that’s why I don’t antagonise other contestants. But due process must be followed. I know some contenders have ordered clothes for coronation, which I believe they will all wear those cloths to attend marriage ceremonies of their loved ones if due process is adhered to.

The end is nearer. Injustice has replaced justice things are not the same like before. Everything has turned upside-down. No helder can be trusted, people don’t help people without making a request. The truth is far from the mouth of mankind. People don’t do things the way things are supposed to be done, but the way it benefits them. Good people are scarced .

Question 17:
Why is the process delaying ?

I don’t know. But according to the kingmakers, they said they have done what needed to be done and that they are waiting for the Government approval. However, some of them were also saying they knew nothing about it, which is confusing. So, if everything had gone well, I don’t think they would have countless voices instead of one. Something must have gone wrong. However, the way it is now, the Government has passed a new law that gives power to the Government as sole authority to appoint traditional rulers.

Question 18: What is your take on the new law ?.

The Government is like a semi god, the law has been officially passed, and there’s nothing anyone can do. That’s why everywhere is quiet for some time. As for me, I have no one in Government. I dont know anyone who has held any political office before, I am just praying I find God’s favour. It’s already a year, and two months now, we have been on it, I just pray everything goes peaceful, smoothly, and most importantly, in my favour.


Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo: Simplifying Public Service With Quality Delivery





By: Oladapo Sofowora

Like the proverbial Swizz knife; Hon. Dr Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo is by default a versatile and proactive member of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration because of his incredible approach to work and his burning passion for results even at the tightest corner. Representing the youth demography; Olubunmi cut his teeth first as a public servant representing Akoko North East/ North West Federal Constituency at the hallowed green chambers at the 9th assembly that’s where as a first-term Representative member, he displayed the stuff he was made off as chairman of first term lawmakers who galvanized support for the speakership election of former speaker Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila in 2019.

Like the proverbial goldfish that has no hiding place in the water; his distinctiveness and magic wand were easy to spot by the leadership of the house who bestowed on him the House committee chairman on Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC. As Chairman; BTO led several campaign against misappropriation within the NDDC. He knows the legislative business like the back of his hand. Anytime he shows an intention to speak on the floor of the house; he speaks sense and everyone is willing to tap from his repertoire of knowledge. Despite being young; he wears intelligence like a badge of honour. Anytime he is addressing the parliament, you should be sure it’s proffering pragmatic solutions to issues of National interest. While as a member of the house, he sponsored several bills deviating from his colleagues who were at the green hallowed chamber to ‘Siddon Look’.

The Ondo-born lawmaker and minister for interior played his part actively and showed the world that he is indeed not to be shoved aside with the wave of a hand. When the current administration came into power; BTO was nominated and during his screening on the Senate floor he didn’t waste time to emphasize how he intends to contribute his quota to the growth of the country. He never failed to dazzle as he answered questions convincingly. When many are told to take a bow and go; BTO remained fierce with the truth, by systematically and synchronously laying down his point with workable plans on how to use his lofty ideas to move the country forward. Again he shined like a glittering star that he is.

When the appointment was announced and he was allocated the newly created ministry of Marine and Blue economy; Bunmi didn’t waste any time as he immediately swerved into action by engaging stakeholders and holding a series of meetings on how to make a loud impact in the nation money money-spinning economy sector. He was proactive and robust with his idea of repositioning the nation’s water asset and how it will increase the IGR monthly to surpass the imagination of all sundry. In the prerogative of Mr President; before their swearing-in, he was redeployed to the Ministry of Interior and that was regarded as one of the biggest moves in the renewed Hope administration. This was tagged one of the biggest calculative chess moves by the administration putting a fitting peg in the right hole.

Like the Boy Scout slogan which says; ‘Be Prepared’ BTO in his usual element didn’t wait for the whistle before he hit the ground running. From the first day of his wearing in; he read the riot act to all the agencies under him and stated that he was ready to work and one of his goals is to leave a lasting legacy and also do what is right to the glory of Nigeria. Immediately after that, he didn’t waste any time meeting with staff and familiarising himself with them and also visited several agencies to do an on-the-spot assessment and how he can further bring more efficiency in discharging their duties.

While receiving all necessary briefs; BTO acknowledged his predecessor and all the work and template he left behind and not only built on it; he also added his twerk putting more firepower and also infusing dedication. All these provided a pathway to him being the ‘StarBoy Minister’ of this administration. BTO have said that success in public service is not rocket science but only takes dedication and the ability to bring prosperity out of every misfortune and that is what has stood him out and put him in the cynosure of all eyes.

Like the speed of light, the interior ministry became a leading light with solutions created to clear backlogs of over 250,000 passports he inherited in three weeks under the Nigerian Immigration Service. To ensure effectiveness in job delivery, he commissioned thirty (30) operational vehicles dedicated to the surveillance and patrol of Nigeria’s border. While many pondered what must have caused the delay of such a passport; BTO tacked the root cause putting strategies in place leveraging technology advancement to make it easier. For the very first time; passport papers were more than sufficient. He didn’t stop at that in a bid to sanitize the system of corrupt heads who are known to milk and beat the system to their advantage; he reduced human contact when applying for a passport which has cut short middlemen who love to extort Nigerians. He is also working vehemently to localize passport production.

This also gave an easy modality for passport application without help from a third party which has been tagged seamless and hassle-free. In other to make Nigerians in the diaspora regain their confidence in their country, he Unveiled Enhanced e-passport Facilities in Nigerian embassies across Europe and also moved abroad to tackle the issues of passport shortage by putting in place channels of easy registration, capture and collection. This led to restored confidence when many were getting their newly minted passport at their doorstep. This further gathered accolades from many corners as many more people rejig their faith in the process of rebranding Nigeria’s shattered image. BTO became a household name within a few months.

While he got a commendation from Mr President for his outstanding blistering performance on delivery of his KPI he didn’t let that into his head rather he went back to the fearing board to tackle the issues of the queue at the immigration points by installing electronic biometric gates for immigration clearance in all Nigeria’s international airports when Nigerian passengers entering and exiting Nigeria. While many said it would take a long while to achieve such a humongous project BTO made it look like a piece of cake as he showed his colleagues that he is serious about making a difference.

He quickly acquired the technology instrument needed and ordered its installation at the international airports. Mock trials were done and it was certified OK for public use. With his innovative ideas, Nigeria is fast becoming a developing country that is embracing technology to its advantage. The Minister also disclosed that similar facilities will be installed in other international airports including Lagos, Kano, Enugu, and Port Harcourt airports. With also partner with another sister ministry to ensure we witness the much-needed change we crave for as Nigerian.

While it’s important to note his quest to guard national assets against vandals and economic saboteurs, the Minister is holding a presentation and demonstration session on a proposed 24-hour surveillance security technology project designed to monitor activities around critical national assets to curb vandals and saboteurs. To promote medical tourism and other means to attract foreign direct investment FDI to Nigeria easing visa restrictions for people who intend to do business in Nigeria and also benefit from our booking medical tourism in Nigeria He reviewed the visa application process, particularly for short-stay visitors such as entertainers, sports athletes, and tourists among others.

Not leaving all stone unrolled BTO also ensured our correctional centers were well decongested. He also worked to secure the release of over 4,000 inmates from correctional facilities nationwide. This has helped people with minor sentences regain their freedom in a bid to bring more sanity to correctional centres across the country. In a bid to curb the constant jailbreak; he ordered more security tightening around the Centres to curb the constant jailbreak we have witnessed in the past. Despite all the measures put in place to curb jailbreaks; the Suleja Correctional facility was damaged recently by the wind which caused many inmates to escape but with the help of forensic documentation, the correctional centres have been able to apprehend some substantial amount of those who escaped while a search is still ongoing. This has also galvanized the need to ensure more safety and reconstruction of all correctional facilities to avert such disasters from happening.

In a bid to foster a more healthy civil service, BTO also approved the promotion of over 32,000 personnel of the agencies under the ministry which has ensured a substantial amount of staff climb the ladder in the civil service. While he has done many more things within a short while, many are still wondering what he has in plan for the country but for BTO; he said he is yet to unveil his best and he will keep working around for clock to restore the confidence Nigerians have lost in the country.

In appreciation for a job well done; he has bagged several Laurel as he was named Leadership Newspaper ‘Public Service of the Year’ 2023, New Telegraph ‘Minister of the Year’ 2023 and also Vanguard Newspaper will this month bestow him with ‘Vanguard Personality of the Year’ 2023; among many more Laurel. While Dr Olubunmi is living up to the hype; he has said he will not let down all those who believe in him as he will continue to do things that will place the country on a high pedestal with #TheBTOEffect

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Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd (‘Access Bank (SL) Ltd’) has announced the appointment of new executives to its Board of Directors (‘the Board’), further strengthening its leadership team and advancing the implementation of its growth and transformation strategy. These appointments also reflect the Bank’s commitment to fostering growth and development while maintaining the highest standards of governance and stewardship.

Joining the Board as Non-Executive Directors are Maurice Nathaniel Cole, Nsikak N. Usoro, Michala Mackay, Ibrahim Khalil Lamin, and Kolawole Augustine Ajimoko. The appointees boast a wealth of expertise from diverse sectors, including banking, telecommunications, corporate governance, compliance, and finance. Their combined
experience and vision will contribute to shaping the future trajectory of Access Bank (SL) Ltd. Cole will serve as Chairman, following the exit of Alice Marie Onomake and will bring his experience to the fore as Access Bank (SL) Ltd works to consolidate its market position and deliver value for all its stakeholders.


“We are thrilled to welcome our new executives to Access Bank (SL) Ltd,” said Ganiyu Sanni, Country Managing Director, Access Bank Sierra Leone Ltd. “Their leadership and vision will be invaluable as we navigate through challenges and pursue sustained success. We extend our gratitude to the outgoing Chairman, Alice Marie
Onomake, and Non-Executive Director, Aminata B. Dumbuya, for their dedicated service and contributions to the Bank.” Access Bank (SL) Ltd remains committed to excellence, transparency, and accountability as it embarks on this exciting new chapter. The Bank looks forward to leveraging the collective expertise of its leadership team to drive innovation, foster growth, and create lasting impact for its customers and communities.

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AFRIMA: Beat S’Africa to hosting rights, stakeholders tell Tinubu, Musawa





…insists one edition must be held in Abuja, Jos, Kaduna

A culture and creative industry advocacy group, Arewa Creative Industry Heritage Vanguard, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa, to lead efforts in securing the hosting rights for the next two editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA)offered by the African Union Commission to Nigeria and South Africa as reported in the media recently. They want to ensure that at least one edition of the prestigious event takes place in the northern region of Nigeria of Kaduna, Jos or Abuja due to years of deliberate marginalization and deprivation of international events of this nature.

According to Dr Shehu Samadi, the President of the Vanguard, speaking from Kaduna, they have learned that the African Union (AU) invited the governments of Nigeria and South Africa to submit bids for the hosting rights for the next editions of the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA). As such, they are imploring and advising President Tinubu not to allow South Africa to beat Nigeria to the hosting rights as this will have implications on the national psyche of Nigerians and the development of the music industry. It called on the Honorable Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa to update Nigerians on the progress made thus far in securing the AFRIMA hosting rights, for Nigerians to know how and where to assist in achieving this common objective.

The group, which comprises cultural enthusiasts, music industry stakeholders, and advocates for Northern Nigeria’s music heritage, recognizes the significance of AFRIMA in promoting African music and fostering cultural exchange across the continent and with the rest of the world. Therefore, they believe it is essential for Nigeria, especially the Northern region, to play a central role in hosting the event and showcasing the country’s rich creativity and cultural diversity from its point of expertise and cultural expression.

Samadi emphasized three significant reasons why President Tinubu should champion the course of securing the hosting rights. The group recalls with nostalgia how President Tinubu in 2015, in person received a 23.9 karat gold plated AFRIMA trophy as the pillar of Art and Culture in Africa presented by the African Union commission.” This should motivate the President to intensify efforts to secure the hosting rightshaving experience the creative power and the global influence of AFRIMA personally.

The second reason is that as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, President Tinubu can utilize the opportunity of hosting a large-scale event like this to further his commitment towards promoting unity, economic development, and cultural diversity in the region and on the continent. Although an event of AFRIMA’s scale can cause significant ripples across the continent and around the world, Nigeria stands a chance of benefiting the most, and we in the North hope to tap into the inherent benefits as against the past practice of marginalization where such international events are preserved for the exclusive experience of the southern part of Nigeria..”

Thirdly, the Nigerian Music industry has witnessed astronomical global growth with little or no input from successive governments. Hosting an AFRIMA by this government provides an appropriate platform for the Tinubu Administration to establish itself as a creative industry supporting the government as well as engendering a positive perception and image for Nigeria to attract tourism and foreign direct investment.

“Fourth, we believe that Northern Nigeria has the potential to become a tourism hub, and hosting events like this can help mitigate the effect of insecurity in our region. We are eager to host an event like this because we strongly believe that it could be used to address the issues that have plagued our region, including terrorism and banditry. By promoting peace and tranquillity, our youth can embrace hope and prosperity as well promote the budding music talents in the region who require inspiration and pragmatic motivation” he said.

The group is advocating for the cities of Abuja, Jos and Kaduna to be considered as host cities for at least one of the two editions of AFRIMA. The group believes that these cities are strategically located, culturally significant, and have vibrant music scenes, making them ideal venues for the event.

The group expresses concern over what they perceive as a pattern of neglect in the hosting of key musical events, and they call for greater inclusivity and representation for the Northern region. They note that in recent years, there has been a growing sentiment among stakeholders in the Northern music industry that the region is often overlooked when it comes to hosting major international events.

Samadi said: “Despite boasting a wealth of cultural heritage and a thriving music industry, Northern Nigeria has frequently found itself sidelined in favour of other regions when it comes to hosting events of national and international significance. This is unfortunate.

“We strongly believe that hosting AFRIMA in Abuja, Jos and Kaduna would not only stimulate economic growth and promote tourism in the region but address this feeling of discrimination against us.

“In addition to the big music superstars from this part of the country, Abuja, Jos and Kaduna have the infrastructure, capacity, and cultural significance to host AFRIMA successfully. It is time for Northern Nigeria to be given the recognition it deserves on the continental stage.”

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