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TUNDE BURAIMOH: “I didn’t say he died of Covid-19” -Sokunle

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Hon. Hakeem Sokunle, member representing Oshodi/Isolo constituency I has refuted claims that he revealed the cause of death of his colleague Hon Tunde Braimoh, stating expressly contrary to the reports credited to a media organisation, he never confirmed that COVID-19 killed him.
The lawmaker who is shocked about the development, stated that he felt it is important he counters the attribution made about him in the said story because it did not reflect the truth about what transpired.
He said:”I was at Infectious Disease Hospital at Yaba earlier today to verify the claim of Hon Tunde Braimoh’s demise, he having been there several days back.

Family, friends and associates paying last respect to Buraimoh

“At that particular time his constituents and relatives were already there to pick up his corpse but the Doctor at IDH did not oblige them the request.

“That was how I got the news and at no time did I speak with the any media correspondent about the matter, it is still a rude shock to me that a colleague pass on and I could not even pick my calls”. Sokunle added.
The journalist report that he made effort to visit the IDH earlier today but was not allowed entrance into the  isolation centres, but Hon Sokunle who saw him afar suggested that they should let him stay and watch from a distance.
His body has since been laid to rest at Ikoyi cemetry today.

POLITICS

‘I believe in quality representation’, -Lagos Assembly aspirant for Kosofe constituency 2, Abiodun Salami

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The death of Hon. Tunde Braimoh few weeks back created a vacuum in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
 
As the race to fill his position as the representative of Kosofe Constituency 2 is getting hot, one man that believes he has the capacity to occupy the office is Hon. Abiodun Musiliu Salami.
 
 
Salami, the current Assistant Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, has actually paid his dues having been in politics for 35 years.
 
The aspirant recently had an interactive session with journalists on his aspiration.
 
GIDINEWS’ Joshua Timi was there.
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We will like to meet you and why do you want to be a lawmaker to represent the people of Kosofe Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly?
My name is Hon. Abiodun Musiliu Salami, currently I am the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State. On my educational background, I was born into the family of Alhaji Salia Agbaje Salami. My father hailed from Ijebu Ilese in Ogun State and my mother hailed from Epe in Lagos State. I went to school in Lagos. I went to Ladylak Primary School, Yaba and also  in Bariga.
 
 
 
 
I later went to Ansar Ud Deen Primary School, Falolu, Surulere, Lagos, when we used to have morning and afternoon sessions. I further went to Methodist Boys High School for my HSC then for preparation for the university. From there, I moved to the  Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba in Lagos State, where I did pure Mass Communication.
 
 
 
I later proceeded to the Polytechnic, Ibadan for my Higher National Diploma. I had been trying to make ends meet in life since then. I have been part of practical politics for 35 years. I went to politics early in life. My father used to be an active politician then. He might not have got the name like others.
 
 
 
I know the rudiments of politics through my father. I have always seen politics as service. What onr should do is to do his best at all times.
 
 
 
On my political antecedent, I was elected as the Assistant Secretary of the then Shomolu Local Government, when Ikosi Isheri, Kosofe, and Agboyi Ketu were under Somolu Local Government. I was elected as the Assistant Secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Somolu Local Government. The records are there and before you do that you have to be a delegate and I contested as a delegate and won.
 
 
Among the delegates, I was elected as the Assistant Secretary. In 1996, I contested as a councillor with the largest polling booth at that time, then we had 139 polling booths. We used to be called Ward F2. I won the councillorship with landslide victory and with my activities I was elected as the Supervisory Councillor for Agric, Rural and Social Development that same year because we used to practice parliamentary system then, that was during the UNCP era. We were contesting for some other positions then. Later, I became the Personal Assistant to the then Minister of State For Finance, Senator Jubril Martins Kuye.
 
 
I am a modest person, I don’t look for money desperately. I was privileged to have been elected as the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the APC in Lagos State. It is not that I could not be the substantive Publicity Secretary of the Party, but it is about zoning and the position that was given to our area is the Assistant Publicity Secretary.
 
 
I was elected to the position in 2014 and I have been there since then till date.
 
 
I have always been a loyal party man and whatever decision that is made I abide by it. The current Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Seye Oladejo is doing well and I support him. I will continue to support him to succeed. I want to commend my former boss, Engineer Joe Igbokwe, who gave me all the opportunities to work and this gentleman too is doing well. I pray that God will make him to succeed.
 
 
Why are you in the race now?
The late Hon. Tunde Braimoh was very eloquent, and sagacious, and he was a lawyer did his best for the people. He was my friend for well over 30 years. Nobody ever thought he would die, I never expected he would die, when he did. When he was coming out to contest as a member of the state house of assembly in 2015, I was there, the same thing happened in 2019, I was there for him.
 
Nobody ever thought he would die, but God knows the best. I am not happy with his death and I pray that God will be with his family. Whatever Hon. Tunde Braimoh was doing well for the people, I was part of it. He is somebody that never settled for anything less than quality representation. That was his watchword. The way you represent your people matters. You can see that my people are here today, even when I didn’t tell them I would meet the press today.
 
The moment you allow people have access to you then you will go far. What they see when they go about you don’t see it. I have not left my house since morning, what you see on the way I didn’t see it. I am not a super human, and I am not different from you. A responsible politician should be accessible to his people, you should feel what they feel.
 
You should identify with them. Anything you are doing should be for the people, and you should be selfless. Public office is about being selfless. I am still living in a rented apartment despite serving with the former Minister of State For Finance.
 
We are not taught to siphon public funds, I am a contented person. One thing that is very paramount to me is quality representation. When you are closer to the people what matters is for you to identify with them. My own is to get the job done. Things like infrastructure development is not my job, but you can facilitate it and make things work in your area.
 
You must know what your people want. I have been in Ketu since 1976. So, I know  everything about Ketu. If somebody says I am a Ketu man, it is true. I know everywhere up to Somolu, and I know what my people want. I know how to go about it having got the legislative experience, executive experience and party experience. I can move mountain with this.
 
What are the qualities that you think stand you out that can give you an edge over other candidates?
Without being immodest, I am always a bad example of being egoistic. What matters is what you can do, what do people know you of. I have been an outstanding and a different person. I have always been an activist. I have this background. In my days at NIJ, I was the Assistant Secretary of the Student Union. I am always active anywhere I am, I have been involved in Community Development Association (CDA), it is not just about politics. You have to go through the process, and the experience i have garnered gave me the edge and people would respect you for who you are.
 
I will be able to lobby, legislature is about lobbying or else you will not get anything. You must mix with people, you must lobby to get things done because you are not the only person. What stands me out is that I am a clean person. I am not saying others are not fantastic, but I am more fantastic and more super than them because I mix easily. I am not a proud person.
 
We know you are a party man that is involved in publicity for the party, what is your relationship with the people at the grassroots?
 
I told you I have contested elections before and those elections have to do with the grassroots. I was staying in a face me and face you house before I packed into this apartment. I am a free person and I am proud to be like that. In my youthful age, I was a fantastic footballer and I thought I was going to be a professional footballer.
 
I was even known in the state and I have always been a grassroots person. If I should bring my HSC Certificate, the Principal wrote “He mixes freely with his mates, we expect him to do well in life.” I am quoting him verbatim. It has always been in me to mix with people. I have always been a grassroots person. So, winning an election is not a problem for me based on my antecedents. I have always been here among my people. Even when I was in Abuja, I always come to Ketu every weekend in those days that we used to go through night and day buses before we started going through airplane. I give thanks to God who has been helping me.
 
What assurance are you giving that when you get to office, you would not be elusive. Also, in the Assembly, there has been so many caucuses and rancour amongst the legislators, how are you going to correct these when you get there?
Like I said, going to the Assembly is a different ball game. When you are in the Assembly of about 40 people, you have to really understand the setting. In journalism, there is what we call house style. You must understand the politics of the House or else you would have problem. That will make you to stand out, when you understand the intrigues there. I am not too old and not too young so this will help me. My experience in the legislature will help me and I know how to manage issues. Several things would come around and the ability to manage it will help you. Even your posters would be destroyed by the people if you are not good to them. Nigerians would appreciate it if you are good.
 
They appreciate good people no matter what happens. It is easy to operate in the House if you know your onions. Even whatever that is not good you can only correct it if you know the system. You cannot correct it if you don’t know the system. This is something that is inborn, this is something that has been in me. When the principal wrote about me, I was still in my 20s. You don’t mix, when you don’t feel the pulse of the people. I appreciate the word ’empathy.’
 
I was never born with a silver spoon. I struggled a lot, and I am still struggling, I want legit money, legitimate things and I want to be myself.
 
What are the things that you will correct about the performances of your predecessor when you get there?
I am not going to correct anything about his performances, I will just improve on what he has done. I saw the late Hon. Tunde Braimoh as somebody I value, someone I cherish, I respect his native intelligence. It is not about education alone, your native intelligence matters to me. The one that is in you is always there. That is what I respect in the late Hon. Tunde Braimoh, forget about being handsome, being rich or being a lawyer. He is a man, who knew where he was going and he was very accessible. He was my kind of person, I don’t just follow people blindly. It is about the totality of the assembly, it is not about Tunde Braimoh. In the past, Lagos State House of Assembly used to be a model to the entire nation.
 
I would ensure that there is absolute unity in the House, I would not encourage division based on my antecedent as a party man. You should see yourself as the image maker of the system and the party generally. I would always encourage the House to be united.
 
On my constituency, I have never been far from them, the kabiyesi, the okada riders, the market women, people in the motor parks and others. Go and ask everybody about me, they know who I am and I am not ready to destroy the name and I would not encourage my children to destroy it. The only legacy I am giving my children is education and morals. Also, I will encourage sporting activities as a footballer myself, a big time footballer. I will encourage football and other sporting activities.
 
We lost it when we stop focusing on sports. Those days when we had sporting events, things were okay. Nowadays, you see our youths roaming about and the talents are there. We should encourage sports, which is what I cherish about the present Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu. An idle mind is the devils workshop, when you have something doing you would not commit crime. In those days, we used to play football and we were being engaged and employed. I will encourage sports because I don’t want idleness. The youths would go to school and participate in sports.
 
I will also encourage the CDAs to relate more with me. Some of them want employment, the more you are accessible to them, the more you would get things done easily for your people. My antecedents show who I am. When I was working with the minister, I know how many people I facilitated employment for. How do we go about it, we had a format, the minister drafted papers and I draft too, he would sign and he would put his career at stake to sign for you.
 
We get people employed into the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Customs and other paratstatals under the Ministry of Finance.
 
 
There is news going round that you have stepped down from the race, what is your reaction to this?
Those that are peddling such rumour must be afraid of me. How could they imagine that somebody like me stepped down, step down for who and why? That is not to say that we don’t have system. It is about the leadership, they give directives on how the process would go, it could be through consensus, direct or indirect primary. If they want to go for consensus, I don’t see anything wrong in that, I have always been a party man.
 
If the leaders say that it is direct election, no problem and if it is general primary and somebody wins, no problem. But, when we have not gone midway, how can I step down? I am still very much in the race, I would be going to the LGA now and I would meet the laders to submit my application.
 
Why should I step down for anybody having suffered and laboured for the party, no, there must be reason if anything would happen. All of us are still in the race, we have not picked anybody. We have not exhausted the process, nobody can say anybody has stepped down not to talk of Abiodun Salami, the candidate to be by the grace of God.
 
What advice do you have for other contestants who might see this as a do or die affair?
My advice to aspirants is that we should see this as game, you lose some, you win some. We should ensure that we do this thing with decorum. We should respect ourselves, we should respect the party. The moment you start doing the contrary, you give those of us who are the image makers of the party problem and it is not fair, it is not good, it is not responsible. This party was not formed by you, you don’t have to say it must be you at all cost. It cannot be you all times.
 
If you are contesting an election, you are an aspirant, the moment you win the primary election you are a candidate and once you win the election, you become a statesman. You bring everybody on board and forget about party. I am still an aspirant, if I become the candidate by the grace of God, I would represent the party. If I win the election, what will concern me will be Kosofe Constituency 2. I want to advise my colleagues not to see this as a do or die affair because that would be irresponsible of them. We should see ourselves as one family, APC is one family.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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POLITICS

KOSOFE II: Johnson insists he remains the most viable replacement for Tunde Buraimoh

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Doyin Johnson is a staunch member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos with an impressive trackrecord of party activities. He is aspiring to represent the people of Kosofe constituency II at the State House of Assembly, filling the seat left vacant at the demise of Tunde Buraimoh. He spoke with the editorial team of GidiNews on his ambition, the state of democracy in Lagos, Asiwaju Tinubu and others in the race for the KosofeII seat at the assembly.

Excerpts

Whats your assesment of democracy in Lagos, since 1999?
Johnson: Democratic system of government is the best because it is the government of the people by the people and for the people. Lagos State democratic setting has human face, where the government and political leadership take people into 1st consideration. I must tell you Lagos is growing with highly level of developmental projects from all sectors of the economy.

 

How would you describe the single party system which seems to be what Lagos has practiced since the start of the 4th republic?
JOHNSON: Single party system? I can not understand your means by that , you should talk of single party system likes of when Late General Sanni Abacha forced all the political parties in Nigeria to adopted him as only and singular presidential candidate, but Lagos is not as you claimed, since 1998 all the available registered political parties contested all Elections but because of highly level of developments Lagosians prefer the progressive party to be in charge of Lagos State despite all the intimidations from the federal government then Lagosians stood by then Alliance for Democracy (AD) 2003, Likewise Action Congress (AC) because Lagos is the center of excellence where other states came to under studied our Taxation system, Waste Management, Signage and lot of our developmental projects that made Lagos the best, I must tell you, I am proud to be a member of progressive linage of Late Obafemi Awolowo.

 

Would you say the people of Lagos have really enjoyed dividends of democracy based on what has been invested in it, these past years?
JOHNSON: ANS You are a very funny. it is a known fact that Lagos State government pay the WAEC fees of all Lagos State Senior Secondary School students no matter your tribe or background, once you are a student of Lagos public school it is settle,with that no family in Lagos State that can claim that they have not benefits from Lagos State Government, likewise renovations and construction of schools, road constructions, upgrades, what about LSETF Loan for business women and men from 500,000 to 5million Naira on 5% interest rate in 1year.
Even the opposition parties knows that Lagos State Government led by Senator Bola Tinubu has done excellently well and the linage follows up to Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu the real progressives are in place here in Lagos State.

 

Unlike other states of the federation, Lagos seems to be enjoying a cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature. Why don you think this is so? Dont you think its antithetical to the development of democracy if everything sails through with the state assembly without asking questions?
JOHNSON: No No No, don’t say everything go easily in the Lagos Assembly, it is not as you presented it. When the executive have the competent hands to handle the preparations of budgets and others without discrepancies it is a settle case, can legislators query a perfect job and presentation? No, it has to do with knowing the job and doing the right thing, that does not means that Lagos Assembly don’t have some little little amendment, corrections and advise but it is of very minimal percentage, I think our Africans mentality is for the. Legislatives and Executives face off make a good democratic government, you see Lagos is not like that because we have round pegs in round holes that makes Lagos peaceful.

 

You holds an MBA and as such youre deemed as an entreprise management expert. What would you say is the best way to promote entreprise in Lagos, helpung businesses grow etc
JOHNSON: I have told you earlier that Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) was set up by Lagos State Government to help business grow in Lagos State where people can talked loan at 5percent interest rate per annum range from 500,000 up to 5 Million naira.
No state government has done that meanwhile Lagos State Government has started this since 2016 and still in progress my brother Lagos is good to go
Also I do give free business advise and counseling to my followers and others who deem fit free of charge
Also encourage them to go into self employment and wealth creation with good supervision when necessary.

 

Two prominent politicians died in quick succession in Lagos. One is Senator Bayo Osinowo and the other, Hon Tunde Buraimoh. This is a great loss, no doubt. What will Lagos miss about these two men?
JOHNSON: Hummm, can you please observe a minute sillence with me? may the gentle souls of departed rest in peace .
I must tell you the 2 late leaders are erudite of good leadership, the two departed souls are from my Local Government, I was close to the two of them, they were my political leaders
Senator Oshinowo was a talking drum when I say talking drum a man full of multiple talents every moments I spent with him was of great lesson, no matter how dull your brain is if you are privilege to seat with senator Oshinowo when he was alive you must learn something good about life, leadership, kindness and Words of God.
Hon. Tunde Braimoh was a fully loaded orator who can talk from morning tonight and the event will never get bored.
He was cheerful giver, a man with heart of gold both of them were great mobilisers I must tell you Lagos really lost great men the loyal foot-soldiers captains of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu but who are we to question God. May the gentle soul of departed rest in peace AMEN.

 

Soon, there will be a need to replace these men both at the state and federal level. What should Lagos look forward to?
JOHNSON: Yes, the leadership of our party should take Loyalty, Competency and dedication into consideration, I am in race for the Lagos House of Assembly Contest, I have worked and still working tirelessly for the party uses my personal resources, brain and my followers of over three thousands in Lagos State likewise our structure in 23 states of this country to promote the party agenda and defend the interest of our leaders at all time for good over 10 years without compensation from any angle, I was in Ondo State AKETI 2012 where we spent over 3-months off and on for the Akeredolu 1st lost contest again Mimiko, Aregbesola 2nd term contest, I was in Osun state 2014 where i was arrested at Onward junction Osogbo because I foiled election ongoing ringing, I was brutalized but thank God I am alive today, Ekiti state Fayemi 1st term contest also we ran over 10 kilometre inside the bush for the safety of our dear lives when the PDP boys came up with sophisticated arms and ammunition.

I can tell you categorically that APC was registered 31st July 2013 and I lead a mobilisation campaign project 22-days after August 22, 2013 Asiwaju Frontliners mobilizing students and youths Nationwide for APC with attendance of over 1,000 youths and students leaders from 8 states Yoruba speaking states, even when many could not even see future in APC.

I also mobilized one hundred thousand volunteers (100,000) for Buhari/Osinbajo 2015 Nationwide by Nigeria Agents of Change which I served as Convener, but thank God we have paid our dues and today it has become history wish I believe posterity will judge us right.

I believe this will serves as a privilege to contribute my quota to development of Lagos State aside support mobilization to win Elections alone

We have seen your e-posters campaigning for Kosofe 2 constituency seat. What new things are you bringing on board?
JOHNSON: Yes I am in the race. IDEAS RULE THE WORLD, the living God endowed me with multiple talents which I have not be able to use the 30 percent of it for Humanity and People development, I believe it is the right time for me to contribute my quota into good governance of our dear state Lagos for development and benefits of humanity in general through legislation on bills and motions that will bring development, revenue and better life to Lagos State and Lagosians.

 

There are other people who have signified interest in the same seat. What qualifies you more than them for the seat?
JOHNSON: Loyalty, 100 %. Dedication, 100 %. Commitment, 100 %, and Hardwork, 100 %.

 

No doubt. Tunde Buraimoh was one of the finest of the assembly. Are there things you think he should have done that wasnt done and which his successor should focus on?
JOHNSON: Legislation is not like executive where you promise to grade roads build hospital etc
Legislation is about making laws, I must tell you these many laws were made years back that are functional as expected I shall work on them to more useful for the government and People.

I will work harder on community protection bills, Youths Empowerment bills, Educational development bills, life protection bills and Revenue Generation bills and motion shall be sponsors by the grace of the living God.

 

Lets talk about your party, the APC. What mechanism do you think the party need to put in place in selecting flagbearers for the forthcoming bye-elections at both Lagos East and KosofeII?
JOHNSON: Loyalty, dedication , commitment and hardwork. Thank you Mr. Journalist God bless you

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POLITICS

LAGOS EAST SENATORIAL POLL: APC prunes likely contenders to three; “Joko Pelumi may get the nod” -Source

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Indications have emerged that the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) may have pruned down the number of likely successors to the seat of Lagos East Senatorial District representative at the upper chamber of the national assembly, to just three.

According to an insider, those who have indicated interest in contesting the bye election on the platform of the APC were more than six initially but the council has been advised to prune the number down to a manageable size, from which a flagbearer could be picked or at least, to a number that a primary election may be reasonably conducted.

“As many as six of them had quietly been making consultations within the party to secure the needed support before going public with their aspiration, but leadership of the party has decided to activate an internal machinery which could reduce the number to what is sensible.” The source who pleaded anonymity said.

According to the insider, the three remaining contenders are big wigs in their own right and are all qualified to represent Lagos East at the Senate.

He clarified: “They are all qualified but former speaker, Joko Pelumi stands a better chance of flying the flag. He appears to be most urbane out of the lot, -very educated and exposed being a lawyer of many years standing. His loyalty to the party and its leaders is also not in doubt and if you consider his wide acceptability among the traditional leaders in the district, you will agree that Joko Pelumi is as good as getting the flag”

The seat became vacant after the death of senator Bayo Oshinowo on 15 June 2020. Although he was said to have died as a result of complications arising from Covid-19, there is yet to be any official confirmation as to the cause of his death.

For Pelumi, he served as speaker of the Lagos state house of assembly and thereafter returned to private practice as a lawyer

Already the APC has published guidelines for the bye election which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to announce a date for.

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