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Senator Gbenga Daniel Steals Show at Sonny Kuku’s Installation as Ogbeni Oja of Ijebuland

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An accomplished entrepreneur, Dr. Sonny Kuku, has been officially installed as the Ogbeni Oja of Ijebuland at a spectacular ceremony held at the palace of the Awujale of Ijebuland earlier today. 
The event was graced by His Excellency, The Senator Otunba Engr Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng, along with esteemed dignitaries, including former governors of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba and Senator Ibikunle Amosun.
The installation ceremony, presided over by HRM Oba (Dr) Sikiru Kayode Adetona, CFR, Ogbagba II, the Awujale and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, showcased the rich cultural heritage and traditional values of the Ijebu people. 
Others in attendance were Ogun State deputy governor, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele; Akarigbo and paramount ruler of Remoland Oba Babatunde Ajayi; Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, among other distinguished personalities.
The Otunba Obalofin of Ijebuland and a member of the Royal Court of Awujale, Senator Daniel, received public acknowledgment for his significant contributions during the ceremony. 
The former governor was praised for his generosity in conceding the pavilion, the venue of the installation, to the palace during his tenure as the governor the state among his numerous contributions to Ijebuland. 
Ogidi Omo, as he is fondly called, was also lauded for his exceptional service and appreciated for his transformative leadership.
The installation of Dr. Kuku is of immense cultural significance to Ijebuland. It is the most prestigious chieftaincy title in the Awujale administration and the highest non-hereditary title an Ijebu can aspire to. It is usually given to successful businessmen who are accomplished in their chosen career.
The first Ogbeni Oja was the late Chief Adeola Odutola, an Ijebu icon who in his lifetime was easily one of the most successful industrialists in Yorubaland. When he died, the Awujale made Otunba Bayo Kuku, the next Ogbeni Oja.
The position has been vacant since 2015 when the last occupant died.

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Gbenga Daniel Advocates Reforms for Primary Education Under Local Government Control

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Former governor of Ogun State and now serving senator, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has expressed concern over the state of primary education in Nigeria, advocating for its control under local government administration. He believes that local governments, with full financial autonomy, are best suited to manage primary education in the country.

Daniel voiced this position in Lagos at a recent retreat organised by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education. As the chairman of the retreat, themed “Basic Education Implementation in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges, and Way Forward,” he emphasized that basic education would be more effectively managed if local governments were in charge.
“We should allow the local government to run basic education, especially at the primary school level, while the state should completely hand off other roles and rather concentrate on secondary education,” Daniel stated.
He identified several issues and challenges that need to be addressed to advance the subsector, including lack of access, poor infrastructure, a shortage of competent teachers and instructional materials, an obsolete curriculum, inadequate funding, high teacher/student ratios, limited access to technology, and societal and cultural barriers. Daniel emphasised that local governments are better equipped to tackle these issues.
The executive secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, highlighted the importance of a comprehensive review of the challenges facing basic education in the country to develop a practicable and enduring solution. He specifically mentioned the UBEC Act, noting that the 20-year-old legislation is overdue for revision to align with current global best practices in basic education, ensuring free and quality education for all Nigerian children.
Dr. Bobboyi underscored that now is the opportune moment for this review, especially as the country strives to overcome economic challenges.
In his remarks, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Mr. Lawal Usman, expressed the committee’s commitment to charting a new course for basic education in Nigeria. He also emphasised the need to revisit the 2004 UBEC Act, promising that the retreat would address major issues in the document, relate them to emerging trends in the subsector, and develop practical recommendations for the way forward.


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Oil Exploration: Daniel Congratulates Gov. Abiodun, Ogun people

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The media office of His Excellency, The Senator, Otunba Engr. Gbenga Daniel, celebrates with His Excellency, Governor Dapo Abiodun, and indeed all Ogun State citizens over the declaration of the state as a frontier state for oil exploration by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL).
The recognition of Ogun State oil production status by NNPCL is especially heart-warming as it signposts the fulfilment of the vision kickstarted by the establishment of the Gateway Oil and Gas Development Limited in 2003 by the Daniel Administration, with immense support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
In pushing for the recognition of Ogun State as an oil producing state, the Daniel Administration undertook three-dimensional seismic study of oil and other minerals deposits in the state. The seismic survey covered a vast stretch of the water body in Ode Omi in Ogun Waterside Local Government, all through the Laogo Island, Imobi, Itasin riverine areas in the Ijebu East Local Government and Tongeji Island in Ipokia Local Government Area. The study then sparked a $50 million investment pledge by PGS Exploration Nigeria Limited in April, 2004. Also, a large deposit of Phosphate was also discovered around Olusosun in Ifo Local Government area which necessitated the siting of the Gateway Fertilizer Company at Olusosun. The Ogun State Agro-Cargo Airport in Iperu/Ilishan and the Kajola FTZ in Ifo were conceived to provide Transport logistics hubs to support all these initiatives.
The arguments of the Ogun State Government then was that it is the only littoral state on the Benin Trough (that is now referred to as Dahomey Basin) that was yet to be recognized as an Oil Producing State. Several strategies were deployed to drawing the attention of the Federal Government to Ogun State with a view to establishing it as an Oil Producing State. Part of the strategies included the hosting of then-NNPC Group Managing Director, Engr. Funsho Kupolokun and other top officials of the oil corporation at a colourful event held at the Valley View Auditorium of the Government House, Oke Igbein, Abeokuta, leveraging the event to get Ogun listed as an oil producing state.
In 2007, a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a multibillion-dollar Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas (OK LNG) project between Ogun and Ondo State governments (joint owners of the Olokola Free Trade Zone) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as it then was; Chevron, Shell and British Gas (who were the promoters of the project), was signed. The Olokola Free Trade Zone was also billed to host petro-allied establishments such as the Dangote Refinery (now relocated to Lagos). Those in attendance at the signing of the MoU include the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Funso Kupolokun who also served as the Chairman of the Project’s Steering Committee; the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), Mr. Shina Agboluaje and a host of others.
Otunba Gbenga Daniel, as the Governor of Ogun State then, at the event, described Ogun State as ” _a veritable factory of skilled manpower that would be readily available for the different players in the FTZ. With ten higher institutions, our state is regularly turning out a considerable number of available manpower that are waiting to be trained further and engaged for productive activities”_ . In order to leverage this skilled manpower base, the administration of Otunba Daniel established the Gateway Industrial & Petro-Gas Institute (GIPI) in 2006, to train technical and professional personnel to support the maintenance of the proposed refinery, petrochemical and allied industries with the aim of creating substantial employment opportunities for the youth and citizens of Ogun State. It is worthy to note that some students of the Gateway Industrial & Petro-Gas Institute then got sponsorship to study in Qatar for the needed skills on Underwater Welding in the oil & gas sector. Furthermore, four ICT Polytechnics (Ijebu Igbo, Igbesa, Saapade and Itori) were also established to create major technical and manpower feed for all three specialised Free Trade Zones (Ogun/Guangdong in Igbesa, Olokola and Kajola) for which Ogun State had obtained licenses to operate. As of 2011 over 60 Chinese companies had started operations at the Ogun/Guangdong Free Trade Zone and in fulfilment of the Agreement duly signed with the Ogun State government, sponsored no fewer than 10 citizens of the state on full scholarships to various technical universities and institutions in China.
We wish to thank Governor Abiodun for seeing through this great vision for which he was first appointed by Governor Daniel in 2009 to succeed Otunba Alex Onabanjo, as Chairman, Gateway Oil and Gas Committee alongside other eminent individuals such as Chief Bode Mustapha (Vice Chairman), Mr. Femi Babalola (Secretary), Mr Idowu Togun, Mr. Wemmy Osude, Mr. Femi Mafe, Late Chief Engr. Femi Tetede.
May we also seek this opportunity to appeal to Governor Abiodun to kindly revisit the situation of GIPI and support its revitalisation in order to take advantage of these underutilized developments.
We also wish to draw the attention of the governor to pending construction of the Makun Omi Bridge via Efire, which was planned by the OGD administration but could not be realised due to the turbulent politics of that time.
We are certain that with the right political will and sincerity of purpose, Ogun State is on its way to economic prosperity as contained in the 25-year development master plan emplaced by the Daniel administration.
God bless Ogun State
God bless Nigeria.


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” Why I celebrated my wife at 60”- OGD

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Former Governor of Ogun State and distinguished Senator representing Ogun East, His Excellency Senator Otunba Engr Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FAEng, recently made headlines for hosting a glamorous 60th birthday party for his beloved wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel, in Lagos.
Recall that the luxurious celebration, which took place at the prestigious Balmoral Hall, Sheraton Hotel, captured the essence of love, resilience, and unwavering support that has defined the couple’s journey together.
The former first lady’s society birthday bash became the talk of the town a few weeks ago, drawing esteemed guests from Nigeria’s social elite, top traditional rulers, and influential political figures who converged at the renowned venue from across the country and beyond.
During a sermon titled “The Test of Faith,” delivered at Rev Esther Ajayi’s Love of Christ Generation Church during a Family Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, April 21, 2024, Senator Daniel recounted his personal journey of resilience amidst adversity.
He reflected on his trials at the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the unwavering support of his wife throughout the ordeal.
In a powerful testimony, the senator highlighted the challenges faced by leaders in Nigeria’s political landscape, sharing his own experience of being declared wanted by the EFCC. Despite the adversity, he demonstrated accountability and integrity by surrendering himself to the authorities, setting an example of leadership accountability.
“Something is currently going on in Nigeria, and I’ve been seeing it on television. One of our governors is to be arrested, and all the apparatus of the government surrounded his house, but they were not able to arrest the governor.
“And I was wondering what has now happened to our world. Although I’m not justifying the police wanting to arrest him, I’m concerned about why it is difficult for him to surrender himself?
“Let me make myself an example. After serving my state for eight years, I can tell you that there is nothing else I knew how to do that I didn’t do to serve my people back then.
“I was going to attend a meeting in Ikenne when I was informed by the late Dr. Frederick Fasehun that EFCC had declared me wanted. So, I first went to Ikenne to tell them that I won’t be able to attend the meeting because I’ve been declared wanted.
“After which I went back to my office, and a few minutes later, my secretary came to inform me that some people are looking for me from EFCC.”
Otunba Daniel narrated that he told his secretary to allow them in, which they did and informed him that he has to follow them to Lagos.
“The point I’m trying to make is that between the time I heard the information, I can drive towards the border. But I went back and surrendered myself,” he explained.
Amidst the turmoil, Senator Daniel revealed the unwavering support of his wife, Yeye Olufunke Daniel.
He recounted the moment he informed her of his arrest, only to be met with her resolute response: “Wherever they’re taking you, we’re going together!”
According to the former governor, Yeye Daniel’s steadfast support and unwavering faith were evident throughout the eleven-year trial, during which she refused to celebrate her own birthday until her husband was acquitted of all charges.
“Yeye said, ‘I’ll not celebrate any birthday until you’re set free. We live together, I know you’ll not touch state money; unless you are spending your money for the state. So whatever they do, God will save you.’
“So for those eleven years until last year when I was discharged of any crime, Yeye refused to celebrate her birthday,” the former governor revealed.
The well-attended birthday celebration not only honored Yeye Daniel’s milestone but also served as a testament to the enduring love, resilience, and solidarity shared between the esteemed couple, Senator Gbenga Daniel and Yeye Olufunke Daniel.
In the same vein, the former governor has admonished political leaders to be cautious and not allow the positions they occupy to get into their heads.
While taking his lessons from the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, Otunba Daniel cited the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three Jewish men thrown into a fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar II, King of Babylon for refusing to bow to the king’s image.
“The Bible told us that those people who actually obeyed the king to do evil got burnt. But for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the fiery furnace didn’t touch them, which amazed Nebuchadnezzar. Even the king later agreed that there is a son of God that is powerful than any other human being,” he stated.
The senator reminded the public office holders that their terms are tenured for a maximum of 8 years so they should be circumspect while holding office because their own day of reckoning and judgment too shall come.
“For me, I have been tested in the crucible of fires and became stronger from that. I have no fears anymore because my own trials and tribulations had come and I passed the test,” Otunba Daniel said.


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