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Group mourns another Nigerian killed in South Africa

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The Nigerian community in South Africa has again gone into mourning, following the killing of yet, another Nigerian in the former apartheid enclave.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the death of Mr Olusola Solarin, who was killed on December 12 last year in South Africa, has raised the death tally of Nigerians killed in South Africa to more than 127 in since 2019.

Records show that 13 of the Nigerians sent to their early graves in the Rainbow Nation were killed by members of the South African police.

In a statement e-mailed to NAN in Abuja on Saturday, the Nigeria Union South Africa described Solarin as a brilliant, hardworking, motivator and community leader, who had fallen victim to the orgy of violence and criminality in South Africa.

The statement, jointly signed by the President of NUSA, Mr Collins Mgbo, and Secretary-General, Mr Nimram Durven Longbap-Longs, described Solarin as a businessman, who had a chain of businesses, including pharmaceuticals, clothes and shoe outlets.

According to the unionists, Solarin has since been buried at Makun community in Sagamu, near Abeokuta in Ogun on January 3.

Solarin was said to have met his fate after supplying goods to his customers outside Johannesburg, the business capital.

He was returning to his base when he was waylaid and in an attempt to prevent his assailants from collecting the money he was paid by customers, the assailants murdered him.

In the union’s condolence message to Solarin’s widow named Doris, who is also the Vice-President and Head of Programmes of NUSA, the union said that the Nigerian community in South Africa would miss Solarin dearly.

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The union members also noted that their solace was in God, knowing fully well that Solarin had run his race and that his reward awaited him at the bosom of God.

“I have never seen a man with such a heart of gold. I’ve never seen a man so hardworking that with so little he built so much for his family within a reasonable time of his life.

“Life isn’t fair enough to allow him to taste the fruits of his labour. I am pushed to ask: ‘God why’ but if I do, of what benefit is it? Will he be brought back to life?,” Mgbo wrote in his tribute.

The NUSA president said he had wished it was on a different occasion instead of Solarin’s death that he as NUSA president was talking about the achievements of Solarin.

“On behalf of NUSA, I Collins Mgbo express the union’s heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the senseless brutal murder of your loving and patriotic husband.

“It is NUSA’s prayer that God will grant you the determination to bear this irremediable loss.

“Please keep it in mind that your late husband’s best wishes will always be with you and your children throughout the rest of your life.

“May Comrade Solarin’s gentle soul rest in peace,’’ Mgbo wrote.

(NAN)

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Ugwuanyi fetes Haitians on trace of Igbo roots

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Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, yesterday, received a Haitian delegation at the Government House, Enugu, amid excitement and pomp.  

The 10-man delegation led by Senator Moise Jean-Charles was on a homecoming mission to Enugu, the political capital of Igboland, to perform conventional Igbo rituals such as traditional naming and name adoption, after they traced their roots to Igboland.

Addressing the delegation, Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Simon Uchenna Ortuanya, delightfully welcomed them to Enugu State in particular and the entire Igboland in general, and commended them for the bold step.

The governor also appreciated them for keeping a date with history and following their heart and for getting back to their roots.

The governor, while stressing the significance of the visit said: “Today is a new beginning for all of us. We open our doors to you and we are ready as we have demonstrated. We also want you to know that changing your names is in agreement with the Igbo tradition that you have a new name for a new born.

 “Today, you are born new in Enugu State and in the land of your fathers. Congratulations!”

In his remarks, leader of the delegation, Sen. Jean-Charles, who described the visit to Enugu State as homecoming, thanked Ugwuanyi for the hospitality accorded to them in the state.

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He recounted the affinity of the people and culture of Enugu State and Haiti, revealing that Enugu has five letters as Haiti and that Enugu and Haiti mean cities on top of a hill.

 “I have visited many countries, many places around the world but this is the first time I have visited a country where everybody looks like me. I have not come here as a foreign person. I have come back home.

Before I keep on talking, I want to on behalf of all Haitians, all the blocks in Haiti, to thank you (Ugwuanyi) for receiving us after 218 years,” Jean-Charles said.

In their separate goodwill messages, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Ugonna Ibe, the Chairman, Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, the immediate past President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and Ozo (Dr.) Ferdinand Anikwe, gave a historic background of the Haitians and their link with Igbos, applauding the visitors for taking such a bold step in identifying with the place of their origin.

The climax of the event were the traditional naming and name adoption by the Haitian delegation, which was performed by Igwe Agubuzu in company of other traditional rulers present.

The visitors also performed the Igede cultural dance and also received souvenirs from the Enugu State government. 

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2 killed, houses burnt as suspected herdsmen attack Benue

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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

At least two persons have been reportedly killed after gunmen suspected to be herdsmen attacked Igama community in Ojugo wards, Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.

Sources from the affected community disclosed that the gunmen invaded the community last Tuesday afternoon and burnt many houses. The invaders were said to have stormed the community in broad day light and shot sporadically in all directions while the locals scampered for safety.

When contacted on telephone, the Chairman of the council, Mrs Amina Audu, confirmed the report, saying it was the third time in the last two weeks that the attackers invaded her council. She told newsmen that the attack was perpetrated by herdsmen without any form of provocation.

“Fulani herdsmen came and attacked the community and burnt houses, and a woman was found dead after several days,” she said.

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Mrs Audu, who noted that the incident was reported to the police, said some security personnel were detailed to the area to forestall any breakdown of law and order, adding that men of the Livestock Guards were also sent to the area but the herders quickly ran away before the security men arrived.

“They have attacked the community for three consecutive times since January 13, 2022. They will just come into the community and attack them. They normally come in the afternoon. It is because the security people have been stationed on ground that we did not record many casualties.”

Audu, however, disclosed that those who were killed were immediately buried because their bodies were already decaying by the time they were found. The council boss appealed to the Federal Government to urgently rise to the occasion and stop the marauding herders from taking innocent lives.

When contacted, the Benue Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, said she was yet to receive any information about the incident.

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Anti-open Grazing Law: Bayelsa govt goes tough on violators,

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From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State government has clamped down on violators of the Anti-open Grazing Law in the state.

To this end, it arrested 44 cows found grazing along Imiringi road, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Douye Diri had on March 10, 2021 signed into law the Anti-open Grazing Law known as Livestock Breeding Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law.

He also set up the Livestock Management Committee headed by the Commissioner for Agricultural Resources, Mr David Alagoa, with members drawn from the security agencies.

However, many farmers in Imiringi, Elebele and Emeyal in Ogbia Local Government Area, Tombia and Okutukutu in Yenagoa Local Government Area have been complaining of the destructive activities of cows despite the law.

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The farmers had lodged their complaint to Alagoa and the state task force to help arrest the situation before things got out of hand.

Alagoa had during a patrol at the weekend arrested the cows, while the herders escaped into the bush to evade arrest.

The arrest followed a complaint to the task force by farmers along Imiringi road near Megastar camp where the cows were said to have destroyed crops.

Alagoa said the task force would continue to take action to demonstrate that the state government would not condone flouting of its laws.

Meanwhile one of the farmers, Mr Tempo, explained that his farm at Elebele where he planted maize and cassava was destroyed by cows.

He urged the state government to take more action because any farmer that tries to confront the herders is usually threatened with attack.

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