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Boundary disputes: Osinbajo faults politicians for playing ethnic, religious games

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has faulted some politicians whom he said “play ethnic or religious games” to exacerbate otherwise straightforward issues resulting in violence and death.

This is as he charged the National Boundaries Commission to step up its vital role to play in managing geographic boundaries and preventing border conflicts.

Osinbajo, who doubles as Chairman of the NBC, spoke on Monday at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, during a meeting with State Deputy Governors from the federation and management of the NBC over misunderstandings that often deteriorate into boundary disputes.

The VP said it has become expedient to convene the meeting to enable all stakeholders in boundary disputes to understand the Act establishing the NBC and their roles to ensure proper boundary management.

The NBC was established under CAP 238 of 1990 and is responsible for managing internal boundaries among states and external borders between Nigeria and other countries. It is also responsible for preventing the inflow of contraband and illegal materials into the country.

According to the Vice President, “We cannot stress this enough. Land is an emotive issue. And it accounts for many cases of the mindless violence and fatalities that result from border disputes and clashes. For many of our people, it is the very essence of their identity —the whole question of who owns what and who should have access to a particular piece of land. Sometimes it is tied to ancestry and ancient rivalries.

“But most of these combatants do not understand that many of these boundary lines are mainly for administrative convenience. And there should not be disputes about them, and even if there are, it should not lead to violence or the dislocation of people.

“Very often, we observe where politicians play ethnic or religious games which exacerbates otherwise straightforward issues and may result in violence and death. I believe that we are a responsible leadership that can sit at the table with other leaders and agree to give and take, and make concessions.”

The Vice President explained that the meeting became necessary to settle disputes and minimise interstate rancour and instability by interacting directly with the responsible state functionaries and getting a better sense of how they think their border disputes could be more efficiently and successfully tackled.

“I fully agree that such an interaction is necessary after all the users of the commission’s services are best suited to give helpful feedback. Such interaction will be an opportunity to jointly review thecommission’s work so far and to chart a course to the peaceful management of our interstate boundaries.

“So, the handling of border disputes also requires a good knowledge of the issues, and in my view, sincerity of purpose and sensitivity. And this can only be effectively done at the highest levels of governance.

“Which is why the National Boundary Commission Establishment Act of 2006 provides organs at the three levels of government. But in particular, it establishes state boundary committees that are headed by deputy governors in every one of the states. And, of course, the permanent secretaries in the FCT. While the VP chairs the NBC, which is the apex body for resolving border disputes.”

The Vice President said that bold, fair-minded, trustworthy, courageous and patriotic leadership is required to ensure that border disputes are settled without politicisation.

He charged the zonal commissioners of the NBC on their mandate saying, “I believe that in this challenging but crucial enterprise, the border commission has a vital role to play. Its role is sensitive. It’s not just an expert body. But it is also expected to be an honest broker. This is why we have the honourable members of the commission who are from all six geopolitical zones.

“The commission is a public resource whose credibility in dispute resolution is fundamental, we all have a duty to support the commission but also to keep it honest and on its toes all the time because the role of the commission is central to everything we do in border dispute resolution.”

After the closed-door session, Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, revealed that the NBC has been lagging in its duties to demarcate interstate boundaries properly. He said the commission had been charged to take seriously following deliberations with stakeholders.

He said, “After the deliberations, the NBC accepted that there had been issues, and they also accepted that they have not been doing a lot of work. They have also been going through some difficulties, funding and the rest, but at the end of the day, the commission chairman said that they are being funded. For some of us, we were taken aback.

“We agreed that they must step up and do the needful, especially in demarcating boundaries that have not been resolved, and they should carry all the states along in doing this. Also, states should cooperate to ensure that we sensitise communities that are involved in these disputes.”

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Sammie Okposo confesses to cheating on wife

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Sammie Okposo

Gospel artiste, Sammie Okposo, Tuesday confessed to cheating on his wife Ozioma, and tendered a public apology to her as well as his fans.

He revealed in an Instagram post that he was involved in a relationship with another woman during one of his trips to the United States in 2021.

Gospel singer Sammie Okposo confesses to cheating on wife, suspends self from ministry

Also Read: Lanre Gentry shades ex-wife, Mercy Aigbe, “At last the truth is out”

He wrote, “Dear Friends, I need to bring a very unfortunate incident to your attention; as I am not proud of it but know that this is the right thing to do.

“On my recent trip to the USA (Late 2021), I got intimately involved with a lady; knowing that this was not appropriate as a married man and a minister of the gospel. I am ashamed and regret my actions; as it has caused a lot of pain to my dear wife, Ozioma, my family and I.

“I want to take this moment and apologise to all fathers and mothers of the Faith; and ministers of the Gospel for my behavior and moral failure.

“I won’t be here if not for your investment and belief in what God has called me to do. I sincerely apologize for this embarrassing situation.

“To all that have been a part of my ministry; followed my ministry or know me personally, I am truly sorry for disappointing you.

“I regret any pain or disappointment that this news of my moral failure and poor judgement may cause you and I am truly sorry for disappointing you.

“I humbly ask that you continue to pray for me.”

Interestingly, American-based woman, identified as African Doll, had accused Okposo of impregnating her, barely 24 hours before his confession.

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Edo to switch to e-governance February 1 – Obaseki

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By Jethro Ibileke

Effective from February 1, 2022, Edo State government will switch over from analogue to e-governance, Governor Godwin Obaseki says on Tuesday.

Obaseki, gave the indication on Tuesday in Benin, at the swearing-in of 14 new permanent secretaries, which held at the Government House.

According to the Governor, switching to e-governance means that memos and mails on papers would be eliminated.

He said: “Effective February 1, 2022, I, the governor, would switch over to e-governance platform, which effectively means I will now approve memos and send mails to you via the e-platform.

“We have introduced the Edo State Civil/Public Service Transformation and Enhancement Programme (EdoSTEP), through which we are pursuing a deliberate programme to identify weak points in the civil service and strengthen them.

“That explains why we have had to bring people from outside to come in to help us strengthen the areas of weaknesses that we have seen in the civil and public service; we will continue to do so because we have seen that the civil service as it is today needs a lot of strengthening.

“So far, we are very glad with the accomplishments that we have made today in the EdoSTEP programme. Under this programme, we have found out that the number of vacancies in the civil service is quite enormous.

“First, we started with the hiring of 1,600 graduates into the service at the bottom level, but they don’t have the experience and skill to take us to where we want. We will now continue hiring from the top and also see how we can train the middle corps that we have in the civil service and give them the tools for effective delivery.”

Addressing the 14 newly-sworn-in permanent secretaries, Obaseki charged them on the delivery of efficient and quality services to Edo people, even as he admonished them not to seek popularity.

He said: “We are working extremely hard to bring back the civil and public service to those days when it was respected. To the new permanent secretaries, I will like to admonish you, you all have been appointed based on merit, not by any godfather.”

“Do not seek popularity; you are not politicians, leave that to us. Ensure you do things the way it ought to be done,” he charged.

Obaseki also warned the appointees to be weary of their conduct in service, noting that government officials are liable and culpable for their activities in service, even after retirement.

In his words, “You are the chief accounting officers of your ministries. The fact that you are in government for a while does not mean that your activities while in government will not be looked at; you have to be very cautious of the decisions you make.

“Most Nigerians don’t know that even after you retire, you are still liable and culpable for your activities during your time in office. I am pleased to inform you that you will be inheriting a vastly improved system of governance; we will continue to work on our systems so that you can deliver effectively to our people.

“We will continue to build human capacity, and train and retrain our civil and public servants. We are equipping and investing in the John Odigie-Oyegun Public Service Academy to make it second to none in this part of the world.”

The newly sworn-in permanent secretaries are: Mr. Anelu Osemen, Mrs. Felicia Edwards, Mrs. Grace Aihie, Mr. Egwakhide Gilbert, Mr. Iserhienrhien Efe and Mr. Aikhuomobhogbe Uidia.

Others are Mr. Asibor Lucky, Mrs. Igbinobaro Joy, Mr. Washington Abbe, Mr. Asemota Uyi, Mr. Toritseju Onaiwu, Mrs. Ifueko Alufokhai, Mr. Osikhena Ojior and Mrs. Barbara Osobajo.

Mr. Anslem Osemen who responded on behalf of the new permanent secretaries, pledged to reciprocate the confidence reposed on them, contributing effectively to the progress and development of the state.

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Ondo: Police vow to prosecute man for allegedly killing Lagos-based girlfriend

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The Ondo State Police Command has said that it would prosecute one Olasunkami Oluwole for allegedly killing his lover in the Oke-Igbo community in the Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area.

Biola Soyinka, the deceased, reportedly travelled from Lagos to see her boyfriend before she was murdered.

Funmilayo Odunlami, the Police Public Relations Officer of the command, said the matter is being investigated at the command’s Criminal Investigation Department.

According to the PPRO, the suspect would be charged to court immediately after the completion of the investigation.

“The case is still at the state CID for further investigation, and after the investigation is completed, he will be charged in court,” Odunlami said.

Meanwhile, the elder brother to the deceased, Akeem Jinadu, said Oluwole had on January 16 called them in Lagos that Biola had died after he claimed that she became unconscious when she slumped at around 4:00 am .

“Oluwole said by the time he rushed her to the hospital, the doctors declared her dead. When we asked him to bring her corpse back to Lagos, he demanded that we send money for transportation.

“Contrary to what Oluwole said when the police arrested him, there were marks sustained from beating on her body when we went to identify the remains at the morgue.

“Her neck, face, and body had dark patches because she was a fair person,” Jinadu said.

“From the state of her corpse it is very obvious she didn’t die from falling, rather the marks on her body shows she was beaten and strangled to death.”

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