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[JUST IN] Benue anti-grazing law: House of Assembly provides stiffer penalties for offenders



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The Benue State House of Assembly on Friday amended the State Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of 2017, providing for stiffer penalties for offenders.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that with the amendment, the law provides for a 14-year jail term with an option of a N5million fine for anyone caught engaging under-aged children for grazing in any part of Benue state.

The amendment of the legislation was done during the plenary today. It followed the consideration of the report of the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Herders-farmers clashes have claimed several lives in Benue in recent months.

As a result of the wanton killings, many communities are in disarray with residents seeking refuge in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps across the state.

The security crisis in Benue is part of the security challenges bedevilling the six-geopolitical zones under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.




Late Soun believed in Nigeria’s unity, made huge contributions to Ogbomoso – Osinbajo



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo 1
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo pays a condolence visit to the Family of the Former Governor of Oyo State Chief Adebayo Alao Akala in Ogbomoso, Oyo State. 23rd Jan, 2022

  • Pays condolence visits to late Gov Akala’s family and Olubadan Palace

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Late Soun of Ogbomosoland, Oba (Dr.) Oladunni Oyewumi, Ajagungbade III, was not just a much loved and respected monarch, an astute statesman, and a great leader among Yoruba Obas, he strongly believed in a united Nigeria and the immense benefits therein.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Sunday in Oyo State, where he attended the thanksgiving service held in honour of the late Oba at the First Baptist Church, Ogbomoso.

The Vice President, who was accompanied by the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, also paid a condolence visit to the Soun’s palace to meet members of the family.

Also while in Ogbomoso, he paid a condolence visit to the family of former governor of Oyo State, the late Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, where he was welcomed by the late governor’s wives, Chief Mrs Florence Alao Akala, and Mrs Oluwakemi Alao Akala.

Later in the day, the Vice President proceeded to Ibadan where he went straight to the Palace of the Olubadan of Ibadan, the late Oba Saliu Adetunji, who passed away earlier this month.

Speaking at the Thanksgiving Service for the late Soun at the First Baptist Church Ogbomoso, the Vice President, described the late monarch as a detribalized Nigerian whose “success in the North despite his Yoruba origins strengthened his belief in the huge benefits of unity in diversity and he practised his brotherhood of all regardless of race or faith faithfully all his life.

“While he lived in the North, he won the respect of all including the Sardauna of Sokoto who nicknamed him “Ciroma!”

The late Soun of Ogbomoso was 95 and his reign lasted for 48 years, a lifetime the VP observed, was one of significant impact with indelible footprints.

“I know that no matter how long our loved ones live, we all still want them around for longer especially when they have been so consequential and have made such a significant impact in our lives

“Oba Oladunni Oyewumi had an exceptionally long, peaceful, and progressive reign, for which we must just continue to give thanks to God Almighty. Having ascended the throne on the 24th of October, 1973, he has delivered four decades and eight years of exceptional and transformational leadership, leaving behind the indelible marks of peace and prosperity.”

On behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government, the Vice President extended condolences to the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, the late Oba’s family, the entire Royal Family, as well as all the people of Ogbomoso.

The VP disclosed that his first formal interaction with the late monarch was when the latter was Patron of one of the foremost centres for local and international training in law and commerce, the Centre for Law and Business, which was founded by his son, Prince Dapo Oyewunmi.

“I along with Professor Oyelowo Oyewo SAN, current Attorney General of Oyo State were privileged to serve on the board. His stature, wisdom, and maturity were important in laying the solid foundation that the organisation now enjoys both locally and internationally,” he said.

Prof. Osinbajo further noted that the late Soun was a thoroughbred leader who dedicated himself to the people of Ogbomoso, for both their social and human capital development.

Noting that the late monarch’s reign brought commendable development to Ogbomoso, the VP added he made remarkable contributions to both his domain and Nigeria as a whole.

The VP stated that the late Soun not only stood out from his peers, but only a few in Nigeria were also recipients of two national honours, as he was.

“He made remarkable contributions to Ogbomosho and to Nigeria, for which the nation honoured him twice, first as Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) and then as Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR),” he said.

Eulogising the attributes and values of the late Soun, the Vice President observed that many referred to the late monarch as “man of the masses” because, aside from the development he brought to the town, he gave his people free access to his wealth and wisdom.

Prof. Osinbajo recalled that the late Oba Ajagungbade III was an astute businessman who ventured into different trading activities including Aso-Oke and other merchandise trading.

The VP added that, “he later became an agent for big international conglomerates and interacting with many European business concerns, especially during his time in Jos.

“He soon acquired a reputation as an honest trader, and he did so well that the European community soon came to know of his business acumen. Before long, he became “the wealthiest African in Jos.”

Prof. Osinbajo noted that the “progress of his domain meant everything to him. Indeed, he was once reported as saying ‘the progress of Ogbomoso is my motto,” adding that the late Soun was not just renowned for his business acumen, but also for his attitude of contentment and honesty.

“Another lesson we should learn from the life of this great monarch is that hard work and honesty pays. But we must also note that while contented with outcomes, he was never one to sit idly doing nothing. He always made his plans diligently and meticulously. Then with remarkable diligence, he always made all the efforts necessary to see them to fruition,” the VP said.

Prof. Osinbajo concluded that “true to his name, the Ajagungbade III has lived and has conquered for his people. He conquered illiteracy, and underdevelopment, he loved the people, he served his community, and remains a source of inspiration to all, including many who had served this country in the highest offices, who regularly sought his counsel.

“He was father to all and he held his place with dignity, neutrality and selfless commitment. While he would be missed, let us all be comforted by the good memories he left for us all.”

At the condolence visit to the Alao-Akalas, the Vice President stated that the late governor was very generous and is widely regarded as a titan in Oyo and Nigerian politics.

“But I think it is his persona that has endeared many to him. A very generous, kind-hearted and very decent human being, and that is what I deeply appreciate about him. When in 2015 I was nominated as the Vice-Presidential candidate of the APC, one of the very first people that I consulted was Chief Alao Akala,” stated Prof. Osinbajo.

Recalling that incident, the VP stated that the late governor “was so kind and generous with his time and gave me so much advice and so much support, I can never forget how extremely generous he was with his time and resources.”

Condoling with the family, friends and associates of Alao-Akala, the Vice President prayed that God will comfort them.

“He has left such an incredible legacy, shoes too big to fill, I know that the Lord will help you to carry the weight and all that he has left behind,” the VP said.


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2023: Atiku And The Age Of Methuselah Politics



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By Kassim Afegbua

Having concluded the convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, with a new leadership that looks promising, the Party will have to rise above board to produce a presidential candidate from the Southern part of the country to complete the narrative. With the abysmal performance of President Muhammadu Buhari on account of age, incompetence and lack of capacity and political will to take deliberate and sustained action to bail out the country from all manner of challenges, it will be immoral for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to continue to express interest in seeking election in the 2023 presidential election having attained the retirement age. He cannot assume the role of a perpetual candidate or professional aspirànt year in, year out, of the party as though the party was established for him alone. It defeats all sense of logic for such an old man to attempt another round of political contestation at a time the general feeling and mood in the country supports a younger Nigerian from the Southern extraction of the country.

For me, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar should quit his quest for presidency and support a southern Nigerian candidate in the spirit of fairness, equity and justice, that will assuage the feelings of stakeholders from the Southern part of Nigeria. It will be against the run of play and natural justice for any aspirànt of Northern extraction to show interest in the 2023 presidential election within the Peoples’ Democratic Party threshold. It will offend national sentiments, emotions and logic for anyone from the North to show such interest given our diversities and hetereogenous political configurations. Given PDP’s doctrine of political power balancing and fairness, it will be against its own unwritten rule to cede the ticket to any Northern aspirànt least of all Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

After the 2019 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar abandoned all of us in Nigeria and sought refuge in far away Dubai, thus exposing us to the intimidations, harassment and threats posed by the desperate APC’s power oligarchs. It was a case of a General abandoning his troops in the battle field. Rather than draw strength from his presence, his absence exposed us to all manner of challenges. He was in Dubai and left us to our fate. When it mattered most for us to reach out to our candidate for motivation and necessary encouragement, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar vanished to thin air. Knowing full well that political activities were to take off, he suddenly resurfaced and became a frontliner in his quest to fly the party’s flag once again. That, to me, amounts to gross political selfishness and greed, which must not be allowed to flourish in our contemporary engagements. Even those who are promoters-in-chief of Alhaji Atiku’s aspiration, know in their heart of hearts that it is a project that is dead on arrival.

The Southern geopolitical zones of Nigeria have eminently qualified Nigerians and parade great minds who are competent and ready to take a shot at the number one job. Those who are advancing very nebulous theory of seeing the northern population as a stimulant to win the sympathy of the North against the South are either ignorant of the real demographics or at best, just playing the ostrich. No one in the North should take away what belongs to the South. That will be hurting the consciences and feelings of the average southerner. If the argument is to suffice for example, for an Atiku presidency, he will be finishing his first term of four years at age 81. And were he to become a candidate in 2023 again, and per adventure he loses the election, are we, as PDP, going to reserve the position for him or any other Northerner in 2027? These are very curious scenarios which cannot be overlooked. For 2023, an Atiku candidacy will be like promoting an expired product in the face of very compelling reason to look down South in our quest to wrestle power from the fractured APC.

Earlier last year, I was conscripted into the Technical Committee for Atiku presidency. Having attended three meetings of the group, I found my spirit and conscience permanently in conflict with the ethos of justice, fairness and equity, which the south deserves. A Nigerian of southern extraction deserves to be given unfettered opportunity to represent the party in the 2023 presidential contest. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his northern aspirànts should support the aspiration of an upwardly mobile and younger elements from the South to fly the PDP flag. Anything short of such will be tantamount to standing logic on its head, and a deliberate attempt to undermine the collective interest and aspirations of the Southern aspirànts. I will therefore implore the new management and members of the National Executive Committee of the PDP as well as the National Working Committee to speak with one voice in ensuring that the South is given what is due to it. Doing that, will mean promoting the fundamental principles of democracy of all inclusiveness and participation. Let it be known that I will not hesitate to commence the process of mobilizing, sensitizing and conscientizing like minds and team up with other stakeholders to drum up the necessary support that will birth a Southern candidate for the party. Justice should not only be served, it must be seen to have been served.

Nigerians in their millions are tired of seeing the faces of persons who have dominated the political space in the last forty years and yet, unwilling to take a bow. In the spirit of the new thinking and paradigm shift, please tell them to allow us to breathe.


•Afegbua is a chieftain of the PDP and former Commissioner for Information, Edo state.


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“Keep on winning”, Buhari tells Super Eagles



Head coach Austin Eguavoen speaking to President Muhammadu Buhari during a video call with the Super Eagles team
Head coach, Austin Eguavoen speaking to President Muhammadu Buhari during a video call with the Super Eagles team

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday morning charged the Super Eagles squad at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon to keep on winning.

Buhari, in a video call with the team ahead of their round of 16 clash against Tunisia tonight, said the Nigerian government will continue to support them.

Speaking from the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President spoke with coach Augustine Eguavoen, team captain Ahmed Musa, Amaju Pinnick, President of Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), and Nigerian Ambassador to Cameroon, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin (retd).

Mentioning two of the players, Kelechi Iheanacho and Moses Simon, by name, President Buhari urged the Super Eagles to continue making Nigerians happy, not only by winning the second round match, but to eventually lift the trophy.

“You’ve been doing Nigeria proud. You’ve been winning. Please keep on winning. The Federal Government is supporting you, and I say thank you to all the technical crew and the players.. Please keep doing the country proud,” Buhari said.

The President applauded the good work being done by the Hon Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, saying the country appreciates it.

Responding, Coach Eguavoen said; “We are so excited that His Excellency, President Buhari, has come to speak with us this morning. On behalf of the players and the technical crew, I want to say thank you very much sir.

“The group stage has passed, and your speaking to us is a morale booster. Thank you for your support, Mr President, we also thank the Hon. Minister, and the NFF President. We are so privileged, and want to promise that you should just relax, we’ll come out victorious. We won’t let the nation down.”

Ambassador Olonisakin said the over 4 million Nigerians living in Cameroon have been giving robust support to the Super Eagles since they arrived Garoua, Cameroon, on January 5, “and they will continue to do so.”

Ahmed Musa, on behalf of the players, appreciated Mr President, noting that it is not easy to speak with the leader of a country, and they count themselves privileged.

“We will make Nigeria proud, now that we have the blessings of the father of the nation,” Musa said.

NFF President, Asaju Pinnick described the video conference as “a priceless privilege,” and thanked President Buhari and the nation at large for their prayers and support.

He said under the current dispensation, Nigeria has won the Under 17 football tournament twice, “and we want to win the African Cup of Nations too.”


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