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Oshiomhole salutes Obaseki’s accomplishments, commissions 75 new intra-city buses

The former Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on Friday saluted the laudable achievements of his successor, Governor Godwin Obaseki, despite the country’s economic challenges.

Oshiomhole gave the commendation while commissioning 75 new intra-city buses purchased by the Obaseki-led administration, to boost the fleet of the Comrade Bus scheme, an initiative of the former governor.

“I am humbled by your accomplishments and I am proud that you are fulfilling all the promises that we made during the 2016 electioneering campaign. You are working tirelessly to industrialise the state and make life easy for the people,” Oshiomhole said. 

He noted that Obaseki was building on his legacy and delivering the dividends of democracy at a time “many governors are complaining that there is no money and they are unable to pay salaries.”

The former governor said: “You have developed your own creativity to attract resources to the state and this reflects your competence and ability to develop the economy of the state.

Governor Obaseki explained that public transportation is a core and strategic sector to focus on, as it impacts directly on the lives of the masses. He said the buses will improve the quality of intra-city transport service in the state.

He added that the revamp of the Edo State Traffic Management Agency(EDSTMA), rehabilitation of feeder roads across the state, the on-going construction of an ultra-modern bus terminal and prohibition of street trading, show the commitment of the present administration towards changing the face of the sector.

He said his administration was working on phasing out rickety commercial buses in the state and refurbish 70 of the old Daewoo buses. 

On the absence of a regulatory body in the transport sector, Obaseki assured that his administration was working on a bill for the establishment of a regulatory agency for the sector.

Managing Director of Edo City Transport Service Ltd. (ECTS), Mrs Edugie Agbonlahor, said the introduction of the new buses would revitalise the Edo Comrade Bus Scheme and put smiles on the faces of passengers.

Commissioner for Infrastructure, Engr. Osahon Amiolemen, said his ministry would build a befitting head office for the ECTS and bus terminals across the state.

 

JUST IN: Court nullifies installation of 21 kings by Gov Ajimobi

An Oyo State High Court presided over by Justice Olajumoke Aiki on Friday declared the review of the 1957 Olubadan Chieftaincy Declaration and other Related Chieftaincies in Ibadan land by the Justice Akintunde Boade Review Commission, which was set up by the Oyo State Government, as unconstitutional, illegal, null, void and of no effect.

The commission had recommended, among others, the creation of several monarchs in Ibadan which led to the installation of 21 kings by the state Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

But the Osi Olubadan of Ibadan land, Rashidi Ladoja, challenged the composition and recommendations of the commission in court, joining Ajimobi as co-defendant.

While delivering judgment, Aiki held that wearing of beaded crowns is beyond the purview of sections 10, 12 and 25 of the Oyo State Chiefs Law, stating that Section 25 of the Chiefs Law could not be treated in isolation to the provisions of Parts Two and Three of the Chiefs Laws.

The court also said provisions of Parts Two and Three of the Chiefs Laws, particularly sections 10, 12 and 25, did not give power to the governor to review the Olubadan chieftaincy declaration, while also restraining the government from accepting and implementing the reports of the commission.

‘Herdsmen’ kill pregnant woman in Ekiti

Suspected herdsmen have killed a pregnant woman at Orin, a community in Ido/Osi local government area of Ekiti state.

The deceased said to be a Tiv from Benue state, was reportedly shot dead at a farm settlement in the area.

“The woman was eight-month pregnant. The herdsmen shot her inside her farm,” a source told TheCable.

The police have not issued a statement on the incident but Lere Olayinka, spokesman of  Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti, confirmed that a pregnant woman was killed.

Olayinka said it is suspected to be a robbery attack.

“I don’t think they are herdsmen. It appears like a robbery attack,” he told TheCable.

The tragic incident happened less than 24 hours after Fayose warned against reprisal attacks in the state.

This followed the killing of Babuga Dengi, a herdsman, based in Ekiti.

Fayose had said preliminary investigation showed that Benue indigenes in the state were responsible for the death.

Fayose rallies Ekiti hunters against herdsmen invasion

Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose on Wednesday rallied local hunters against possible invasion by suspected Fulani herdsmen. Sounding the battle cry against while hosting the hunters at the Government House pavilion, Fayose alleged that intelligence report available to him revealed that “Bororo” herdsmen have surreptitiously entered the state.

Fayose, who wore a camouflage shirt, a pair of trousers and a fez cap to match “to reflect the mood of the nation” urged the hunters to go back home and defend the people. Apart from the local hunters, others who showed up at the forum are the Agbekoyas, vigilance groups, the Tivs, Idomas and Igedes from Benue State who are resident in Ekiti.

The event was highlighted by intermittent firing of gun shots, whistling and songs by the hunters. Fayose who sympathized with the people of Benue State where scores have been killed by suspected herdsmen, vowed that he would not allow his people to be slain as done in the Northcentral State.

The Ekiti governor claimed that the alleged plan to invade Ekiti was to make the state ungovernable ahead of the July 14 governorship election.

Fayose said the situation in Benue and Taraba States has shown that “President Buhari lacks the capacity to protect Nigerians.”

He said: “I have received letters that the Bororos have entered our reserves, they want to violate our laws. I want to call on the attention of the Federal Government that they have come and wanted to kill men, women and kids in Ekiti.

“We will not allow that to happen here in Ekiti; I want you all our hunters to go back today to protect your people. Be vigilant, open your eyes and make sure that everybody entering the state is screened.

“No one in the guise of grazing should enter our land after 8.00 pm. Four our brothers who harbour criminals, tell them Ekiti is a no-go area. If your plan is to make this state ungovernable, you are wasting your time.

“I have called thois meeting for everyone to be vigilant; I will begin to support you now to secure Ekiti. Don’t let them take you by surprise, don’t allow them to take Ekiti by storm.

“Go to the farms and keep vigil; don’t just entertain visitors that come in the night, screen them. We don’t want visitors in our reserves at 8.00 pm.”

Fayose added: “This (camouflage) dressing is done to charge our hunters to secure the state. I saw pictures of the killings (in Benue) and I wonder if those were human beings.

“I asked the question if people could be that picked to kill human beings that way; they will find no peace. It is no tribal killings but
that of mindless people.

“The blood of the departed will find those people and they won’t know peace. It is the duty of the Federal Government to protect its people. We are not protected.

“We have never had it so bad; people must come to leadership with conscience. The Federal Government should have sent the Army and not
the Police.

“Governor (Samuel) Ortom should fasten his belt and protect his people. Those seeking for help in Abuja would not find because Abuja also needs help. I sympathise with you (Benue) people and nobody will kill you. You are all safe here.”

Fayose also gave out telephone hot lines through which people who noticed strange movements can call for urgent attention.

Brutalised Okpella youths recount ordeal with BUA militia

Some youths from Okpella community, in Etsako East Local Government Area, where the disputed Obu mine site is located, have cried out over attacks by a militia called the BUA Surveillance Group supposedly armed by BUA International Limited to move against its real and perceived opponents in the community.

Speaking with journalists in Benin City on Tuesday, the youths, who were sporting different degrees of injuries, bemoaned their ordeal in the hands of the militia, calling on the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, to maintain his stance on the disputed mine site to forestall further breakdown of law and order.

One of the injured Okpella indigene, Mr. Omoh Beture, who sustained a head cut, said that he had gone to welcome the governor when he came to shut down the mine site, only to be attacked by the militia when he asked that a barricade mounted close to the Okuokpellagbe’s palace be removed.

According to him, “I was at home when the Senatorial Youth leader, Blessing Dirisu, called me that the governor was coming to town. As a youth leader, he asked me to mobilise my people to cheer the governor.

“On our way to the palace of his Royal Highness, the Okuokpellagbe of Okpella, we saw some boys barricading the road. We asked them what they were doing there. They said they came to block the governor because he came to Okpella to shut the Obu mine site.”

He said he advised the disgruntled youths to properly channel their concerns and that if they truly wanted to send a message to the governor, they should call a press conference and tell the world that they don’t want people working on the site to lose their jobs.

“Immediately, I called the youths to remove the barricade. The boys rushed out and attacked us. They rushed me and beat me up. I reported the matter to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), Okpella Division. The matter was documented. I was initially at Auchi General Hospital. But I was only recently transferred to Benin City,” he added.

Another youth in the area, Akemokue Lukman, said that it was very wise of the governor to shut the mine as the activities of the BUA Surveillance Group was creating serious tension and endangering the lives of people in the community.

According to him, “It is no longer news that there is crisis between Dangote and BUA International Limited. One of them has armed a group of boys in our community and tagged them BUA Surveillance Group. They are armed with a Toyota Thundra Jeep with enough pump action guns. They have been hiding under the pretext of Surveillance and Vigilante. Their mission is to intimidate anybody who seems to be a perceived opponent of BUA, including the governor.”

He added that since the ongoing scuffle on the pages of newspapers, the community has discovered that each group is arming and recruiting boys for a showdown.

According to him, “There are two or three instances where boys went to that place to fight each other. What the governor did by shutting the mine site, is right. I believe the mine should be shut until the court gives its judgement.”

Some of the other youths injured in the attack include Sule Mohammed and Yusuf Afam.

Edo school land grab: Clear conscience dreads no accusation – Obaseki’s aide chides PDP

The Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, has urged the Publicity Secretary of the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo State, Mr Chris Nehikhare, to remain calm while the investigation into complaints of the conversion of a school land to private use by members of the PDP in the state, continues.In a statement issued in Benin City, Osagie said “someone with a clear conscience, no matter how close the range of an accusation is to him, dreads no accusation” and asked why members of the Edo PDP are running helter-skelter over the complaints.

“Since the Edo State Government issued a press statement expressing its resolve to investigate the complaints of the illegal conversion of the land belonging to the Anglican Girls Grammar School, to private use by the erstwhile and ill-fated Peoples Democratic Party-led government in the state, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Edo State and the entire camp of the party have known no peace and have lost sleep,” Osagie said.

He queried that “If Nehikhare and other remnants of the dying PDP are sure that they did not share or appropriate the school land, then why are they jittery?”

He explained that “The Edo State Government received complaints of land grab from concerned Edo people and the government is investigating the matter.

“Nehikhare and his co-travellers, hunted by their age-old and tainted shadows, have become paranoid, behaving like children that are terror-stricken and have been hopping about on the internet like viruses, over the complaints.”   

The governor’s spokesman emphasised that if the PDP members are sure that they did not build on the land of Anglican Girls Grammar School, they need not run helter-skelter.

Osagie stressed that “The Edo State government is undeterred by the sudden feverish behaviour of the PDP members and will follow due process in unravelling the people that illegally converted a school property to their private use.”

He assured that “while the government is open about all its processes and procedures, we will rely on valid and verifiable documents on the true dimension of the AGGS land and not the oral claim by Chris Nehikhare that his chairman, Dan Orbih, lives a few metres away from the school land.”

He asked: “Is PDP the ministry or agency in charge of lands in Edo State? Is the party the custodian of land data of the state? The PDP lacks the credibility and beleivability to tell Edo people the true dimension of the AGGS land.”  

Why we attacked Benue communities – Miyetti Allah cattle breeders leader opens up

Herdsmen in Benue state have revealed why they attacked Benue communities

According to Garus Gololo, the herdsmen were defending themselves from thieves who stole over 1000 of their cows.

Gololo, a leader of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders in Benue State said the attack on some communities in the state, which led to the killings of innocent Nigerians, was in retaliation for alleged stealing of their cows..

Gololo told BBC News Pidgin that trouble started when some people attacked Fulani herdsmen who were relocating with their cows from Benue state.

He said as they were relocating over 1000 of their cows were stolen at Nengere.

“As we were relocating to Taraba through Nasarawa state, thieves came to steal 1000 cows from us at the border town of Nengere, so we fought them back,” Gololo stated.

According to him, the herdsmen were only defending themselves from thieves.

Meanwhile Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has condemned the recent attacks in Benue state.

In a statement on Friday, January 5, by the national publicity secretary of the association, Alhaji Yusuf Ardo, the association said the killings are unfortunate and condemnable.

The group labeled the perpetrators as irresponsible elements.

Ardo described Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore as an association that upholds peace, love, unity and harmony in the country.

He said: “We are peace loving people, we believe in love for one another. Any Fulani pastoralist that doesn’t believe in peace is not part of us.”

Ardo urged security agencies to bring the perpetrators of the incident to book.

He further called on herdsmen living in Benue and other parts of the country to remain calm and be law abiding.

The association urged the government to look into the crises in Adamawa, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau states with a view to having a lasting solution to issues arising from anti-grazing laws.

Edo police declare BUA Cement MD wanted over attack on governor

A spokesperson to the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has released a statement saying the governor was attacked in the state.

Crusoe Osagie also said the Managing Director of BUA’s Obu Cement Company, Yusuf Binji, has been declared wanted over the attack.

BUA and Dangote cement have been at loggerheads over the ownership of a mining site in Okpella, Edo State.

The state government asked that work stop on the site and on Wednesday led security officials there were two BUA staff were arrested for allegedly continuing work.

On Thursday, Mr. Osagie quoted the police as saying that the attack on the governor was sponsored by Mr. Binji.

Details later…

Read the full statement below.

The Nigeria Police have declared the Managing Director of BUA’s Obu Cement Company, Yusuf Binji, wanted over an attack on the convoy of the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.

Also attacked were some officials of the Edo State Government who were on the convoy of the Edo State Governor.

According to the police, the decision to declare Mr. Binji wanted became necessary as it had earlier received intelligence that BUA International Limited is sponsoring militias in Okpella, Edo State, where the company has a cement factory and mine sites.

These militias, the police said, were allegedly sponsored by Binji and his team to attack the convoy of the governor, cause harm and mayhem.

Obaseki orders arrest of two BUA staff

 Governor of Edo state, Godwin Obaseki ordered the arrest of two employees of BUA International Limited over alleged violation of a ‘stop work order’ issued by the ministry of mines and steel.

The order was given due to a dispute involving BUA and Dangote Group on the ownership of Obu mine site located in the state.

According to NAN, when the governor visited the site on Wednesday, he discovered that the officials were carrying on with work.

“The order is pending the determination of a court suit over the ownership of the mine site,” he said.

Obaseki was accompanied by soldiers, policemen, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Obaseki said that the state government was more interested in the security of lives and property and that as much as there were needs for investors to make returns on their investments, no money was worth any life.

“I addressed a section of the Okpella community who came to me to express concerns over the growing tension in the community because of the dispute over ownership of the Obu mine site,” he said.

“At that point, I issued instructions that the work should stop in line with the federal government’s directive and the case in court.

“I said that status quo be maintained until the determination of the case in court. I think that is the simple thing to do.”

The governor said it was regrettable that the management of BUA International Limited went on air to say that the state government had no authority and right to enforce a federal government directive.

 

Herdsmen kill 20 in fresh Benue attacks

Armed herdsmen have attacked Benue communities, killing at least 20 people, Gov. Samuel Ortom has said.

The assailants attacked communities in Guma and Logo local government areas of the state between Monday and Tuesday.

Mr. Ortom disclosed this while briefing journalists on Tuesday in Makurdi after the State Security Meeting.

He said that out of the number of those killed, nine were livestock guards who were to enforce the state’s anti-open grazing law.

He said that the law was not targeted at any ethnic group and wondered why the herdsmen had taken it so personal to the point of unleashing terror on the people.

The governor also lamented the unwarranted wanton destruction of lives and property by the herdsmen.

He said that no matter the intimidation and killings by the herdsmen, the law would not be reversed or repealed.

He assured that the law must be implemented to the latter and anybody or group of persons that flouts it would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Mr. Ortom called on the Federal Government to wade into the matter so as to avert further destruction of lives and property.

Gajir Tsoho of the Surgical Department, Benue State University Teaching Hospital, said over 30 injured victims of the herdsmen attack were brought to the hospital and were receiving treatment.

(NAN)