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Following renewed attacks by suspected herders in many communities in Benue State, the state government has announced the immediate suspension of operations of the Livestock Guards.

The Livestock Guards was established by the government to ensure the compliance of the State Anti-open Grazing Law.

Governor  Samuel Ortom who disclosed while briefing newsmen after the State Security Council meeting  yesterday  said the suspension is for two weeks, to allow for reduction in the high influx of cattle into the State.

He said it is part of measure to ensure that all those who came in with cattle leave so that the people can have peace.

The Council frowned at the rustling of cattle by indigenes and urge security agencies to apprehend any culprit.

It also, observed and condemned the act of connivance with youths, traditional rulers and stakeholders to rustle cattle and called on security agencies to apprehend such persons no matter how highly placed.

“We commend security agencies for being proactive.  We urge our Volunteer Guards to be of good behavior. We condemn any unholy alliance of some of our youths to rustle cattle of herdsmen.

“We condemn acts of some traditional rulers and stakeholders who are found wanting and charge security  agencies to apprehend anyone involved in this act.   No one should be harassed for doing their business. All those conniving with Fulani herdsmen to engage in unholy act should be brought to book.

“We appeal to politicians to be peaceful in their conduct and desist from making inflammatory comments that could create chaos and lawlessness. Am still Governor until May 29 even if you are elected, you are  not sworn in yet, so we all should be law abiding. You need to be patient in the next six weeks when I am out you can repeal any law you want to.

“We commend the President for condoling with Benue people as well as direct security agencies to apprehend perpetrators of this act. The Security agencies are duty bound to carry out this directive and I am waiting to see action that will cumulate to cessation of killing and peace in the State,” Ortom said.

Meanwhile,  the Deputy Governor-elect of Benue State,  Dr. Sam Ode yesterday embarked on  a condolence visit to the Och’Idoma, His Royal Majesty Agaba-Idu Elaigwu Obagaji John, at his Royal Palace in Otukpo, where he  condemned the recent gruesome killing of some Idoma natives in Apa and Umogidi in Entekpa-Adoka, Otukpo, by suspected terrorist elements.

Speaking during the visit, Ode also condemned the recurrent spate of dastardly killings in several parts of Benue State.

He reassured Benue citizens that  the incoming administration of Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia would accord top priority to the protection of lives and properties in the state.

Ode noted that the incoming government in Benue State is hoping to partner with several local and foreign investors towards fast-tracking the development of the State.

He said that can only be achieved in a peaceful and congenial atmosphere, adding that no meaningful development is attainable amid persistent crises and the wanton killing of citizens by armed invaders.

The deputy governor-elect affirmed that the administration of Alia would be fully committed to engendering peace, unity and socio-economic stability in Benue State, in order to guarantee the prosperity of its teeming citizens.

Ode further stated that the leadership o Alia would work in synergy with the entire citizens and the security architecture to ensure that the recurring dastardly invasion of Benue communities becomes a thing of the past.

He assured the Och’Idoma that Benue citizens could  continue to live perpetually in fear in their own land, hence the incoming administration would hit the ground running to restore lasting peace across the state.

While expressing his sympathy to all the victims of the recent gruesome killings across the state, Ode urged the security operatives to leave no stone unturned in their quest to identify and prosecute the perpetrators.

“The incoming administration of Father Alia would need the full support of the Benue State Traditional Council in order to resolve some of the issues that usually degenerate into violent attacks and conflicts in the state and I call on security agencies to arrest all perpetrators of the killings”.

Ode also visited Okpokwu Local Government, where he was hosted by Hon. Emmanuel Akpakwu, the Honourary Consul of the Republic of the Philippines.

He inspected some key infrastructural developments and landmark investments credited to Hon. Akpakwu in Okpokwu Local Government, including an ultramodern hospital and an agro-allied factory site, to mention but a few.

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Buhari Prefers Animals To Nigerians, Says ‘My Cows, Sheep Much Easier To Control’ Than Compatriots




Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari has slammed Nigerians, stating he prefers to be with animals on his farm because they are “much easier to control” than his compatriots.

“I am looking forward to tomorrow (Monday) to fly to my base and go back to my cows and sheep, which are much easier to control than fellow Nigerians,” said Mr Buhari.

Mr Buhari spoke at a gala and dinner held on Sunday in Abuja.

He also claimed that the 2023 elections gave power back to the Nigerian electorate.

While praising the outcome of the elections, Mr Buhari congratulated Nigerians for realising they have power in their votes and that their votes count.

Presidents of South Africa, Sierra Leone and Ghana attended the event. 

He added, “Your Excellencies, heads of state and government, and their representatives, I thank you very much, and I say goodbye to you and wish us the best of luck.”

Mr Buhari, in March, told U.S. ambassador Mary Beth Leonard that he was eager to return to his animals in Daura.

Mr Buhari also told the American diplomat that he could not wait to stop being Nigerian president and get back to his farm where his animals awaited him.

“I plan to be a big landlord back at home, working on my farms and tending to more than 300 animals. I am eager to go,” Mr Buhari told Ms Leonard.

In January 2022, the former military dictator complained about ruling Nigeria.

Peoples Gazette

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Nigerian Air: Airlines Berate Sirika, Groups Demand EFCC Probe




Domestic Airlines under the aegis of the Air Operators of Nigeria have berated the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for allegedly putting pressure on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to issue an Air Operators Certificate to Nigeria Air without following due process.

The carriers also accused the former minister of unilaterally plotting to establish Nigeria Air without involving the panel meant to work on the project.

The local carriers made this known in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, on Sunday.

The statement said, “As indigenous operators, we are happy and grateful to the NCAA for saving us from this punishment by resisting the pressure from Minister Hadi Sirika to grant an AOC to Nigeria Air without going through the due process.”

The association further said the project had been allegedly shrouded in secrecy since the Ministerial Committee on the Establishment of a National Carrier recommended that the national carrier be private sector-driven with minimal government involvement.

It added, “On further investigation, we discovered some mind burgling dangerous agenda to kill the entire indigenous operators and handover monopoly to Ethiopian Airlines in a dubious and fraudulent way against the economic interest of Nigeria, hence our court action supported by strong material evidence. For us, it is a patriotic action to save the Nigerian Government, people and economy from exploitation and to also protect the Nigerian aviation sector and our investments.”

Meanwhile, a Nigeria-based anti-corruption group, SecureWorld and Liberty Initiative for Peace has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest and probe Sirika for allegedly using the establishment of the national carrier economic malfeasance.

The petition, which was addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, was signed by the Executive Director of SELIP, Mark Adebayo.

The letter read in part, “We are compelled to bring to your attention that the aircraft purportedly unveiled on Friday, May 26, 2023, by Minister Hadi Sirika, as the first flight of the national carrier, Nigeria Air, is still in active service of Ethiopia Airlines.

“We can confirm that the aircraft, a Boeing 737-800  with the registration number  ET-APL,  has since left the country this weekend for Turkey according to a check on the flight radar; it only transited Nigeria for the farce of a show put up by the minister.

“The flight landing in the country with Ethiopia Airlines’ registration number means Nigeria Air has no  Air Operator Certificate. No aircraft can be registered in Nigeria without the carrier having an AOC which means that the aircraft does not belong to Nigeria Air either as leased or owned equipment. So, Sirika should not be allowed to fool Nigerians,” the group said in the petition.”

The group urged the anti-graft agency to make Sirika account for the sum of N15.9bn that has been committed so far to the project by the Federal Government, alleging that the desperation by the minister was geared towards covering up the misappropriation of funds and monumental fraud.

Meanwhile, finding showed that the aircraft that was purportedly unveiled on Friday in Abuja flew back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on Saturday evening.

As of Saturday evening, the flight tracker showed the aircraft was en-route Addis Ababa, approaching from the Central African Republic.

However, on Sunday morning, the flight tracker showed the plane had landed in Ethiopia.

Efforts to reach the Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Capt Dapo Olumide, and the Head Press, Public Relations Ministry of Aviation, Oluseyi Odutayo, proved abortive.

Responses to messages sent to their telephone lines were still being expected as of press time on Sunday.


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Tinubu’s Inauguration: You Can’t Stop Aggrieved Voters From Protesting — Udenta Tells DSS



PROFESSOR Udenta Udenta has flayed unfavorable disposition of security agencies to protests by aggrieved Nigerians during presidential inauguration on May 29 , warning that any negative response to protest during inauguration by security agencies would an infringement on the fundamental human rights of citizens.

Undenta,a pioneer National Secretary of the defunct Alliance for Democracy,AD, particularly picked holes on some comments attributed to heads of security agencies ahead of the inauguration.

The renowned scholar spoke on Thursday, on the sideline of a public presentation of a book,
titled:“ Media and Nigeria’s Constitutional Democracy: Threats, Constraints and Resilience”, organized by the Abuja School of Social and Political Thought, in Abuja.

The book co-authored by Paul Obi, Taye Obateru and Sami Amadi was reviewed by a communication consultant and Deputy Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Baze University, Abuja, Prof. Abiodun Adeniyi and launched by Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.

According to Udenta,the remarks being made by security chiefs over the inauguration ceremony were attempt to shut down democratic conversation.

Recall that the federal government had said security will be reinforced at Eagle Square, the designated venue for the May 29 presidential inauguration, as well as in its surrounding areas.

Udenta said: “In two or three days times, there will be inauguration. The Inspector General of Police is already speaking, the Director General, Department of State Service (DSS) is speaking, the military are also speaking. However, my sense of it is that they are shutting down democratic conversation and we should not allow that. While you’re going to swear people in, you should equally allow those that want to protest do that peacefully, legitimately constitutionally.

“If you have your security perimeter, within which you don’t expect anybody except invited guests and those with clearance, outside the perimeter, thousands, if possible millions of Nigerians are permitted to gather with their placards and protest. That is part of democracy. The media is a fundamental cadre for protecting democratic infrastructure and governance. The moment you tear it down, democracy vanishes, and authoritarianism becomes the order of the day.

“The behavior of National Broadcasting Commission, and even behaviour of the president-elect media team is abhorrent at this stage, that’s why I want to repeat, as people will be sworn in on May 29, millions of Nigerians have rights to protests wherever they are as long as they don’t have arms and are doing it peacefully, as the law provides.”

The don, therefore, suggested that “the media should cover any protest robustly with intensity, like the way they will cover the swearing-in. So whoever want to protest or have counter-protest can do that within their rights.

“I feel hurt when I hear people who handles the security talk with so much anger as if people are going to topple the democratic system which is not going to happen. The right to protest is provided for in law,”he added.

Speaking, IGP Usman Baba Alkali, who cautioned journalists against circulating fake news and hate speeches, declared the police readiness for the inauguration ceremony.

The IGP, represented by the Force Public relations officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, also emphasized the need for journalists to fact check their stories before publishing, while adhering to journalism ethics in their reportage.

“We should be mindful of the excessiveness of our reportage and engage in constructive criticism”, he stated.

Also speaking at the event,the Bauchi State Governor,Bala Mohammed,lauded the role played by the Nigerian Media in building democratic culture, institutions and practices in the discharge of its constitutional responsibility.

Speaking through his Special Adviser, on Media and Publicity, Mukhtar Gidado, Mohammed thanked the organizers, authors and editors of the book for a well researched scholarly endeavor which he said has a direct and practical bearing on media development and democracy .

He, however, lamented that the current debate in Nigeria regarding the place of the media in Nigeria’s democratic transformation and consolidation relate to the role of the media in empowering civic spaces and strengthening democratic governance and the challenges the media face in engaging in such undertakings .

Co-author of the book, Paul Obi, stressed the need for the press to be allowed to operate with the constitutional provisions.

He said:”What we need to do is to ensure that those right are not breach or limited and it should work within our constitutional framework and any aspect that prevent media from performing constitutional rights,we should raised alarm,”

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