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Ekiti Monarchs Reject Ceding Land For Grazing

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Ekiti State governor Kayode Fayemi

Ekiti monarchs have rejected federal government’s plan on grazing.

At least 80 traditional rulers in Ekiti State are reported to have rejected the National Livestock Transformation Plan, (NLTP), insisting that the new scheme is still the Rural Grazing Area (RUGA) under a different name.

In a letter to governor Kayode Fayemi, the monarchs described the new livestock plans as a land grabbing initiative.

Royal fathers, under the umbrella of Majority Obas of Ekiti Land (MOBEL), said the scheme would bring about Fulani herders’ occupation of their land. They said NTLP was unacceptable to them and as well their subjects.

The Ekiti State government had pledged to reactivate the grazing reserves at Oke Ako and Irele Ekiti for the NLTP in the state.

But the monarchs opposed the move, saying “we are mindful of the security implications and consequences which will be inimical to the security of our people, knowing full well that the majority of our populace are predominantly peasant farmers.”

The Ekiti state council of traditional rulers has described as untrue the alleged plan by the government to cede portions of land to some people for ranching and grazing. They say no inch of Ekiti land will be ceded to any group for ranching.

MOBEL chairman and the Olomuooke of Omuo-Oke Ekiti, Oba Adebayo Otitoju; secretary and the Onikun of Ikun-Amure Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola; and 79 traditional rulers, signed the letter, dated march 25, 2021 and titled, ‘rejection of the proposed federal government’s livestock scheme in Ekiti State by MOBEL’.

“We vehemently oppose surrendering/acquisition of our land to be used as grazing reserves for herdsmen under the proposed NLTP,” they said.

“We are also not unmindful of the antecedents of some of the Fulani herders wherever they cohabit with their hosts.

“Since the time it was reported that Ekiti State is favourably disposed to the proposed programme which will lead to direct occupation of our land by Fulani herders, we have been inundated with series of complaints laden with fears from our subjects both from home and in diaspora.

“In view of the foregoing, MOBEL, on behalf of our subjects at home and in diaspora, hereby declares that this proposed programme which we perceive to be another nomenclature for RUGA – the widely rejected land grabbing initiative, is unacceptable to our subjects,” the monarchs explained.

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Nigerian News

Many Feared Dead As Tanker Explodes In Benue

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Many residents of Oshigbudu in Agatu local government area of Benue state are feared dead today after a tanker explosion in a residential area in the town on Sunday.  Many shops and houses were also razed in the inferno that ensued.

Executive secretary of the state emergency management agency, Dr. Emmanuel Shior said the destruction to lives and property was still to be quantified but described the accident as quote, “the chief of all the calamities that have fallen us this year,” end quote.

Meanwhile, the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, in Ondo State has confirmed that six persons have died in an auto crash in which an 18-seater bus plunged into Owena river in Akure on Sunday.  They include three males, two females and a child.  Eight were reportedly injured and are receiving treatment in hospitals.

A newly married man was among the fatalities, while his wife is said to be seriously injured.

The two were said to be returning to Akure after their wedding at a registry, with plans to conduct their traditional wedding next weekend.

The driver is said to have lost control while speeding in heavy downpour.  As a result of the heavy rain, help was said to have been impeded from reaching them for more than an hour.

The bus was said to have hit a rock at the bottom of the river causing the deaths.

 

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Nigerian News

JUSUN Strike: FG, Staff Union To Meet As Nigeria Judiciary Paralyze

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Fear, Tension As Major Economic Sectors Shut Down

The judiciary workers’ strike is still going strong with no end in sight.  The umbrella body, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN has begun a nationwide protest in Abuja on Monday over its demand that governors across the country comply with constitutional provisions for the judiciary’s financial autonomy.

The union began a nationwide strike two weeks ago and has stuck to its guns that the protest will not end until the union’s demands are met.

This strike action has paralyzed services at the nation’s courts, including the supreme court.  JUSUN decided to begin nationwide protests after talks failed with governors on Friday.

Meanwhile, the judiciary workers’ strike could not have happened at a more opportune time for former aviation minister, senator Stella Oduah, whose arraignment on a twenty-five billion naira fraud and money laundering charges at the federal high court in Abuja today has been scrapped because of the strike.

There was no access to the court today as the gates were locked as a result of the strike.  The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had hoped to arraign and dock her today along with eight others.

On two other occasions, other events had prevented Oduah’s arraignment in the same court.  Her lead counsel, chief Onyechi Ikpeazu, SAN, says Oduah would be ready to honor the court’s schedule whenever it reopens.

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Health

NCDC Confirms 26 New COVID-19 Cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control says 26 new cases of covid-19 have been recorded in the country bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 164,233.

The data shown on its official twitter handle on Sunday say the new cases were registered in five states including, Ebonyi 10 cases, Kano-Two, Lagos nine, Osun-two Oyo-one and the Federal Capital Territory-FCT two cases.

So far, more than 154,000 persons have recovered from covid-19 and discharged from hospitals since the pandemic was reported in 2020.

NCDC has advised Nigerians to take responsibility to protect themselves, loved ones, customers, employees and society by disinfecting surfaces in their homes, shops and offices regularly to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in their communities.

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