Local News

Anambra: IPOB ‘sit-at-home’ order records over 90% compliance in Awka

The sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IBOP) in the South East and South-South geopolitical zones has so far recorded over 90 per cent compliance in Awka, the Anambra State capital.

All the major markets within the capital territory especially in Awka North and South were closed. It was the same thing with shops, stores and restaurants on the streets in the areas.

Again, all the roads in the state capital were deserted. They were virtually empty except that a few vehicles were seen racing to some locations.

A few individuals were also seen on the roads too. They, perhaps, came out to monitor the situation or to feel the quiet environment. Some of them were seen trekking in the middle of the roads which used to be busy.

When the reporter visited the ever-busy Enugu – Onitsha Expressway, the road was virtually empty. All the banks and businesses operating along that road were closed.

The ever-busy Club Road that runs for 24 hours every day was deserted. The Club Road which some people also refer to as Club Street is one of the boisterous entertainment centres in Awka that do not sleep.

Earlier, some churches held their daily early morning services. That was from 5:30 am to 7 am. But after those services, everywhere became quiet and has remained so till the time of filing this report.

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Lawyer Seeks End to Ban of Ogogoro

A Niger Delta Lawyer, inventor and cousin to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Azibaola Robert, has called on lawmakers in Bayelsa and other state National Assemblies to advocate for a lift on the ban on locally brewed gin popularly called ‘ogogoro.’

He equally called on both the federal and state governments to expunge the obnoxious law banning the local gin disclosing that if properly harnessed, the product could be a source of revenue income for both the locals and the governments.

Speaking to journalists after what he said was his 14-day expedition into the deep forest, he said he was pained that local gin was still regarded as illicit gin and therefore outlawed in all states of the federation.

While expressing concern over the ban placed many years ago by the colonial masters, Robert stated that alcoholic drinks brewed abroad were not different from the locally brewed ones, maintaining that the erroneous belief has hindered the growth of that industry in the country.

Robert said he was sad when he found out that a man that had been brewing the product for 30 years but have tangible gain, only getting daily from the sales, said: “Kaikai (local gin) is a basic occupation of our people. How for God’s sake can Kaikai be labelled as illicit drink for 60 years.

“People whose livelihood is to brew the local gin are arrested while those who deal on alcoholic gins brewed abroad are treated as doing normal business.

“People spend N50,000 to N60,000 for these foreign gins and do not do same for the local alcohol, there is no difference between the two, they are all mixtures of water, coloring, flavor and alcohol.

“Those foreign drinks are local drinks of people elsewhere just like our own ‘Kaikai’ is brewed here, the only thing is that we have failed to identify the potentials of our own and act accordingly.”

Speaking on his 14-day expedition into the deep forest, Robert said the adventure was a great experience in the sense that it was historic and hope that it continue next year until the world notice that there is potentials in the Niger Delta rain forest.

“Seriously, I didn’t know we will be able to achieve it but we achieved it and we have been able to get serious documentation for TV and other agencies.

“We are going to publish a major documentary out of it and put it on national and international television and push it through national geographic and I intend to do it annually so we have created the interests that we have been talking about,” he added.

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Local News

Airport: Ekiti Farmers Decry Delay in Compensation, Threaten to Disrupt Project

In what appeared like a showdown with the Ekiti State Goverment, hundreds of farmers across five communities in the state have expressed anger over delay in payment of compensations for lands acquired to construct international agro-allied cargo airport by the government.

The protesting farmers demanded immediate payment of requisite compensations on the acquired farmlands, failing which they would prevent the contractor from proceeding with the project.

The farmers, mostly aged and widows, who came from Igbogun, Aso, Igbemo, Ijan and Orun, and Bolorunduro communities to the airport ground located along Ado-Ijan road, pleaded with Governor Kayode Fayemi to consider their plights and investment on their farm lands and pay them compensation as promised by the government.

Speaking for the aggrieved farmers, Mr. Osho Olorunfemi, lamented that the farmers from the five affected communities whose lands were acquired for the airport have lost huge amount of money in investment on the crops, calling on the governor to urgently address their grievances and pay them the compensation.

“It is government that said people should embrace farming but here we are now after so much investment on cocoa, plantain, cassava, palm tree and other crops, government came to destroyed them.

“Since March this year, we have been on this issue but nothing is forthcoming, all we hear is promise and assurance since them. We are tired of promise; we need our money to start life again because we are completely down at the moment. We are aware some persons have been paid but not all of us.

“We are giving the government a seven-day ultimatum for them to pay us and if they default we will be here on the airport site to do the needful and whatever happens after, we should not be blamed.”

Urging the farmers to be patient with government, the Coordinator of the Airport Project, Mr. Bunmi Awotiku, advised the affected farmers to embrace peace, assuring that government was attending to their demands and that they would soon be paid.

Awotikun who disclosed that about N500 million had been paid to some farmers across the communities in relation with their lands acquired for the airport project, pleaded that they show more understanding with the government.

“I am not against your protest but let me assure you on behalf of the governor that nobody with a farm there that we won’t pay. Your money will be paid, I can assure you.

“I will present your case to the governor for appropriate action. You should remain calm and embrace peace in demanding for your rights,” he said.

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Fayemi’s Second Coming, A Great Blessing to Ekiti People – Oba Adejuwon

The Onisan of Isan Ekiti and Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon, has described the second coming of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as a great blessing to the people of the state. 

Oba Adejuwon’s message was contained in a statement he personally signed in his Palace at Isan Ekiti, and released to journalists. He congratulated the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi on the occasion of his third anniversary of his second term in office, praising him for all his beautiful accomplishments within the period.

While rejoicing with the Governor and the people of the state, Oba Adejuwon said Fayemi has placed Ekiti on the path of sustainable development through many of his laudable accomplishments within the last three years. He particularly praised the governor for the completion of the Ultra Modern Ekiti Civic Center and the successful hosting of the Ekiti Fountain Summit, which he simply described as outstanding. 

With specific reference to the accolades passed on Governor Fayemi by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and some Governors in Ado-Ekiti during the convocation of the Fountain Summit, Oba Adejuwon submitted that Ekiti had gotten it right at this point, in terms of good governance, and that what is needed at this point is the sustainability of all the good legacies of the governor into the future.

“I want to specially congratulate our amiable and hardworking Governor on behalf of myself and the Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers,
for his giant strides in office within the last three years. Without any doubt, and with the gail of projects commissioned over the last two weeks across the state, I can attest to the fact that Ekiti has gotten it very right at this time.”

“It is no doubt an undeniable fact that Governor Kayode Fayemi is a man of his words, and he is doing everything at his disposal despite many challenges to place the state on the map of self sufficiency in terms of the economy and food production.”

“Mr Governor is not only attracting more foreign investors into the state but he is also evolving policies that would guarantee a sustainable economy through an improved and impressive Internally Generated Revenue, mass food production and jobs creation.  All that remains is for all of us to join hands with the Governor to finish well and good in all his promises to the people of the state.”

Oba Adejuwon however prayed that God will grant the state a good and committed successor who would continue the good work that the Governor has started. “He will finish well and good.”

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Local News

Ondo Begins Evacuation of Beggars from Streets

The Ondo State Government has commenced the evacuation of destitute, beggars and urchins in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Foluke Tunde-Daramola, told journalists during the evacuation exercise that they had been posing security threats to the residents of the state.

“The sight of the people on the streets of the state capital has become a major concern, not only to government, but to residents.

“Those evacuated would be kept under government’s care for monitoring. Series of meetings has been held with various stakeholders in the state to achieve the desired results.

“Before now, there was an interactive session between the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and other stakeholders in Ondo State including the Head of Service, Mr. Niran Adeyemo and religious institutions to ensure that street urchins, beggars and destitute are taken off the streets.”

“Government would replicate same exercise across the major cities of Ondo State”, Tunde-Daramola added.

One of the evacuees, Mr. Muhammed Bello, pleaded with the Ondo State Goverment to rescind its decision, stressing that life could be difficult for them if they would be taking away from the streets.

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Ekiti Govt distributes NIMASA relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons

The Ekiti State Government has promised not to relent in its efforts in giving assistance to disaster victims and vulnerable people for them to live their normal lives.The Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, made the remarks on Thursday when he presided over the distribution of relief materials from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, some of the relief materials handed out to the beneficiaries include tricycles, motorcycles, grinding machines, hairdryers, sewing machines, among others.Egbeyemi said the state government will always collaborate with governmental agencies, corporate organisations and donor agencies to give succour to vulnerable people for them not to become burdens to the society.

While commending NIMASA for the gesture, Egbeyemi described the action as an example of Corporate Social Responsibility which should be emulated by corporate organisations and well meaning individuals.Egbeyemi appreciated federal government, donors Agencies, corporate Organizations and individuals who had contributed towards the development of the state and assistance to victims of natural and man-made disasters.He called for more relief materials in order to capture victims of the 2020 natural disasters who were yet to benefit from the government support programme.Egbeyemi said: “These relief materials were donated to improve the livelihoods of Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) in the state and to help beneficiaries become self-sufficient.“At this juncture, I must say that it has always been the state government’s interest to assist vulnerable people in the state to reclaim their normal lives and achieve self sufficiency without becoming a burden.“This is evident in her efforts at various angles through programmes to give a better life to her citizenry. In the light of this, I would like implore all the beneficiaries to make good use of the items distributed.”

The Chairman of Ekiti State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Captain Sunday Adebomi (retd), explained that the materials distributed were parts of the social responsibility on part of the Agency and Governor Kayode Fayemi’s passion to alleviate poverty and create wealth.The SEMA boss pointed out that over four thousand people had enjoyed relief materials, out of over five thousand victims of different disasters recorded in the state in year 2020.Captain Adebomi said that the victims of this year’s disasters would be captured as soon as the government procured more relief materials and urged them to be patient.In an interview, the SEMA, General Manager, Mr. Jide Borode, urged beneficiaries of the government gesture to make the best use of the materials to boost their businesses and not to sell them off.Mr Borode said that the administration of Governor Kayode Fayemi was passionate about creating enabling environment for vulnerables, businesses to thrive and live a life that would impact meaningfully on the society.

While appreciating Governor Fayemi for the kind gesture, some of the beneficiaries, Elder Adebayo Oni, Mr Jacob Omotoso and Mrs Oluwatoyin Arinola could not hide their joy prayed that Ekiti would continue to witness progress and meaningful development under the present administration.The fifty five beneficiaries of the empowerment tools were selected from the sixteen Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Nineteen Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

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Ekiti Loses High Court Judge, Fowe

The Ekiti State Judiciary has lost a High Court Judge, Justice Kayode Adewale Fowe.

Justice Fowe was said to have died after a protracted illness relating to stroke at the age of 65.

He was a former attorney general and Commissioner for Justice under the military regime of Col. Inua Bawa and Atanda Yusuf.

The jurist served the judiciary for 11 years.

The news of his demise was broken yesterday by the Ekiti State Chief Judge, Justice John Adeyeye, mourning the demise of the exemplary and industrious Judge.

In a statement signed by the Chief Registrar of the Ekiti State Judiciary, Mr. Johnson Apuabi, said the Judiciary would miss Fowe’s contributions in immeasurable fashion.

The statement reads: “With heavy heart, but with total submission to the will of God, the Chief Registrar on behalf of Ekiti State Chief Judge, Justice John Adeyeye, announce the untimely death of Justic Adewale Kayode Fowe.

“Until his death, Hon. Justice Fowe was a High Court Judge of Ekiti State Judiciary.

“He worked as a private legal practitioner until his appointment as Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ekiti State, between 1997 and 1999.

He was appointed a hHgh Court Judge on October 4, 2010, and served in that capacity until his demise on October 4, 2021.”

The chief judge regretted the passing of Justice Fowe, saying state judiciary would greatly miss his honesty, integrity, industry and accuracy in the dispensation of justice.

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Onisan commiserates with Ogotun people over monarch’s passing

The Onisan of Isan Ekiti and Chairman, Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Oba Gabriel Ayodele Adejuwon,has commiserated with the Ologotun- in- council, the royal family and the people of Ogotun- Ekiti over the passing of its traditional ruler, the Ologotun of Ogotun Ekiti, Oba Oladapo Oyebade.

Oba Adejuwon’s message was contained in a statement he personally signed in Ado Ekiti and released to journalists.

The Onisan described the late Monarch as a great traditional ruler whose reign as Ologotun united the town, a development that made it notable in the mat business which the Ogotun people are well known for.

Oba Adejuwon in the statement said the late monarch had exercised the privilege of leading his people with utmost diligence and unassuming dedication since he assumed the throne in 1985.

He commended the late Oba Oyebade for using his tenure to preach peace, progress and development amongst the traditional rulers when he was the Chairman of Ekiti State Council of traditional rulers. Adding that the late monarch would long be remembered in the annals of the Ogotun community and Ekiti State as an exemplary traditional ruler.

“On behalf of myself, the Ekiti State Council of traditional rulers and the good people of Ekiti State, I extend condolences to the good people of Ogotun Ekiti, the Ologotun-in-council, and the immediate family members of the late Oba Oyebade and pray God to repose the soul of the departed monarch and comfort the family and the people of Ogun Ekiti, ” the Onisan said.

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Insecurity: Ekiti Procures Drones to Tackle Bandits

Strong indications emerged yesterday that the Ekiti State Government has finally procured a drone to monitor areas regarded as hot spots, where bandits use for kidnapping.

The government said the hardware security equipment was procured abroad, and would soon be imported into the country.

The revelation was made yesterday in Ado Ekiti at a press conference addressed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Biodun Oyebanji, and the state Commissioner for Information, Hon. Akin Omole, heralding the third year of the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s administration and the 25th anniversary of the creation of the state.

Speaking about the security situation in the state, Oyebanji said: “The drone has been procured. One issue about security equipment’s procurement is that it takes long time. It has to be manufactured and you have to get the necessary certificates from the federal agencies, and these are processes you can’t abridge.

“The drone is on its way to Nigeria. It had been procured. We didn’t stop at that, the governor also procured two Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs), and will get to Ekiti State soon. We are taking massive safe-city measures across the borders and highways to make the state safe.”

Oyebanji added that personalities regarded as the real architects of the creation of the state and its builders would be conferred with honours by the governor to mark the 25th anniversary of the state creation.

On the widespread belief that Ekiti State has not fared well in the last 25 years, the SSG disproved the notion that Ekiti has failed, saying: “We may not have been where we are supposed to be, but we had left where we were 25 years ago. We have not failed as a state. All former and present leaders have contributed their quotas to the state development.”

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Relief for residents as Ekiti orders reconstruction of collapsed bridge

Residents of Olorunda, Olorunsogo and Adewunmi communities in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Monday heaved a sigh of relief as the state government ordered the reconstruction of the bridge linking them which collapsed following heavy downpours early in the morning.

The residents, who said collapse of the bridge left them stranded with pupils unable to go to schools while civil servants, artisans and traders could not reach their destinations, hailed the prompt visit of the Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, and his order to contractors to begin reconstruction work on Tuesday.

Egbeyemi, who was accompanied on the inspection of the collapsed bridge by the contractor to handle its reconstruction, Rudolph Najjar and officials of the Ministry of Works led by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Dele Agbede, assured residents that the bridge would be restored as soon as possible.

The Deputy Governor said, “The collapse of the bridge happened as a result of the heavy rain and we have seen it. That is why Governor Kayode Fayemi asked me to come and see things for myself and I am here accompanied by the contractor handling the road project.

“By the grace of God, work will commence here tomorrow (Tuesday). In fact, as from today, the contractor in charge has ordered for materials to be used for the work. I have given a directive that quality materials including hard stones be used and laying of asphalt. This government does not want life to be unbearable for the masses,” he said.

The president of Olorunda Community, Tayo Omolola, who praised the State government for the prompt intervention which he said had restored the hope of the people living in the area, said collapse of the bridge had brought despair to the residents of Olorunda and the adjoining communities of Olorunsogo and Adewumi.

According to him, the people had made representations to the government on the condition of the bridge, which was being managed through self-effort before its eventual collapse, saying, “It is the major bridge in use as the second one had been washed away by flood in 2019”.

Omolola urged the contractor and his workers to ensure that quality job was done on the project.

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