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You’re a pitiable messenger – Akeredolu hits Buhari’s aide, Garba Shehu over Grazing Ban

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You’re a pitiable messenger - Akeredolu hits Buhari’s aide, Garba Shehu over Grazing Ban

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has described Malam Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, as a pitiable messenger who does not know the limits of his relevance.

Akeredolu, who is chairman of the South-West Governors Forum, said this while responding to Shehu’s statement on the Southern Governors’ decision to ban open grazing.

Shehu had questioned the legality of the Southern Governors’ action, saying Nigerians ought to enjoy the same rights and freedoms across the country, regardless of the state of their birth or residence.

Shehu said the declaration of the Southern Governors had been preempted as Buhari, who had been worried about the problems between farmers and herders, commissioned and approved an actionable plan of rehabilitating grazing reserves across states.

But Akeredolu, who described Shehu as an agent provocateur, said the presidential media aide did not speak for Buhari.

“Anyone who has been following the utterances of this man, as well as his fellow travelers on the self-deluding, mendacious but potentially dangerous itinerary to anarchy cannot but conclude that he works, assiduously, for extraneous interests whose game plan stands at variance with the expectations of genuine lovers of peaceful coexistence among all the peoples whose ethnic extractions are indigenous to Nigeria.

“Mr Garba must disclose, this day, the real motive(s) of those he serves, definitely not the President. He cannot continue to hide under some opaque, omnibus and dubious directives to create confusion in the polity. The easy recourse to mendacious uppity in pushing a barely disguised pernicious agendum is well understood. The declaration that the recommendations of the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, a mere political appointee like Garba Shehu, are now the “lasting solutions” which eluded all the elected representatives of the people of the Southern part of the country, exposes this man as a pitiable messenger who does not seem to understand the limits of his relevance and charge.

“Mr Garba contends that “their announcement is of questionable legality”, referring to the 17 Governors of the Southern States, but the decision of certain elements to take the ancestral lands of other people to settle their kinsmen, including the “gun-wielding “killer herdsmen” and their families, and provide “veterinary clinics, water points for animals, and facilities for herders and their families including schooling through these rehabilitated reserves” for which “the Federal Government is making far-reaching and practical changes allowing for different communities to co-exist side-by-side”, does not appear to him as a comprehensive plan for land grabbing, a precursor to internal colonialism. He wants to “revive forest reserves” but seems particularly uninterested in the current position of the same law that he and his cohorts often misinterpret to serve parochialism and greed. Governors no longer have powers over the lands in their territories. They must take instructions from appointees of the Federal Government on such matters.”

Akeredolu, a lawyer, said Shehu seems to have issues understanding the difference between “licentious criminality and qualified rights under our law”.

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Ban foreign football matches so that Nigerians can watch their League – Shehu Sani to FG

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Ban foreign football matches so that Nigerians can watch their League – Shehu Sani to FG

The former Senator who represented Kaduna Central at the 8th Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani has lamented that Nigerians are not showing interest in the Nation’s football league.

He observed that last week’s match between Kano Pillars and Enyimba FC was not discussed by Nigerians. He said neither the people in Kano nor those in Abia showed interest in that match but if it were to be an English Premiership or European Football matches, countless Nigerians would have been interested.

The former senator suggested banning of foreign football match broadcast so that Nigerians can start watching the local teams.

“Yesterday, Kano Pillars defeated Enyimba FC by 2:1 at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium kaduna; neither the people of Kano nor those of Abia showed any interest in the match. If it were English or European Football matches, the madness could have been immeasurable. What about banning the broadcast of foreign football matches so that we can all be patriots and watch our local teams”, Shehu Sani said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Insecurity: Time running out on Nigeria – Onaiyekan warns

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Insecurity: Time running out on Nigeria - Onaiyekan warns

Some Nigerian leaders of thought have urged urgent action to address the country’s present challenges and stave off impending doom, saying it is no longer a time to just complain and do nothing.

The leaders who came under the Nigerian Inter-Faith Initiative for Peace (IIP), under its Tripartite Consultation (TC), called for reconciliation, peace and national cohesion for a prosperous nation under God.

The group made the call during the TC joint consultation meeting on the “State of the Nation” in Abuja, Wednesday  June 9.

The convener of the meeting, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, said that as heavy clouds of impending tempest hang over the nation, people should not just sit back and complain.

“Nigerians cannot just sit back, complaining or merely waiting for the worst to happen. Many are thinking aloud, speaking out clearly, discussing and dialoguing to seek a way out of our impasses quickly.

“This tripartite consultation is one of such many voluntary fora for positive conversations on the state of the nation.

“We must find our way back as a country from the brink of chaos and look forward to reconciliation, peace and national cohesion, for a prosperous nation under God,” he said.

According to the Archbishop of Emeritus of Abuja, the state of the nation calls for major concern as the challenges facing the country were many, serious and well known to all.

Cardinal Onaiyekan noted that Nigerians were talking, often complaining and, at times, even threatening to quit a dysfunctional state in which they had lost all trust and faith.

He said that in the midst of the voices, the government should come out with a clear position and explanation why certain things that ought not to happen were happening in a modern and civilised state.

The clergyman also said that the National Assembly, which is the institutional forum for fruitful dialogue and conversation, should try to live up to expectation.

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NATIONAL NEWS

I alone can’t guarantee security in Imo, says Uzodimma

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I alone can't guarantee security in Imo, says Uzodimma

The Governor of Imo State, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, has declared that he cannot guarantee security in the state if left alone.

After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Uzodimma told newsmen that stakeholders, including traditional, religious and political leaders, must engage more with the people to restore normalcy in the beleaguered state.

According to him, former political office holders, who fail to speak against the activities of trouble-makers, have questions to answer.

“If they speak out against the unwholesome activities of those destabilising the country, things would be different,” he said, adding that he was at the Villa to brief the President on the situation in the state.

While acknowledging that all is not well with the country, the governor warned that those destroying government property must be ready to face the consequences.

Although insecurity is prevalent everywhere in Nigeria, the authorities in Imo were doing their best to tackle the situation, he stated.

“So far, the situation is relatively okay in Imo State than it was. People can come around and do business. Normal life has resumed in the state. Security agencies are on top of the situation,” he said.

The governor dismissed the allegation that his recent utterances foreclosing dialogue were part of the problems fuelling the seemingly hopeless situation in the state.

His words: “That is their thinking. I don’t know the kind of utterance that I have made that suggests that I closed the door. If you have monitored what is going on in Imo of late, you would have seen me receiving leadership by leadership according to the local council, trying to find a common way of resolving these security challenges in the state.

“It is not only Imo that has security challenges. In fact, I can even tell you that Imo’s case is better, apart from one or two cases that involved Very Important Personalities (VIPs). There has never been a time 20 persons died simultaneously or school children were kidnapped, and all that.”

On why it was difficult for him to mention names of politicians behind the insecurity in the state and get them arrested, he said: “It is not only in Imo; I didn’t limit it to Imo. I am saying, and I want to say it again, that cases of insecurity here and there in the country have not been helped by the posture of the opposition party and some aggrieved politicians.”

According to him, anybody worth his onion as a leader should be able to speak out.

“How many of them are speaking out? How many of them are condemning what is going on? Rather, what you see are leaders fanning the embers of insecurity, blaming the only government.”

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LEAD STORY JUNE 13

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