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Looting: Ayade asks police to carry out house-to-house search

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Devastated by the massive looting of government and private assets by angry residents, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has ordered a house-to-house search to retrieve the loot.

He also charged security agencies to take legitimate actions to halt the spate of arson and carnage witnessed in some parts of Calabar.

The governor gave the police the task in a release issued on Sunday in Calabar by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Christian Ita.

Ayade also asked the police to arrest anyone involved in the looting of public and private property in the state.

Although the governor who was reported to have said he understood the pain of the people, noted that there was need to protect the collective commonwealth of the people.

He said the commonwealth was threatened by some persons desperately trying to discredit the peaceful disposition of the citizens of Cross River.

Ayade urged the security agencies to take legitimate actions to ensure that calm returned to the state, especially as the government was already working towards ensuring the demands of those who genuinely participated in the #EndSARS march were met.

The governor also called on the citizens to rise up and defend their land from criminal elements bent on destroying the image of the state.

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Ekiti to embark on Rice pyramid project

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Ekiti State Government on Sunday said it intends to produce of over one million metrics tonnes of rice within the next couple of years.

Mr Olabode Adetoyi, Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, made this known in Ado Ekiti at a news conference ahead of the official launch of the ” Ekiti Rice Pyramid Project” and flag off of the 2021 Wet Season Rice Cultivation, scheduled for Tuesday.

According to him, Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, would perform the inauguration of the rice pyramid project while Gov. Kayode Fayemi, would be the chief host.

The commissioner said the state was embarking on massive production of rice so as to be able to meet both local demands and for export.

He explained that the state government had brought in investors, who were ready to invest in planting and processing of rice, adding that the product would be of high standards and stone free.

Adetoyi added that the state government was working assiduously towards ensuring that youths ventured into farming by making it more attractive and lucrative, through various agricultural incentives

He assured farmers in the state that the government would not fail in providing adequate security for them to enable them go to their farms anytime without entertaining fears

Adetoyi disclosed that 23 new investors had already been allocated lands to plant rice, cocoa and palm oil, among others, as the government was doing all to attract investors through provision of enabling environment.

“ Top notch rice processing plant like Stallion, Dangote and Jumlar rice have been allocated land in premium location in Ekiti Knowledge Zone for quality rice production.

“ Land clearing and development of over 5,000 hectares of land for commercial agriculture is also on, out of which 1,000 is cleared for swampy rice along the river banks and valleys in the state. Over 40,000 hectares is to be made available as time goes on,” he said.

The commissioner said that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari, had conceived the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) under the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to provide easy access to credit for farmers and processors at low interest rate, among others.

He added that the government of Japan had also brought in some equipment such as harvesters to provide high quality rice production in the state.

Adetoyi warned people in the habit of setting fire to bushes while hunting game to desist from such acts to avoid causing damage to peoples’ farms.

According to him, some farms had been destroyed in the process.

The commissioner said that government had approved money to buy seedlings that would be distributed to those farmers who lost their farms in such preventable fire incidences.(NAN

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“Ned Nwoko, please release my daddy” : Teenage girl cries for help

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A teenage girl from billionaire Ned Nwoko’s Idume Ugboko community in Delta state has dragged him to the social media, accusing him of arresting her dad and several others over land matters.

Nwoko, a lawyer and former member of the House of Representatives, had previously been accused of land grabbing to establish a proposed Sports, Technology, and Arts (STARS) University in the community.

Using state-backed coercion, he usually seized people’s land without paying compensation.

The land owners who resisted are arrested and jailed.

The young lady in a video posted by Sahara TV, said Nwoko has arrested her father again, after the dad spent five years in jail.

The weeping girl begged Nweke to leave her family alone. She hoped that by making the video, someone somewhere will hear her voice and help out.

“Please Ned Nwoko, I just want my father to be released. Not just my daddy, please release Peter’s daddy too, Antonia’s uncle, my uncle Raymond… Release them, why are you keeping them? What’s all this injustice for? What is All this wickedness for? Why”, she cried.

Watch the video:

In a report published 5 December 2020, Premium Times cited several residents of Idume Ugboko, whose land was seized by Nweke.

Among the victims was 90 year-old Oghedo Osodi, whose inherited four acres of farmland was grabbed by Nwoko.

Mrs Osodi said she watched in horror as a bulldozer, guarded by heavily armed policemen, uprooted and cleared palm trees, rubber trees and other cash and food crops on her land.

The nonagenarian said she fled for her life after the policemen started shooting sporadically to disperse an angry crowd from the village.

Like Mrs Osodi, 67 year-old Sunday Kainebi, suffered a similar fate.

On January 14, 2017, Mr Kainebi said, some associates of Mr Nwoko took over his land.

“I was at home that afternoon and I was informed that a bulldozer was on my farmland. I met them. They were more than 50, including policemen. When I asked one of them, He said it was their oga that sent them. He said Ned Nwoko.”

Unlike Mr Kainebi and Mrs Osodi, Jude Isonye said he confronted Mr Nwoko for trespassing on his land and the former lawmaker promised to compensate him. Mr Isonye said he turned down the ex-lawmaker’s offer.

As reported, Nwoko claimed he was not land grabbing, as the 123 hectares he has acquired so far was approved for him in 2015 by the late monarch of the town.

He claimed he secured the approval of the monarch, Albert Nwoko, before he died in 2017.

To back his claim, he presented a letter dated April 10, 2015, signed by the monarch.

In the letter, the monarch indicated that the village was going into a partnership with the politician and he set up a committee led by the Iyase, Christopher Ogwu, to determine the investment ratio and the feasibility of the project.

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Undergraduate dies while jogging in Abia

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An undergraduate of the Abia State University, Uturu simply identified as Ikenna has reportedly died in Aba, the commercial nerve of the state while performing physical exercise.

The incident was said to have occurred at the popular Brass junction along the ever-busy Aba-Owerri Expressway.

It was not clear if Ikenna had underlying health issues but sources told The Nation the ABSU graduate slumped and died in what seemed to be a cardiac arrest.

He was said to have joined others to the popular Opobo junction on the Ogbor Hill axis of Ikot Ekpene Expressway to perform their usual Sunday routine exercise.

Sources said he never showed any sign of ill-health as he joined others in performing various exercises.

He was reportedly on his way back in the company of other joggers when he suddenly collapsed and died.

Sources within the area believed that Ikenna could have been saved if there were medical personnel around to administer first aid on him.

They said his friends started pouring water on him with the hope that it will revive him when he slumped.

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