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Open grazing: Buhari, southern state governors on collision course

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The stage appears set for a clash between President Muhammadu Buhari and governors of the southern states with support from some northern state governors over the decision of the President to recover grazing routes for cattle as a means to end continued herder/farmer crises.

Only on Thursday, the President in an interview with Arise TV announced that he had given approval to the return of open grazing as was practised during the First Republic where herdsmen used designated grazing routes to move cattle to several parts of the country.

But the governors, after banning open grazing of cattle in their states, say there is no going back on the decision, just as some of them vowed not to make land available for ranching.

The Forum of Southern Governors in one voice, after a meeting in Asaba, Delta State, announced the grazing ban in all the 17 southern states.

They recommended that the Federal Government should support willing states to develop alternative and modern livestock management systems.

Fielding questions in the 44-minute interview, the President, in apparent response to the ban on open cattle grazing by the 17 southern governors, said when the governors gave the directive that open grazing would be banned, he referred them to the gazette that made provisions for cattle routes and open grazing areas.

He said, “What I told the governors was to ask them to go and dig up the gazette. There are certain routes and grazing areas so that when cattle rearers were moving from the north to the west, they were allowed to go through there. But if you allow your cattle to stray into any farmer’s farm, you are arrested and the farmer is invited to submit his claims.

“Those who encroach on these cattle routes and grazing areas would be dispossessed. The problem is trying to understand the culture of the cattle rearers. The Governor of Benue said I am not disciplining the cattle rearers because I am one of them and I told him that the Nigerian cattle rearer doesn’t carry anything more than a stick or a machete. But I can tell you that we are trying to resuscitate these cattle routes and grazing areas.”

Already, the President said he had asked the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to begin the process of recovering land from persons who have converted cattle grazing routes for their personal use .

The AGF had kicked against the declaration by 17 southern governors to ban open grazing, noting that it is like northern governors banning spare parts trading.

Buhari during the interview advised state governors to rise up to the security challenges facing their states, recalling how he sent back two southern governors to his state after submitting reports of violence.

“These governors campaigned and won elections, they should be able to sort out issues arising in their localities, not running to the presidency. You know these people more than I do, and you are democratically elected to protect your people. Don’t sit idly expecting me to do everything, take action,” the President said.

Education

Ghana university lecturers begin strike over poor service conditions

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Public university teachers in Ghana on Monday commenced an indefinite strike over poor conditions of service.

 

Professor Charles Marfo, national president of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), said the strike was borne out of the government’s refusal to heed calls by the association to improve the worsening conditions of service of the university teachers across the country.×

 

He said the association was not happy with the way the authorities had been dragging their feet on negotiations concerning the welfare of the teachers, which started two years ago.

 

“We write on behalf of the National Executive Committee of UTAG to inform and/or remind you of the intended strike action of UTAG,” read a statement issued earlier by UTAG.

“By this notice, all campuses are to withdraw all teaching and related activities namely teaching, examinations, invigilation, marking of examination scripts, processing of examination results, etc. from Aug. 2 until further notice.”

There are 15 public universities in Ghana.

 

Among them are University of Ghana, Legon, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, University of Cape Coast,

CK Tadem University for Technology and Applied Sciences.

 

Others are University of Education, Winneba and Simon Diedong Dombo University for Business and Integrated Development Studies.

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Olympiacos sign Henry Onyekuru on permanent deal

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Olympiacos FC have announced the signing of forward Henry Onyekuru from Ligue 1 club Monaco.

 

The 24-year-old Nigerian forward arrived in Greece to seal a permanent move on Saturday after spending last season on loan at Galatasaray.

 

Olympiacos have confirmed the signing of the 24-year-old star on their official website by stating: “Olympiacos have announced the acquisition of international ace, Henry Onyekuru.

 

“The Nigerian, born on June 5, 1997, in Lagos, has been acquired from Monaco after signing a four-year contract.

 

“Having spent five years at Aspire Academy, Onyekuru took the first big step in his career in 2015 by signing a contract with Eupen.

“His 30 goals in 60 games with the Belgian club attracted several clubs with Everton acquiring his services in 2017. The Nigerian spent the next two seasons on loan at Anderlecht (28 assists, 10 goals) and Galatasaray (31 assists and 14 goals) respectively.”

 

Speaking after signing for the team, Onyekuru said: “I know it is a big club in Greece, one of the biggest and they have good ambition and target every season and they are always in the Champions League.

 

“I also know of two Nigerians who played here before and I am just here to contribute and keep on pushing and also to be champions countless times, achieve more goals and aims with the club.

On June 30, 2017, Onyekuru joined Premier League side, Everton, for £7 million and was immediately loaned out to Anderlecht where he was handed the number 9 jersey.

Onyekuru, who made his debut for the Super Eagles in a 3-0 friendly win over Togo on June 1, 2017, is part of the key players for head coach Gernot Rohr ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches in September.

 

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COVID-19 kills 6 persons daily in Lagos – Sanwo-Olu raises alarm

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday raised the alarm over rising COVID-19 death in Lagos, saying the virus has killed an average of six persons daily in the last one week.

 

He also admitted that the third wave of the virus is right now in Lagos, saying that proactive measures must be put in place to nip the crisis in the bud.

Speaking at a news conference at the State House, Alausa, the governor said from the beginning of July the state started to experience an increase in the number of daily confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lagos State, with the positivity rate going from 1.1% at the end of June 2021 to 7% at the end of July 2021.

“As at the 1st of August 2021, the positivity rate in Lagos is 8.9%. This is an 8-fold increase over the recorded figure a month ago, and it should rightly alarm all of us. This has resulted in 4,300 confirmed cases in July alone and 352 admissions into our isolation facilities.

 

“But let me make it clear that this necessary sense of alarm should not be responded to with panic, but instead with a firm 2 resolve and determination to reverse the trend. We have done it before and we can do it again. We dealt with the first and second waves and did our best to prevent a third wave,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

 

The governor said now that the third wave of the virus has come, the state must dig deep into what “we have learnt from the previous waves, as well as summon the will to do everything necessary to bring down the numbers, on the way to eventually defeating the virus once and for all. Epidemiology Update From the beginning of the outbreak in February 2020 to date, Lagos State has recorded a total of 64,032 confirmed cases of COVID-19.”

“Of this number, 56,336 have recovered in community, 2,755 are currently being managed actively in community. Over the course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic, about 5,029 patients have been admitted into our various COVID-19 care centres in Lagos. We have, sadly, recorded 390 fatalities in Lagos State, 30 of which have taken place in this current 3rd wave of the pandemic.

 

“Essentially, we have recorded on average 6 deaths per day since last week. 3 Home-Based Care Given the huge population of our State and the rising numbers of confirmed cases during the first and second waves of the pandemic, it became necessary for us to deploy tele-medicine in managing positive patients. In this vein, we launched a home-based program, driven by our EKOTELEMED call center service,” Sanwo-Olu added.

 

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