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Fayemi: All Governors Have Resolved to Dump Open Grazing

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The Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi yesterday disclosed that all governors in the country have in principle agreed that open grazing was outdated and there was need to embrace modern livestock management approaches.

He said while speaking on ‘THISDAYLIVE’ a programme monitored on Arise News Channel.

His remark was in the light of the feud generated by the comments of Governors of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu and his Kaduna counterpart, Malam Nasir El- Rufai, following the anti-open grazing laws being adopted in most southern states.

Fayemi said the governors have also subscribed to the national livestock transformation plan via the National Economic Council decision that was taken during a meeting chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

“Any time there is an altercation between any of my colleagues, it is something that I feel wholly uncomfortable about because it takes us away from the substance, in this case on open grazing.

“I can tell you that we have taken a position as the NGF and both sides of the divide are correct. On the one hand, we have all agreed at the level of the NGF that open grazing is outdated and we need to look for alternative modern livestock management approaches,” Fayemi said.

He averred that there was need to balance the position of the southern governors on anti-open grazing legislation with that of the Northern Governors’ Forum by giving support to all states that have subscribed to the National Livestock Transformation Plan through funding from federal government agencies like NARSAL in same way the Central Bank of Nigeria provided support to rice farmers through funding.

“And that this could take the form of support to those who want to engage in ranching in the north and in the south. And that is why I said both sides are correct in the sense that Nasir El- Rufai of Kaduna State is talking about ranching as alternative way of stopping unrestrained open grazing and catering to the need of those who embark on open grazing approaches. And the southern governors are opposed to that.

“All they are saying is pending the time you are able to do that, there should also be a disincentive by way of law in ensuring those who take advantage of the activities of herders, particularly non-violent herders and those who resort to violent crimes, need to be punished.

“But in addressing criminality, we must also address causes of criminality, which I guess is what el-Rufai is talking about,” Fayemi said.

Commenting on the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), Fayemi said it would be wrong to assume that the proposed amendments ignored the concerns of the states.

He some of the observations which they sent to the President have been forwarded to the implementation committee chaired by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva while discussion is already on-going.

Fayemi noted that some of the issues they raised related to ownership structure. According to him, the governors were of the opinion that the Ministry of Finance incorporated and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources should be the sole owner of the company that emerged out of the PIA.

“We have suggested that the only body that belongs to both the federal, state and the local governments is the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) in which we are shareholders.

“And if it is held in trust by the NSIA, then we are all more comfortable in seeing that Act as a federation company rather than a federal government company. And that is one.

“The second concern we have expressed relates to the depletion of the federal government account by the various percentages that have been earmarked for frontier states and host communities of the petroleum products. “And without prejudices to what the host communities deserve, we don’t have any problem with the host communities benefiting from this, which as a matter of fact we feel should be five per cent.

“We think that this necessarily should not lead to a depletion of the federation account or whatever is due to the fed account as a result of this,” he added.

He said the third concern which the governors had consistently raised and which they hope the signing of the PIA would help them address was petroleum subsidy and its continued use to deplete the Federation account.

Olawale Ajimotokan, Thisday online

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Everything is the opposite yet Nigeria not a complete disaster – Soyinka

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Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has said Nigerians are still managing to eke out a living despite the bleak realities confronting the country.

Soyinka spoke during an interview with the Cable News Network monitored by our correspondent.

Commenting on the ironic title for his first novel in 48 years, Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth, he said things happened around one as one grew up, witnessing the degrading of dream and environment in one’s society and on the continent.

He explained that for him, the issue had been an arduous journey, adding, “It has reached such a stage, I found intuitively, that only prose fiction can handle things that have been bubbling up inside me.”

He said the title came after some people some years ago conducted a poll which placed Nigeria among the top four happiest nations in the world.

The playwright noted, “That thing has been with me, in my head. I asked, ‘Who are these people? What do they know? What have they seen? What have they experienced in Nigeria that they make such an attribution?’ That title really has been waiting to answer that claim in many ways. When you look at the surroundings, everything is the opposite and yet, Nigeria is not a complete disaster.

“People still manage to eke out a living not only a living but to some extent a dignified and satisfied living. I think it’s not surface appearance of contentment or making the best of a really bad job, insisting that no matter what life must go on… It’s that which needed to be, quote and unquote, celebrated in addition to the bleak actualities.”

The elder statesman further said he took the decision to change his former relationship if Donald Trump was elected president of the United States despite “being literally an enemy of decency and humanity’’ and his blatantly discontent for non-white humanity.

He stated, “I never really totally turned my back on the United States. I mean how could one? We have many Nigerians there, to start with. When I stroll through the streets of the United States, I sometimes think the United States is an extension of Nigeria, that it’s part of our diaspora.” That’s not an easy decision but it was inevitable.”

Commenting on the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature awarded to Tanzanian novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Soyinka said his immediate statement after the announcement was “let the African tribe expand wherever situated.”

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Insecurity: Royal Navy Warship arrives in Lagos

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The Royal Navyship, HMS TRENT has arrived Lagos State as part of its three months deployment to the Gulf of Guinea.

The HMS TRENT and her contingent of Royal Marines from 42 Commando are on a three-month deployment to the Gulf of Guinea.

Port of Lagos is the second stop for HMS TRENT since departing Gibraltar in October.

The Royal Navy War ship was recieved by the United Kingdom, UK, Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, at a reception on Saturday.

According to Llewellyn-Jones: “Nigeria’s security and prosperity matters to the UK. The Royal Navy is here because the UK is a committed partner for Nigeria and the wider West African region.

“We will continue to work with the Nigerian authorities to address illegal activity; improve maritime security; counter-piracy and tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

“To do this we will draw on the experience we have of cross and multi-agency co-operation in the UK to promote peace, development, and prosperity.”

The ship’s company of HMS Trent have a packed schedule of events, including various capability demonstrations and training, with 42 Commando delivering their specific Vessel Boarding, Search and Seizure training to the Nigerian Navy.

In addition, members of the ship’s company will also step ashore with a charity beach clean as well as attending the Maritime Security Conference at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA).

Also speaking, HMS Trent’s Commanding Officer, Commander Thomas Knott said: “As Trent made her way to the Gulf of Guinea my crew honed their skills in Maritime Security Operations and commenced Counter Illicit Activity Patrols.

“Piracy, Narcotics and broader criminal activities in this region demand that my Royal Navy Sailors and Royal Marine Commando Force are always ready to respond, from Boarding Operations through to lifesaving assistance at sea.”

Boarding exercises are vital integration training for the newly embarked Royal Marines, who joined at the start of HMS Trent’s patrol of the Gulf of Guinea.

42 Commando will perform a key role as part of the ship’s company of HMS Trent, training partner forces across the region and helping to develop their capabilities.

The three-month deployment will see the ship travel around the Gulf of Guinea, visiting countries including Ghana, Senegal, and Gambia.

Alongside their commitments to conduct joint exercises and train with partners in the region, HMS Trent will also conduct maritime security patrols and promote the UK’s position as co-president at the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea conference in November.

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FG considering posthumous pardon for Ken Saro-Wiwa, others – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government is considering a state pardon for nine Ogoni leaders/activists convicted and hanged by the military dictatorship of General Sani Abacha 26 years ago for opposing the operating practices of the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Corporation.

The Ogoni Nine are author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel and John Kpuine, They were executed  on November 10, 1995.

Buhari gave the hint when he had an audience with some leaders and people of Ogoni land at the State House, according to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

According to the President Buhari, despite the gravity of the circumstances, the Federal Government will consider the request to grant them pardon and bring closure to the case.

He said: “Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring clemency and national integration as part of this administration’s bid to lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation and bring closure to the issues of Ogoni Land.

“The unfortunate incidents of the early 1990s leading to the loss of lives of distinguished sons of Ogoni land and the collateral judicial processes are indelible in our memories.

“Despite the grievous circumstances, the Federal Government will consider the request for the grant of pardon to finally close the Ogoni saga,’’

President Buhari urged the Ogoni leaders to sensitize indigenes on value of protecting national assets like pipelines and other oil installations, saying willful damages usually create more havoc on their environment and hamper development in the area.

He also noted that the Federal Government is committed to the cleaning up of Ogoni land so that indigenes can regain their lives, return to farms and reactivate economic activities.

“You will need to educate the people of Ogoni land and the region more, that when pipelines are broken, the damage is more to the immediate environment and the people. The majority farmers and fishermen struggle because the fishes now move to the deep sea,’’ he said.

The President observed that bad industry practices coupled with security challenges had resulted in massive spills with attendant environmental degradation of Ogoni, leading to agitations and strife.

He said the government would bring to a close all pending issues on sons of Ogoni land.

 

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