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Lagos collaborate with NGOs on biodiversity, wildlife protection

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By Dada Jackson
Lagos State Government is collaborating with reputable Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) on conservation matters aimed at conserving biodiversity and wildlife protection.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, in a statement on Saturday, in commemoration of the 2021 edition of the Biodiversity Day, said the greatest problems facing biological diversity today are habitat destructions, over exploitation, pollution and global climate change.
According to him, deforestation, sand-filling of wetlands and other open water bodies, construction of buildings, overfishing/overhunting amongst others result in considerable changes in the ecological balance.
While identifying cooperation and collaboration of relevant stakeholders as a solution to the problem, Bello said one of the steps taken was an ongoing partnership with the Lekki Urban Forest and Animal Sanctuary initiative (LUFASI) on the conservation of vultures, pangolin and Ekki tree population in the state.
The commissioner expressed the hope that when the project eventually commenced, it would help protect these critically endangered species from extinction and serve as a springboard for their sustained population.
He hinted that government was also working with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on conservation matters and willing to partner other stakeholders in the course of wildlife and biodiversity protection in the state.
Bello said the theme for this year’s celebration ‘We are part of the solution #ForNature’ aligned perfectly with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 14 (Life under Water) and 15 (Life on Land) that about 20 per cent of the animal protein diet for close to three billion people worldwide is obtained from fish, while 80 per cent of human diet is from plant.
According to the commissioner, 80 per cent of rural dwellers in the world depend on traditional herbs for their basic health care, therefore the importance of biodiversity cannot be overemphasized.
Bello noted that the need by property developers to acquire land for housing development in the state had led to the destruction of many wetlands and forest ecosystems which serve as habitats for a considerable percentage of the state’s biodiversity.
His words: “Pollution of water bodies with refuse and other harmful substances are also a cause for concern as mentioned earlier. Over exploitation of wildlife is also a major contributor to the increasing decline in the population of several species of animals in the state.”
He mentioned that amongst the animals facing imminent threat of extinction are the Pangolin, Vulture, sea turtle and manatee populations, saying that the trend of progressive biodiversity loss in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems was as a result of increasing human population and their anthropogenic activities.
He reiterated that government frowned on the people dealing in the illicit trade of wildlife trafficking and sales, especially in the wet markets across the state, warning that people should desist from the illegal act as the ministry would soon commence a state-wide surveillance and enforcement of same to curb the menace.
He said, “Apart from the threat the trade poses to wildlife population, the possible outbreak of very dangerous zoonotic diseases is of serious concern to this Government and therefore shall not continue to condone this act.”
He said that government would continue to enact laws and formulate policies in ensuring wildlife and ecosystem protection in the state.

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Emefiele wants to cause uprising to have Interim Govt – Fani-Kayode

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Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, is seeking to precipitate an uprising in Nigeria with a view to make peaceful elections impossible. Femi Fani-Kayode, Director of Social Media Campaign of the All Progressive Congress on Tuesday accused the CBN Governor of working towards the realisation of Interim National Government.

Fani-Kayode’s lamentations came on the heels of Emefiele’s appearance before the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
He accused Emefiele of weaponsing the CBN saying he “is an enemy of democracy.”
His condemnations came amidst series of complications are having over the exchange of their old notes with new ones.

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Pre-empting the CBN governor, he said “He has NO plans to release enough new naira notes any time soon.
“He wants to STARVE the people of cash and drive them to rage out of frustration. This is not about politics but about stoking up protest and revolution. This is subversion and destablisation.He must be stopped and caged!”

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Muslim leaders protest alleged rape of woman in Niqob (purdah) inside mosque in Ibadan

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Some Muslim youths, scholars and organisations in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, have staged a protest over alleged rape of a Muslim lady in one of the mosques in Ibadan.

The woman was in ‘Niqob’ Purdah when the incident occurred, a source told DAILY POST.

The protest was staged by the concerned Muslim leaders on Monday.

The protesters demanded prosecution of the suspect.

DAILY POST gathered on Monday that a Muslim lady, who was in purdah, was allegedly raped inside a mosque at Iwo Road area of Ibadan on Sunday.

A source said, “An unfortunate incident happened on Sunday in Ibadan, when the son of a road transport union sneaked into a mosque and raped a niqobite.

“This then prompted the concerned Muslim leaders to stage the protest on Monday.”

The concerned Muslims were led in the protest by an Ibadan-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Amubieya.

Another source told DAILY POST that the suspect had been arrested.

He said, “The thug who raped a niqobite (Muslim lady in veil) has been identified as Idris, also known as Kesari.

“He is the son of a union leader known as Al-Majiri. He was arrested by the police and the case has now been transferred to the State CID”.

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Consumers challenge Ikeja Electric over threat to withdraw prepaid meters

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A group of entrepreneurs and customers of Ikeja Electric Plc. in Lagos State, weekend, sent an S.O.S to the Minister for Power, accusing the electricity distribution company of desperate attempts to crush their operations.

Specifically, they accused the officials of the energy supplier, believed to be the largest electricity distribution company in Nigeria, of threatening to ‘’forcefully confiscate their meters under the pretext that the consumers were operating with what they termed “old meters’’.

Thrice last week, the staff of the company from Igbobi Undertaking in the Somolu area of the State who mobilised to forcefully uninstall and cart the meters away were resisted.

“And, despite repeated explanations and appeals, the electricity company team said to be led by a male management of the company refused, bluntly to listen, saying that Ikeja Electric Distribution Company had already phased out ‘old meters’, the affected consumers stated.

‘’We further appealed to the officers that the meters were purchased by us and that it will be illegal to withdraw the meters which we bought, without replacement.

‘’In fact, we told them that we are of the opinion that in a normal clime, the meters should be replaced when they are withdrawing the current ones instead of putting us in darkness.

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‘’But to our dismay, they mobilised the second day, in multiples, apparently poised for a showdown with us.

‘’However, as law abiding citizens, we maintained our position that our meters were sold to us by Ikeja Electricity company and further our claims that we paid with bank drafts in favour of Ikeja Electric, yet they insisted on taking away our property’’, the customers said.

‘’Yet the team leader who  was simply called ‘Sam’, the Undertaking Manager told us that throughout the country, meters are the property of electricity distribution companies, hence they are at liberty to withdraw same anytime, even, without notice.

‘’Despite the argument that we would inform our lawyers about the development, for advice, the Ikeja Electric men re-surfaced the third day with ladders, threatening to illegally cart away our meters and we still, as gentlemen and law abiding citizens asked them to reason.

‘’At that point, one of them told us that he did not expect us to argue the matter because if occasion demands, he would never resist taking his own meter by the company.

The electricity company however said that customers with ‘old meter’ should apply for ‘new meter’ while they would be ‘put on estimates’ pending the approval of their application.

‘’We were mandated to pay for ‘new meters’ costing approximately N117,000.00 each, within 14 days, failure which  the officials threatened to take “drastic action’’.

Similar situation was reported by a top Lagos civil servant at the Ipaja New Town Scheme, an estate flagged off by the Lagos State Government in Ilapo Village via AIT, Alagbado Lagos, who recently approached Ikeja Electric for the replacement of her damaged ‘Customer Card’ but was only told to buy a new meter because the present one is ‘outdated’.

According to the consumer, ‘’they bluntly told me l would need to immediately pay for a new one which l did not plan for due to the present economic realities’’.

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Two of the affected consumers,  Dele Oguntayo, journalist  and  Abass Adie, a businessman, narrated how the ‘bold-faced’ Ikeja Electric personnel swooped on their premises for the withdrawal of their meter to which they declined.

Oguntayo explained that he applied for a meter in year 2010 having paid N55,000.00 bank draft to Ikeja Electric and was not metered for several months.

While he was being issued what he termed ‘cut-throat estimated bills’ for about a year, he added that ‘’at a point, despite operating with a stand-by generator for several hours daily, the Ikeja Electric was billing him “thousands of Naira every month.

“The meter l applied for in the first quarter of that year was not supplied until about a year after my application and payment despite repeated visits and pleas to the company.

“Something will interest you: A professional colleague in a news agency as Energy Correspondent in Lagos had come visiting; and, about a year after his first visit, he promised to take my matter up with the Managing Director of Ikeja Electric.

“He even challenged me that as a journalist, l should have approached either the company’s Head of  Public Affairs or better still, the Managing Director.

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“So, less than 24 hours of his intervention, two meters were brought to me, same day, on the instruction of the Managing Director of Ikeja Electric!

‘’My conclusion then was that the officials were hoarding the meters for the highest bidders and did not attend to applicants, except through touts.

“It may interest you again that about ten years later, a female staff of the Ikeja Electricity Company who claimed to be of the marketing department came with another joker, claiming that the meter I was using was the allocation of a woman within the zone.

“She threatened to withdraw the meter because, according to her, l probably manipulated the system to secure the meter through the back-door.

“Consequently, I  made several visits to see the Manager when they relocated to Obanikoro area of Ikorodu Road but was always told that their boss was busy.

‘’But when I spoke with one Mr. Ayeni, the Ikeja Electric spokesman on the telephone last week, about the recent threat and my resolve to brief a lawyer, he directed me to one Mrs. Ayanga, the Igbobi Business Manager who could still not be reached for an appointment.”

While reacting to the incident, Adie was of the view that upgrading of facilities, including the metering system was a welcome development and asked the company to phase payment of the new meter rather than putting consumers on estimated bills after withdrawal of the existing meters.

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