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Osun Residents Fume Over Bread Price Hike, Call For Decisive Measures -As Master Bakers, Al Badr Trade Words

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RESIDENTS of the State of Osun are currently fuming over the increment in the prices of various sizes of bread across the state by the Master Bakers’ Association of Nigeria.

According to the residents who spoke with OSUN DEFENDER in different interviews on Wednesday, bread is a major staple food of the common people and increasing the prices would automatically add to the suffering of the people.

The residents urged Governor Adegboyega Oyetola to take decisive measures in curbing the excesses of the Master Bakers’ Association, describing the increment in the bread prices as self-centred and callous.

Some of the residents charged Oyetola to proscribe the association, saying it is inflicting more pains on the masses for desirable profits.

Mr. Ibrahim Olaiya, one of the residents, called on the Governor to borrow a leaf from his counterpart in Ondo and disband all associations that are regulating prices of commodities in the state.

Olaiya maintained that everybody should have the right to sell goods at whatever prices he or she desires without the interference of another person or association.

Another resident, Mrs. Esther Opara, who lives in Ilesa, said it was insensitive for the Master Bakers’ Association to increase the prices of bread in the face of the current hardship confronting the people.

It amounts to wickedness and insensitivity, she said, calling on the State Government to proscribe or regulate the activities of the unions and association in the state.

She added: “I think the government needs to proscribe all these associations or regulate their activities. I am not talking about the master bakers alone. What is happening with the Master Bakers’ Association is applicable to other associations also. They are just exploiting the people. They will just wake up one morning and decide to increase the prices of goods and services without considering the masses.

“Without government putting them in their places, this is going to continue and the overall effect will be on the masses.”

Meanwhile, there are controversies between the Master Bakers’ Association and Al-Badr bakers in Iwo on the implementation of the new bread prices regime.

The association has accused Al-Badr bakers of subsidising the prices of bread and not following government laid-down procedures in producing their bread.

The association also called on government to look into Al-Badr bread making process, saying that the bread might be injurious to the health of the consumers.

Alhaji Ganiyu Bakare, the Chairman of the association, said the increment in bread price is as a result of the hike in the materials being used to produce the staple food.

He said: “The increment in price of bread is due to the high costs of baking materials. At the start of this year, a bag of flour was sold at N12,000 but at present, it is sold at N21,000. Sugar is now N22,000 as against N15,000 that it was before. Yeast and butter are also in the high side.”

OSUN DEFENDER gathered that the non-implementation of the new bread prices led to a clash between workers of the two associations in Iwo on Sunday.

In its reaction, Al-Badr Bakers, a subsidiary of Al-Badr Company, said it did not join the master bakers in increasing prices of bread because it is sensitive to the plight of the common people.

Speaking through the Media Director of Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen Society of Nigeria, Mr. Luqman Salawudeen, Al-Badr accused the master bakers of selfishness and greed.

According to Salawudeen, the master bakers are only interested in excessive profit-making without considering the suffering of the masses.

He said: “These are the problems we are having with all these associations. They had already increased the prices of bread before and we did not. We are not subsidizing our bread price. We are buying the same baking materials from the same market. The question is: why are they inflicting pains on the masses?

“With the current prices of materials, if they do not increase the price of bread, they will still have their gain.”

OSUN DEFENDER

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Ekweremadu: Immigration says Ukpo birthday certificate shows he’s 21 not 15

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Birth certificate of Ekweremadu ‘kidney donor’ shows he’s 21, says immigration

The Nigeria Immigration Service says David Ukpo, the “kidney donor” at the centre of the organ harvesting allegation against Ike Ekweremadu, is 21 years old — not 15.

Spokesman for the NIS, Amos Okpu, disclosed this in a statement released on Sunday.

Okpu said the birth certificate presented by Ukpo during his international passport registration showed that he is 21 years old.

Ekweremadu and his wife, Beatrice, were arrested last Thursday and arraigned in court for allegedly bringing a child to the UK for organ harvesting.

They were subsequently remanded in custody till July 7 while investigations are still ongoing.

The senator had written to the UK high commission to support a visa application of a “donor”.

Although the UK police said the donor was 15, Ukpo was listed as 21 years old on his international passport and the Bank Verification Number (BVN) portal.

The immigration spokesman said the birth certificate issued by the National Population Commission (NPC) and the national identity number (NIN) slip presented by Ukpo indicated that he is 21.

He explained that Ukpo’s date of birth was listed as October 12, 2000 — meaning he will be 22 years old in October 2022.

“The facts of the matter concerning the case above, therefore, are that the said Mr David Ukpo Nwamina applied and paid for the enhanced standard passport using the NIS portal after which he approached the Gwagwalada Passport Office, FCT Abuja, on the 2nd November 2021 for his interview,” the statement reads.

“To support his application, Mr. Nwamina presented all the necessary documents required, including his National Population Commission (NPC) issued Birth Certificate, showing 12 October, 2000, as his date of birth; his National Identity Number (NIN) corroborating the date of birth on his birth certificate, issued by NIMC; a letter of introduction issued by Ebonyi State Government Liaison Office situated at Maitama District Abuja, and a Guarantor’s form duly signed by one Mr. Uchechukwu Chukwuma Ogbonno.
“In view of the above, the general public may wish to be informed that the date of birth, or any other information for that matter, on any Nigerian passport is printed on the document only after a thorough vetting process that involves both physical and forensic examination of the applicant’s breeder documents. Mr. Nwamina’s case, therefore, was not different.”

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South African police investigate death of 20 in nightclub 

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South African police are investigating the deaths of at least 20 people at a nightclub in the coastal town of East London early Sunday morning.

According to AP, it is unclear what led to the deaths of the young people, who were reportedly attending a party to celebrate the end of winter school exams.

Local newspaper Daily Dispatch reported that bodies were strewn across tables and chairs without any visible signs of injuries.

“At this point we cannot confirm the cause of death,” said health department spokesperson Siyanda Manana.

“We are going to conduct autopsies as soon as possible to establish the probable cause of death. The deceased have been taken to state mortuaries,” Manana added.

The owner of the club, Siyakhangela Ndevu, told local broadcaster eNCA that he had been called to the scene early Sunday morning.

“I am still uncertain about what really happened, but when I was called in the morning I was told the place was too full and that some people were trying to force their way into the tavern,” he said.

“However, we will hear what the police say about the cause of death,” Ndevu added.

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Missing ex-Nigerian diplomat found dead in US

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Police in New York, United States, have found the body of a former Nigerian diplomat, Ambassador Ejeviome Otobo.

The 70-year-old was declared missing by the police in Tuckahoe, New York, in United States of America.

Otobo went missing on Wednesday, June 15th and was last seen near Dante Avenue.

The Tuckahoe Police Department on the their Facebook page requested information from the public.

Etobo served as the Director and Deputy Head, Peacebuilding Support Office at the United Nations headquarters in New York between December 2006 and October 2013.

On June 24, the police announced that Etobo had been found dead and sent condolences to his family.

“We would like to thank those of you who offered tips and tried to assist with the investigation. Our thoughts go out to the Otobo family during this difficult time,” the statement read.

Until his death, he was a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Peacebuilding and Global Economic Policy at the Global Governance Institute in Brussels, Belgium.

He had previously held the position of director and deputy head of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, where he also acted as Assistant Secretary-General from February-August 2009.

At PBSO, he led the efforts in assisting the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) to develop peacebuilding strategies, including supporting governance reforms and reconciliation processes for countries on the agenda of the PBC; supervised the work related to the follow-up, monitoring and periodic reporting on the implementation of the peacebuilding strategies; and formulated benchmarks for monitoring progress in the implementation of peacebuilding strategies.

His areas of research interests and writing included peacebuilding, public service reforms, institutional development, governance, regulatory policy and management, and international trade.

He co-edited African Development in the 21st Century: Adebayo Adedeji’s Theories and Contributions (2015) as well as authored Consolidating Peace in Africa: The Role of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (2015) and Africa in Transition: A New Way of Looking Progress in the Region (2017). The book Africa in Transition was nominated for the Grand Prix of Literary Association Award in 2018 in the Research category.

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