Governors of South-West states and traditional rulers in the region have agreed to adopt the National Economic Council (NEC) resolution on forest management, which will put the governors in the position to manage forest reserves in their respective states.
The decision was taken during the over three-hour closed-door meeting held in Ibadan yesterday.
In attendance at the meeting were Governor Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo) and Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti).
On the traditional rulers’ side were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi; Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji; Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi and Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, who had convened the meeting, was absent.
Also billed to attend the parley but absent were the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the Department of State Service and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
Gambari, IGP, DSS DG and Sanwo-Olu’s absence was blamed on bad weather which affected their flights.
According to a communique, the meeting supported the NEC decision on forest management, that the nation’s borders need to be fully secured and protected, open grazing must be checked and that the media must assist to end fake news.
Miffed by the menace of open grazing of cattle which was recognised as one of the flashpoints for insecurity in Nigeria over the past few years, the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who read the communiqué, noted that the adoption of the NEC resolution became imperative owing to conflicts between herders and farmers caused by open grazing.
The NEC had, during its meeting, last Thursday, resolved that federal and state governments should recommit to “the protection of all residents of all states including non-indigenous communities and religious and ethnic minorities within state jurisdictions”.
It also recommitted to the arrest and prosecution of all perpetrators of crime.
Similarly, it was resolved that in collaboration with federal authorities, there should be the commencement of “the reconstruction of destroyed homes and payment of compensation where appropriate by State authorities for damage to property and livelihoods sustained during targeted attacks on communities within their jurisdictions.”
Akeredolu said: “This meeting was called by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, but, unfortunately, the Chief of Staff and the security heads could not make it here due to bad weather in Abuja. They had to cancel their flights. They called in to tender their apologies.
“From the discussion, we had with our Obas here and the security teams are that are present, we agreed that the time is now to support the descision of NEC, that is National Economic Council about forest management. And that we believe that all the states should be in position to manage their forests.
“By that, it will give enough room for you to determine who and who are there, what purpose have they signed, and where we have people who are there illegally, the state will have to take some steps so that we can preserve our forests. All of us believe that we support that decision of NEC. So all of us here are in support of NEC decision in forest management.
“We also debated on a few other things. Our borders have become too porous and that we need to do something urgently to prevent foreigners or foreign herdsmen from coming into this country without any form of caution, because a number of them are coming with their herds or cows and what they do is something of concern to all of us and we belive that our borders need to be checked and that we need to tighten our borders so that all these foreigners won’t come with there herds here and destroy our farms.
“We also discussed the fact that the time is now for us to support cattle breeding. There is need for government to support cattle breeding as we are supporting other areas of farming.
“We also zeroed in on fake news. You journalists need to assist the country that fake news is played down. You have the duty on responsible journalism. You know what fake news did for us during EndSars. We must work at it. We must not allow fake news.”
Buhari’s successor must be Yoruba Muslim – Islamic group vows
The group wondering why no single Yoruba Muslim has ever ruled Nigeria since independence to date, argued that all Yoruba that have occupied the position have been Christians all along.
MURIC’s argument is contained in a statement issued by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Friday, contending that Yoruba Muslims have been at the receiving end of political and religious persecution for too long.
It said in the interest of fairness and equity, it’s time to allow a Yoruba Muslim occupy Nigeria’s number one seat come 2023.
MURIC argued that even on the state level, Muslims in the South West have suffered marginalisation in the appointment of Commissioners and other political positions by Governors of Ekiti, Oyo, Ondo and Ogun.
“Are Yoruba Muslims third class or second class citizens? Are we not equal before the law?
“It is our strong belief that the narrative will only change when a Yoruba Muslim occupies Aso Rock. Who feels it knows it,” MURIC said.
“Yorubas have been heads of state, president and vice president but all those who got there have always been Christians.
“So we have had three Christians of Yoruba extraction in Aso Rock at different times. It is therefore natural to ask why there hasn’t been any Yoruba Muslim politician in Aso Rock all these years, particularly from 1979 to date?
“President Buhari’s tenure ends in 2023 and the South West is already warming up. Will it still be fair for another Christian from the South West to occupy Aso Rock come 2023?
“Our message to all political parties is loud and clear. Yoruba Muslims will not support any non-Muslim presidential candidate put forward by any political party. To our brothers in the North, we call for solidarity for a Yoruba Muslim presidential candidate from any political party,” he said.
Senate confirms Abdulrasheed Bawa as EFCC chairman
The 40-year-old Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist was screened by the lawmakers at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly today February 24.
Last week, President Buhari nominated Bawa and asked the Senate to confirm him as the substantive Chairman of the Commission.
He assumes office as the first core EFCC official and non-police officer to head the agency.
Bawa also became the youngest person ever to serve as chairman of the anti-corruption agency.
10 dead, 47 injured in fresh Boko Haram attack on Maiduguri
Ten persons have been confirmed dead and 47 others injured in the fresh attack carried out by Boko Haram members in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital on Tuesday night, February 23.
The insurgents stormed the city launching 10 rockets. Among the dead were nine boys playing football at Gwange, when rockets landed in the area.
The state governor, Babagana Zulum, last night visited the hospital where the dead and the injured were evacuated shortly after the incident occurred. He was told that 10 people were killed in the explosions that rocked the city and 47 others injured.
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