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Fragile economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic upended by war in Ukraine Amid rising inflationary pressures, UN revises global growth estimates downwards for 2022

22 ore 3 min fa

The war in Ukraine has upended the fragile economic recovery from the pandemic, triggering a devastating humanitarian crisis in Europe, increasing food and commodity prices and globally exacerbating inflationary pressures, says the latest United Nations forecast released today.

According to the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) as of mid-2022, the global economy is now projected to grow by only 3.1 per cent in 2022, down from the 4.0 per cent growth forecast released in January 2022. Global inflation is projected to increase to 6.7 per cent in 2022, twice the average of 2.9 per cent during 2010–2020, with sharp rises in food and energy prices.

The downgrades in growth prospects are broad-based, including the world’s largest economies, — the United States, China and the European Union —, and the majority of other developed and developing economies. The growth prospects are weakening particularly in commodity-importing developing economies, driven by higher energy and food prices. The outlook is compounded by worsening food insecurity, especially in Africa.

“The war in Ukraine – in all its dimensions — is setting in motion a crisis that is also devastating global energy markets, disrupting financial systems and exacerbating extreme vulnerabilities for the developing world,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

He added, “We need quick and decisive action to ensure a steady flow of food and energy in open markets, by lifting export restrictions, allocating surpluses and reserves to those who need them, and addressing food price increases to calm market volatility.”

European Union prospects

In addition to the tragic loss of many human lives and the unfolding humanitarian crisis, the war is exacting heavy tolls not only on the economies of the Russian Federation and Ukraine, but also on the neighbouring economies in Central Asia and Europe, including the European Union.

The sharp increase in energy prices represents a large negative terms-of-trade shock for the European Union, which in 2020 imported 57.5 per cent of its total energy consumption. The growth prospects for the European Union economy weakened significantly, with its GDP forecasted to grow by only 2.7 per cent in 2022, instead of the 3.9 per cent projected earlier in January.

As imports from the Russian Federation accounted for almost 25 per cent of Europe’s energy consumption in 2020, a sudden halt in oil and natural gas flows from the Russian Federation would likely further increase energy prices and exacerbate inflationary pressures. EU member states from Eastern Europe and the Baltic region are severely impacted as they are already experiencing inflation rates well above the EU average.

Developing and Least Developed Countries’ prospects
High inflation is reducing the real income of households, particularly in developing countries, where poverty is more prevalent, wage growth remains constrained, and fiscal support to alleviate the impact of higher oil and food prices remains limited.

The surge in food and energy prices are having knock-on effects on the rest of the economy and are posing an additional challenge to an inclusive recovery as it disproportionally affects low-income households that spend a much larger share of their income on food items.

The monetary tightening in the United States is also set to raise borrowing costs and worsen financing gaps in developing countries, including the least developed countries. Tighter external financial conditions will adversely affect growth prospects, especially for the countries with high exposure to global capital markets facing debt distress or risks of debt default. “The developing countries will need to brace for the impact of the aggressive monetary tightening by the Fed and put in place appropriate macroprudential measures to stem sudden outflows and stimulate productive investments,” said Hamid Rashid, Chief of the Global Economic Monitoring Branch in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the lead author of the report.

Climate actions challenged
The war in Ukraine unfolds at a time when global CO2 emissions are at a record high. By driving up energy prices, the conflict will significantly impact global efforts to deal with the climate emergency.

As countries are looking to expand energy supplies amid high oil and gas prices, fossil fuel production is likely to increase in the short term. High prices of nickel and other metals may adversely affect the production of electric vehicles, while rising food prices may limit the use of biofuels.

“However, countries can also address their energy and food security concerns – brought to the fore due to the crisis – by accelerating the adoption of renewables and increasing efficiencies, thus strengthening the fight against climate change,” emphasized Shantanu Mukherjee, UN DESA Director of Economic Policy and Analysis.

Categorie: Nigeria

Time for Shell and its Investors to stop financing Oil and Gas projects is Now!

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 8:54pm

Shell has been active in the Niger Delta since the 1930s, leaving the people of the Niger Delta with little more than sorrow, tears and blood. Shell’s presence alongside other multinational oil companies led to loss of livelihoods, and conflicts that led to loss of lives and property.

Thirty years ago the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), led by Ken Saro-Wiwa declared that Shell was no longer welcome to operate in Ogoniland, arguing that others had grown rich on the oil, while pollution from spills and gas flaring had “led to the complete degradation of the Ogoni environment.” The military government hanged Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni leaders. In 2009, Royal Dutch Shell agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a lawsuit accusing it of helping to arm Nigerian police, and helping the government capture Saro-Wiwa and other protesters..
An independent report by industry watchdog Platform found that “Shell has fuelled armed conflict in Nigeria by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to feuding militant groups” and that forces hired by Shell perpetrated atrocities against local civilians, including unlawful killings and systematic torture”. Shell denied this, just as it has denied accountability to communities ever since it arrived in Nigeria.
This quest for accountability continues, and is now even more important as Shell plans its annual meeting and tries to get its investors to support its plan to tackle climate change.
The most recent official climate science report found that half of the world’s population are highly vulnerable to the climate crisis. The next few days will tell whether Shell and its major investors feel more accountable to these people on the frontlines of climate change, or to the imperative of making money at all costs.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently said that some government and business leaders are “saying one thing and doing another … they are lying. Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.” The world ought to move to renewable clean sources, fast, but only one in eight of Shell’s investment dollars are going into clean energy, while the vast majority go on more gas and oil.

Shell’s climate strategy falls far short of what the world needs in other ways, too. The company has set out no absolute emissions targets for this decade, the next one or the one after that. 2050 targets are meaningless. To justify a huge scale up of gas production, Shell is betting on a vast and improbable scale-up of carbon capture and storage and of nature-based offsets in the next 10 years.

Soon after last year’s AGM a Dutch court found that the same Shell plan which many investors had just voted for “largely amount to rather intangible, undefined and non-binding plans for the long-term”. The court concluded that Shell is endangering people’s right to life and ordered Shell to cut its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030, starting immediately. Shell’s bosses didn’t feel accountable, didn’t change the company’s strategy, and appealed the verdict.

There are signs that investor sentiment on Shell is shifting. The Church of England Pensions Board, which championed Shell’s plan last year, announced that it would step down from leading engagement with Shell as part of the $68 trillion Climate Action 100+ initiative. It is welcome that the Church is withdrawing its moral support. Shell’s AGM on 24th May will show the world where other investors stand. We stand ready to hold them accountable.

Mr.Leo Atakpu is Deputy Executive Director, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Benin City, Nigeria.

Categorie: Nigeria

Edo PDP holds primary election for House of Assembly, Reps

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 6:11pm

Benin City – The Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, conducted primaries to elect candidates for the Edo State House of Assembly and the House of Representatives elections.

The five-man committee for the House of Representatives and Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA) primaries arrived at the PDP Secretariat in Benin City, Edo State, in the early hours of Sunday to conduct the primary election.

The House of Representatives Primaries Committee is headed by Hon. Kolawole Shittu, while the EDHA Primaries Committee is chaired by Comr. Agbateyiniro Weyinmi Isaac.

The process was monitored by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the 18 local government areas of the state.

Speaking to journalists before the commencement of the primaries at the PDP Secretariat in Benin City, Shittu said they are in Edo on the directive of the PDP National Secretariat “to ensure that the primary election is held in a peaceful atmosphere, guaranteeing a free and fair process.”

On his part, Comr. Weyinmi Isaac noted, “We are here in the state to carry out the responsibility given to the Committee by the National Secretariat. We are handy with all the materials needed to conduct these primaries and the materials have been distributed to the place where they are needed to conduct the primaries.”

Also, Edo PDP Chairman, Tony Azegbemi said the party has ensured that delegates and aspirants get a level-playing field, ensuring a free, fair and credible primary election in the state.

As at press time, results from the election were still being awaited.

Categorie: Nigeria

Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 5:05pm

Last week, our organisation organized a 2-day seminar for CSOs and journalists on enhancing advocacy skills on anti-corruption and social inclusive reform issues in Nigeria. It was tagged Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria. It is designed to enhance local civil society organizations’ ability to be positive and responsible change agents in Nigeria.

The Enhancing Anti-corruption and Social Inclusive Reform Initiatives in Nigeria project is designed following the anchor cluster model adopted by Palladium to promote and engage in anti-corruption policy reforms. This project works with us as ‘anchor’ organisation working with 8 cluster member organizations spread across six states and the Federal Capital Territory. The States are Abia, Edo, Delta, Imo, Ondo, Rivers and the FCT, Abuja. ANEEJ is working with the eight cluster members located in these states including the FCT to implement and deliver this project.

The cluster organisations are: 21st Century Community Empowerment for youth and Women Initiative, Abuja; Community Empowerment and Development Initiative (CEDI), Warri, Delta State; Community Heritage Watch for Development Initiative, (KAI) Akure, Ondo State; Christian Fellowship and Care Foundation (CFCF), Owerri, Imo State; Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), Aba, Abia State; Gender and Development Action (GADA) Port-Harcourt, Rivers State; Joint Association of Persons with Disability (JONAPWD) Edo State Chapter; and New Apostolic Church Centre for Development (NCD), Benin City, Edo State.

We consider this project as an important one that seeks to promote and engage in anti-corruption policy reforms at both the national and sub-national levels with an ultimate goal of strengthening governance to deliver development goals to citizens, particularly in addressing poverty and inequality amongst our people.

It will interest you to know that aside the anti-corruption component, the project is also designed to address reforms as well as issues of transparency and accountability in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and six oil and gas producing states – Abia, Delta, Edo, Imo, Rivers and Ondo. This explains why participation and cluster members were drawn from these states.

During the course of implementing this project, interventions will include advocacy for passage/adoption of pending Anti-Corruption Bills, the National Anti-corruption Strategy (NACS II) and the NDDC Act Amendment Bill currently before the national assembly. The project will also support oversight and implementation of the Nigeria’s International anti-corruption/asset recovery commitments; Oil and Gas Producing Areas Development Commissions among others. Our cluster currently advocates for the mainstreaming of anti-corruption issues into the country upcoming 2023 general elections discourse. Some of which are already ongoing as CSOs jointly called on political aspirants to mainstream issues of anti-corruption in the upcoming general elections during the learning event held in Benin City in April. If you watched Good morning show on NTA last Tuesday, I spoke extensively about addressing corruption issues during elections, we must move away from the culture and norms that promote corruption and create incentive for those who are not willing to buy votes, induce voters and rig elections.

As you know, the Proceeds of Crime Bill (POCA) has just been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari which gives a working instrument for the anti-corruption agencies like the EFCC, ICPC and CCB to work collaboratively and solve corruption problems in Nigeria. Since POCA has been passed and accented to, there are others on the queue such as the Whistleblower Protection Bill and the Witness Protection Bill. We should work together to see how our collective effort can result in the passage of these bills and others.

The two-day workshop is specifically designed for CSOs and journalists from the project benefiting States. We want to see how to enhance your advocacy skills on some of the issues highlighted above and others necessary to advance anti-corruption reforms in Nigeria as well as drive transparency and accountability in management of oil revenues accruing to oil producing states.

After the workshop, we want to see change agents from among us here, who, with the right knowledge having been trained can use the acquired knowledge to hold government accountable, advocate and push for reforms and the passage of other relevant pending anti-corruption bills. This is particularly important because the project is hinged on the premix that when CSOs and journalists are trained on anti-corruption and social inclusive reforms issues, and they have the right knowledge and skills to engage government collaboratively based on existing data, they will be able to carry out evidence-based advocacy for reforms. Then, they can also influence the development of policies, passage of laws on anti-corruption and social inclusive reforms issues. This is what we aim to achieve with this two-days training and at the end, develop advocacy plan to support the passage of pending anti-corruption bills and other anti-corruption and social inclusive reform issues.

I urge Nigerians to participate with keen interest in these issues to put us all on track of the current political economic analysis and how we can collaboratively engage relevant stakeholders at both national and state levels to drive key reforms.
_______________
Rev Ugolor is Executive director ANEEJ.

Categorie: Nigeria

Obaseki pledges sustained investment in education, teachers’ welfare

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 4:59pm

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration will sustain the investment in the education sector, ensuring that teachers in the state are adequately equipped to deliver quality education to Edo children.

Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said his government is pursuing far-reaching reforms in the sector to tackle learning poverty knowing the important role education plays in the growth and development of society.

The governor said the state, through the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) programme, has been able to equip teachers with the tools and skills to execute a unique type of learning experience for children in the state.

He said, “For us as a government, our priority is our people because it is the people that create everything else.

“That is why we have prioritized education in Edo and we are spending as much as we can afford on education and health sectors as they affect the people. In the case of education, our focus is on the foundation, because once a child has a sound foundation, that child can build on that foundation subsequently.”

Obaseki added, “The children in our public school can compete with their colleagues anywhere in the world. The Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) is acclaimed as one of the transparent educational projects on the continent and we want to extend it to impact on more children in Edo.

“Our teachers are all having modern devices; they are trained and retrained. They are focused on the child to ensure they impact learning on the children. We will extend this programme to the barracks and other places where we have schools. We don’t see any difference between the child in the barracks and the outside.

“Our goal as a state is to train between 5,000 and 10,000 people in software development, programming and coding, among others before I leave office. We will ensure Edojobs extends these services to more communities,” he assured.

Categorie: Nigeria

Edo govt has no record of alleged Appeal Court attack – SSG

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 4:55pm

The Edo State Government has said it has no record of an attack at the Court of Appeal in Benin City and the alleged kidnap of an unnamed lawyer, noting that the allegations are fabrications by detractors to serve their selfish ends.

In a statement, Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., said the state government or its agencies or officials have no record of the phantom ‘invasion’ of the Court of Appeal in the state.

According to him, “At the weekend, a section of the media reported an alleged invasion of the Court of Appeal in Benin City, stating that court processes were carted away and that an unnamed lawyer was kidnapped.

“Since then, certain parties have sought to suggest that the Edo State Government or its agents played a part in this alleged ‘invasion’.

“The Edo State Government hereby states unequivocally that none of its agencies or officials has a record of this alleged incident, and neither did the government witness, let alone participate in the phantom attack.”

He continued: “In order to prevent this obvious manufactured story from being taken as fact by all concerned, it may be necessary to restate the facts so that discerning members of the public will recognize the very cynical manipulation that is being attempted by malevolent political activists.

“Neither the Edo State Government nor any of its Ministries, Agencies and Departments (MDAs) or officials is a party to the suit regarding the selection of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) delegates pending at the High Court in Benin City and which matter has now proceeded to the Court of Appeal, also in Benin.

“Consequently, there is no basis whatsoever for the allegations that agents of the state were involved in any altercations at the courts that it so seriously reveres and protects.”

Categorie: Nigeria

Serial Burglar Escapes Lynching In Warri, To Be Charged To Court

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 4:51pm

Warri – A middle aged serial Burglar, Kpomoghena yesterday escaped being lynched when luck ran out of him at Egbe Layout,Off Sokoh Estate Road, Effurun.

The thief who was caught wandering in the Layout by a staff of Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), who was on duty distributing electricity bills, was accosted by the BEDC, who thought he was a colleague.

It was gathered that, the BEDC staff who noticed that he was fidgeting while he spoke with him, left him and put a call across to a resident of the Layout informing him that he noticed a stranger lurking around the Layout.

The Mobile Policemen at the entrance of the Layout was quickly alerted and immediately mobilized to an apartment in a four flat storey building where the thief entered.

An eye witness said, after a frantic search, the police and some residents gave up and left.

There was however a twist when the owner of the apartment, simply identified as Nsikan who was with neighbors and still wondering how the thief got access into his flat despite being securely locked before leaving home, went to the kitchen to take water from the fridge that he heard a bang; he then ran to alert others who immediately recalled the MOPOL to the crime scene.

After a more thorough search, the Burglar was apprehended in the kitchen when he wanted to gain entrance into the kitchen through the balcony.

Upon interrogation by the residents who descended on him with sticks and canes, Kpomoghena, an indigene of Edo State , and father of three , who said he lives at Water Resources area of Effurun, confessed that he used a master key and screw driver to open the three doors leading to the flat and pleaded to be left off the hook explaining that, he took to crime because of inability to raise money for his children school fees.

Items recovered from his bag included, keys of various brands of car,which Akpomoghena said could open various cars ,a screw driver, a dried substance suspected to be Indian hemp, a lighter, and a gold plated wristwatch which he confessed he had earlier stolen from a parked Toyota Camry car parked somewhere in the Layout.

But for the timely intervention of Policemen from Ugborikoko Police Station, it would have been a case of jungle justice as some aggrieved residents who swiftly got a tyre, insisted on roasting the thief alive.

Some resident said, Kpomoghena, had severally been arrested at different police Station for various crimes.

He was whisked away to the Ugborikoko Police Station where according to the police, he would be charged to court soon.

Contacted on Friday, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.

Categorie: Nigeria

Bendel Insurance, Edo Queens FC Management Celebrates Governor Obaseki On His Governor Of the Year Award

Dom, 22/05/2022 - 4:40pm

Benin City – The management of Bendel Insurance and Edo Queens Football Clubs have congratulated the governor of Edo state His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki on his recent award as Governor of The Year.

The Governor of the year award was bestowed on Governor Obaseki by the most widely circulated newspaper in the country, Vanguard newspaper, on Friday in an event held at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, amidst celebration by his colleagues, friends, families and associates.

Receiving the award Governor Godwin Obaseki was accompanied by members of the Edo State Arts Council, cladding in cultural attires with compliments of beads.
The Benin Arts and culture team rolled out their drums in celebration of their hardworking Governor.

In the congratulatory message signed by the head of the management team of the state-owned Clubs Mrs Sabina Amiemenoghena Chikere, they described Governor Obaseki as a hardworking leader who knows how to pull resources together efficiently and effectively for the wellbeing of the the the the the the Edo people.

” We congratulate His Excellency on his award. The award is a testament to what the governor has done for Edo in his days in office. When a man’s hard work is appreciated by the people and the world, he is further challenged and encouraged to do more. Governor Obaseki is a goal-getter whose development drive takes advantage of every opportunity to push for excellent results”.

“There is no gainsaying that his works are visible and his actions are audible enough to be seen and heard”.

“On behalf of the Management of both Bendel Insurance Fc and Edo Queens Fc, we want to celebrate our governor and to especially appreciate him for all he has been doing for the clubs, including youths of the state and others from other parts of the country”. She emphasized

“We pray for more life for our Governor and we are confident that more of this kind of awards will come his way as we know him to be a man who does not settle for little achievement”.

Categorie: Nigeria

That DAILY TRUST Untrustworthy Editorial about the NNPC

Ven, 20/05/2022 - 10:18am

Our attention has been drawn to the Editorial of Sunday 15 March 2022 of a supposed national newspaper; The Daily Trust entitled; ‘NNPC must come clean with Nigerians.’ The Editorial should have ordinarily been ignored without honouring the sinking newspaper house with a response but for the obvious distortions, deliberate falsehood, half-truths and a crass display of ignorance uncannily served unsuspecting members of the public with a main mission of hatchet delivery on behalf of their distressed paymasters as this is not their first tirade against the NNPC.

To state the least, the editorial board team, obviously drunk with their uncontrolled consumption of assorted alcoholic beverages sat down to concoct figments of their imagination in misrepresenting the NNPC that has done its utmost best to stave off product scarcity in the country in the past seven years of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as attested to by the vexatious editorial in its half-truth that “Until the return of this acute scarcity of virtually all petroleum products, from petrol and diesel to jet fuel, the Direct Sales Direct Purchase scheme of the government had kept the domestic supply of these products largely stable since it commenced in May 2017.” The question in the lips of most Nigerians today is; why go for the company’s jugular in the court of public opinion when the glitch in PMS supply has been overcome nationwide by the NNPC?

Since early February when the NNPC received adulterated supply from some unscrupulous marketers that were bent on giving the agency a bad name through their unpatriotic conduct, the NNPC management had risen to the situation, assured Nigerians of its avowed commitment to ensure round the clock supply of products across the country as the top management and staff left nothing to chance in dealing with the situation as products are currently available across the country today at the regulated market price.

As a responsible public institution, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, first apologized to Nigerians over the importation of the off-spec PMS. The group managing director of NNPC Ltd, Mele Kyari, himself tendered the apology to Nigerians when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Downstream and was widely publicized, he then assured that “the situation was completely unavoidable as the problem was not envisaged,” but however, assured that the distribution of petrol would normalize in the weeks ahead, a promise already kept.
The Editorial board members of DAILY TRUST instead of applauding the NNPC top brass and its various subsidiaries for their steadfastness and patriotism in surmounting the challenge, as could be compared to the nightmarish supply of products by previous administrations led by The DAILY TRUST paymasters, went ahead, like demented watchdogs that they are to ask a rather outlandish but amusing question; “So, why have the queues returned? The Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has provided Nigerians with string of excuses..” Nigerians can’t be fooled by this set of pepper soup journalists whose pastime is to bring down individuals and institutions in their wild goose chase for “egunje” .
For the avoidance of doubts and to set the records straight, attempts to restructure the corporation in the past failed woefully. But with the present leadership in government and the NNPC, strident efforts have been made to reposition the NNPC for the Nigeria of tomorrow. With the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) the corporation would become a commercialized national oil company that entrenches transparency, accountability and performance excellence otherwise known as TAPE in NNPC. TAPE is widely promoted as a strategic roadmap for NNPC to attain efficiency and global competitiveness and profitability. It is also envisaged to transform NNPC and enhance its potential and capacity to compete with other National Oil Companies around the world.

This strategy is obviously designed by the Mele Kyari’s leadership to make the NNPC more operationally transparent, accountable, and benchmark NNPC against established global best practices and establish the right cost optimization structure among other derivatives.

The ill-educated DAILY TRUST editors find it hard to grapple with the fact the national oil company has been transformed into a more competitive and commercial entity, which would continue to deliver value and dividends to its shareholders as events unfold.

In August last year, President Muhammadu Buhari who doubles as Minister of Petroleum Resources, announced a Profit after Tax of N287 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in 2020. The announcement was in further fulfillment of his promise to publicly announce the financial position of the NNPC. The net profit was the first in the 44-year history of the establishment. The DAILY trust can check its records, if it has any.
Lastly, the warped newspaper editorial writers recommended that the various positions in the NNPC, right from that of the Group Managing Director to the Graduate trainee should be thrown open for competitiveness, perhaps that’s what they really want NNPC to come clean with Nigerians and it is well taken. We hope that when that happens, all DAILY TRUST Editors will automatically become GMDs, DGMs, MDs of the NNPC. What a pipe dream?

Mr. Aizenohi Ohiro is a Public Affairs Analyst based in Benin City, Edo State.

Categorie: Nigeria

Woman Saved From Gallows in Edo

Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:49pm

a white Thorsday made by God– Barr Olayiwola Afolabi based in Benin, Edo State led a team of journalists to Oko Prisons in the city of Benin- He was not on a prison visit to dole out his known provrrbial gifts to the pri
son inmates-

On the contrary, he was at the prison to effect the release of Mrs Enobong Isonguyo who was incarcerated there since 2013 for the suspected murder of her husband Engr Victor Gabriel Isonguyo, a senior director at Nigerian National Petroleum Company in Benin-
An Edo High Court judge, Geraldine Imadegbelo, sentenced her to death by hanging alongside their family psstor Udoka Ukachukwu The trial judge accepted that the prosecutor proved the murder case beyond resonable doubt-

Counsel to Mrs Enobong lsonguyo , Barr Olayiwola Afolabi, was dissatisfied by the verdict of the judge- Therefore , after legai consultatoon with his client, he got her approval to proceed on appeal- Behold, the court of appeal upheld the ruling of the high court in Benin-

Olayiwola Afolabi was not detered by the setback because he was duobly confident he had a good case- Aferall, all the material ingredients of murder alleged against his client had not been fully proven by the prosecutor- Given this fact , it is trite law for the judge to err in freeing her than err in coñdenming her to death that ìs irreversibĺe-

Furthrrmore, Olayiwola Afolabi reasoned that total empirical evidence is very critical in determining whether a murder suspect is guilty of the offence- Judges shouid not base their verdicts on absurd fiction , speculation and volatile imagination as it is now the case-According to him, such issues should not arise in law- They are unknown in Nigerian crimminal code-What is more?

Olayiwola Afolabi discovered that a major pillar of the prosecutor’s case was legally puerile- His evidence linking Mrs Enobong Isonguyo to her husband’s death is the confessional statement of the co-accused Pastor Udoka Ukachukwu – Impliedly, there is no direct evidence associating her with the alleged crime- She was not at the scene of crime neither did the prosecutor provide concrete evidence of her conspiracy in the death of her husband-

Based on all these assured lines of legal thought, Olayiwola Afolabi– after due approval of his client– proceeded to the Supreme Court- In a landmark judgment delivered by Justice Mary Odili in April 2022 she overturned the verdicts of both the lower court and court of appeal that sentenced Mrs Enobong Isonguyo to death- She ordered her to be released without any conditions, noting that the two courts miscarried justice in finding her guilty of murder- And, so, Mrs Enobong Isonguyo was saved from the gallows in strict adherence to the dikta of the crimminal còde while ignoring the whims and caprices of the uninformed, laymen in beer parlours-

It is to effect the release of Mrs Enobong Isonguyo , in accordance with Justice Mary Odili’s directive, that took Olayiwola Afolabi to Oko Prisons, Benin on May 5, 2022 accompanied by his legal team and a corpus of journalists -After he emerged from the prison with Mrs Enobong Isonguyo, an elated Olayiwola Afolabi eulogized Justice Mary Odili for her fair, upright and monumental judgment which according to him demonstrates that “the judiciary is the last hope of the common man”-On her part, Mrs Enobong Isonguyo fought back tesrs of freedom- Then, she said– “I thank God and my lawyer for everything- I am now an ambassador of Christ-” As she spoke, a big bibie was positioned under her left armpit-

Her co- accused Pastor Udoka Ukachukwu — founder of Land Of Evidence Church, Benin–escaped from Oko Prisons, Benin during the ENDSARS protesr in 2020 with his death sentence hanging on his head-

The prosecutor in the murder trial in his investigative report tended in court alleged a steaming amorous affairs beteeen Mrs Enobong Isonguyo and Pastor Udoka Ukachukwu resulted in a disputed pregnancy complained about by her husband- Following this, Pastor Udoka Ukachukwu conspired with Mrs Enobong Isonguyo to get her husband out of the way- Thereafter, the pastor killed him while riding one night in the man’s Toyota Corolla car inside which the pastor also burnt him beyond recognition-

Mrs Enobong Isonguyo denied any affairs with the pastor- She explained–“He has been very honest to us; so I don’t know what is happening—–God should intervene because I have never committed any crime before in my life- ”

Olayiwola Afolabi recommends the landmark judgment of Justice Mary Odili to lawyers and law teachers/ students for use in updating their knowledge in legal jurisprudence on the murder case-

Meanwhile, following victory at the Supreme Court in the murder case Olayiwola Afolabi inched his way to achieving the status of SAN- Also, he has shown that diligence , sacrifice, doggedness perseverance and emotive organic solidarity with a client are formidable foundations for building a succesful legal career- Lastly, by saving the life of Mrs Enobong Isonguyo from the gallows the three children of the Isonguyos are rescued from the spectre of orphanhood- Now, atleast, they have a mother to single-parent them- Atall atall na him bad pass.

Categorie: Nigeria

Obaseki hails military for support in tackling insecurity, setting up of operative base in Ehor

Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:39pm

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has lauded the Nigerian Army for setting up a forward operating base in Ehor, Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the state.

Obaseki gave the commendation while addressing the wife of Chief of Army Staff and President, Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs. Salamatu Yahaya, who led other members of the association on a courtesy visit, at the Government House, Benin City.

The governor said the continued partnership between the government, the military and other security agencies in the state has led to improved security across the 18 local councils of the state.

He said, “To me, this visit is special because it offers me the opportunity to officially express our profound gratitude to the Nigerian Army, through you to your husband, for the immense support he has continued to give to us in Edo State.

“He visited us several months ago, and on that visit, we expressed some fears and anxiety that we had about the security situation in Edo and he pledged his unalloyed support.

“We requested for a forward operating base and as soon as he arrived in Abuja, he immediately approved for us to have the base in Ehor, and Edo citizens are testimony to the fact that since he deployed his men, the level of kidnapping dropped significantly.”

Obaseki added, “People can now travel lengths without fear. Please help us express our profound gratitude to him. We will continue to appreciate his kind gesture.”

Hailing the army officers’ wives for the support and encouragement they continue to give to officers, ensuring peace and security in the country, the governor said, “We know the role of the Nigerian Army Officers’ Wives play in the lives of our services men, and also, when we run into a crisis, we call on the army and we know the professionalism at which they respond to our call.

“For us as a government, our priority is our people. It’s our people first because it’s people that create everything first; it’s people that create money, as well as technology, among others. So, without education and healthcare, at the basis, to strengthen your population, nothing else is going to happen.”

He continued: “That is why we have prioritized education in Edo and we are spending as much as we can afford on those two issues that affect the people. In the case of education, our focus is on the foundation, because once you have a sound foundation, that child can build on that foundation subsequently.

“The children in our public schools can compete with their colleagues anywhere in the world. Certainly, we want to extend this to your barracks if you allow us. The Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (EdoBEST) is acclaimed as one of the most transparent educational projects on the continent.

Earlier, Mrs. Salamatu Yahaya, said that they were in Edo to launch a skill acquisition empowerment programme and inaugurate a daycare facility, both in Ekehuan cantonment, Benin City.

Categorie: Nigeria

Edo urges submission of e-copy of documents to ease application for building plans, permits

Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:38pm

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Government has called for electronic submission of processing documents to the Ministry of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development to ease and fast track processing of building plans, permits and other approvals.

Commissioner of Physical Planning, Urban and Regional Development, Isoken Omo, in a statement, said all documents submitted in support of applications for building permits and other approvals from the Ministry must be both hard and electronic copies.

She stated that the soft copies should be submitted in a flash drive.

According to her, “This is in line with the state’s implementation of e-governance in service delivery procedures, which mandates electronic processing of documents.

“The Ministry reiterates that its offices across the state are open for document processing as the Operation Plan Edo (OPE) intensifies and urges adherence to the new guidelines for speedy processing of approvals and permits.”

Categorie: Nigeria

Edo to screen pensioners in Diaspora via Skype from May 23

Gio, 19/05/2022 - 7:03pm

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Government has announced the commencement of revalidation exercise for pensioners resident outside Nigeria.

In a statement, Permanent Secretary/Chairman, Edo State Pensions Bureau, Mrs. Aikefe O. Aigbavboa, said the revalidation exercise for pensioners residing outside Nigeria will be conducted virtually, via Skype.

She said, “Further to the earlier announcement of the ongoing ‘I Am Alive’ Revalidation Exercise, it is hereby announced that the screening of Edo State pensioners resident outside Nigeria has been scheduled to hold via Skype from Monday, 23rd to Friday, 27th May, 2022 between the hours of 9am and 4pm Nigerian time daily.”

According to her, the pensioners “are kindly requested to formally apply for the screening stating their full name, country of residence, telephone number and Skype ID. The letter should be addressed to the Managing Director, ICT Agency and sent via email to: bvsonline.state@edostate.gov.ng.”

“During the Skype screening, pensioners will be required to show their biometric slip and identity cards. For the avoidance of doubt, screening via Skype is strictly for pensioners outside the country,” she added.

Aigbavboa noted that pensioners in Nigeria who could not participate in the just-concluded physical exercise still have the opportunity to be screened from 23rd to 27th May, 2022 at the ICT Agency, John Odigie-Oyegun Academy, GRA, Benin City.

“For further enquiries on the above, pensioners should kindly contact Daniel on 0706 421 4083 (WhatsApp),” she added.

Categorie: Nigeria

Obaseki: Benin River Port’ll enhance economic diversification, boost agric export, others

Gio, 19/05/2022 - 6:59pm

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the development of the Benin River Port will guarantee the diversification of the nation’s economy from oil into the non-oil sector such as agriculture and agro-allied businesses, placing the country on the path to sustainable economic growth.

Obaseki, who disclosed this while briefing journalists in Benin City, said the project will facilitate the export of agricultural produce thereby boosting export earnings and stimulating economic growth and development.

He said the port, upon completion, will decongest traffic in Lagos port and facilitate the distribution of goods produced in Edo to other parts of the country.

The governor, who condemned the country’s over dependence on oil, urged for increased investment in agriculture to achieve food security, create jobs and improve the livelihoods of citizens.

He said, “The reason why we are building the Benin River Port is because of its huge economic benefits to Edo and Nigeria. The port will become the closest port to the heart of the country, so that we will be able to act as a sponge to get whatever we are producing here across other parts of the country.”

Noting that his government is investing in palm oil production to drive its economy, Obaseki added, “We cannot continue to depend on crude oil. Our over-reliance on oil has not increased our global competitiveness. We must intensify efforts to diversify the economy away from oil.

“Last week, Indonesia and Malaysia banned the export of oil palm. Specifically, for us in Edo, agriculture is key because food production is our priority. First, let’s feed ourselves and the extra we have, we will use it to trade.”

“For palm oil, by the time we finish with the ground treatment and the allocation in Ovia Local Government Areas of the state, we will have maxed out as a state. At that point, we would have about 200,000 hectares under cultivation,” he noted.

Categorie: Nigeria

Firm Launches Agric Platform to Improve Agric Value Chain

Gio, 19/05/2022 - 3:07pm

In a bid to cover the entire agriculture value chain and support farmers in the country, Oxford Green Farms Group (a new business conglomerate and an agro-allied industry in Africa) has launched an innovative platform known as AgroLyfe recently in Lagos.

The platform which leverages farming and real estate will afford farmers and subscribers the opportunity to create consistent income-earning opportunities as well as generate stable and reliable rental income through farmland acquisition.

Subscribers on the platform can purchase farmlands for as low as ₦100,000 to ₦2,000,000, and earn rental income on it every three months, stressing that it has immediately flagged off with four farm locations, including Ijaka in Aiyetoro, Ogun State, Itele in Ijebu, Ogun State, Imala Town, Oke-Ogun, and Ibadan, Oyo State. While plans are underway to add 20 more locations to the scheme within the next 30-60 days.

Speaking on the what AgroLyfe stands to offer, the CEO, Oxford Green Farms Group, Dr. Goodluck Olatunde Precious, said, “At Oxford Green Farms Group, we want to support the Federal Government’s drive towards self-sustainability in food production. Therefore, we are working towards acquiring 10 million acres of farmland and onboarding 10,000 farmers on our platform within the next five years.

Dr. Goodluck Olatunde – Precious, CEO, The Oxford Green Farms Group

We would give farmers we are onboarding access to grants and off-takers for their farming to boost capacity and output. We believe this would add up to a 20% boost to Nigeria’s overall food production capacity.”

To this end, our research team has been relentless in designing an innovative product that is market-fit, appeals to everyone, and creates consistent income-earning opportunities for everyone interested. This is what birthed the product we are launching today – AgroLyfe. “AgroLyfe is that child delivered when you marry Agriculture with Real Estate – it is a product that leverages farming and real estate to generate stable and reliable rental income for customers through farmland acquisition. Think of it like this: Buy land, rent out to farmers for farming, and earn rental on these farms at short intervals. Smart, right? That is exactly what AgroLyfe is.”

Emphasizing, he said: “With AgroLyfe, you can purchase farmlands from as low as ₦100,000 to ₦2,000,000, and earn rentals on it every three months. We immediately flag off with four farm locations, including Ijaka in Aiyetoro, Ogun state, Itele in Ijebu, Ogun state, Imala Town, Oke-Ogun, and Ibadan, Oyo state. And we are adding 20 more locations to this scheme within the next 30-60 days. There is also a flip side of this new product that we will be announcing soon, the Farmers’ Cooperative Society. We are setting up a Cooperative Society for farmers across the 36 states of Nigeria, through which we can easily plug them into our Agro-Allied business. Our mission is to cover the entire agriculture value Chain – from farming to harvesting, processing, storage, transportation, and up to the end-users. In this case, this would also include exporting agro products. The goal is to acquire up to 4 million hectares of arable land across the 36 states of Nigeria and beyond while having more than 10,000 active farmers on this platform. I’d leave your imagination to what is possible with that, Dr. Olatunde-Precious concluded.

Categorie: Nigeria

Delegate List: Benin High Court Restrains PDP, Aziegbemi

Mer, 18/05/2022 - 10:00pm

A Benin High Court yesterday restrained the Edo Peoples Democratic Party from excluding some names of delegates ahead of the party’s on coming National Convention, thereby putting a halt to the mellow-drama surrounding the issue in the past weeks.
The court also ruled that the delegates, haven been duly elected as ad-hoc delegates of the party by virtue of section 84(5) of the Electoral Act 2022, are vested with the statutory right and are legally entitled to vote in the congresses in the PDP National Convention.
The court, presided over by Justice V.O Eboreime in a judgment in the case with suit NoB/408/2022, ruled that the names of those who participated in the primaries for the nomination or selection of the party’s candidate in Edo State into the elections of state House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship, as well as the Presidential convention are eligible to exercise their voting rights.
The claimants in the suit, Victor Enoghama, Charles Egbon, Anthony Ebhodaghe and Odigie Idahosa for themselves and on behalf of all the elected ad-hoc ward delegates of the PDP had through their counsel Ken Mozia (SAN) appreciated the court for their eligibility as delegates against the PDP and it’s state Chairman Dr. Tony Aziegbemi as defendants.
The learned judge held that having considered the evidence led by the claimants through the first claimant the court was satisfied that they have met the requirement of the law.
“In the light of the foregoing, it is my un alloyed conviction that the lone issue I formulated for determination can only judicially and judiciously be answered in the affirmation in favour of the claimant I so hold and enter judgment for claimants….
The judge ruled that the second defendant who entered by himself, his agents, has no statutory or any legal right under the Electoral Act 2022 to interfere with, impede, or prevent the claimants from exercising the voting rights vested in them by section 84(5) of the Electoral Act 2022 to participate and vote for the aspirants of their choice in Edo State for the election to the state House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship as well as the election of the National delegates of the 1st Defendant to the presidential convention to nominate or select the presidential candidate of the 1st Defendants.
The judge also gave an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants, their servants, agents, officers or any person(s) however acting on their behalf from interfering with, impeding or preventing the claimants from exercising the voting right vested in them exercising the voting right vested in them by section 84(5) of the Electoral Act 2022 to participate and vote for aspirants of their choice in Edo State for the election of the State House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship as well as the election of National Delegates of the 1st Defendant to the presidential Convention to nominate or select the presidential candidate of the 1st Defendant.
The judge also granted a perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants etc from according any recognition to any other ad- hoc delegates from the Peoples Democratic Party of Edo State other than the claimants for the purpose of the congresses for the nomination of the 1st Defendant’s candidates in Edo State for the aforementioned elections as well as the election of National Delegates of the 1st Defendant to the presidential convention to nominate the presidential candidate of the 1st Defendant.
“I give an order of perpetual injunction compelling the defendants to allow only the claimants as ad – hoc delegates of the PDP, Edo Sate for the purpose of all the congress for the nomination of selection of the 1st Defendants candidates in Edo State for the election to the state House of Assembly, National Assembly, Governorship as well as the election of the National Delegates of the 1st Defendant to the presidential convention to nominate or select the presidential candidate of the 1st Defendant,” the ruling added.

Categorie: Nigeria

Obaseki: Nigeria’s future bleak with oil-dependent economy

Mer, 18/05/2022 - 7:20pm

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has decried the country’s over-dependence on crude oil, restating the need to enhance the nation’s global competitiveness through increased investment in agriculture.

The governor, who described the dependence on oil as unsustainable, noted that with increased investment in agriculture, the country will be able to grow sufficient produce to ensure food security, create jobs and improve the livelihoods of citizens.

Obaseki spoke while addressing members of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), who were on a courtesy visit, at the Government House, Benin City.

Predicting a bleak future with the country’s current overreliance on crude oil, Obaseki said there’s an urgent need to diversify as the nation’s dependence on oil has not been able to enhance the global competitiveness of its economy.

The governor, however, noted that his administration remains committed to economic diversification through agriculture and will sustain programmes and reforms aimed at boosting the sector and ensuring food security.

He said, “As a people and as a country, it is all about economic competitiveness. Whether we like it or not, the current DNA of the Nigerian economy is being forced to change. That means our overreliance on crude oil has not increased our global competitiveness, particularly in the oil trade.

“For us in Edo, we, fortunately, saw this coming and we have prepared ourselves for this transition that we are witnessing. We are in a race against time, just reading the news and seeing what other countries are going through as a result of the Ukrainian war.”

Obaseki continued: “It’s really scary that we cannot continue in this direction. Last week, Indonesia and Malaysia banned the export of oil palm. Specifically for us in Edo, agriculture is key because food production is our priority. First, let’s feed ourselves and the extra we have, we will use it to trade.

“We are glad that we have members of the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria. You can say whatever you want about agriculture, but at the end of the day, it’s about skill and the training of the personnel, which I believe is the most important aspect in agriculture.”

“If we don’t get all of these right, we cannot compete. We need to be able to produce at a competitive rate to be able to sell. So, that is why I want to encourage you to continue what you are doing. For us in Edo, we have a huge opportunity and a unique advantage because you can’t transverse Nigeria without coming to Edo,” the governor added.

Earlier, the Chairman of POFON, Mr. Emmanuel Ibru, who identified the importance of agriculture to the economy, said Edo is one of their major palm oil-producing states in the country as most of their major stakeholders are from Edo.

Commending the governor for his initiatives to boost agriculture development in the state, he noted, “We know that Edo has been making giant strides in various oil palm initiatives. We want to commend you once again.”

Categorie: Nigeria

Obaseki urges on prudent mgt of scarce resources as Bayelsa understudies Edo’s e-procurement system

Mer, 18/05/2022 - 7:03pm

BENIN CITY – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, received members of the Bayelsa State Due Process Bureau who were in the state to understudy Edo’s e-procurement system, with the governor charging states on effective management of resources to improve the lives of the citizens.

Obaseki, while speaking to the delegates at the Government House in Benin City, noted that e-procurement remains key for states with scarce financial resources to deliver on their mandate, ensuring sustainable growth and development.

The governor said Edo State’s procurement process has moved from analog to digital system which introduced a new level of transparency that has continued to address all forms of manipulations and corruption in the procurement process.

He noted, “In view of the scarcity of resources, it is important to appropriately manage the resources available and put them to proper and greater use for the benefit of the people. It’s only an effective and transparent e-procurement process that can make it possible to achieve this.

“E-procurement helps in managing scarce financial resources effectively and it propels development and progress. E-procurement is key, especially for states that don’t have much financial resources. Effectively managing the little resources available helps the developmental efforts.”

Obaseki further stated, “About 12 years ago, we had the privilege of seeking budget support facilities from the World Bank and the emphasis was on the need for a stronger procurement unit. Nobody wants to give you money if they are not sure that you can spend it properly.

“We have one of the oldest e-procurement units in the country. We have moved from the analog era to the technology era in our procurement system in Edo State. We have a system where we procure properly. We have found that technology is the way to go. We now use technology to facilitate our procurement process in the state.

“Technology introduces a different level of transparency that will fight all forms of manipulations because it allows everyone to see the records at the same time, unlike manual process, thereby eliminating all forms of corrupt acts.

“The transparent procurement process has a lot of benefits for the state as it helps in so many ways. When procuring infrastructure and other services, it is important to have a robust system that becomes a culture. It is important because it’s in the best interest of the people, and the best approach to improving the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.”

“IGR is difficult to collect and after collecting it, it becomes obligatory to explain to the people how you spent the money,” the governor added.

The leader of the delegation, Aaron Nicodemus Timiye, who is the Director-General of Bayelsa State Due Process Bureau hailed Edo for establishing a world-class procurement process that has become a template for other states.

He said, “We are here to study the public procurement process, specifically the e-procurement system. We are here to exchange notes and ideas on e-procurement, and possible ways of improving our e-procurement process as Edo State is far ahead of Bayelsa State in terms of e-procurement.”

Categorie: Nigeria

Best Training Contributor: LAPO MfB Bags ITF Award

Mer, 18/05/2022 - 6:37pm

BENIN CITY – LAPO Microfinance Bank, Benin City, has emerged the ITF Best Organization in Training Contribution for year 2021 amongst all other organizations in Edo State.

Presenting the Industrial Training Fund(ITF) Award to LAPO MfB on behalf of the Director General/Chief Executive of the Fund, Sir Joseph Ntung Ari, ksm, on Friday in Benin City, the Acting Area Manager, ITF, Benin Area Office, Mr. Bamidele Michael Oloje said the Award was in recognition of LAPO MfB’s role in promptly meeting its statutory obligation of paying its one percent training contribution to the ITF and the LAPO MfB continuous interest in human capital development.

The ITF Chief Executive, while commending the Financial institution for what he described as “no mean feat”, however , urged the management and Staff of LAPO MfB, Benin City, to keep the flag flying and to do more in the years ahead.

The ITF Benin Area office Manager enumerated the different categories of training programmes that LAPO MfB had proposed and implemented for it’s staff in conjunction with ITF and other HRD institutions and profusely appreciated its genuine efforts in human capital development of staff.

According to him, “this year, ITF has implemented Occupational Safety and Workplace Violence Prevention Workshop for 20 members of your staff. We just concluded the training on Work-life Balance for Optimum Performance for 57 members of your staff.
Also of note is your nomination of staff to attend some of our scheduled programmes”

“We commend you and hope that the mutual cooperation and synergy that exists between you and the ITF would be further strengthened… especially in the area of Record keeping and Management”

Responding, Barr. Faith Ojo, Executive Director, Operations, LAPO MfB, representing Cynthia Ikponmwonsa, Managing Director, LAPO MfB, thanked ITF for the Award, stating that “in LAPO MfB, we have always believed in making the staff better than they came into the organization.”

She noted that it was quite heart-warming and very exciting for LAPO MfB to be appreciated and given an Award by the ITF on account of its commitment to staff training and human capital development.

She, however, emphasised that, over and beyond that, ” We, in the LAPO group believe that regular training and human capital development will make our work better and so,we are irrevocably committed to it. We are glad and excited that we have an award for doing that.
“We see you as our partner and believe that this robust partnership will blossom and result in the implementation of more capacity building training programmes in the years ahead. Once again, thank you for the Award.”

The ceremony climaxed with the presentation of the Distinguished ITF Award while it also afforded both organizations the unique opportunity to rub minds on better ways of collaboration, as there were meaningful comments from management staff of both LAPO MfB and the ITF in that regard.

Also present at the brief but memorable event were management staff of both organizations, including Pastor Mrs Amen Akenbor, Head, Human Resources, LAPO MfB; James- Wisdom Abhulimen, Head, Programmes and Communications, LAPO; Mr Akeem Salimanu, Head of Training, ITF, Mr Ebenezer Adejor Onalu, Head of Finance, ITF and Mrs Obiekwe Maureen, Head of Administration, ITF, Benin Area Office, among several others who joined via zoom.

Categorie: Nigeria

Humanitarian worries over security in Esan land

Mar, 17/05/2022 - 8:00pm

BENIN CITY- A humanitarian, Chief Mrs. Josephine Oboh-Macleod, the Adonor of Emu Kingdom, yesterday, said the recent security threat by Fulani herdsmen in Esan land and by extension in Edo State, may discouraged tourists from visiting the state to savour the beauty of the returned looted Benin artifacts.

She said this in a statement signed and made available to newsmen in Benin City.

Chief Oboh-Macleod said if the indigenous people are not safe in their own land, it would be difficult to guarantee foreigners their safety.

“If indigenous people cannot be protected how can tourist coming to visit the recently returned internationally acclaimed Benin Bronzes and world respected locally produced artworks be protected? The governor must do something urgently.

“We are appealing to the government of Edo state for a solution to plight at hand.

“Moreover, Edo State should be concentrating on how to move the economy of the state forward, not forgetting the potentials of making Edo state the number one tourist state in Nigeria if not in Africa especially now that our stolen ‘Benin bronzes’ have been returned”, she said.

Oboh-Macleod said the people of Ugboha, Ubiaja and other neighbouring communities in Esan land have continued to live in perpetual fears consequent upon the activities of the killer herdsmen who have constantly rain terror on them.

“What’s being done to the people of Esanland in Edo state is inhumane. It’s like genocide.
” Esan people are mainly farmers and the land and the forest means a lot because that’s where we get our livelihood.

“It’s now being occupied by barbaric hoodlums masquerading as purported Fulani herdsmen whom are alleged to be heavily armed always”, she said.

She alleged that the herdsmen are raping women in front of their husbands and children in front of their parents, actively kidnapping asking for ransom but allegedly killing most and harvesting their human organs in a professional way and still collecting ransom because they know that traditionally, they believe in laying to rest their dead ones.

She said this act is becoming rampant hence this call to Save Esan Land.

She also alleged that the security force have turned a blind eye or are inadequate so they urge the governor of Edo state as their elected Chief Security Officer to save their lives and properties because they are now afraid to go out of their houses, with their farms occupied.

According to her “We are now starving and we fear they we come and drive us out of our home soon, a close relative said to me recently.

“The high level of insecurity is unacceptable. With people constantly living in fear and are unable to go about their normal lives.

“We appeal to governor Godwin Obaseki to Save Esan Land, Save the people of Edo state from this hoodlums.
“Our sons and daughters living in other parts of Nigeria and overseas are now unable to visit their beloved ancestral homes for fear of being kidnapped, raped, violated and killed or while still alive vital organs harvested from their bodies.

“Very painfully, the perpetrators still ask for a ransom to release these dead bodies for burial and in most cases, they are never returned even after ransoms are paid so, urgent intervention is needed by the government of Edo state whose duty is to protect lives and properties”, she said.

Categorie: Nigeria