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Nigeria must hinge our democracy, nationhood on strong institutions, equity, justice, fairness- Oyetola




Says all hands must be on deck for Nigeria to reclaim its position as ‘Giant of Africa’ 

Governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola says the absence of strong institutions, equity, justice, political will and fairness was responsible for Nigeria’s wobbled nationhood and democracy.
He stressed that the country must find the courage to institute these virtues and values in its polity to build a strong, virile and prosperous nation desired by the citizens. 
Oyetola said the time has come for the leaders to begin to look through the rear-view mirror to correct the anomalies in the journey so far by developing the political will to birth a nation and a democracy that will truly make Nigeria to occupy her place as the Giant of Africa. 

He said this at the June 12 Democracy Day Public Lecture organised by the Osun Civil Society Coalition and the State Government which held at Aurora Event Centre, Osogbo. 

According to him, the theme of the lecture, “The Making of a Nation and Nigerian Democracy in Progress: Issues and Prospects” remains an attempt at examining the nation’s missteps and milestones on the road to democracy and nation building, with a view to setting bricks for building the nation and democracy that the forebears envisioned. 

Oyetola who described June 12 as a sad reminder of the nation’s missed opportunities on its journey to nationhood, democracy and good governance, said “the celebration of the day should provide the citizens with the opportunity to rethink and retool their nationhood and democracy to avoid a repeat of those sad days.” 

He said the acknowledgment of June 12 as Democracy Day remains a tribute to courage, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the recognition. 

Speaking further, Oyetola said: “With dozens of natural resources in commercial quantities buried in our soil, thousands of human resources in the nation, a burgeoning population of youth who constitute over 60 percent of the nation, the profile of the nation as the most populous black nation in the world, there is no doubt that Nigeria has all it takes to lead the world if it gets governance and leadership issues right. 

“Nationhood and democracy rest on strong institutions, equity, justice, political will and fairness. The absence of these kernels was responsible for our wobbled nationhood and democracy.We shall have to find the courage to institute them in our polity to build a strong, virile and prosperous nation that we desire. 
“The road to nationhood and democracy is in looking through the rear-view mirror to correct the anomalies in our journey so far, including those that made the fate of June 12 to befall us, and having the political will to birth a nation and a democracy that will truly make us to occupy our place as the Giant of Africa. 
“But the time has come for us to rely on our shared values and the things that bind us together to build a nation and a democracy that will deliver values and the good life to our people and make us take our place in the comity of nations. 

“June 12 is a sad reminder of our missed opportunities on our journey to nationhood, democracy and good governance as a nation. It should ever provide us with the opportunity to rethink and retool our nationhood and democracy to avoid a repeat of those sad days. 
“The truth must be told that these centrifugal issues dangling menacingly on the head of our nationhood and democracy are artificial at best. They are creations of the political elite. The lessons of June 12 where Nigerians voted without regard to ethnic or religious bias are enough evidence that Nigerians want to stay together.” 

Oyetola who identified the grey areas in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), as a clog in the wheel of progress and fortune of the nation said, “the Constitution does not respect and fairly address our diversity and our warped federalism which does not deliver equity, fairness and justice to the people. 
“Nigerians want to dialogue to correct the anomalies in the system and to determine the essence of their corporate existence. It is heartening that the National Assembly is currently carrying out Constitutional Amendment discussions across the nation to correct these anomalies. 

“We shall need to continue to take advantage of every opportunity to continue to interrogate the essence of our nationhood and democracy to make them strong and resilient,” he added. 
In their separate lectures, the Pioneer President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hassan Sunmonu; Former Nigeria Ambassador to Philippines, Dr. Yemi Faronbi and a lecturer in Obafemi Awolowo University, Prof. Tunji Ogunyemi advocated good governance as panacea to national socioeconomic and political development. 
According to them, democratic dividends can only be best enjoyed under a good government that listens to people’s yearning and critical stakeholders.



Osun sensitises herdsmen on anti-open grazing law




Osun Gov. Gboyega Oyetola

Osun State government on Wednesday in Osogbo began the sensitisation of herdsmen on the recently-passed anti-open grazing law.

Newsmen report that the sensitisation, which had heads of herders groups in the state in attendance, was organised by the State’s Civic Centre.

Newsmen also report that the House of Assembly passed the Bill entitled: “Bill to Regulate Animal Grazing and Establishment of Cattle Ranches and other Related Matters’’ on Aug. 12.

Gov. Gboyega Oyetola, thereafter, signed the bill into law on Sept. 15.

Speaking at the sensitisation, Special Adviser to Gov. Oyetola on Civic Engagement, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, said the programme was put in place to sensitise herdsmen on the content of the law.

Oyintiloye said the programme was to let the herdsmen understand that the law was not meant to witch-hunt or segregate them in the state.

“There is need for us to sensitise and enlighten them on the content of the law so that they will not run afoul of it and also to tell them that the law is not to witch-hunt them in form of segregation.

“The programme is also to educate them to operate within the ambit of the law and not to claim ignorance of it,’’ he said.

Oyintiloye, who appreciated the herdsmen on the peaceful coexistence with their host communities, appealed to them to try as much as possible to operate within the law.

He said Gov. Oyetola would continue to provide enabling environment for them to operate and transact their businesses.

In her marks, Mrs Abiodun Ige, Special Adviser to the governor on Security, said farmers and herdsmen should continue to live peacefully in the state.

Ige said that the law would take its course on anyone that ran afoul of it.

“What concerns security in this matter is that anybody that runs afoul of the law, the law will take its course.

“If farmers and herdsmen have been working together peacefully without a problem, we will still advise they work together without any problem.

“But we do not want any breakdown of law and order. If there is anything like that, the law will take its course.

“We have advised that if there is any issue, they should report promptly to security agencies,’’ she said.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Dayo Adewole, said that the law was not to fight herdsmen but to sustain the peaceful coexistence between them and farmers.

In his remarks, Mr Mudashiru Toogun, Chairman, Committee on Peaceful Coexistence between herders and farmers, also urged herdsmen to continue to coexist with the host communities peacefully.

Toogun said that with the law in place, anyone caught practising open grazing would face the law.

In his remarks, the Seriki Fulani in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Babatunde, said herders believed that the law would be of benefit to them.

Babatunde said that herders would educate one another on the law, adding that they would also continue to live peacefully with their host communities.

He appreciated the governor for providing a peaceful environment for herdsmen to operate in the state.

Source: (NAN)

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AGF: Nigerian government may file fresh charges against Sunday Igboho




AGF Abubakar Malami

The Federal Government may file a fresh action against Yoruba secessionist agitator, Sunday Adeyemo (also know as Sunday Igboho), following the judgment of Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion in damages in his favour.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York that the federal government had the right to appeal the Judgement or file a fresh charge.

The judge, Ladiran Akintola, had awarded the money as “an exemplary and aggravated damages” against the AGF and the State Security Service (SSS), over the invasion of Adeyemo’s home in Ibadan on July 1.

However, Mr Malami said the position of the federal government on the judgment was about “law and jurisdiction”.

“As far as this matter is concerned, which court is it that has the jurisdiction to determine it? And as you rightly know, obedient to court orders and court judgments,” he said.

“But then you have to understand within the context of such obedience that there are associated rights and interests that are vested in the Federal Government.

“Inclusive of rights of appealing against a judgment, inclusive of the right to file an application for setting aside the purported judgment and order.

“And indeed, inclusive of the possibility of filling a fresh action if indeed the jurisdiction of the court that was alleged to have indeed handed that judgment is an issue.

“So, we are doing the needful in terms of looking at the law as it exists and then working within the context of the law in ensuring that justice is done as far as the contending issues between the parties are concerned,’’ the minister explained.

Mr Igboho’s counsel, Yomi Alliyu, SAN, had filed a N500 billion fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the AGF, SSS and the Director of the SSS in Oyo State over the invasion of his home in Ibadan on July 1.

Mr Alliyu claimed that his client’s house and cars were damaged, while two occupants of the house were killed by SSS operatives during the incident.

However, counsel to AGF, Abdullah Abubakar, had argued that there was no evidence before the court that the blood seen in the video clip tendered by Mr Alliyu belonged to a human being.

Mr Abubakar also said there was nothing in the video clip that showed that the house that was invaded belonged to Igboho or linked the AGF with the invasion.

Mr Adeyemo is still being held in the Republic of Benin where he was arrested some weeks ago while trying to flee to Germany.

Source: (NAN)

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2023: Tinubu ‘ll floor Jonathan if…





A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Musa Sarkin Adar, has suggested what would happen to Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the party if former President Goodluck Jonathan decides to join APC.

Adar, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Sokoto State, said Jonathan would give Tinubu a good run for the APC presidential ticket if he joins the party.

The APC chieftain, however, pointed out that Tinubu stood a better chance to clinch the APC ticket because the party has the majority in the Southwest.

Speaking on Arise Television, Adar said the region where APC holds the majority stands a better chance of clinching the presidential ticket.

He said: “The odds first favour the southwest which had populated the APC because five states are under the leadership of the APC. The South-South has Cross River state and the South East has Imo and Ebonyi.

“Any zone wishing to clinch the presidential ticket should go back to the drawing line and restrategize.

“You don’t expect when the majority of you are in the other party and you are thinking of getting the presidential candidacy of the political party simply because you are making agitations.

“My take is that Tinubu still remains the frontline presidential aspirant of the APC from the South generally.

“Then, of course if President Jonathan joins the APC, he is going to give Tinubu a good fight.”

There are speculations that Jonathan may defect to the APC and possibly clinch the party’s presidential ticket.

Reacting, APC had said the former president would be welcomed into its fold if he decides to defect.

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