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You Can’t Order Fulani Herdsmen Out Of Ondo —Presidency Responds To Gov. Akeredolu |The Republican News

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu gives Fulani herdsmen 7-day ultimatum to vacate forests

The presidency has reacted to the directive of Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, who gave herders a seven-day ultimatum to vacate forests in the state.

The governor, who said the decision was taken as a result of rising insecurity in the state, added that “bad elements” have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.

Akeredolu also banned the movement of cattle within cities and highways, as well as night grazing.

But reacting in a statement on Tuesday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said the action could set off a chain of events “which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against”.

He called for restraint on both sides and urged the state government and the leadership of the Fulani communities to continue their dialogue for a “good understanding that will bring to an urgent end, the nightmarish security challenges facing the state”.

Shehu said while the presidency would not condone any form of criminality, governors must not fan the embers of discord.

“The Presidency has been keenly monitoring events occurring in Ondo State and the “orders” by the government of the state, “asking herders to vacate the forests in seven days,” the statement read.

“What is clearly emerging, is a lack of consistency in messaging which in turn leads to various contradictions regarding accuracy and the intent behind the message.

“Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a seasoned lawyer, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and indeed, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has fought crime in his state with passion and commitment, greater sensitivity and compassion for the four years he has run its affairs and, in our view, will be the least expected to unilaterally oust thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.

“If this were to be the case, rights groups will be right in expressing worries that the action could set off a chain of events which the makers of our constitution foresaw and tried to guard against.

“We want to make it clear that kidnapping, banditry and rustling are crimes, no matter the motive or who is involved. But, to define crime from the nameplates, as a number of commentators have erroneously done- which group they belong to, the language they speak, their geographical location or their faith is atavistic and cruel.

“We need to delink terrorism and crimes from ethnicity, geographical origins and religion—to isolate the criminals who use this interchange of arguments to hinder law enforcement efforts as the only way to deal effectively with them.”

Shehu said the president, who swore to defend the constitution has spoken against groups which issued threats that could spark tension in the country.

“The president has spoken against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in asking citizens of Northern origin to leave; he did not spare the group based in Sokoto, ‘Muslim Solidarity Forum,’ which asked the Bishop of Sokoto to leave and is prepared to do all that the law permits to protect citizens all over the country in their choice of where they wished to reside and are treated as equal citizens,” he said.

“The government of Ondo, and all the 35 others across the federation must draw clear lines between the criminals and the law abiding citizens who must equally be saved from the infiltrators. Beyond law and order, the fight against crime is also a fight for human values which are fundamental to our country.” (The Cable)

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Attack On Bishop Kukah, Calculated Avoidance And Diversionary —Wole Soyinka |The Republican News

Prof. Wole Soyinka

By Wole Soyinka

The timing of Bishop Kukah’s Christmas message, and the ensuing offensives could not be more fortuitous, seeing that it comes at a time when a world powerful nation, still reeling from an unprecedented assault on her corporate definition, is now poised to set, at the very least, a symbolic seal on her commitment to the democratic ideal. Let no one be in any doubt that some of the most extreme of the violent forces that recently assaulted her governance citadel are sprung from religious and quasi-religious affirmations, a condition that still enables many of them to be brainwashed into accepting literally, and uncritically, indeed as gospel truth, any pronouncement, however outrageous and improbable, that emerges from their leadership. As usual, we have not lacked, within our own distanced environment, advocates who, even till recently, claimed to have seen in their vision, the triumph of God’s own anointed in the electoral contest of that same United States. They have been specific in their prophesy that what was denied at the ballot box would be restored in the law courts. And to set a divine seal on the matter, were not our streets in a part of this nation actually inundated by religious processions in support of the candidacy of their supposed Messiah, named Donald Trump? They had conferred on him the mantle of upholder of Christian values, endangered by satanic practices in, of all places, a nation designated as – God’s own Country!

Of course, not all such tendencies represent the true face of any professed religion, we need only remark that all religions are plagued by a lunatic fringe. In this nation we have learnt the painful way what such inbred loonies are capable of. Thus, extreme care, and historic awareness, should be taken in imputing any act or pronouncement as an attack on faith. At base, competitors for recognition as first line defenders of the ramparts of religiosity are often motivated by non-religious agenda, which is yet another reason for the exercise of restraint and collective responsibility.

It should not come as a surprise that a section of our Islamic community, not only claims to have found offence in Father Kukah’s New Year address, what is bothersome, even unwholesome, is the embedded threat to storm his ‘Capitol’ and eject him, simply for ‘speaking in tongues’. Any pluralistic society must emphatically declare such a response unacceptable. On a personal note, I have studied the transcript as reported in the media and found nothing in it that denigrates islam but then, I must confess, I am not among the most religion besotted inhabitants of the globe. That, I have been told, disqualifies me from even commenting on the subject and, quite frankly, I wish that were indeed the case. Life would be far less complicated. However, the reverse position does not seem to be adopted by such religionists in a spirit of equity. They do not hesitate to intervene; indeed some consider themselves divinely empowered to intervene, even dictate in secular life.

With the foregoing out of the way, we are compelled to remind ourselves that religion is upheld, and practised, not by robots, not by creatures from outer space, not by abstract precepts, but by human beings, full of quirks, frailties and conceits, filled with their own individual and collective worth, and operate in the here and now of this very earth. That makes religion the business of everyone, especially when it is manipulated to instill fear, discord and separatism in social consciousness. The furore over Bishop Kukay’s statement offers us another instance of that domineering tendency, one whose consequences are guaranteed to spill over into the world of both believers and non-believers, unless checked and firmly contained. In this nation of religious opportunism of the most destructive kind especially, fuelled again and again by failure to learn from past experience, we must at least learn to nip extremist instigations in the bud.

One of the ironic features of religionists is, one is forced to conclude, a need to be offended. It is as if religion cannot exist unless it is nourished with the broth of offence. This may be due to an inbuilt insecurity, a fear that even the ascribed absolutes of faith may be founded on nothing more than idealistic human projections, not grounded in anything durable or immutable. Hence the over prickliness, aggressiveness, sometimes even bullying tendencies and imperious posturing. This leads to finding enemies where there are none. In certain social climates, it degenerates into inventing enmities in order to entrench theocratic power. In its own peculiar way, this is actually a rational proceeding. A perceived threat to a collectivity tends to rally even waverers round the flag. The core mission of faith custodians then becomes presenting religion as being constantly under siege. It all contributes to interpreting even utterances of no hostile intent as “enemy action”.

Was it all that long ago when el Rufai – now governor of Kaduna state – came under blistering attack by the christian community for allegedly insulting the divine persona of Jesus Christ? What did el Rufai say exactly? Nothing new or startling. All he did was deploy a common, everyday figure of speech to describe an overwhelming challenge. Both the circumstances and his exact phrasing elude me right now, but all it amounted to was that even Jesus Christ would find a particular problem intractable. Or perhaps it was simply that even Jesus Christ, were to return to earth,would be subjected to the Nigerian national culture of calumny? One or the other but, it hardly matters. What does matter was that instantly, there were demands from the ever-ready Onward Christian Soldiers – led by CAN leadership – for a withdrawal and apology. To my intense disappointment – as I declared at the time – el Rufai obliged. A huge mistake. Again and again we have warned against succumbing to irrational demands of religionists, yet even the brutal lessons of past surrenders appear to exercise no traction on society’s faculty of cause and effect, especially in that religious propensity for incremental demands. Surrender one inch, they demand a mile!

And how near impossible it is to come to grips with an even more recent and egregious bill of offence that took place over this very last Christmas of the year 2020! The now universal sales pitch of BLACK FRIDAY to lure seasonal shopping addicts to sale bonanzas drew solemn, sanctimonious flak from some religionists from the other side, this time the Islamic. A formal statement was issued, declaring this common placesale tactics an assault on the Islamic religion, since Friday happens to be its day of worship. These are the depths of absurdity into which society is dragged by the coils of spurious purism. Until now, we have yet to learn of Boko Haram, ISWAP, al-Shabbab and other rabid islamists declaring a cessation from killings in honour of Holy Friday. Again, one station that carried the broadcasts tamely withdrew its promotional campaign. Another piece of secular – that is, neutral- territory ignominiously surrendered. The tail continues to wag the dog.

Lest the point be missed or watered down, the escalation of such irrationality is very simply outlined. Christians, not to be outdone, will seize the next opportunity to remind the rest of the world how their own Holy Day, Sunday, must and must not be used in mundane transactions in the future. Next, the Seventh-Day Adventists will demand no-go areas for Saturdays. After that, the Hindus, the Sikhs, plus the thousand and one religions of the world cornering their own Holy Day, then week, then month until we are moved to reconstruct the present calendar entirely, abandon solar principles and rebuild temporal notation around some newly discovered power planet. Did that broadcasting station consider, for a moment, the preposterous dimensions of that sectarian demand before yielding ground to a ridiculous minority of extremists?

Of far weightier substance than any vaporous religiosity however, is the early mentioned civic condition of all occupiers of the same demarcated slab of earth, called nation, and their material and non-material entitlement as guaranteed by their enabling constitution. When any individual or group, however lofty and privileged in its own self-regard, orders a citizen to quit his or her chosen place of habitation, then the very concept of nation being is nullified. This is not the first time this fundamental principle of co-existence has been challenged. Still fresh in one’s mind was the mode of response by the Inspector-General of Police to a similar violation by a northern Youth organizationa few years ago when that group pronounced a deadline for the Igbo to quit their abode throughout the northern territory of Nigeria. It was a dangerous, provocative act, incendiary under any condition. That worthy maintainer of law and order was asked – and I recall this distinctly –why he failed to take action against this incitement to mayhem, such as even inviting the self-acknowledged leaders “for a chat”. That question was of course posed in the context of the starkly contrasting ‘rapid response’ agility by state security agencies, when a similar inciting proclamation was made by an Igbo group ‘expelling’ northern citizens from their territory. His answer was: such action would have security implications. By contrast, the Igbo group was proscribed as a terrorist organization. It should be chastening to any government that its proclamation remains ignored internationally.

What is Father Kukah saying? Simply what observant and concerned citizens of United States society recently remarked. The conduct of the US security forces, when confronted by peaceful protesters during the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement, was vastly different from that of the same security agencies when a predominantly white mob invaded its seat of government, thrashed it and hunted down a people’s elected representatives, rampaging for hours before they were finally “escorted out”. Such a contrast goes to the heart of nation being, and poses a real and urgent danger. That accusation has been voiced by both sides of the colour divide and across class divisions. Again and again, the warning was loudly voiced, it was unheeded. We remain fools if we fail to learn from the costly complacencies of others.

The obvious issue, to summarize, is – double standards. Lack of equitable dealing. Agreement or disagreement with Father Kukah’s position is demonstration of a nation’s badge of maturity, and should be read, quite obviously, as a continuation of that nagging, provocative discourse. One fails to understand why religion is being sprung centre stage as a legitimate extract from that New Year address. There is a deliberate, emotive displacement of a central concern. It is calculated avoidance, diversionary, and thus, nationally unhealthy. Humans should not attempt to play ostrich.

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APC Hurriedly Formed To Grab Power, Says Okorocha As He Announces Formation Of A New Political Movement |RN

Sen. Rochas Okorocha

By  Eke Isaac

The former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, on Monday announced the plan by politicians and other concerned citizens to form a new political movement in Nigeria.

Okorocha, who disclosed this to journalists in Abuja, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) was hurriedly formed in 2014 to take power from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) without taking into consideration the character of individuals championing the course.

He added that progressive-minded politicians perfected the plan in response to current state of the nation.

According to him, Nigerians are not satisfied with the current situation in the country.

Okorocha, who is representing the Imo West Senatorial District in the upper legislative chamber, is a founding member of the APC.

The ex-governor urged “all good politicians” in Nigeria to regroup in a bid to restore public confidence in governance and save the country.

He called for political reengineering and warned that Nigerians cannot be fooled again by mischievous politicians in 2023.

Okorocha said: “The movement for a new Nigeria has begun and we must come together, I mean progressive Nigerians to make the country work.

“The APC was a hurried arrangement. It was hurriedly formed to take power when the then government was drifting. APC would have been better until people who were not members of the party; people who came for congratulatory message hijacked the party and became lords.”

He pointed out that the new coalition is being championed by people with a proven track record of achievement and public spirit, saying it was no longer ideal to allow people without the genuine interest of the country to hijack power in the future.

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South-East, South-South Governors, Politicians Informed Before Establishing Eastern Security Network —IPOB

Eastern Security Network Officers

By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi.

Contrary to the impressing that the South East and South-South Governors and politicians, particularly the National and State Assembly lawmakers, were taken unawares before it established, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB has made public the letter it wrote to them, through its leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, before it established the security outfit.

The Biafra agitating group stated that it informed the Governors and politicians of the two regions on the imperative and implication of not having a security outfit before it came up with ESN when it became clear that they were not ready to protect their people.

Mazi Kanu had in a letter he personally signed, dated May 15, 2020, addressed to the South East and South-South Governors, National and State Assembly lawmakers, and Security agencies in South-East and South-South, informing them about IPOB’s establishment of ESN, to stop alleged siege on South-East and South-South communities, allegedly perpetrated by alien invaders and sponsored killer mercenaries from it said are from the Sahel.

According to the latter which was made available to newsmen through OPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful, the pro-Biafra group said it decided to make the letter public because IPOB has been accused at various times of being reluctant to reach out to the elected political class in the crucial project of liberating Biafra land from the vicious and deadly grip of killer herdsmen, terrorists, religious and territorial expansionism, allegedly tacitly tolerated encouraged by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

IPOB letter reads in part, “This day May 15, 2020, we wish to inform Governors, National and  State Houses of Assembly Members of Southeast and South-South States, Security of Southeast and South-South, your Excellencies and Honorables, that It is no longer news that our communities are under siege from alien invaders and sponsored killer mercenaries from the Sahel.”

Also read: [ICYMI] FG reintegrates 601 repentant Boko Haram terrorists into society after DRR graduation in Gombe
‘It is also on record that IPOB  has been accused at various times of a reluctance to reach out to the elected political class in the crucial project of liberating our land from the vicious and deadly grip of religious and territorial expansionism, tacitly tolerated or encouraged, by the present Nigerian Federal government.

“Even President Muhammadu Buhari had himself recently confirmed this when he pointed to foreign Fulani elements as the core culprits in this murderous campaign.

“It is against this background and at this auspicious moment that the Covid 19 pandemic lockdown is in force; and when the fault lines in the area of our collective security and protection of our vulnerable communities have all the more been in the limelight that we now feel compelled to bury the hatchet and reach out to you to bring your good offices to bear.

“I am therefore by this communication extending hands of fellowship to you while inviting you to advert your minds to your obligations to live up to your conditional duties and responsibilities in initiating laws and policies that will impact positively on our people, especially in regard to the security of lives, property and protection of our borders against those that levy terror and jihadism.

“There is an ongoing and well-planned attack by supremacists against our people and we urge you all to collaborate with IPOB in the onerous task of keeping our communities safe.

“We urge the state legislators, in collaboration with the Governors to as a matter of extreme urgency, pass legislation that will engender coordinated security outfits to tackle these menaces.

“IPOB is committed to assisting in this regard if called upon to do so. You can take umbrage in the fact that you are the ones possessing the constitutional mandate to initiate economic and social policies for our region in a way that will even encourage Biafran entrepreneurs in the diaspora to look homewards.

“Your intervention is much more urgent because of the portent existential political and economic threats to our collective existence. Though not generally known, the Constitution of Nigeria, by implication, allows us, and any cohesive group of aggrieved Nigerians to seek self-determination and autonomy as a people.

“This is specifically provided for under Articles 1 & 20 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, ratified and domesticated by Nigeria in 1983 at CAP A9, Laws of Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“Why then are you not taking the expected and appropriate legislative measures to enforce such clear statutory provisions? Why are our lawmakers not having the appetite to see what the law says? Why are our people suffering as a consequence of this inaction?

“This is the kernel of this communication. It, therefore, requires your urgent and most serious consideration.

“In the interim, we demand answers as to why you saw fit to proscribe IPOB. While pondering, you must know that Biafran youths will remain unhappy with you unless and until you de-proscribe IPOB.

“While awaiting your response, please accept my assurances that for as long as the interest of our people remains paramount in all your official reckonings, the IPOB shall remain amenable to consulting with you, going forward.” (Vanguard News)

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Insecurity: Akeredolu Gives Fulani Herdsmen 7-day Ultimatum To Vacate Forests, Bans Night Grazing |RN

Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu in Amotekun uniform, gives Fulani herdsmen 7-days to vacate forests, bans night grazing

By Abolaji Adebayo

Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has given the Fulani herdsmen and all other herders in the state seven days ultimatum to vacate forest reserves while banning night grazing.

The Governor said the steps were taken in order to address the root cause of kidnapping, in particular, and other nefarious activities detailed and documented in security reports, the press and debriefings from victims of kidnap cases in Ondo State.

He said the unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen.

A statement said the felons have turned the forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom and carrying out other criminal activities.

The statement read in part: “All Forest Reserves in the State are to be vacated by herdsmen within the next 7 days with effect from today, Monday 18th January, 2021.

“Night-grazing is banned with immediate effect because most farm destruction takes place at night.

“Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited.

“Under-aged grazing of cattle is outlawed. Our resolution to guarantee safety of lives and property within the State shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.

“In its usual magnanimity, our administration will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.”

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Lagos Belongs To Benin – Obanikoro’s Grandson Layiwola Ajayi-Bembe Explains |The Republican News

Engr. Layiwola Ajayi-Bembe

– The grandson of the eighth Obanikoro of Lagos has spoken on the issue surrounding the ownership of the state

– Engineer Layiwola Ajayi-Bembe said Lagos truly belongs to the people of Benin

– According to the octogenarian, it was agreed at a meeting in 1903 that Obas in Lagos should not wear crowns

An octogenarian and grandson of the eighth Obanikoro of Lagos, Engineer Layiwola Ajayi-Bembe, has given a deeper insight into the history of Lagos and its relationship with Benin.

Layiwola also said that Obas in Lagos were historically referred to as ‘Elekos’ and did not wear crowns.

Speaking with Legit.ng’s correspondent, Adeoye Adewunmi, in an exclusive telephone interview, Layiwola, who is the chairman of County and City Bricks, disabused the minds of people who believe that Lagos is ‘no man’s land’.

Ajayi-Bembe explained that the decision of the Obas in Lagos not to wear crowns was resolved at a royal meeting held in 1903.

He further explained that Lagos belongs to the Bini (Benin) and not the Yorubas as it is misconstrued, adding that there are still relics of Benin all over Isale Eko.

He said, “Obas (in Lagos) – we don’t call them ‘obas’, we call them ‘eleko’ and they don’t wear crown.

“My grandfather was at a royal meeting in 1903 when there was a dispute of which traditional rulers should wear crowns.

“Ooni of Ife had to come all the way from Ife to Lagos upon the invitation of Governor (John Hawley) Glover.

“And the question they asked him (Ooni) was: ‘Who are the Obas that should wear crowns?’ He mentioned them – Lagos was not part of the list. We don’t wear crowns in Lagos.

“Lagos is Bini, not only because we came from Benin. There are signs and relics of Benin all over Isale Eko.

“Enuowa is in Lagos; Idumota is a Bini name; Iduntafa is Bini name; Idunmagbo is Bini name; Iduganran is Bini name; tell me, what further proof do you want (that the Bini own Lagos)?” (Legit.ng)

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Northern Elders, Kukah, Obi, Others Warn Of Impending Second Civil War |The Republican News

Ahmed, Kukah, Obi


By Tunde Ajaja

A former governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi; the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Kukah and the Northern Elders Forum said on Thursday that Nigeria was repeating its mistakes that led to the civil war which lasted from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970.

Speaking at a webinar, they cautioned that unless something urgent was done, the aftermath of the ongoing injustice, poor governance and leadership failure in the country would be worse than what was experienced during the civil war.

The civil war was fought between the government of Nigeria, headed by the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd.), and the secessionist state of Biafra, led by the late Lt. Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu, from July 6, 1967 to January 15, 1970, during which over one million persons reportedly lost their lives.

The online conference with the theme, ‘The 2nd Never Again Conference: 51 years after the Nigerian-Biafran civil war,’ was hosted by Nzuko Umunna, an Igbo Think Tank, in partnership with Ovation International and Njenje Media, while a prominent economist, Prof Pat Utomi, was the chairman, planning committee.

In his brief remarks, Obi said, “We are still travelling on the same road to the same destination. The road has got more bumpy, worse than it was than when they (Nigerians) travelled that road before. If you compare what is happening today and what happened then, what brought Nigeria to that destination in the past has actually got worse today.

“All of those things that made them to participate in what happened are still very much today and getting worse, starting from incompetent leadership with total lack of capacity and character.

You have a situation where corruption is worse today than it was then. Unemployment is far worse today when you have millions of young people in their productive age not knowing where the next meal would come from and the government is not thinking.”

Obi said the elite had to come together and see how to pull the country out of the current mess or the situation would consume everyone, as he likened the current leadership challenge in the country to using Molue (rickety big yellow buses in Lagos now phased out)  drivers in Formula 1, a motor racing world championship.

He added, “We cannot continue with the way we are today; across the entire country, from local government to the highest level, we have incompetent leadership and they don’t have the capacity to solve the country’s problem. You don’t go to a Formula 1 competition with a Molue driver.

“These vehicles of the Nigerian state are being driven by Molue drivers across the country and that is why you have too many accidents. We need to have the proper people who are competent and can do the job. If you don’t have it, you have a problem.”

Kukah, who was the keynote speaker, explained that Nigeria had yet to learn any lesson from the civil war, adding that the frustration and feeling of injustice by a section of the country after the war were still rife till today despite Gowon’s ‘No victor, no vanquished’ statement.

He stated, “I was told of a late general who said were the civil war to occur again, he would fight on the other side. There is a lot of resentment, anxiety and frustration and the feeling is that we have not learnt any lesson.

“About 51 years after the war, we still hear the kind of agitation that ordinarily with good governance, honesty, commitment, devotion, dedication, focus and right leadership; we should have put behind us. Unfortunately, these anxieties are still with us.”

Similarly, the spokesperson for the NEF, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said at the webinar that unless something dramatic was done, things would get worse. He lamented that the post-civil war elite had substantially killed the country even more than those who launched the country into the “disaster” that ended in 1970.

He added, “What do we need to do? I think we need to recognise the fact that as we speak in 2021, this nation has never been worse than it is, not even during the civil war. I’m sorry for those who felt civil war was the worst disaster; it wasn’t. Today is the worst disaster we are living in.”


According to him, Nigeria has a very poor leadership that doesn’t care about Nigerians. He stated, “You have massive insecurity; no fresh ideas; you have leadership that is more interested in having power than governance.”

Talking about the possibility of another civil war, he stated, “We need to recognise that when we say never again, it can still happen again. Let’s not deceive ourselves, it can happen again. In fact, (something) worse can happen.”

Buhari fuelled injustice in Nigeria –Adebanjo

At the conference, Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said the problem of the country was the constitution, adding that the injustice in the system had been fuelled by the President, whom he said ensured that northerners dominate key institutions in the country at the detriment of other regions.

He stated, “I don’t want this country to break; I have contributed to the unity of this country before Buhari was born. Since 1950s we have been talking of a balanced constitution. In 1979, I spent one year in Maiduguri, campaigning for the UPN so we could have a united country. I was already a lawyer and there was peace in the western region so I didn’t have to go there, but we wanted the country to be together. So, when we talk about a united country, many of them have not contributed half of what some of us have.

“If today, they agree to restructure the country back to true federalism, there will be no agitation from any quarter, because all the problems we are having now are the products of the imposed constitution. Let us face it.”

Also speaking, an elder statesman Yakasai, who commended the organisers of the event, said he had never been a believer in the “destruction” of Nigeria. “This is a democracy in which the views of the majority would always prevail while the minorities have a right to say whatever they want to say,” he added.

Fulani herdsmen massacre people on a daily basis – Nnamdi Kanu

Also speaking, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, said the elite had failed the country, adding that it was ironical to have elite in a society that has no potable water for its people, no good roads, good schools and criminals were busy killing people. “Elite for what and what have they accomplished? Absolutely nothing,” he added. (Punch)

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Bill Gates Is Now The Biggest Farmland Owner In USA |The Republican News

World fourth richest person, Bill Gates

By Ariel Shapiro

Bill Gates, the fourth richest person in the world and a self-described nerd who is known for his early programming skills rather than his love of the outdoors, has been quietly snatching up 242,000 acres of farmland across the U.S. — enough to make him the top private farmland owner in America.

After years of reports that he was purchasing agricultural land in places like Florida and Washington, The Land Report revealed that Gates, who has a net worth of nearly $121 billion according to Forbes, has built up a massive farmland portfolio spanning 18 states. His largest holdings are in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres). Additionally, he has a stake in 25,750 acres of transitional land on the west side of Phoenix, Arizona, which is being developed as a new suburb.

According to The Land Report’s research, the land is held directly and through third-party entities by Cascade Investments, Gates’ personal investment vehicle. Cascade’s other investments include food-safety company Ecolab, used-car retailer Vroom and Canadian National Railway.

While it may be surprising that a tech billionaire would also be the biggest farmland owner in the country, this is not Gates’ only foray into agriculture. In 2008, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $306 million in grants to promote high-yield, sustainable agriculture among smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The foundation has further invested in the development and proliferation of “super crops” resistant to climate change and higher-yield dairy cows. Last year, the organization announced Gates Ag One, a nonprofit to advance those efforts.

It is not entirely clear how Gates’  farmland is being used, or whether any of the land is being set aside for conservation. (Cascade did not return Forbes’ request for comment.) However, there is some indication that the land could be used in a way that aligns with the foundation’s values. Cottonwood Ag Management, a subsidiary of Cascade, is a member of Leading Harvest, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture standards that prioritize protections of crops, soil and water resources.

Gates is not the only billionaire on The Land Report’s list of top private farmland owners. Wonderful Company cofounders Stewart and Lynda Resnick (net worth: $7.1 billion) ranked number three with 190,000 acres. Their farmland produces the goods for their brands including POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos mandarins.

While Gates may be the country’s biggest farmland owner, he by no means is the largest individual landowner. In its list of 100 top American landowners, The Land Report gives the top spot to Liberty Media Chair John Malone, who owns 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. CNN founder Ted Turner ranked number three with 2 million acres of ranch land across eight states. Even Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is investing in land on a large scale, landing the 25th spot with his ownership of 420,000 acres, mainly in west Texas. (Forbes)

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A 20-yr-old Zambian Creates Programing Language That Allows Africans To Write Codes In African Language|RN

Matthews Chishinji

Mathews Chishinji was born in Zambia Copperbelt in the province of Kitwe. He was born in 2000. Mathews Chishinji attended the Chimwemwe Secondary School in Kitwe, and later proceeded to his High School at the Chelston Secondary School, Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. Driven by the passion for computer programming and software development from an early age, Mathews Chishinji of Zambia came up with this project and created a Hawking programming language which now makes it possible for Africans to write in their indigenous languages on computer.

Hawking programming language is a programming language that allows people to write computer code in native African languages. “The reason why I made it is because not every African person is having the Rowling tongue to speak European languages. It’s easier to express an idea with something you understand than something that feels like a leme punishment,” Mathews Chishinji told me.

The first version was in his native Zambian language, Bemba.

He continued saying, “Not to just embrace our community, but to also have a self-reliance of who we are and what we can do; Programming language is like English expressions for that reason, it’s even easier to translate an epic ideological path of educative learners.”

Hawking programming language has almost anything a twenty-first-century generation can need: Artificial intelligence and Machine learning are to be subjected. The language has yearly updates, and a target to reach as many African lands as possible.

I asked him what message he has for the African continent, this is what he told me:

“The message I have for young people mostly teenagers is that as long as they believe, they can archive almost anything, there is no limitation to dreams, I started writing a bit of computer code when I was 14 years old. Ever since I have learned that, with interest and the right tools at the right time, anything is achievable. Young people need to see education as an important tool for their success in life. Without having an educational mind we will have a certain of challenges as Africans. Young minds should also positively use technology, and not in a selfish manner.

With the respect I have for my fellow African programmers out there, I am sure we do have people that are more knowledgeable than me and doing better, so what I can say is, at the moment this is my main focus. At least one thing at a time.”

Features of the Programming Language:

  • Hawking programming is a console and GUI programming language.
  • You can write computer code in Almost every Africans Language.
  • It’s easy to use: The syntax of the Language is well defined and easy to understand.
  • It is user friendly.
  • Has well-planned documentation.
  • It’s a nonprofit language.
  • Has yearly updates for better user development.
  • It’s faster and easy to fix.
  • It’s a light weighing language.

You can check the program here

 https://www.mediafire.com/file/r36curkzpea5nxu/REN_SETUP.exe/file

(Africandream)

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Crimes Against Humanity: British Lawmakers Seek UN Security Council Resolution Against Nigeria |RN

UN Security Council in session

Two ranking members of the House of Lords, the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, want a UN Security Council Resolution against Nigeria for alleged “mounting crimes against humanity”. In a letter dated 21 December 2020 and addressed to British Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Dominic Raab MP, Lord Alton of Liverpool (David Patrick Paul Alton) and Baroness Cox (Caroline Annex Cox) expressed surprise that Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) has yet to show serious interest in the widely reported persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the seeming indifference of the incumbent administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in tackling the problem.

The letter, a copy of which was sighted by News Express, cited several credible reports on the issue, among them “the publication of a new report by Nigerian human rights group Intersociety (14 December), which raises serious concerns about the scale of human rights abuses in Nigeria and the need for an urgent response.”

“Attacks led by Islamist militia continue in northern states and the Middle Belt, with almost-daily  reports  of  killings,  mayhem,  rape  and  sexual  abuse,  abductions  and enslavement, mass forced displacement and land-grabs. According to Intersociety, an estimated 34,400 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2009 – including 17,000 by Boko Haram (and its splinter groups) and 15,500 by Fulani militia,” the letter said. It went on to highlight the following: 

Targeted attacks against Christians 

In  July  2018,  the  Nigerian  House  of  Representatives  declared  killings  in predominantly-Christian villages in Plateau State to be a ‘genocide’ and called on the Government of Nigeria to establish  orphanages in areas affected by violence. Nigeria’s Minister of  Information and  Culture, Alhaji  Lai Mohammed,  has since acknowledged that Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa “have started targeting Christians and Christian villages for a specific reason, which is to trigger a religious war and throw the nation into chaos… they seem to now have a deliberate policy of attacking Christians.” 

According  to  the  Bishop of  Truro’s review,  whose recommendations  HMG  have agreed to implement in full: “Some of the most egregious persecution of Christians has  taken  place  in  Sub-Saharan  Africa…  the  most  widespread  and violent  threat came  from  societal  groups,  including  many  with  a  militant  Islamist  agenda… Reports  consistently  showed  that  in Nigeria,  month  after  month,  on  average hundreds of Christians were being killed for reasons connected with their faith… Those worst affected included Christian women and girls abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.” 

The same concerns were raised in  two  other  recent  reports:  ‘Nigeria:  Unfolding Genocide?’  by  the  APPG  for  International  Freedom  of  Religion  or  Belief;  and ‘Nigeria’s  Silent  Slaughter:  Genocide  in  Nigeria  and  the  Implications  for  the International  Community’,  by  the  International  Committee  on  Nigeria  and  the International Organisation on Peace-building & Social Justice.  

Nigerian Government response  

There are now widespread concerns that some attacks take place with a degree of official complicity and that the Nigerian Government only occasionally investigate or prosecute those responsible for such crimes.  

The ICC’s decade-long preliminary investigation (which concluded on 11 December 2020) found that Nigerian security forces have committed crimes against humanity and  war  crimes,  including:  murder,  rape,  torture,  and  cruel  treatment;  enforced disappearance;  forcible  transfer  of  population;  outrages  upon  personal  dignity; intentionally  directing  attacks  against  the  civilian  population  as  such  and  against individual  civilians  not  taking  direct  part  in  hostilities;  unlawful  imprisonment; conscripting and enlisting children under the age of fifteen years into armed forces and  using  them  to  participate  actively  in  hostilities;  persecution  on  gender  and political grounds; and other inhumane acts.  The ICC confirmed that domestic courts have not responded to atrocities adequately or at all and that the Nigerian Government has failed in its obligations to hold those responsible to account. However, the Office of the Prosecutor faces serious resource constraints to investigating and prosecuting new situations and cases. We therefore urge HMG, as a State Party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, to ensure any investigation is adequately resourced. 

Intersociety  reports  that  1,400  Christians  have  been  killed  by  the  Nigerian  army, police and air force. The Nigerian army’s former Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Danjuma, says the armed forces are “not neutral; they collude” in the “ethnic cleansing in…  riverine states”  by  Fulani  herders. He insists that villagers must defend themselves because “depending on the armed forces” will result in them dying “one by one. The ethnic cleansing must stop”.  

US Government response  

We commend the decision by the US State Department to designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern because of FoRB violations and its recognition of escalating “religious-tinged violence”.  

During a special briefing on 8 December, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious  Freedom  Sam  Brownback  said:  “The  world  has  great  concern  about

what’s  taking  place  in  Nigeria  at  this  time,  and  a  number  of  terrorist  groups  are organizing  and  pushing  into  the  country. We’re  seeing  a  lot  of  religious-tinged violence  taking  place  in  that  country  and  indeed  in  West  Africa.   It’s  an  area  of growing  concern  about  what’s  happening,  in  particular  the  tension  that’s  taking place there between religious groups.  And it’s often the religious affiliation is used to try to recruit and inspire violent acts.” 

The lack of comparable response by the UK is both stark and alarming. If HMG continue to ignore or downplay the strong religious factor fuelling the conflict, as identified  by  the  US  State  Department,  resources  will  be  wasted  on  the  implementation of solutions based on a premise that has little-to-no impact on the violence. 

UK Government response 

Over £2 billion of UK bilateral aid was given to Nigeria between 2011 and 2018, an equivalent of £800,000 every day. However, we share growing concerns over how the funds are spent; and how it could be better spent – especially in relation to the protection of those most at risk of attack and the need to bring perpetrators to justice. The UK is also one of the largest donors to the World Food Programme’s emergency operation  in  north-east  Nigeria,  but  it  does  not  currently  provide  humanitarian assistance  in  the  middle  belt  states,  despite  this  being  one  of  the  worst-affected regions.  For  the  UK  merely  to  “emphasise  the  importance  of  mediation  and  inter-faith dialogue” trivialises the scale of persecution of Christians. It is too simplistic for the UK  Government  to  label  atrocities  committed  by  Fulani  militia  as  driven  by desertification, climate change or competition for resources. Protracted attempts to address these (albeit important) longer-term factors will not stop the current rate of killings.  

Tabling their demand, Lord Alton of Liverpool and Baroness Cox wrote toward the end of the letter: “We  therefore  urge  you  to  consider  urgently  how  you  can  shine  a  light  on  these mounting crimes against humanity, undoubtedly predicated by a hatred of people who refuse to renounce their religious beliefs. We would also ask you to use your seat at  the  UN  Security  Council  to prioritise  these  concerns,  to  seek  a  resolution which significantly enhances the security given to communities at risk of attack, and for signatories of the 1948 Genocide Convention – including the UK – to fulfil their obligations to prevent and protect. We would be happy to provide draft wording for such a resolution as we have been looking into the different options available.”   (News Express)

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