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Tinubu urges states to prioritise grassroots development

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Last Updated on May 30, 2024 by Fellow Press

President Bola Tinubu has appealed to state governments to prioritise the needs of local communities by ensuring accountability and effectiveness in the administration of local governments.

The President made this known at a meeting with the leadership of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We are running a constitutional democracy. I will appeal to you to summon the governors. I am doing my very best to enhance the revenue base of the country.

“They must equally be sympathetic, and they must urgently consider the needs of the local people. People who reside in the local communities. That is where they work, farm, and live.

“If the local governments are not effective in delivering services; as leaders, we must not hang on to the numbers. We have 774 local government areas, but are they truly effective? Do they solve problems for Nigerians?

“Do they coordinate development programming with the state and federal governments? Who is being held accountable for the performance of the 774 local governments? Maybe we should look at recalibrating.

“What was good four years ago may not be good today. When we want the votes, we go to the locals; when we get the votes, we move to and focus on Abuja,” the President said.

Highlighting the significance of education in nation building, the President described the situation of out-of-school children in parts of Nigeria as unacceptable.

Tinubu said that education is a tool against poverty and social mobility, adding that education should be used to serve the people and improve their conditions.

He said that educational system is the backbone of the economic development of the country, noting that the administration will collaborate with stakeholders to curb out of school challenge.

“We are still building Nigeria, and I am glad that you have emphasized the need for development. The infrastructure decay is unacceptable, and the level of poverty in the north is unacceptable. We must eliminate the source of these trends,” he said.

On security, Tinubu said: “Everybody wants to be secure, and we need to invest more in technology. We will do it, I promise you. We will put our heart and soul into ensuring that Nigeria is secure and its citizens are protected.

“The AKK project, the dredging of the River Niger, and improving port access and infrastructure nationwide, in order to shorten travel time, will make us more prosperous as a nation. We have to fight insecurity so that people can make a decent living anywhere they live.”

The President also addressed economic development and livestock management, stating: “Animal husbandry has been a huge problem for Nigeria. Dairy farms can grow our economy significantly.

“Talk to the governors and tell them to make more land available. Talk to herders to collaborate with the states. The lands are with the states.

“We are ready to put funds in place to help the herders. We can do it, and we will be able to do it. If the Brazilians and the Dutch are doing it, we can also do it,” the President said.

The President also used the occasion to appeal for national unity and continued support for his government as it solves decades-long challenges confronting the populace.

“As long as we are together, and we have to be together, there is strength in our diversity. Our strength and opportunity are built into our population.

“I thank the cabinet members for their efforts, but I will relieve any of them of their duties anytime I feel that they are failing Nigerians,” the President affirmed.

The President directed the establishment of a committee to follow up on the issues raised at the meeting and assigned the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume, to lead the follow-up efforts.

“We must tick the boxes on all that we must quickly do,” Tinubu said.

The leader of the delegation and Chairman, Board of Trustees of ACF, Barrister Bashir Dalhatu, congratulated Tinubu on his first year in office and expressed the Forum’s appreciation for his achievements and service to the country.

‘’Your Excellency may wish to recall the invitation extended to you, which you graciously honoured and which led to a robust interactive conference at the Arewa House on the 19th of October, 2022.

‘’We make bold to say that Your Excellency’s vigorous, firm, and credible commitments and assurances to Northerners, made at that meeting and during the course of your election campaign, proved to be a game-changer.

“Your tireless support for and collaboration with Northerners that helped many to win elections into various positions, including that of the presidency in the past, has consolidated the love and trust in the hearts of Northerners for you, as confirmed by the pattern of voting in the last presidential election,’’ Dalhatu said.

The ACF BOT Chairman further highlighted several achievements within the President’s first year in office, including the prioritisation of funding for agriculture and education, as well as the maintenance of good relations with Nigeria’s neighbours.

The ACF applauded the President for the Sokoto-Badagry Highway and the Trans-Saharan highway and his implemented measures to fast-track the completion of the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

‘’With these developments, we feel greatly motivated and even more confident that Your Excellency will look upon the North with even greater sympathy and strive harder to alleviate the dire economic and social pains in Northern Nigeria,” the leader of the delegation said.

Entertainment

Nollywood actress, Stella Ikwuegbu, dies

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian Movie Industry has once again been thrown into mourning following the demise of another actress, Sandra Ikwuegbu.

The Veteran Actress is said to have died today, June 16, after a battling with leg cancer,

Her colleagues in the industry have taken to social media to mourn her. Movie Producer, Stanley Ontop , wrote;

‘’Popular Nollywood actress/veteran Mrs stella ikwuegbu is dead.

The Veteran Actress left this world today after battling with Leg cancer. Rest well madam Stella.

Nollywood not again

It’s well

Shalom!”

Another colleague of hers, Ijele Ozioma Christy Ejiofor, who paid a visit to the late actress’s home this afternoon, wrote

‘’Ukwu Gi Dia. Why? You scaled through several, accident s and all. Eniure/Achiere came, and in less than a week, it killed you. Oh my… I feel bad.

Stella Ikwuegbu, nenu Jennifer, you didn’t enjoy a thing. Why? Just why?

Adieu Great Actress Extraordinary…”

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Food shortage in Southwest will be calamitous– Yoruba Group

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Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Fellow Press

A Yoruba socio-political group, Yoruba Commitment Forum (YCF) has raised an alarm about the looming food shortage in the South West region of the country.

The group said, though, the impending food insecurity is a national crisis, stressing that its impact on Yorubaland is going to be calamitous.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Otunba Hon Tayo Onayemi, Barr. Akeem Aponmade, Barr. Femi Mokikan, Otunba Niyi Sodiya, Mrs. Buky Tunde Oshunrinde and Mrs. Sola Maja, and made available to newsmen in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

The YCF attributed the looming food shortage to the invasion and destruction of farmlands by rampaging Fulani herders.

The group, while calling for adequate security of farmers and their farmlands, equally appealed to the federal government to adequately compensate whose farmlands were destroyed and as well give them financial incentives, to encourage them to go back to farm.

The statement titled, “Nigeria’s headaches, food insecurity in Yorubaland”, read, “we have observed that for about seven years now, Fulani herdsmen have been engaging in a relentless destruction of farmlands and settlements in Yorubaland. These criminal Fulani elements resorted to kidnapping, raping, maiming and killing of farmers and Yoruba sons and daughters.

“Neither the governments at any level, nor Fulani herdsmen’s apologists would claim ignorance of the atrocious activities of these ruthless people. Video recordings of their wicked actions suffuse the internet. The end result is that farmers began to be scared off their farms gradually until now when farms have been completely abandoned.

“When this started years ago, foresighted individuals raised concerns; they warned about the potential danger of food insecurity beginning with rising food prices and the need to ensure a stable food supply. It appears that Southwest was deliberately targeted and the invasion of our farmlands was the execution of a conscious plan to starve our people to death.

“We, the Yoruba Nation agitators, cried out for help against the brazen onslaught, but none came from the federal government led by a Fulani man.

“Unfortunately, the hens have now come home to roost as the consequences of our action, and inaction, are now here for real with food shortages and very high prices making it increasingly difficult for our people to access the basic necessity of food.

“Before the current situation spirals out of control, we hasten to inform the government that there is no alternative to large scale farming which Fulani herdsmen have destroyed by waging a war against farmers. Subsistence farming through the backyards, as good as it is, cannot serve the purpose of assuring any people of food security. Farmlands in the South West must be made very safe.

“We state emphatically that the situation whereby a basket of tomatoes is sold for #4000 in the North while the same is sold in Yorubaland for #150,000 is callous, ruthless and unacceptable to us.

We also call for assistance to use cheaper rail transport among others to assist our market men and women. Other regions do this, why not here in Yorubaland?

“Secondly, governments must incentivise farmers whose investments have been destroyed during the war of attrition waged against them by Fulani terrorists. Without government’s financial assistance, there is no way most farmers will be able to go back to farming, even if security of their lives and new investments are assured”, the statement concluded.

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