Dissecting Obasanjo's latest letter to Buhari

CC™ Political Insight


The Lion King reigns supreme at the box office

CC™ Entertainment News

"The Lion King" rode its circle of life into a second weekend atop the box office and "Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood," while not quite doing fairytale numbers, gave director Quentin Tarantino his biggest opening ever.
Disney's photo-realistic remake of the Hamlet-themed tale of Mufasa, Simba and Nala, featuring the voices of Donald Glover and Beyoncé, brought in $75 million in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday. Its domestic total of $350 million makes it the year's fourth highest-grossing film after just 10 days of release.
"Once Upon A Time ... In Hollywood" finished a distant second with $40 million in its opening weekend for Sony, but it bested the 2009 opening of Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" by $2 some million and made a strong showing for an R-rated, nearly-three-hour film that was not a sequel or remake and was aimed solely at adults.

The rest of the box office top 10 remained essentially unchanged from a week earlier. Sony's "Spider-Man: Far From Home" was third with $12.2 million in its fourth weekend and has earned a cumulative $344 million, "Toy Story 4" was fourth with $9.8 million, and "Crawl" fifth with $4 million.

"The Lion King" could reign for a third week. With major summer releases slowing as fall approaches the only real competition it has opening next weekend is "Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw."
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Lion King," $75.5 million ($142.8 million international).
2. "Once Upon a Time ... In Hollywood," $40.3 million.
3. "Spider-Man: Far From Home," $12.2 million ($21 million international).
4. "Toy Story 4," $9.8 million ($19.4 million international).
5. "Crawl," $4 million ($3.4 million international).
6. "Yesterday," $3 million ($3.6 million international).
7. "Aladdin," $2.8 million ($7.2 million international).
8. "Stuber," $1.7 million ($1.6 million international).
9. "Annabelle Comes Home," $1.56 million ($3.7 million international).
10. "The Farewell," $1.55 million.

Source: Associated Press (AP)

Another sad tale of gun violence in America as lunatic gunman kills three at California food festival

California Governor Gavin Newsom
CC™ Headline News

A gunman cut through a fence to avoid security and opened fire at Northern California's popular Gilroy Garlic Festival, killing three and wounding at least 15 before police fatally shot him as terrified people and performers ran for cover.
Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee said the gunman was armed with a rifle and sneaked in through a fence that borders a parking lot next to a creek. He appeared to randomly target people when he opened fire just after 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the conclusion of the three-day festival that attracts more than 100,000 people to the city known as the "Garlic Capital of the World."
Police responded within a minute, engaged the suspect and killed him, Smithee said.
Some witnesses reported a second suspect, Smithee said, but it was unclear whether that person was armed or simply provided assistance. A manhunt continued late into the night.
Smithee called the scene at the festival a "nightmare you hope you never have to live."
The wounded were taken to multiple hospitals, and their conditions ranged from fair to critical, with some in surgery Sunday night. At least five were treated and released.
The Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, cooking contests and music. It's a decades-old staple in the agricultural city of 50,000 about 80 miles (176 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco, and normally a sea of tranquility for families. Security is tight — festival-goers pass through metal detectors and their bags are searched.
On Sunday, the band TinMan was starting an encore with the song "We're an American Band" when the shooting started.
Singer Jack van Breen said he saw a man wearing a green shirt and grayish handkerchief around his neck fire into the food area with what looked like an assault rifle. Van Breen and other members of the band dove under the stage.
Van Breen, from nearby Santa Clara, said he heard someone shout: "Why are you doing this?" and the reply: "Because I'm really angry."
Their audience began screaming and running, and the five members of TinMan and others managed to dive under the stage.
Van Breen's bandmate, Vlad Malinovsky of Walnut Creek, California, said he heard a lot of shots and then it stopped. Later, law enforcement came by and told the band members and others hiding with them to come out with their hands up.
Taylor Jackson was working at a booth drawing caricatures of festival-goers when she heard gunfire, saw people running and "ran for the hills." She said her boss ran in the opposite direction. Several hours later, Jackson was at a reunification center trying to get information on her whereabouts.
Donna Carlson of Reno, Nevada, was helping a friend at a jewelry booth when "all of a sudden it was pop, pop, pop. And I said, 'I sure hope that's fireworks.'" She got on her hands and knees and hid behind a table until police told her it was safe to leave.
In a tweet, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the bloodshed "nothing short of horrific" and expressed appreciation for the police response. President Donald Trump tweeted before authorities confirmed the gunman was dead and urged people to "be careful and safe!"
Evenny Reyes of Gilroy, 13, told the Mercury News that she spent the day at the festival with her friends and relatives.
"We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandanna wrapped around his leg because he got shot. And there were people on the ground, crying," Reyes said. "There was a little kid hurt on the ground. People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out."
Reyes said that she didn't run at first because the gunshots sounded like fireworks.
"It started going for five minutes, maybe three. It was like the movies — everyone was crying, people were screaming," she said.
Smithee said the festival is a source of pride for the community and that thousands donate their time to make it a success.
"It's incredibly sad and disheartening that an event that does so much good for our community has to suffer from a tragedy like this," he said.

Source: Associated Press (AP)



CC™ MotorWorld

Truly a match made in heaven - Brabus + Maybach + Mercedes-Benz. Eat your heart out Hyundai Equus and Genesis G-Series. Only the best will do!


Siemens and Nigerian government in power sector partnership to improve country's power supply

President Buhari (L) and Siemens CEO Kaeser - NMU/PON
CC™ Business Friday

The Nigerian government has agreed to a deal with the German energy company in an attempt to fix the country's unreliable electricity grid.

Nigeria has signed a six-year power deal with German energy giant Siemens, which will result in the production of at least 25,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2025.
"We all know how critical electricity is to the development of any community or indeed any nation," Buhari told reporters following confirmation of the deal on Monday. "And whilst we are blessed to have significant natural gas, hydro and solar resources for power generation, we are still on the journey to achieving reliable, adorable and quality electricity supply necessary for economic growth, industrialization and poverty alleviation." 
Buhari reportedly asked Siemens to work alongside the Transmission Company of Nigeria to achieve 7,000 megawatts and 11,000 megawatts of reliable power supply by 2021 and 2023 respectively, before the contract lapses.
In an interview with DW, the CEO of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, said his company is determined to see the deal through.
"President Buhari made it very clear in his speech that he wants to get this done now, together with reliable engineering partners — European and German engineering style,"  Kaeser said. "And I personally promised to him that we are going to make this work."
Nigeria has been experiencing an energy supply crisis for years, with approximately only 40% of the country's population connected to the grid. Even those who have access to electricity frequently experience interruptions, with the average daily power supply estimated at around four hours.
In an attempt to solve the problem, many power reforms implemented since 2005 have focused on privatizing the generator, instead of repairing and upgrading the country's grid.
Kaeser stressed to DW that Siemens will tackle the daunting task based on its expertise in the sector.The company also agreed to a similar road-map deal with Iraq in April.
"We have generation of all sorts: Conventional power generation, renewable energy, we have transmission, we have distribution," Kaeser said. "We can help with oil and gas and we can even supply digital platforms. So, we have the whole value chain unlike any other company in the world, and that's why I believe we are a perfect partner for the Nigerian people."
So far any discussions about potential costs have been kept under wraps.
"President Buhari and I didn't talk about money, we talked about [the] partnership and how we will get it done technically," Kaeser said. "We will soon enter into the first phase of the contract and then we will take it from there."
Reactions by Nigerians over social media to news of the Siemens deal were mixed, with some believing the government's promise of dramatic improvements to Nigeria's power sector were too good to be true.
"It's just a distraction from other burning issues Nigeria is facing, like bad governance, insecurity, rising inflation, unemployment," Okonofua Eromosele Joseph wrote on the DW Africa Facebook page.
Others are more optimistic that the deal will finally bring Nigeria's electricity woes to an end.
Nigeria's energy crisis is somewhat ironic considering the country has access to some of the world's largest and most profitable oil and gas reserves. Poor policy, ongoing corruption and dilapidated infrastructure have all played a role.
"The policymakers are out for themselves, so they will hardly give an accurate representation of what will address our electricity problems," Nigerian lawyer Buhari Yusuf told DW. 
Siemens's plan is essentially being presented as a road-map to improve Nigeria's capacity to deliver electricity across the value chain, serving as a prerequisite for further industrialization and digitalization.
Yusuf thinks the nature of the deal will help to eliminate any chances of corruption higher up the chain. 
"I think we shouldn't be recklessly optimistic about what we are expecting," he said. "But I hazard to say that with Buhari at the head, there will not be corruption at the top level of the process. The company involved has made a good name for itself, so it won't want to be dragged into our system of corruption. We should be more concerned with the bureaucratic level."
Supplying electricity to all corners of a country is a difficult task in any case. Because of this, most countries decentralize authority of the energy sector, as well as sources of the generation. However, Nigeria has done the opposite: In 2005, the Obasanjo administration established the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to act as an independent regulatory body with authority over regulation of Nigeria's power industry. This power structure has created conditions for corruption to thrive, hindering any attempts to solve the energy crisis.
Nigeria is now up against the clock to secure a reliable source of power, with a functioning, high-energy grid now becoming increasingly necessary to sustain its rapidly-growing economy.
The Nigerian economy has been held back for years by chronic mismanagement, but recent reforms have transformed it into one of Africa's most powerful economies. It is already Africa's most populous country and an expected demographic boom in the coming decades means an increasingly young population will be in search of jobs — which also requires an operational and reliable grid.
"Our population is growing day by day and our policymakers ought to have understood the fact that it leads to economic activities that will require a high dosage of electricity," said Yusuf. "These are not issues that can be handled by people who are corrupt."

Source: DW. Ubale Musa contributed to this article.


Sunday Oliseh: Nigeria should not be celebrating third place

Former Nigeria Captain and Ajax legend Sunday Oliseh
CC™ Sportswire

Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh has said he was baffled that Nigerians were celebrating a third-place finish at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt. 

The Super Eagles picked up their eighth AFCON bronze medal Wednesday, after recording a 1-0 win over Tunisia in a lackluster third/fourth place playoff. A lot of Nigerians believe the Super Eagles ought to have done better than the Bronze finish. 

Speaking on Sport Radio Brila FM Saturday morning, Oliseh who was Super Eagles coach before Gernot Rohr took over said, “Benin can celebrate third place, Madagascar can celebrate third place. Nigeria cannot celebrate second place. That was why I cried after the 2000 AFCON when we lost to Cameroon in the final. I cried because I felt Nigeria deserved nothing but the trophy.” 

The 1994 AFCON winner said Nigerians must not deviate from their winner's mentality, but become even more demanding. “We cannot be asking for less when we know our capacity. We are blessed with abundant talents. We ought to be the best in Africa.” Oliseh, however, said there was still hope in the national team as he saw very exciting young talents in the team that went to Egypt. “Yes, there were some good, young talents I saw in the team. It was fascinating to note that,” he said. He frowned at the decision by the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick to send Gernot Rohr on a refresher course. He said, “if we want to continue to ridicule ourselves before the world, then the NFF should continue to do that.  

It is unfortunate that our football federation wants to take a 70-year-old white man, on contract out for a refresher course when we have very many Nigerian coaches that would need such opportunities that would benefit the country.” Oliseh said that if the NFF were serious about the improvement of coaches, he could be of assistance in that respect. “If the NFF calls on me and proposed that they want three, four or five of their coaches on attachment with, say Ajax, I can arrange for them to go and observe what their counterparts out there do, maybe for one or two weeks. That can be done.” 


Best practices for success in business

Folorunso Alakija - (Forbes Africa)
By Folorunso Alakija

You must have read and learnt about best practices in business in the past, so I will only dwell on the most important ones, and some of which helped me. However, in doing so, I will focus on the new wave of cutting-edge methods to drive business success, as well as the importance of using networking tools.
Re-brand:  If you have not already considered it, you may want to bring new life into the image of your company by just tweaking a few things that would give it a boost/edge in the market place. A more modern re-styled stationery, logo or slogan or a change of colours could achieve this without necessarily expending huge sums of money on it.
- Restructuring and Marketing methods: Competition has always done things in a certain way and companies just follow suit believing in the very safe methods of obtaining the cheapest, quickest route to a lucrative bottom line. You may need to try the Blue Ocean Strategy which would no doubt require more risks but bold steps bring bigger revenue.
- First Impressions: The way you appear speaks volumes not only about your person but also, about your company. Wearing the wrong clothes at the right time could portray you and your company in bad light, no matter how knowledgeable you may be. 
- Portray Self Confidence: A firm handshake and eye contact are considered to portray confidence. The ability to hold intelligent conversations and be professional make room for a lasting positive impression.
- Be a good Listener: Communication is a two-way method of conversation and should not be over-bearing or one sided. So, develop good listening skills.  A British bank used to refer to itself as “the listening bank” and the slogan actually endeared the public towards it.
Follow up for more on this series and other series .... Have a wonderful week ahead.
God Bless you all.....


Siemens CEO calls Donald Trump the face of ‘racism and exclusion’

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser - TF-Images via Getty Images
CC™ Business and Politics

Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser said US President Donald Trump is turning into a symbol of racism after telling four Democratic policymakers 
to “go back” to where they came from.
Mr Kaeser, one of Germany’s most prominent business leaders, wrote on Twitter he finds it depressing “that the world’s most important political office is turning into the face of racism and exclusion.”
“I lived in the USA for many years and experienced freedom, tolerance and openness as never before,” Mr Kaeser wrote, whose past jobs include a stint at a Siemens unit in San Jose, California.
Mr Kaeser, 62, was replying to a sarcastic tweet by former German policymaker Ruprecht Polenz, who said Germany might end up having to take Mr Trump back. One of the president’s grandfathers emigrated to the US in the 1880s.
Mr Polenz, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, was commenting on Mr Trump’s campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday where his supporters directed chants of “send her back” at Representative Ilhan Omar, a Somali-born US citizen from Minnesota.
Mr Trump attempted to distance himself from the chant, though he appeared to back off his disavowal on Friday.


Ten things we learnt from the murder of Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti's daughter

Editor's Viewpoint

A week has passed since the unfortunate assassination (yes that is what I called it as it was pre-planned and the suspects are not who everyone thinks they are) of the third daughter of Chief Reuben Famuyide Fasoranti, the former Ondo State Commissioner for Finance, in the regime of the late Chief Michael Adekunle Ajasin. 

a) The police and those that witnessed the assassination of Mrs. Olakunrin are lying. I am befuddled by how the only person that was shot was Mrs. Funke Olakunrin (and they supposedly "lost her" as they rushed her to the hospital) while the other suspects were only abducted but then found by the police......?

b) Again, seven persons supposedly taken during the attack have been rescued but Mrs Olakunrin was the only one the so-called Fulani herdsmen shot? This is akin to someone urinating on you and telling you it's raining. Someone organized the assassination of this woman and the intent is there for the discerning minds to figure out.

c) Ganiyu Adams continues to show why he will never be taken seriously as a leader in the Southwest. The so-called Aare Ona kakanfo of Yorubaland has proved himself time and again to be an opportunist and a flame thrower, without the requisite filter and wisdom needed to hold such an exalted position.

d) The PDP does not have the best interest of Nigeria at heart and their response to the assassination of Mrs. Olakunrin again brought that valid notion to bear. 

e) Abubakar Atiku remains the most overrated politician of our time as he lacks the base and the moral compass to lead a nation of Nigeria's magnitude. He is desperate and dangerous. Read between the lines.

f) Bola Tinubu remains the greatest political genius of our time. Say what you may of the man, he understands the temperature of his base and the nation. His response to this unfortunate event was as expected of a true national figure. 

g) Former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan remains a man lacking in the most basic of leadership skills - TACT!

h) Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo's reaction was as expected. Opportunistic, overstated and short on direction and foresight. As usual, it was overwhelmingly self-serving.

i) President Muhammadu Buhari could have done more and again missed another glorious opportunity to lead from the front rather than continually ceding the initiative to his adversaries.

j) Nigerians remain a resilient and optimistic people and nothing can shake the basic fabric of that nation as we have been through enough together as a people. We will come out together as well on the other side and it shall be well with Nigeria and its people, for God is with us. 


The diminishing of America: AOC tasks DHS chief on border agents sharing 'images of her violent rape' in secret Facebook group.....

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
CC™ Political Insight

After a week fielding racist attacks from President Donald Trump, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan about the whereabouts of Border Patrol agents who threatened her in a secret Facebook group.

The intense and personal line of questioning Thursday happened as McAleenan appeared before the House Oversight and Reform Committee to testify about his role in separating migrant children from their families and worsening conditions at the migrant detention centers along the southern U.S. border.
He was also asked several times about a secret Facebook group of current and former Border Patrol agents that contained more than 10,000 members and included posts mocking migrants and the deaths of children in custody and suggesting harm to Democratic lawmakers. After the group's existence was revealed by a ProPublica report, McAleenan announced DHS was investigating the "disturbing" and "inexcusable" posts.
"Did you see the posts planning physical harm to myself and Congresswoman Escobar?" Ocasio-Cortez asked McAleenan. "Yes," he answered. "And I directed an investigation within reading the article."
"Did you see the images of officers circulating photo-shop images of my violent rape?" Ocasio-Cortez continued. "Yes I did," McAleenan responded.
McAleenan did not specifically say whether those Border Patrol agents were still on the job after Ocasio-Cortez questioned whether they were still "responsible for the safety of migrant women and children."
He said several agents have been put on administrative duties while the investigation continues, saying "I don't know which ones correspond to which posts and we've ordered cease and desist orders to dozens of more."
McAleenan shot back after Ocasio-Cortez asked about whether the separating of children and families led to a "dehumanizing culture" within Customs and Border Protection. "We do not have a dehumanizing culture at CBP," he said touting that the agency, "rescues 4,000 people a year" and is "committed to the well-being of everyone that they interact with."
He said the posts were "unacceptable" but "I don't think it's fair to apply them to the entire organization or that even the members of that group believed or supported those posts."
The hearing came after days of President Trump attacking Ocasio-Cortez and three other freshmen Democratic lawmakers, all women of color who are critical of his administration and its policies.
It started Sunday when Trump sent a series of tweets suggesting Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.; Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass.; and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., should "go back" to where they came from.
The House passed a resolution condemning the racist comments on Tuesday as the president faced widespread criticism over the remarks, which he doubled down on at the White House and on Twitter throughout the week.
He singled out the four women Wednesday evening during a rally in North Carolina and his supporters started chanting "send her back" as the president brought up Rep. Omar, who is originally from Somalia and became one of the first two Muslim women in Congress when she was elected in the 2018 midterms. Omar is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Trump distanced himself from the chants on Thursday, saying, "I disagree with it" and "I wasn't happy with that message."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grilled DHS chief Kevin McAleenan


Nigeria's low expectation coach Gernot Rohr didn't seem too bothered by the loss to Algeria

Rohr was seen "Rohring" off the field with Nigerian damsel (see picture below) after the Super Eagles had their chicken wings clipped by Algeria. This man needs to go as he has nothing more to offer Nigeria at almost 70 years old. Pinnick should resign if he insists on keeping this loser of a journeyman masquerading as a coach. 

Jonathan under whom Boko Haram established a Caliphate in Northern Nigeria and terrorists were paid to protect oil wells points finger at Buhari

Former President Jonathan (L) and President Buhari (R)
CC™ FactorialJonathan urges Buhari to "come up with new ideas to solve Nigeria's security crisis". That would be akin to the pot calling the kettle black. The same Goodluck Jonathan that used the DSS to terrorize the Southwest (with the acquiescence of the same so-called Yoruba leaders who are now crying herdsmen at every turn), paid foreign former apartheid South African mercenaries to fight Boko Haram (while his Service Chiefs siphoned away every dime that was earmarked to help the Nigerian Armed Forces defend the country's territorial integrity) and enabled Niger-Delta terrorists like Tompolo et al by paying them to protect the oil pipelines (akin to asking a sexual predator to watch your children). For the avoidance of doubt, the Jonathan administration remains the worst and most corrupt in the history of Nigeria and most of the mess Nigeria is in today are carry-overs from that rudderless administration. Report below.....Former President Goodluck Jonathan says insecurity has worsened in Nigeria since he left Aso Rock. The former president said this while paying a condolence visit to Chief Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, whose daughter, Funke Olakunrin (nee Fasoranti), was killed by gunmen on the Benin-Ore road last week.Her death is another in a long list of killings and kidnappings that have gripped the country over the past year.While speaking on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, Jonathan, who was president between 2010 and 2015, said the government must figure out a solution to curb the rise of insecurity.He said, "The issue of security must be approached from a different dimension. We cannot continue the old way because it is getting out of hand. We hope the federal and state governments will do something about it."Every generation face problems and this generation must find ways to solve these problems. Every government faces problem. "The first commercial kidnapping, because it involved money, happened in 2006 when I was the governor of Bayelsa state. From that time, it moved to terrorism in the north. Now, it is a major problem in the country."The federal government in conjunction with state government must design a different approach to this issue. "I was there as president and security challenge was there but now, it is getting worse everyday and we can't continue to use the same old method."


Vivendi's CanalPlus Acquires Leading Nigerian Studio ROK

CC™ Media News

Vivendi's CanalPlus continues its expansion into Africa with the acquisition of Nigerian production studio ROK. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
The move comes as CanalPlus seeks to shore up its foreign business in the wake of declines in France. It will give the company a production foothold from the continent to feed into its Nollywood TV and Nollywood Epic channels.
Founded by actress Mary Njoku, ROK is Nigeria's largest production house and with over 500 movies and 25 TV series since its founding in 2013 and under the umbrella of Jason Njoku's SVOD IROKOtv.
In the deal, CanalPlus will also acquire their library of over 2,000 hours of content. ROK will continue to create content for IROKOtv and ROK's four existing channels, one of which is aired on Sky in the U.K., as well as CanalPlus' African and global channels.
The group will also continue to invest in the growth of IROKOtv, the leading streamer Africa, which CanalPlus invested in back in 2016 when it launched its French-language service.
“Through this acquisition CANAL+ Group is very happy to develop and enhance the catalogue of Nollywood content and expand the ROK brand inside and outside the African continent,” said CanaPlus International head Jacques du Puy. ROK studio is known for its high-quality productions on shoestring budgets, with some productions coming in at just $20,000.
“ROK has captured the imagination of millions of movie fans, and they have truly supported us as we’ve grown the company to celebrate and enjoy our African culture. I’m excited to be taking our platform on the next stage of its journey with CANAL+ Group, who share our passion for creating original content, supporting new talent and together, we have ambitious plans for the future,” said Njoku, who will stay on as director of the company.
CanalPlus move into Africa comes as it leans more heavily on international markets to combat losses in its home territory, which have led to the elimination of nearly 500 jobs. But while it has seen a steady decline of subscribers in France, it gained over 650,000 customers last year — all of them overseas. Earlier this year, CanalPlus acquired pan-European pay-TV group M7 for $1.1 billion.
Netflix is also heavily investing in the continent, with its first original Nollywood film, Lionheart, as well as animated series Mama K's Team 4 and two original series, Queen Sono and Blood and Water, currently in production in South Africa.  

Source: The Hollywood Reporter (Report by Rhonda Richford).


Nigeria’s grazing crisis threatens the future of the nation

Deadly Fulani herdsmen have been a problem across Nigeria
By Laila Johnson-Salami

Nigeria’s cattle-grazing crisis has become a national security threat, sparking ethnic tension nationwide. Amnesty International estimates that more than 2,000 deaths in 2018 alone resulted from clashes between herdsmen and farmers over access to water and pasture and the destruction of land and property — particularly belonging to farmers in the country’s middle belt region. Herdsmen from the Fulani ethnic region in the north have brought their cattle to other parts of the country to graze for generations. Climate change, rapid population growth and desertification in the north have made it difficult to breed cattle. 

The brutal violence has been a problem for some years. In 2014 the Global Terrorism Index judged Fulani militants to be the fourth most deadly terror group in the world, behind Boko Haram, Isis and the Taliban. Last year, Nigeria’s National Economic Council took action. It came to the conclusion that the development of designated cattle ranches would be the best solution to the problem. The ministry of agriculture also developed a National Livestock Transformation Plan to address food security and promote industrial growth. The NLTP committee, chaired by vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, also advocated ranching. 

Tension escalated late last month when the government of Benue state in the middle belt complained the federal government had improperly created “Ruga” (rural grazing area) settlements in the state. Unlike ranches, these are cattle colonies for herdsmen from across different states to relocate to. But the project is widely seen as a strategic ploy enabling herdsmen to claim subsidized land, in the same areas where they have caused serious unrest. “The current government wishes to dissolve diversity in favor of an ethnic program,” said Odia Ofeimun, a poet and polemicist. The press secretary to the Benue state government, Terver Akase, says open grazing in the state has been phased out: “Anyone who wants to rear livestock in Benue has to go through the due process.” That process entails obtaining a licence from the state ministry of agriculture. 

The federal government must also seek the state’s permission for land allocation, as required by Nigeria’s 1978 Land Use Act, which they did not do. This undermines the government’s separation of powers and shows serious disregard for Nigeria’s diversity, of nearly 500 ethnic groups. Pressure from citizens and stakeholders led the government to suspend the Ruga project on July 3. Ruga’s supporters, such as the Coalition of Northern Groups, gave the president an ultimatum: either it should revoke the suspension within 30 days, or have southerners living in the north of the country face a serious threat. This is a problem that policy will not be able to solve without taking into account the region’s cultural history. 

Nomadic herdsmen have for thousands of years taken their cattle along routes to more states with better resources. The cutting of these cultural ties has made the herdsmen feel victimized. They see a threat to their means of survival. Meanwhile, farmers feel overwhelmed by the volume of cattle. Without the right incentives, both groups remain reluctant to adopt different ways of farming and raising livestock. One attempt by the government to change this is through a Fulani radio station with programs aiming to educate Fulani listeners. But critics see this as partial and biased treatment in favor of an ethnic minority that includes President Muhammadu Buhari. The government must take this dangerous bull by the horns; the longer the situation is mismanaged, the more insecure Nigeria becomes. The tension will only mount.

Nigeria is set to become the world’s third most populous country by 2050 and we are still recovering from the horrific Biafran civil war almost 40 years later. There is no room for any more ethnic division. 

Source: Financial Times

So-called Yoruba leaders - Killing of Fasoranti’s daughter means herdsmen have declared war against S’West

Editor's Corner

These so-called Yoruba leaders are fanning the embers of ethnicity. One can however not blame them as Buhari is extremely culpable, as his policies and actions have essentially balkanized the nation. The last two Nigerian presidents (Jonathan and Buhari) have been the most ethnocentric and parochial Nigeria has ever known. Caution needs to be exercised here by Yoruba leaders and they definitely should not listen to the likes of Nnamdi Kanu whose agenda has always been personal and does not even remotely take the future of the Ndigbo nation into consideration. 

Following the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti by suspected herdsmen on the Ore-Akure expressway last Friday, some Yoruba leaders said yesterday, that herdsmen have declared war against the South West. 
 Expressing their displeasure over the killing of Mrs. Olakunrin and other acts of banditry in the South West, the Yoruba leaders said they should not be taken as cowards.  We’re not cowards — Okurounmu An Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu who condemned the dastardly act, described the murder as a declaration of war against the Yoruba. Senator Okunrounmu said: “I am sure that the Yoruba are not cowards hence, they should fight back. “I feel very bitter and very angry and feel like finally the herdsmen have declared war against the Yorubaland.  

Yes, it is nothing cut short of a declaration of war. “We have always known that we, Yoruba, are not cowards and this is the time to demonstrate that truly we are not cowards and as a result, I expect a strong reaction from the Yoruba people because this is not something we should just follow-up with just condemnation and recriminations.  

Enough of that, it is a time to react and show that enough is enough.” We’re struggling with herdsmen invasion. 

YCE Flaying the murder 

President of the Yoruba Council of Elders, YCE, Col. Dansaaki Agbede (retd) sympathised with Chief Fasoranti saying: “It is sad that now we are struggling with the invasion of the Fulani herders, this kind of thing happened.” Agbede said: “It is time that we, as a Yoruba nation, use our combined efforts, commitment and unity to fight this. “We should not wait until we face this terrible challenge.” It’s a clear signal of war. 

NANS Also condemning the act 

The National Publicity Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Mr. Azeez   Adeyemi said it was a clear signal of war. Adeyemi said: “As much as I don’t want to speak parochially and get carried away as a Yoruba person, rather I will be speaking on behalf of the entire Nigerian students, the fact remains that the act is highly condemnable, it is a clear signal of war which ordinarily one would have expected the Presidency to have taken immediate action against. “For crying out loud, the herdsmen have successfully established themselves as a terrorist group, with no respect for the rule of law, hiding under the belief of being the President’s eye.  This is a call to action and we must collectively rise to the challenge."

Former governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, while paying a condolence visit to Pa Fasoranti said: “This is despicably disturbing and this another very challenging situation in our country. We must collectively rise to this challenge “It’s a general problem of the security challenge that we have in this country. I think this is another very serious challenge that we must collectively rise to the challenge of. I have no doubt in my mind that incident like this would task the very fabric of our nation and would also require very profound political will.”  

ARG demands appropriate action on its part 

The Afenifere Renewal Group, ARG, which condemned the murder, in a statement signed by its National Chairman, Mr. Olawale Oshun said: “The ARG shares in this colossal loss and commiserates with the bereaved family, especially Pa Fasoranti and Mrs. Olakunrin’s nucleus family. ARG, therefore, challenges the Yoruba governors and the socio-political leadership to rise up to the occasion, as it would now seem that the Federal government and its clinging to central policing has failed woefully in providing Nigerians the needed security. Our governors must realize that they shall be held responsible, individually and collectively, should they fail to prioritize the security issue and support one another in securing their people. The time to act is now as the Yoruba shouldn’t sleep with their eyes closed.

The security agencies tasked with safeguarding human lives and property must be held accountable as the nation’s corporate existence is very much at stake.” The statement further read.