Tuesday

The art of managing people

Editor-in-Chief 

Organizations struggle everyday with the germane issue of what the effective management of people, an organization's most prized asset, actually entails. The effective management of people within an organization requires a thorough understanding of the following: 
  
  • Motivation - Whether intrinsic or extrinsic and the importance of positive triggers....
  • Job design and environment....
  • Company's rewards system and how it is structured and also possibly layered....
  • Group influence as a function of Group-think and other allegiances....
Motivation
Human beings are creatures of habit and by that, I mean it is natural to expect that individuals will have different triggers within their genetic and socio-cultural make-up, that ultimately control what their motivations are, where they originate from or worse still, whether or not they have any at all.
Of course, as a business owner or a leader, you would hope you haven't hired someone or lead a group of people on the bottom rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™ (MTI).
Usually, one finds that most people with intrinsic motivation tend to have a higher MTI. They are the high achievers and are usually not driven to succeed or excel necessarily as a result of positive external triggers, but do so because it is just in their make-up. It is however important to note that for these group, the Positive External Triggers (PETs) only serve to further elevate their MTI scores. As for those, whose Motivational Intelligence (MI) require external triggers, they tend to be either in the middle or the lower rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™. People in this category tend to require an appreciable amount of Positive External Triggers (PETs) and ironically, if they have quite a bit of this, they are bound to excel at their tasks, in some cases, even with distinction. However, unlike the first group, their MTI scores tend to vacillate between just above average to poor, as a function of the amount of PETs they are exposed to in their work and related environment.
Job Design and Environment
Over the years, scientific management has sought to strip workers of their initiative, thus ridding the work environment of key intangibles such as skill set diversity, autonomy and most important of all, feedback, constructive or otherwise.
A perfect example of empowering employees and creating an environment that engenders optimum productivity and creativity is to seek input from your employees, even when you, as a leader, know what the solution to a problem is. They may even suggest the solution you have in mind and you can give them credit for it.
Rewards System
The rewards system must be one that does not give rise to suspicion or insinuations of favoritism. While majority of organizations, big or small, insist on building a "team atmosphere", it is imperative that top performers, particularly those that most closely espouse the company's core principles within the framework of its corporate culture, are duly rewarded and recognized as such.
This process should however be carefully monitored and managed, so as to ensure that everyone (including the non-monetary contributors) feels a sense of belonging to the organization, through their own respective contributions.
It is a well-known fact that the successful execution of a company's business strategy must involve everyone on the ship.
Group Influence
This can either be a "good thing" or a "bad thing", but it depends on how you look at it. Now, while it can create a negative work environment due to its potentially divisive and mostly political nature, it is an unavoidable phenomenon.
Most organizations have learned to not only exist but also flourish with just the "right amount" of group-think, as it actually may engender a spirit of collaboration towards reaching the ultimate objectives of the organization.
The overriding attitude becomes one where the conclusion is that if the company wins, then everyone wins. 

© 2021 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Monday

Crypto is the next step toward a cashless society


CC™ Financial News

Julian Hosp

It will take some time for consumers to warm up to crypto, but education is the key to its mass adoption. 

From QR code payments to mobile banking apps, consumers worldwide are increasingly reliant on digital payment solutions, especially as mobile technology becomes more ubiquitous. Government-led efforts in driving cashless economies have been a key factor, with countries such as Singapore or the Philippines seeing their central banks driving the adoption of contactless payments during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, usage rates for digital payments platforms have recorded promising growth, even as high as 5,000% in the Philippines alone.

This unprecedented rise in cashless payments is also paving the way for the broader adoption of crypto, with the number of crypto users worldwide hitting around 106 million in January. While this marks an impressive 15% month-on-month growth, it is still just a drop in the ocean when compared to the 4.7 billion people who have access to the internet.

But as crypto continues to command headlines, what will it take for mass adoption to happen?

A new model of financial accessibility

Today, billions of people worldwide are unable to access even the most basic financial services via traditional means, and thus are unable to save or manage their money securely. In times of economic devastation, such as this past year in which global economies have been staggered by the impact of COVID-19, the vast gap between rich and poor has become abundantly clear. The global pandemic has only perpetuated the absence of inclusive financial infrastructure, which has led to approximately one-third of the global population having no financial safety net to fall back on.

With crypto wallets, however, anyone can transfer their crypto internationally without needing to maintain a minimum balance in their account, as long as they have an internet connection. As crypto applications are built on decentralized blockchains, transactions are performed on a peer-to-peer basis in the absence of traditional intermediaries such as bankers or brokerage houses. This results in significant savings in transaction costs, as traditional cross-border remittance fees for small amounts can be as high as 7% after taking into account intermediaries’ fees on both the sender and recipient side. Meanwhile, the same fees for cryptocurrencies are often less than 1 percent — regardless of transaction amount.

Furthermore, highly decentralized platforms are permissionless, meaning that anyone with a crypto wallet and internet connection can lend, remit or trade their crypto without validation by a central authority or intermediary. Instead, transactions are executed by smart contracts, which automate them as long as pre-encoded conditions are met. Beyond the cost savings, consider the time savings as well. Remittance transactions can take several days to be processed, whereas cryptocurrencies can be transferred in mere minutes.

However, most crypto platforms still ask for some form of formal identification as part of their identity verification and Know Your Customer (KYC) process. This can range from a phone number to photo ID to proof of residential address. Some platforms adopt a multi-tier approach in which the more information that users provide, the more services they can access. While necessary for KYC and Anti-Money Laundering compliance, this poses barriers to users who do not own any formal identification documents.

Having said that, some decentralized exchanges, or DEXs, still honour the principles of anonymity and trustless working by not enforcing KYC on their users. The elimination of account verification and waiting time for approval has drawn many towards these types of DEXs — such as PancakeSwap, Uniswap and DeFiChain’s DEX — and has made finance truly accessible and inclusive for all.

Beyond simple transactions, recent innovations in the crypto space promise a much more equitable financial system where the unbanked and underbanked can access more means to build wealth. While DeFi products, such as token holding and staking on a DEX, might be a little too advanced for this group of users at the moment, simplified centralized decentralized finance (CeDeFi) services and improvements in financial literacy over time will help to open the door to these inclusive wealth creation opportunities.

Education is key to crypto adoption at scale

Widespread adoption of digital payment technologies, such as QR codes and biometrics, is definitely a promising sign that consumers have become more digitally savvy than ever before. In the Asia Pacific, more than 90% of surveyed respondents said they would consider at least one new payment method in the next year.

In addition to new payment technologies, the proliferation of retail investing has led to a paradigm shift in the investment landscape, with trading activities doubling over the past year. User-friendly platforms such as Robinhood and their well-known crypto counterparts — such as Coinbase — have made investing much more accessible to non-institutional investors.

This historic rise in cashless payments and retail investing saw the public gain more exposure to different asset types. However, in the United States, a staggering 84% of adults are either uninterested in cryptocurrencies or have never heard of them. While this could be attributable to the seemingly intimidating technicalities involved, we are now in a good place to gradually transition towards a more crypto-forward society.

For now, there’s much more to be done to help mainstream consumers gain a better understanding of crypto. Crypto projects, for one, would do well to invest more resources towards creating educational content to bridge the knowledge gap — whether through guides or detailed explainers. Meanwhile, taking on a more transparency-focused approach that looks to debunk misconceptions and ensure that users are aware of the risks associated with crypto, will enable those users to navigate their entry into the space with greater ease and confidence.

Crypto is the MVP in the cashless drive

As conversations on cryptocurrencies evolve, governments are taking note. While cash will not be eliminated any time soon, as many as 86% of central banks around the world are looking into central bank digital currencies in their quest to go cashless. The world’s first central bank digital currency (CBDC) — the Sand Dollar — was announced by the Central Bank of the Bahamas way back in 2018 and officially launched in October last year. The technology team behind this project was led by U-Zyn Chua, who went on to co-found DeFiChain.

Although CBDCs will be regulated by a central authority, their adoption will send a profound message to market participants on the legitimacy of digital currencies. The introduction of CBDCs is thus a much-needed springboard to catalyze large-scale crypto adoption.

In the short term, crypto is not going to replace the existing financial system, but will instead carve out its own ecosystem that is fit for a new generation of digital-first, financially savvy users. While it will take some time for consumers to warm up to crypto, the nascent technology will prove its worth in due time by offering cheaper, safer and more inclusive financial services for all.

Julian Hosp is the CEO and a co-founder of Cake DeFi, a platform dedicated to providing access to decentralized financial services and applications. He is also the chairman of DeFiChain, a DeFi platform built on the Bitcoin network. Julian is an active speaker for the Washington Speakers Bureau and an adviser for the EU’s blockchain groups. Julian graduated from Medizinische Universitat Innsbruck with a Doctor of Medicine in human medicine.

COINTELEGRAPH

Sunday

Buhari under fire over directive on grazing sites


CC™ Global News

President Muhammadu Buhari drew flak from across the country on Friday following his approval of the recommendations of a committee to revive 368 grazing sites in 25 states.

The first salvo came from Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State who declared the grazing sites recovery plan unacceptable.

He accused the Presidency of seeking to turn Nigeria into a ‘cow republic’ through its grazing reserves policy.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, all vowed in separate statements not to cede an inch of land in the South-south, Southeast and Southwest for grazing purpose.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also called for caution on the part of the federal government.

Ortom, who is well known for his long standing opposition to open grazing in his state, wondered why the Presidency “is only bordered about animals and their safety and is deploying all machinery and arsenals of government to impose grazing reserves and cattle routes on Nigerians” at this time when “insecurity has reached an all-time high with hundreds being killed by armed herdsmen, bandits and other terrorists.”

The governor, in a statement through his Special Adviser on Media Terver Akase, said the latest move could plunge the country into   crisis.

He said: “The Buhari administration has turned a blind eye to the unimaginable levels of encroachment on lands belonging to Nigerians by cattle. Mr. President has never come out even once to condemn the activities of herdsmen and the attacks they visit on innocent people.

“The only time the President is heard speaking about atrocities of the herders is when he defends them.

“It is now clear that the Presidency wants to plunge the country into avoidable crisis. Otherwise, what is the justification for President Buhari’s insistence that grazing reserves be established across the country when Nigerians have openly kicked against the policy and have embraced ranching in place of open grazing?”

He said “millions of Nigerians have been displaced following attacks by armed herders and are currently suffering in IDP camps” with Benue State alone, according to him, having “over 1.5 million displaced people with thousands living in camps and many more forced to flee their ancestral lands to stay under dehumanizing conditions in open fields.”

He added: “The Buhari administration does not seem to be worried about the food crisis already ravaging the country. Farmers have been chased into IDP camps by herders and children are dying of starvation in addition to being denied education, yet what is more important to their President is the wellbeing of cows.

“We expected the pitiable condition of the displaced people to be the preoccupation of the President whom they voted in 2015 and 2019. It is unfortunate that the people’s genuine show of love, trust and votes for Mr. President are being rewarded with hate, cruelty and dictatorial policies aimed at grabbing their lands to donate to herders and cows.

“We challenge the Presidency to name what it has done to alleviate the plight of those displaced by herdsmen in Benue and other states since 2018.

“What is the difference between the Buhari administration’s approach to insecurity and the Taliban agenda in Afghanistan? It is now evident that the government at the center prioritizes the welfare of cattle over human beings and is bent on taking Nigeria back to the pre-colonial era with some snippets of a society where in the words of Thomas Hobbes, life has become ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’.

“The country has been turned into a cow republic by the present administration and the basic principles of equality, justice, fairness and equity which engender peace and suppress anarchy are non-existent.

“President Buhari has refused to prove wrong those who accuse him of being a Fulani President. He has instead proven that he indeed belongs to somebody.

“But Buhari is not the first Fulani man to be President of this country. Nigeria had Presidents Shehu Shagari and Umaru Yar’Adua who were also of Fulani ethnicity but were Presidents for all Nigerians and treated citizens of this country fairly and equitably.

“Our country has never been more divided on ethnic lines and sentiments as it is under President Buhari who was thought to be the most prepared to lead the country at this time. Under President Shagari and President Yar’Adua, Nigerians were not chided by a horde of presidential spokesmen and social media hirelings for simply expressing their views on government policies.

“Perhaps Mr. President is not aware that most of the northern states, including his home state Katsina and the entire southern states have unanimously rejected open grazing of livestock and approved ranching.

“The Presidency is therefore whipping a dead horse on the issue of grazing reserves. It is hypocritical for the Presidency to support and fund ranching in Katsina State and turn round to impose grazing reserves on other states.”

Ortom also did not spare the President’s advisers.

He said of them: “Those saddled with the duty of advising Mr President have apparently failed in their responsibility. They ought to have told the President that though grazing reserves existed in some parts of the country before independence, there have been several reviews and laws which, in addition to the years of social and infrastructural development as well as population growth, have superseded and rendered the reserves null and void.

“Additionally, the Land Use Act provides that governors are the custodians of all lands in their states. The Federal Government has no constitutional right to appropriate lands for itself or anyone else for that matter without the approval of state governors.

“Nigeria is practicing democracy; not despotism or feudalism. The President is obligated to listen to the yearnings of the people and lead according to the constitution. Leaders are elected to solve problems, not create more problems for the people.

“Nigeria is grappling with numerous security and economic challenges that should ordinarily worry the President. The Federal Government introduced the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP and Nigerians accepted the policy. Why has the Buhari administration dumped the programme and opted for grazing reserves and cattle routes? That is the question agitating the minds of discerning Nigerians who suspect foul play.

“The Federal Government’s posture has emboldened armed Fulani herdsmen who go about maiming and killing innocent Nigerians. That the government has turned deaf ears to calls for the licensing of responsible Nigerians to own sophisticated weapons is another pointer to a hidden motive.

“We also read the President’s comments yesterday at the National Security Council meeting where he threatened to sack Security Chiefs for what he termed failure to tackle insecurity in the country. Why won’t the Security Chiefs fail when the body language of the Commander-in-Chief points to a clan of sacred cows who must be spared and given protection to perpetuate evil?

“How will the Security Chiefs succeed when their formations are not well funded and the troops are left to confront terrorists who have superior weapons? Why will the military commanders be decisive when those who kill their personnel and other Nigerians are given preferential treatment on the pretense of “repentance”?

“We hope that Mr. President was misquoted. But if indeed he made the statement attributed to him, he was not being fair to the security agencies.

“President Buhari’s spokesman Femi Adesina once asked Nigerians to choose between holding onto their lands or losing their lives. What is happening now is confirmation of that threat from the Presidency. They introduced Cattle Colonies, Ruga and National Water Resources Bill but Nigerians rejected all the policies. The latest push for grazing reserves and cattle routes is surely the final onslaught against majority of Nigerians who must be deprived of their God-given lands to accommodate foreign herdsmen moving into the country for the occupation agenda.

“Governor Samuel Ortom has repeatedly stated that there is no land for grazing reserves or cattle routes in Benue State. Though the Federal Government craftily concealed the names of the states where Mr President has ordered that grazing reserves be foisted on the people, we wish to categorically state that no part of Benue will be allocated for grazing reserves or cattle routes!

“The stand of the Governor is not personal; it is the collective decision of Benue people.  There is no gazetted land or cattle route in Benue State. Our state should be counted out of the proposed grazing reserves programme.

“If President Buhari must actualize his cattle agenda in Benue State, he should be ready to kill all of us! We know that grazing reserves and cattle routes are the only project that the President has for Nigeria, but Benue is not interested in such a project.”

The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, dismissed moves to revive any grazing sites the Southwest.

Leader of the group, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, said no one in the geo-political zone will cede his land for grazing.

“This man (Buhari) is just stubborn, stubborn.  Nobody! We are not going to cede our land for grazing,” he told The Nation on the phone yesterday.

Asked what would happen if the Federal Government insists on seizing such land, Adebanjo retorted: “Which government? The government does not have any right on our land, and the governors would not give our land for grazing.”

In a separate statement on the issue, the Secretary General of Afenifere, Sola Ebiseni, said President Buhari was just wasting scarce resources on a programme that lacks all conceivable growth capacity.

The Afenifere scribe described the policy on grazing reserves as the implementation of a script by the Fulani intelligentsia.

His words: “We recall and support the Resolutions of the Nigerian governors, particularly from the South of the country, banning all forms of open grazing, and it does not matter to us that some elected governors, in a federation, would condescend so low to functioning as members of a committee presided over by an appointed aide of the President, no matter the name in which his office is painted.

“The concept of Grazing Reserves, otherwise known as Hurumi, which was introduced during the colonial and immediately after independence failed in the north, particularly in the Middle Belt provinces, notwithstanding a monolithic one North government and permissive land use regime.

“For the umpteenth time, let the President be told that the constitution which he reveres relentlessly and the Land Use Act which derives equal force therefrom extol the majesty of the people over their land.

“Even the governor who holds the land in his state in trust for the people cannot dispossess any citizen thereof, except for proven overriding public interest through the due process of law.

“The current exercise is not only a waste of tax payers’ money, it is a sweet pipe dream in a fool’s paradise. Every herder has a state of origin. Let the governments of the respective states make arrangements for settled life for them in the territory where the culture is fully appreciated.” 

It was the same song of no land here for grazing from the South-south and the Southeast.

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) representing the South-south and and Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the Southeast vowed that no inch of land in the two regions would be ceded to the Federal Government for the purpose of grazing cattle.

Spokesman of PANDEF, Hon Ken Robinson, in a telephone interview on Friday, said: ”Our simple response to that is that there are no grazing reserves in the South-south.  No grazing reserves at all to be reviewed.

“No inch of South-south land would go for grazing reserve. Cattle rearing is a business. If anybody wants to go into cattle rearing, the person should see it as a business. Do they reserve fishing reserve for us in the north? There is no grazing reserve in the South-south. That is our position.”

Öhanaeze Ndigbo’s spokesperson, Alex Ogbonnia, said: “Ohanaeze’s position is that Igboland does not have land for grazing. Every land in the Southeast is owned by God, people and shrines. I don’t understand what you mean by grazing reserve. Ohanaeze’s position on this is no.

“Nigeria runs a federal system of government. Many houses of assembly have passed bills against open grazing and some of them have been signed into law. I am sure that in some states where the open grazing law has been signed is in operation.

“Even in the northern region there are some states that have banned open grazing. If the Federal Government wants to impose its will on the states, that is where constitutionalism comes in. I am sure some states will resist.”

A faction of Ohanaeze Ndigbo interpreted the federal government’s directive as a response to the recent ban on open grazing by Southern governors.

It said it was meant to arm-twist southern governors to reverse the ban.

Secretary of the faction, Okechulwu Isiguzoro, asked the Southeast governors to resist any attempt to make them change their stance on open grazing ban.

He also warned Southeast governors that they would be taking a huge risk if they donated land for grazing.

He said: “Ndigbo will not condone further obnoxious policies from the Federal Government aimed at helping the enemies, especially the murderous herdsmen, to erect a” TALIBAN STATE” in southeastern Nigeria.

“Southeast governors’ forum had in the past given the region’s verdict that there are no available lands for grazing reserves or Ruga in anywhere in the East.”

“So we hope that no Igbo governor will sabotage this verdict, as it won’t go without sanctions.

Another Igbo group,  Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF), said it did not believe Buhari was taking the action in the best interest of Nigeria and the majority  of Nigerians.

Its spokesman, Abia Onyike said: “Approving grazing reserves is not the solution to the attacks on farmers by herdsmen. The federal government knows the problem.

“Herders have been grazing their cattle for decades without any confrontation with the farmers. The question is why did they start attacking farmers and villages with guns and machetes?

“As far as we’re concerned, there’s no problem between herders and farmers. Rather, it is hegemonists and their blood-letting herdsmen that are killing innocent people in their farms, raping hapless women and using their cattle to graze in those areas without any form of control.

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) called the Federal Government’s move an open invitation to civil war.

The group in a statement accused the federal government of “doing everything outside of the law to arm-twist other ethnic groups just so the President’s kinsmen are awarded the ancestral lands for their private commercial business of grazing cattle.”

It advised the President to avoid actions that are capable of pushing Nigeria into a long drawn civil war.

It added: “For the avoidance of doubt and from the abundance of scholarly submissions, Mr. President should note that the Land Use Act enacted in 1978 was meant to standardise land administration systems across the country.”

Human rights lawyer, Barr. Emperor Ogbonna, described open grazing as obsolete.

He said: “The truth is that open grazing and grazing routes are outdated. No sane country still allows cows to migrate from one place to another grazing on grazing routes.

“The modern trend is for cows to be ranched in ranches.

“Since the President is keen about the security of the country, any directive that may increase the chances of insecurity should be avoided.

“Insisting on the grazing routes when there are other options like encouraging northern governors to give out land to the farmers or herders to ranch is a better option.”

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, announced on Thursday that Buhari had approved  the recommendations of a committee to review “with dispatch, 368 grazing sites across 25 states in the country and to determine the levels of encroachment.”

The committee headed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, called for the collection of field data collection on 368 Grazing Reserves across 25 states to assess encroachment and encroachers, stakeholder engagements and sensitization.


THE NATION

Saturday

Obstruction of Justice: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell says he is hiding a pro-Trump election official to help her dodge an FBI investigation

CC™ Politico News

By Joshua Zitser

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has said he is providing a safe house for a Colorado county clerk amid an FBI investigation into her role in an alleged plot to leak election data to a QAnon leader, according to Vice News.

The official at the center of the probe, Mesa County clerk Tina Peters, is accused of compromising voting machines and allowing someone to share sensitive data with QAnon figurehead, Ron Watkins, Insider previously reported.

Peters, a so-called "Trump Truther," permitted surveillance cameras to be turned off for up to two months, it is alleged.

She is under investigation by the Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold, and on Tuesday, the FBI said it was also looking into it. The FBI announced that it was working with Colorado's District Attorney's office "to determine if there was a potential federal criminal violation," FBI Denver office spokeswoman Courtney Bernal told the Denver Post.

Two weeks ago, when Griswold issued an order authorizing her staff to travel to Mesa County to inspect the election system, Peters was on her way to MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell's "cyber symposium" in South Dakota, Vice News reported.

Lindell told Vice News on Wednesday that, following the symposium, a member of his own security team leaked the secret location she was staying in, the media outlet reported.

Peters is now "holed up" in a new safe house, Lindell said.

"She's worried about her safety. These people are ruthless," he told Vice News.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Friday

Nigerian, girlfriend arrested in Thailand for drug possession

CC™ Global News

By Wale Odunsi

A Nigerian, Obimma Kelechi Anthony, and his girlfriend, Marisa Noipitak, have been arrested with drugs in Thailand.

They were apprehended in the capital, Bangkok, while shipping 490 grams of crystal methamphetamine to Australia.

The Airport Interdiction Task Force (AITF) caught the couple when they brought the drugs in a spindle photo frame and a Buddhist monk offering to a company to send to Australia.

During a search of Marisa’s residence in Ramkhamhaeng, 985 grams of meth were found in another spindle frame.

In Obimma’s house in Samut Prakan, security agents discovered 35 grams of heroin, 89 grams of meth and 82 grams of cocaine.

The duo are being held by the Narcotics Suppression Division 3.

Marisa and Obimma have been charged with illegal drug possession. Police investigation continues.

DAILY POST

Thursday

Northern and Southern Governors have banned open grazing in Nigeria


CC™ ViewPoint

By Femi Falana

At the virtual meeting of Northern Governors Forum held on February 9, 2021, the members unanimously resolved to ban open grazing. According to the communique issued at the end of the meeting, it was stated that the Forum noted with concern “the growing wave of insecurity in the country particularly as it relates to the circulation of unverified video clips on social media portraying violent attacks on persons in some parts of the country. Therefore, the forum called on political leaders to segregate between criminality and social groups in their domains with a view to treating criminals as   criminals.

The forum reiterated   the   condemnation of   every form of criminality whether from herders, hunters, or farmers occupying forest reserves illegally. It also noted with concern the tension generated by the eviction order issued to herdsmen in some parts of the country. And it  expressed concern that this is heating the already fragile security atmosphere with threats of reprisals which the Northern governors are working assiduously to contain.”

The forum also noted with concern that “the current system of herding conducted mainly through open grazing is no longer sustainable in view of growing urbanization and population of the country.”

Consequently, the forum resolved to aggressively sensitize herdsmen on the need to adopt new methods of herding by ranching or other acceptable modern methods.” The forum appealed to the Federal Government “to support states with grants to directly undertake pilot projects of modern livestock production that will serve as springboard and evidence for breaking resistance to the full implementation of new methods of livestock production (and) resolved to engage elders and youths in a robust discussion with a view to dousing the tensed security environment in the North and called on all the citizens of the north to continue to live in peace with all Nigerians irrespective of their origins and backgrounds.”

The forum stressed the urgent need for the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, to meet and discuss the issue holistically with a view to resolving all areas of misunderstanding and conflicts arising from these threats and suspicion for the sake of national unity.

In response to the call of the NGF for an urgent meeting, the Nigeria Governors Forum held a virtual meeting on February 11, 2021. At the meeting the 36 state governors agreed by consensus to end nomadic cattle rearing in the country in order to end the incessant violent clashes between farmers and herders. In the communique of the governors it was categorically stated as follows: “Following an update from governors on the various initiatives taken by state governments to address the rising insecurity in the country due to the   activities of herdsmen, members reached a consensus on the need for the country to transition into modern systems of animal husbandry that will replace open, night and underage   grazing in the country.”

It was further stated in the Communique that: “State   governments are encouraged to put in place systems to accelerate the grazing initiative of the National Livestock Transformation  Plan, NLTP and ranching in the country.” However, the Forum urged state governments to respect “the right of abode of all Nigerians and strongly condemns criminality and the ethnic profiling of crime in the country in an effort to frame the widespread banditry and the herders /farmers crisis.”

At its own meeting held at Asaba, Delta State on May 11, 2021,   the Southern Governors Forum reiterated the decision of the Nigeria Governors Forum to ban open grazing in the country. Curiously, Professor Usman Yusuf has condemned the decision of the Southern Governors Forum on the ban. Even though he did not condemn the decisions of the Northern Governors Forum and the Nigeria Governors Forum, Professor Usman has argued that the decision of the Southern Governors Forum could not be justified under the Land Use Act. Such divide-and-rule tactics are designed to further polarise the masses of our people.

In any case, the decision of all the   governors to ban open grazing is in line with section 1 of the Land Use Act which has vested the entire land in every state in the governors on behalf of the people. Accordingly, any person or corporate body that wishes to use land in any state is required to apply for a certificate of occupancy issued by the governor.

In the same vein, the power to approve the physical planning of the land in every state is the exclusive responsibility of state governments.  Furthermore,   forest reserves owned by state governments are equally regulated by laws enacted by the Houses of Assembly. Under such laws it is stipulated that it is a criminal offence to occupy any part of such reserve without authorization of the state government.

By the combined effect of the Land Use Act, Regional Planning laws and Forest Laws applicable in all the states of the federation. Thus,   pursuant to such laws the Federal Government has directed state governments to take charge of all the forests in all states. It is, therefore, grossly misleading to argue that herders have unquestionable power to graze their cattle on any land without the authorization of the appropriate authorities.

As I had repeatedly maintained, the worsening insecurity in the country, including the violent clashes between herders and farmers, can only be seriously addressed if policy makers are prepared to abandon primitive ideas and embrace scientific solutions. As far back as 2016, the Buhari administration had adopted ranching in place of open grazing on farmlands without the authorization of the owners. Unfortunately, due to pressure from some selfish interest groups the Federal Government abandoned the policy of ranching.

However,   the increasing wave of insecurity in recent times has compelled the Federal Government and all the state governments to make ranching as the cornerstone of the National   Livestock   Transformation   Plan. From the information at our disposal, not fewer   than 24 state governments have applied for the special grant earmarked for the establishment of ranches by the Federal Government.

No doubt, every citizen is entitled to the fundamental right to freedom of movement and right to own and acquire land in any part of Nigeria by virtue of sections 41 and   43 of the Nigerian Constitution, respectively. To that extent, herders, like other citizens, are at liberty to acquire land for cattle business under the Land Use Act. But it is grossly misleading on the part of Professor Usman to say that governors are required to secure the permission of herders before banning the dangerous practice of open, night and underage grazing.

Those who are encouraging herders to reject modern animal husbandry are advised to learn from Botswana, South Africa,   Mozambique, Kenya and Ethiopia that have effectively adopted ranching to end clashes between herders and farmers. In those countries, farmers live in the ranches with family members, including their children and wards who attend schools in the neighbourhood.

*Femi Falana, SAN, is Interim Chair, Alliance on Surviving COVID – 19 and Beyond, ASCAB.

Wednesday

'We welcome Taliban' say China as they begin building 'good relations' with terrorists


CC™ Global News

By Tom Hussey

China has made a harrowing declaration that it "welcomes" the Taliban with open arms as the new regime in Afghanistan and "wishes to develop good relations" with them moving forward. 

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying announced China's full support of the Taliban as the militants take control of Afghanistan. During the chilling speech, Ms. Chunying outlined how China "welcome" future efforts of "participation in the reconstruction and development" of Afghanistan as they seek "good relations" with the terror group. But China has sworn the Taliban must not host Uyghur Islamists who hail from China's western Xinjiang province, a group that have launched terror attacks against China.

During the speech at a press conference of China's foreign ministry, Ms. Chunying confirmed China had become the first nation in the world to pledge their support for the new Taliban regime.

Ms. Chunying said: “The Afghan Taliban have repeatedly expressed their wish to develop good relations with China

“That they look forward to China’s participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan.

“And that they will never allow any forces to use Afghan territory to endanger China."

And in a sobering moment, Ms. Chunying said: “We welcome this.”

It comes as the Chinese held talks with the Taliban at the end of July to discuss the future of their relationship.

Nine officials from the Taliban met China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, in the Chinese city of Tianjin on July 28.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar the Taliban’s co-founder was welcomed by Mr. Yi with open arms at the meeting.

During the talks the Taliban promised they would not allow Uyghur militants from China’s Xinjiang Province to come to Afghanistan and train as terrorists. 

In return China pledged support to the militant group.

And in a shocking statement, Mr Yi called the Taliban “an important military and political force in Afghanistan”.

Despite the comments US secretary of state Antony Blinken at the time claimed that Beijing’s interest in Afghanistan could be a “positive thing”.

The news comes as the Taliban have effectively taken control of Afghanistan after 20 years of western intervention in the country.

Taliban fighters have now declared “the war is over” after seizing the presidential palace, sending President Ashraf Ghani fleeing. Photos have now emerged of hundreds more Taliban fighters flooding into the capital Kabul as citizens scramble to escape at Kabul airport.

The declaration of victory follows a blistering advance across Afghanistan, which saw 20 provincial capitals fall to the Taliban in less than two weeks as the Afghan army failed to hold back their offensive.

It follows chaotic scenes that were unfolding on Sunday evening and Monday morning as thousands of desperate Afghan's swarmed into Kabul's Hamid Karzai international airport to try and board flights. While heartbreaking footage shows how some were so desperate to leave that they climbed on the outside of a US military plane as it took off and later fell tragically to their deaths.


EXPRESS

Tuesday

Ousted Afghan President Ghani fled with helicopter filled with millions of dollars


CC™ Global News

By Foreign Correspondent

As controversy trailed the whereabouts of ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, some reports said he fled with a helicopter filled with cash.

The report credited to Russian embassy in Kabul claimed that the helicopter could not contain all the cash as he had to leave some behind.

The report did not indicate the currency, but it was obvious he must have taken away U.S. dollars.

According to Mail Online, Ghani also escaped with four cars, which he plans to use in his country of asylum.

By Monday night, it was unclear where he had sought refuge.

Initial report on Sunday said he fled to Tajikistan, but local authorities in Dushanbe Tajikistan debunked this.

‘The plane with Mr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani onboard did not enter airspace of Tajikistan and did not land in the territory of the country,’ said a Tajik source.

Al Jazeera also reported that Ghani fled to Uzbekistan.

But Russian sources are now suggesting that he is in Oman.