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AK47-Wielding Teenagers Invade Farmlands With Cattle In Edo

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Leaders of seven communities in Edo State have called on the state government and security agencies to save them from those they termed criminal herdsmen terrorising their land..
The leaders who complained that their farmlands have been besieged by herders whom they accused of kidnapping, killing, raping and destroying their farms, called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to order his Joint Military Task Force to lead vigilante groups to comb the area and flush out the criminals from the land for safety of the people.
The affected places were Orhionmwon Local Government Area including Ologbo-nugu, Umoghun-nokhua, Orogho, Owuo, Urhehue, Evboesi and Evbonogbon.
They are at the border of Edo and Delta States by River Ethiope, off Benin-Abraka Road. The people lamented that their farmlands have also been destroyed by the herdsmen
Narrating his experience to newsmen, a victim, Gaius Osifo, who hails from Evboesi, said his three farms were destroyed, and he can no longer access them for fear of being killed by the herders.
Osifo said, “on January after the new year celebration, I decided to go to my farm. “I went with bamboo to work in my barns but when I arrived, I discovered that the herdsmen had destroyed the yams I harvested. I had to quickly take my motorcycle and ran back to the village so that I wouldn’t be attacked.
“They could have killed me. I went home to tell my people what had happened. The next day, I went with other farmers to the farms to gather what was left. We reported the matter to our Enogie, Duke. Ever since the incident happened, we have not been going to the farm. They ate the tubers of yam, the ones they did not eat, they cut them into pieces. I now find it difficult to feed and don’t have money since I cannot harvest anything to sell.
“There was a time we drove all the herdsmen in Evboesi away and I believe this set came from a neighbouring community or Delta State. “They ate our plantains and other cash crops.
“Since I was born, I have never seen this kind of thing in our farms. My father cultivated here for many years before I took over after his death. I don’t know who brought these herdsmen. For now, I only pray to God to help us as nobody can go to the farm to harvest plantain.
“Nobody can harvest cassava to make garri. We have abandoned the remaining crops that we are yet to harvest. I went to Abudu to report to the police, but they said I should go to Ugo to also report to the police there. I showed them the pictures of the destroyed farm and crops. The police promised to call me, but I have not heard from them.
“We want government to come to our aid and provide security. The crops they destroyed in my farm are over N3m.”
In a save our soul letter signed by 12 elders from the seven communities to Governor Godwin Obaseki, the people said they are scared for their lives as the herdsmen now threaten their ancestral homes.
In the said letter, they said their farmlands from centuries ago, stretched from Benin-Abraka Road to Ugo- Oben – Jesse Road, all under Ugo and Iguelaba police divisions, claiming that for about four years now, some fierce-looking herdsmen accompanied by AK47- wielding teenagers have invaded the land with hundreds of cattle. They alleged that the incidence has left their crops devastated as the cattle were fed with the produce comprising yams, plantains, cassava and more.
“We took pains to identify the owner of the cattle whom we found to be a Fulani merchant based in Warri. “In our latest contact with him, he disowned the cattle and herders now in our farms, insisting that they are cattle rustlers with stolen cattle from Kogi State. “He said he has since taken away his herders and cattle from our neighbourhood, adding that those now terrorising us are common criminals. They reported.
“We are now forced to cry to our governor as the bandits have started killing our people, raping our wives and daughters.
They outlined some mayhem unleashed upon the community to include; killing of a father and his 3 children at Evbonogbon, abduction of three women from Ologbo-nugu; tortured and raped, abduction and raping of seven other women from Evbonogbon among others.

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Niger Delta

Reps Member Loses In Delta Primary

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A member of the House of Representatives from Delta State, Ben Igbakpa, has lost the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primary.
Mr Igbakpa, who represents Ethiope Federal Constituency, was defeated by Erhiatake Ibori-Suenu, the daughter of a former governor of Delta State, James Ibori.
Mrs Ibori-Suenu scored 46 votes, while Mr Igbakpa scored 22 in a rerun.
Both aspirants had a tie, 34 votes each, during the Sunday’s primary, which caused a rerun to choose the party candidate for the 2023 election.
“I have lost my re-election bid,” Mr Igbakpa tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
“This is not the outcome we wanted. It is not the outcome the people of Ethiope Federal Constituency wanted.
“The cheers on Sunday, May 22, 2022, demonstrated that, but it does not satisfy the appetite of a few to revise our progress and blur the vision of our people,” he said, on the microblogging site.
The lawmaker said he gave his constituents a fair representation and that they had hope in his future representation, but that “all of these have been painfully stolen by the establishment.
“The grave silence on the streets amplifies the fatal setback for Ethiope Federal Constituency.
“My contest was never about me but for the people, hence their grief. Neither I nor the people prevailed in our hope for sustenance. We have now seen what force and intimidation can do”, he tweeted.
Igbakpa said serving his people in the House of Representatives is one of the greatest honours of his life.
“I feel proud of what we have built together in three years. We have touched the vast expanse of Ethiope Federal Constituency and given our people a loud voice. We have energised our resolve in this instance and vow to continue in the same spirit for progress and unity.
“I will always remain devoted to the development of the Ethiope Federal Constituency and continue to advance my belief in democratic good governance.
“I wish the winners of today’s re-run all the best and I pray that the losers (the people) can endure the outcome and the aftermath,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Nigerian Idol: Okowa Congratulates Winner, Promises More For Youths

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Delta State Governor,Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated the winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7, Progress Chukwuyem, describing him as a true son and proud ambassador of the State.
Chukwuyem emerged winner of the Reality TV show after defeating fellow finalist, Zadok on Sunday.
Okowa said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, that the 21-year old songwriter, performer and music minister, was impeccable throughout the competition.
He lauded the organisers of the show and the panel of judges for what he called perfect organisation, leading to the emergence of Chukwuyem.
The winner of the competition, Chukwuyem, hails from Ekwueze-Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area of the State.
Okowa noted that the people of Delta were known for great exploits in reality shows, having won on several occasions in different platforms, adding that the State was gifted with abundant talents.
He said his administration had continued to support youths with talents to realise their potentials, stressing that news like Chukwuyem’s would continue to inspire him to do more for them.
“As a State, we are very delighted that our son, Progress Chukwuyem, won the #NigerianIdol Season 7 competition.
“He has portrayed the Delta character of true patriotism and worthy ambassador of the State, especially with the re-orientation of our youths, through our various schemes and programmes, which have been acknowledged as highly meaningful and successful.
“As a government, we will continue to support talents in sports, creative entertainment and even in business and we are glad that Chukwuyem has added to our pride.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Delta, I thank Deltans and indeed, all Nigerians that supported our son Chukwuyem, to clinch the prize money, as winner of Nigerian Idol Season 7.
“Indeed, beyond the prize, Chukwuyem reached greatness with his God-given talent and distinguished himself as a role model and we are very happy to have him bring honour to our state,” Okowa said.
The Tide’s source reports that the show started with 12 top contestants who emerged from the preliminary stage.
It was premiered on February 6, with the weekly shows covering the auditions that led to the theatre week, before the commencement of the live shows in March.

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UNICAL Hosts African Universities On Online Teaching, Quality Assurance

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University of Calabar (UNICAL) in collaboration with the Association of African Universities (AAU) is jointly hosting a three-day workshop in Calabar on Quality Assurance and Online Teaching.
The workshop, which drew participants from some African countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, and Zimbabwe, has in attendance lecturers from over 20 Federal and State universities in Nigeria.
Speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi, said the institution was pleased to host the workshop for the very first time in the 47 years of its existence.
Noting that the theme of the workshop, “Quality Assurance in Higher and Tertiary Education: Online Teaching and Learning in the Post Covid-19 Era in the University of Calabar” was apt, she said the workshop was coming at a time when UNICAL was making efforts to adopt the dual mode of teaching and working assiduously with a view to stabilise her quality assurance directorate.
“This training workshop offers the opportunity for strengthening the capacity of stakeholders in higher education institutions in Africa for global relevance.
“The theme is carefully selected in line with contemporary times of post Covid-19 era and the clamoring of higher education institutions in Africa to meet global standards in terms of academic excellence.
“Online teaching is not only necessary but urgently needed to accommodate millions of Africans desirous of further studies, especially in the post Covid-19 era.
“It is on this note that I commend the AAU for keeping tab with her objective of providing a forum for cooperation and exchange of information on higher education and research in Africa,” she said.
She told the participants that UNICAL has a rich alumni profile, showcasing state governors, ministers, captains of industries, world ranking academics, legal gurus, top medical experts and educationist, among others.
According to her, UNICAL with over 40,000 students population is ranked 15th best university in Nigeria and the 64th best in Africa.
On her part, the Project Officer/Workshop Coordinator, Association of African Universities, Dr Violet Makuku, said the association came to Calabar due to the commitment of Prof. Obi towards online teaching and quality assurance.
Makuku said, the AAU, which serves as the apex body for higher education in Africa, seeks to impact practical knowledge and skills on the participants toward enhancing online teaching and learning.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, we came out to say no more face-to-face teaching in classrooms; hence we needed to adopt new methods of teaching.
“Everything has been digitalised, so we need to digitalise online teaching also,” she said.

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