Eleven out of twelve aspirants seeking the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress Congress (APC) in Ondo State have rejected the indirect mode of primary adopted for the July 20 primary in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that only incumbent Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu was left out of the arrangement.
In a letter signed by the governorship aspirants to the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe, in Abuja on Friday, the aspirants requested the party to adopt direct primary for the nomination of the its governorship flag bearer.
The letter was signed by Joseph Olusola Iji, Odimayo Okunjimi, Olayide Owolabi Adelaml, Issacs Duerimini Kekemeke, Olusola Oke, lfeoluwa 0yedele and Olajumoke Olubusola.
Others are Awodeyi Akinsehinwa, Akinola Colinus, Olubukola Adetula, Dr Abraham Olusegun Michael and Dr Nathaniel Adojutelegan.
NAN recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Thursday published on its website that the APC had adopted indirect mode for the governorship primary.
The 11 governorship aspirants said: “Having interfaced with party members as aspirants, we can confidently inform you that overwhelming majority of our party members prefer Direct Primary for the nomination of the party’s candidate for the 2020 governorship election.
“It is our position that adopting Indirect Primary Election in Ondo State, given the prevailing mood and circumstances is hazardous and result to litigations which will not help our party.
“We most humbly insist that Direct Primary be adopted as was peacefully utilised in Edo, Osun, Lagos, Oyo and Ogun States.”
According to them, the direct primary will provide a level playing ground for all aspirants and assist in no small measure in mobilising party members to own the candidature of whoever emerges from the process.
“The consequence of knowingly opening the race to all willing members of the party by allowing them to invest time, energy and huge resources only to hand over victory to one of the aspirants by adopting a mode only favourable to that aspirant, is too grave to imagine given the prevailing mode generally in the state and particularly in the party,” they said.
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Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Bank robbery: Police arrest 3 more suspects in Oyo
The Police Command in Oyo State says it has arrested three more members of the gang that robbed the First Bank branch in Okeho, Kajola Local Government Area of the state.
Olugbenga Fadeyi, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, comfirmed the arrest of the suspects in a statement on Tuesday in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the bank was attacked on July 29 by armed robbers who took away an undisclosed amount of money.
Fadeyi, who said that the total number of suspects so far arrested in connection with the robbery was now five, added that they were being interrogated by the Special Anti-Robbey Squad in Ibadan.
He said that the suspects were arrested with the cooperation of vigilance group members, hunters and residents of the community.
The robbers, who came in an 18-seater bus, were later chased by members of a vigilance group, resulting in their bus summersulting due to overspeeding.
Three of the robbers were set ablaze by an angry mob while others escaped.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Food sufficiency: Osun commissioner inaugurates ‘Wave City’ project
Osun Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Adewole Adedayo, on Tuesday inaugurated an agricultural project, ‘Wave City,’ sited by FarmKonnect Agribusiness Nigeria Ltd at Wasimi to promote food sufficiency.
Speaking at the inauguration, Adedayo, who described the project as the first of its kind in the state and the South-West region, said it was aimed at promoting food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.
According to him, every responsible government must create an enabling environment for farmers.
“Today, I believe FarmKonnect is now realising a dream that started in 2017. Today, having FarmKonnect in Osun State is another dream.
“Today, having these facilities on ground to develop agriculture in the south-west is a dream realised. So FarmKonnect has realised a dream.
“Like I keep saying, agriculture has the highest potentials to create jobs, both for skilled and unskilled labour. So, I will like to thank FarmKonnect for bringing this project to Osun State,” he said.
According to the commissioner, agriculture is top on the agenda of the state government.
The commissioner, who highlighted the various initiatives of the government to support agricultural development, pledged the administration’s readiness to welcome investors like FarmKonnect to the state.
“We are looking for investors like this, people who will empower our youths and also create jobs for farmers,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that FarmKonnect was founded by Lt.-Col. Oluwole Azeez who voluntarily resigned from the Nigerian Army to invest in agriculture real estate business.
Azeez said that his organisation’s mission was to take agriculture beyond just planting crops and making money to a business which promotes food sufficiency, national development and agricultural inclusion.
“In FarmKonnect, we run a model we call agricultural real estate and we are the first to do that. This allows multiple people to own a portion of the farm and they don’t necessarily have to step on the farm.
“All they just need to do is engage their money and we take all the performances around. The greenhouses you are seeing here are specifically designed for the tropics.
“The vision is to build one million square metres of greenhouses, a controlled farming environment technology using greenhouses and net houses to produce fruits and leafy vegetables from tomatoes to pepper.
“This is the first of its kind in Nigeria. This is specifically designed for minimal electricity as well as to expand our yield,” he said.
Azeez said he was grateful to the Osun government for its tremendous support to the project and assured it of greater benefits in terms of food sufficiency and job creation.
Also speaking, Dr Bosade Ogunlana, the Founder of Entrepreneurship Initiative, commended FarmKonnect for the project, saying it would help in empowering the youths.
According to her, Africa has more youths to engage in land cultivation in order to boost food sufficiency and security.
“Africa is the biggest gun of the world because over 60 per cent of arable land in the entire world resides in Africa. I know with something like this happening here today, there is hope for Nigeria.
“It can help us to engage the youths. It can help us to ensure there is no scarcity of food,” she said.
Ogunlana thanked the Osun government for its support to FarmKonnect, urging it to ensure adequate security for the project.
The event was also attended by Mr Yemi Lawal, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports in Osun, as well as representatives of the various partners of FarmKonnect.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Safety Compliance: LASWA impounds engines of 6 erring ferry operators
The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Tuesday said that it had impounded engines of six passengers’ boat operators in its renewed efforts to sanitise waterways to prevent boat mishaps.
Its General Manager, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos by Mrs Nkechi Ajayi, the Public Affairs Officer of LASWA.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that there have been reports of accidents on waterways in Lagos in recent times, the latest being July 29, which claimed more than 10 lives.
Emmanuel expressed LASWA’s commitment to continually ensure the safety of ferry passengers in the state.
According to him, the arrest of erring boat operators is part of the authority’s efforts in the ongoing enforcement and monitoring exercise across the inland waterways.
“The patrol team of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) earlier today seized a total number of six boat engines belonging to commercial ferry operators that were caught flouting safety regulations on the waterways.
“Their offences include: not wearing life jackets, overloading, reckless driving, among other offences which could have resulted in preventable fatalities when accidents occur,” the LASWA boss said.
According to him, areas covered during today’s safety compliance operations were Mile 2, Kirirkiri, Abule Osun Jetty, Alex Jetty, Liverpool, Ebute-Ojo all in the Ojo axis of Lagos.
Emmanuel reassured that the authority would no longer condone any action that would be against the safety standards of the state inland waterways.
“Any erring operator will be sanctioned appropriately,” the general manager said.
According to him, the authority will work harder on boat captains and deckhands while continuing sensitisation, awareness and enlightenment to foster safety on waterways.
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Resumption: Unity schools’ Principals in Lagos assure parents, guardians of students’ safety
The Principals of King’s College, Lagos, Mr Andrew Agada, and Queen’s College, Lagos, Dr Tokunbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, have assured parents and guardians of safety of their children and wards as they resumed.
Agada and Yakubu-Oyinloye gave the assurance in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos, on the resumption of schools by the exiting students of the 104 Unity Colleges across the country.
NAN also reports that the schools had been shut following the directive from the Federal Ministry of Education since March, as a result of the ravaging pandemic.
The Federal Government after due consultations with other key stakeholders, agreed to reopen the schools only for the existing classes of the Senior Secondary School 3 and the Junior Secondary School 3.
Agada said: “First and foremost, I want to thank God for sparing our lives, the children, our parents and all other stakeholders. We have also been looking forward to receiving them.
”I also want to seize this opportunity to thank the Federal Ministry of Education for the assistance rendered so far in order to make this resumption possible.
”Yesterday, the entire college was decontaminated, ranging from the classrooms, hostels the laboratories, everywhere, by the Federal Ministry of the Environment.
”We want to assure our parents that there is no need to panic, as our lives are in God’s hands but we will do our best and God will continue to protect us.”
According to him, the college has set up a committee called the “COVID-19 Guidelines Enforcement Committee”.
He said that the committee was made up of dedicated teachers that would be going round during the classes, the dinning halls and hostels to ensure that the students maintain the safety protocols.
Agada added that already, messages had also been sent to the parents and guardians to also advice their children and wards against any form of gatherings or contact activities such as playing of football or games that would bring them together.
“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left, and so, we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.
”By tomorrow, full lecture will commence. We are fully prepared. The timetable is out and the teachers are very ready more than ever before to hit the ground running,” he said.
On the part of the management, the principal said that they have also put certain things in place.
“First, since it is only the SS3 students that are coming back, we have prepared hostels and spread them to all the hostels that hitherto, accommodated SS1, 2, 3 in the college.
”So, currently, we are not having more than 12 students in a room.
“Secondly, on the issue of classrooms, we have 30 of it at our main campus here, for the senior school.
“The SS3 students are coming in soon and these ones will be occupying 19 classrooms at the JSS section of the college, as against the 10 they used to occupy before now.
”All these are means of ensuring strict adherence to social distancing and also we have sanitisers, even customised ones, that is the pedal one.
“And graciously, where we procured some of these equipment from, the company is also coming in to assist us by giving us automated dispensers, like you see at the airports and other places,” Agada said.
He added that the college would also be mounting about 15 of such at the main campus and another 15 at the annex for the Junior Secondary School.
”We have also worked on our water, as we recently dug another borehole to expand our water reticulation system.
“The hostels too, we have worked on the hostels, the bunks, the broken down ones have been repaired, the classroom desks, we have also refurbished them.
”So, as the students are coming, we are sure that there is enough desks, bunks, space and water and all other necessary facilities that would ensure their safety and comfort.
“They have come, let them concentrate on their examination as there is barely no time left and so we have put a committee in place whose responsibility is also to monitor the students.
“Again, another measure we adopted to reduce the crowd is to allow the borders in two houses, to be checked in first. We have four houses. By tomorrow borders in the other two remaining houses will be checked in,” he said.
The principal added that for now, only the borders were being checked in.
He said parents of some day students were also applying to be accommodated as boarding students.
The principal cited difficulty of accessing the roads to the college, following the closure of the 3rd Mainland bridge as a huge challenge.
”We have considered them, because we have the space.
”Our advice, therefore, to our parents is to remain hopeful and assuring that God who has kept us all these while, is still fully in control, and we must look unto Him and have faith in Him.
Also, at the Queen’s College, Lagos, its Principal, Dr Tokumbo Yakubu-Oyinloye, took NAN Correspondent round the college premises.
Yakubu-Oyinloye said: “We have put all the guidelines and protocols in place to ensure that our students are safe when they resume and all through the period of their stay here.
“You can see the sitting arrangements in our classes. We do not have more than 20 students per class with their seats placed two metres apart from each other.
“Names of students per class have been pasted by the entrance of each of the respective classes.
”We have also fixed automated hand sanitisers in all the classes, including the foot pedal sanitiser at the gate.”
According to her, instead of using the 12 classes that were designated before now for SS3 students, 34 more classrooms, including those for the SS1 and SS2 have now been converted for tluse of SS3 students to ensure social distancing.
Yakubu-Oyinloye added that the same measures also applied to the hostels.
The principal said that the school management, in collaboration with the PTA had fumigated the hostels and all other sections of the college.
She said that already, the Federal Ministry of Education, also in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of the Environment, had decontaminated and disinfected the entire college.
”We have also serviced our water treatment plant as well as wash our tanks. In addition to keeping social distancing, we will also be staggering our break periods as well as our meal time.
”We have also designated a building as an isolation centre in the college, should there be any case of high temperature, before contacting the appropriate authorities.
“On the part of the teachers, they have been fully sensitised and equipped.
“In fact, teachers who will have no business on campus are not allowed to come around. They can do their jobs at home.
“In the same vein, all returning SS3 students must also come with at least five masks and must wear their masks before they can be checked in.
“They must also ensure that they come with their personal effects including cutleries as sharing is not allowed,” Yakubu-Oyinloye said.
The principal commended a set of the Old Girls of the college for donating 68 white boards for each of the classrooms in the college, adding that already another set of the old girls are set to donate four interactive boards to facilitate teaching and learning.
She pleaded with parents to impress it on their children and wards to ensure that they always adhere strictly to the safety guidelines.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)