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Soyinka, Ooni Of Ife To Nigerians: Defend Your Ancestral Lands

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Nigeria cannot survive another civil war, Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; and frontline monarch, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has warned.

They called on the authorities to arrest what they see as the prevailing drift into “a dysfunctional state on multiple levels of citizenship, community belonging, security and productive opportunities”.

In a communiqué they issued at the end of a meeting at the weekend, the duo counselled the government on ensuring co-existence amongst Nigerians.

The communique was issued after a visit by the royal father to Soyinka in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

They said solutions must be found to the challenges threatening national cohesion and survival.

According to the literary icon and the royal father, efforts must be made to douse the tension over the suspended Ruga settlements.

The government has suspended the project, saying the implementation was inconsistent with its plan.

The communique decried a situation where some groups consider themselves, especially privileged and above the law.

It states: “We have in mind destructive forms of social transactions that characterize groups such as nomadic cattle herdsmen, and their umbrella groupings in the nature of Miyetti Allah.

“We confess ourselves increasingly distressed and appalled that the hitherto harmonious cohabitation, even routine collaboration, among the productive arms of society that Nigerians have taken for granted even from pre-colonial times, have deteriorated to unprecedented levels of barbarity, contempt for human lives and a defiant trampling on the civic entitlements of other productive vectors, such as farmers, the providers of both food and cash crops.

“This abhorrent, yet consistent pattern of sectarian, and homicidal arrogance is obviously not merely counter-productive but inhuman, criminal and divisive.”

Soyinka and Oba Ogunwusi said the recent ultimatum delivered by a sectarian order to President Muhammadu Buhari to set up the so-called Ruga cattle settlements across the entire nation within a stipulated time, despite national outcry, should be acknowledged as their entitlement under the law that grants them freedom of expression.

Given the current state of affairs, the eminent citizens called on Nigerians across the states to defend the sanctity of their ancestral lands, because such birthright has never been annulled, “not even under colonial occupation”.

They said those who indulge in what they described as “internal colonisation project are backward, primitive and underdeveloped minds that have failed to overcome delusions in the antiquated belief in sectarian dominion as the key to social existence”.

Soyinka and Oba Ogunwusi urged Nigerians to convoke a series of frank encounters, across various interests and concerns, to debate and determine the future structure of their nation, most especially with a view to attaining a genuine, decentralised functional governance arrangement.

They added: “We propose a structure that enables the constitutive parts to progress at their own pace, determine their own priorities, and encourage creative exploitation of their resources for the benefit of their peoples. Such encounters will simultaneously address the numerous anomalies that plague the nation – from youth unemployment, infrastructural decay, insecurity and ethical collapse, to the untenable aspects of the protocols of the present constitution that supposedly bond the nation as one.

“We consider it a primary imperative of nation existence that the constitutive parts of the nation take steps to preserve and enhance their distinct cultural identities, including tested and relevant pre-colonial values, their spiritual apprehension of phenomena and worship, all without detriment to the principles and ideals of mutual co-existence.

“To this end, we undertake to create state-of-the-art Ethnic Museums for our people both at home and in the Diaspora, where present and future generations can access their histories and cultures vividly, as living expressions of their very humanity, not simply as relics of eras vanished forever or irrelevant to the present.

“We pledge ourselves to join hands with others in fashioning a realistic, functional, and sustainable charter of development for the welfare and progress of our peoples, culturally, economically, and spiritually, where every individual freely obtains access to the means of his or her chosen path of development, and the fulfilling knowledge of valuable contribution to the well-being and advance of the overall community, and of humanity.”

The Nation.

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Nigerian Govt To Reciprocate Any Visa Ban, Travel Restrictions By US, Other Countries — Immigration CG

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Muhammad Babandede, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service ( NIS), says the government will reciprocate travel bans and restrictions on Nigeria by any country.

Babandede was reacting to the inclusion of Nigeria by the US to its list of countries with visa restrictions.

In February, President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled a new visa policy for the country which provides for three categories of visas: short visit, temporary, and permanent residence and 79 visa types.

Babandede told TheSignature50 magazine that the new visa policy is reciprocal in nature, adding that like the US, Nigeria has the right to dictate who it allows in or restricts entry from.

“I can tell you that US is a country, it is a nation like Nigeria. They have the right to restrict who will enter their territory or not just like we can restrict US citizen or whomsoever from entering Nigeria,” Babandede said.

“So they have the right, but I want people to know that Visa restriction is not a Visa ban, it is a ban for people who want to take residency not people who want to go for short visits.

“You are aware that President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR just launched a new visa policy for Nigeria, the visa policy has 79 classes of visa. So, we will be in a position to say to countries, if you allow us for short visits we will allow you for short visits and if you stop us from other visits, we do the same, because the new visa policy is based on reciprocity.

“So, we will test this for a year and see those who reciprocate and we take actions for those who do otherwise.”

Speaking on his management of the agency, Babandede said he has been able to execute projects with transparency.

He said when he assumed office, he made it a duty to inaugurate two new command buildings so that the agency could act independently without any interference.

“When I came on board, I was really ashamed to find Immigration office, especially commands been kept in federal secretariat, we are law enforcement agency, we ought not to be in a Federal Secretariat. So i made a commitment to myself that every year, I want to commission two new buildings – commands,” he said.

“And we have developed a model for each command. I am glad to say that 2017, we did two – Kano and Jigawa, 2018 we did two – Plateau and Abia, and 2019 we did three – we commissioned Adamawa, Zamfara and Uyo.

“This year 2020, God’s willing we will commission around five or eight, depending on the availability of fund.”




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Air Peace To Recall Some Pilots As FG Intervenes

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The federal government says Air Peace will recall some of the pilots it sacked.

Air Peace had announced the sack of the pilots earlier in August as part of the company’s efforts to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations.

After the action, the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) had given the airline a two-week ultimatum to recall the sacked workers or face industrial action.

But James Odaudu, director, public affairs, ministry of aviation, said at a meeting on Tuesday, the management of Air Peace agreed to recall some of the pilots who lost their jobs.

According to Odadu, Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace, agreed to recall the maximum number of pilots that his company could accommodate in the light of the current situation as a result of the pandemic.

“In the verbal agreement reached after a dialogue that was held in a very friendly environment, Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under,” Odadu said in a statement.

“In their presentation, NAAPE, led by its chairman, Galadima Abednego, said that some missteps could have been made in the course of the standoff between the airline and the union and appealed to the Minister to intervene in order to resolve the impasse.

“He said that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.

“On his own, the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on their jobs.

“He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.

“He, however, commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.

“The Aviation Minister in his remarks called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.

“He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed.”




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JUST IN: Lagos Council Boss Babatunde Oke Dies Of #COVID-19

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The Chairman of Onigbongbo Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Oke, is dead, The Gazelle News is reporting.

Babatunde Oke died early Wednesday, 12 August, 2020 from complications arising from Coronavirus Infection.

This medium learnt that the former council boss has been sick for sometime but seemed to have recovered, only for the sickness to relapsed late last week due to the stress he went through during the last Sallah break where he was reported to have exposed himself again.

He was rushed to the an unnamed hospital on Friday where he eventually died this morning.

Babatunde Oke was a second term council chairman and was a strong member of the All Progressives Congress (APC).




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