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Osun APC: Oyetola, Aregbesola’s Camps Say No Reconciliation Yet

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Chairman of ‘The Osun Progressives,” a faction in the All Progressives Congress in Osun State, on Sunday, said no reconciliation yet between the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; and the State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola.

The Osun Progressives, backed by Aregbesola during the last governorship primary of APC in the state, had supported a former Secretary to the State Government, Moshood Adeoti, against Oyetola, who eventually won the party’s ticket.

Initially, both men had denied being at loggerheads, but days before the primary election exposed deep-seated ill-feelings between them.

However, pictures of Aregbesola and Oyetola in a warm embrace had on Sunday made rounds on the social media with captions suggesting that the two men had reconciled.

But when contacted, the chairman of The Osun Progressives, Mr. Lowo Adebiyi, accused members of Ileri Oluwa, the campaign group of Oyetola, of circulating the pictures.

“They are old pictures. Members of the Ileri Oluwa group are behind it. Disregard them. If there will be reconciliation, it is not pictures that you will see first. Discussion will be held first. No discussion yet. Nothing happened. No reconciliation yet,” Adebiyi said.

Corroborating Adebiyi, Mr. Rasaq Salinsile, the chairman of the APC faction in Osun supported by Aregbesola, also said that the pictures were taken about three years ago when the minister came to the state for an official assignment of his ministry and decided to pay a courtesy call on Oyetola.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing like reconciliation. The pictures were taken about three years ago when Ogbeni came for an event organized by his Ministry in Ilesa and he paid a courtesy call on Oyetola.

“I was at the scene where the pictures were taken. It may happen tomorrow, but as of today, nothing like reconciliation.”

Also, an aide to Oyetola, who preferred anonymity, said the pictures were not recent.

She, however, did not rule out moves by the parties involved in the disagreement to initiate reconciliation.

“They are old pictures. The security detail in the picture is not the current one working with the governor. No reconciliation yet, though some people may be tired of fighting the governor and initiate moves to reconcile with him. But no reconciliation yet,” the governor’s aide said.

BIG STORY

NDLEA Nabs Abuja Businessman For Selling Illicit Drugs Online

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have arrested the MD/CEO of Marvelrock Pharmaceuticals and Stores Limited, Mr. Orakwe Chibuike Celestine, for allegedly engaging in sales of illicit and controlled drugs on the popular e-commerce platform, Jiji.ng.

A graduate of Business Administration from the University of Abuja, Orakwe, it was alleged, registered the pharmaceutical company on 16th December 2014 with the certificate and support of a licensed pharmacist, who opted out of the deal in 2017. The suspect continued running the business and enrolled it on Jiji.ng platform in 2019. He however came under NDLEAs radar in October 2021 when he advertised many pharmaceutical products such as Tramadol, Ketamine Hydrochloride injection, and Hypnox flunitrazepam tablets among others on the Jiji.ng online marketplace.

NDLEA said between 26th October 2021 and 8th August 2022, its team of anti-narcotic officers assigned to investigate Orakwes drug business activities was able to establish the suspect was selling Tramadol 225mg and other illicit/controlled drugs through the e-commerce platform. It said, as a result, the suspect was arrested with some quantities of Tramadol and Swiphnol brand of Rohypnol on Monday 8th August at a drink joint in the Jabi area of Abuja where he had gone to make some supplies of orders made through his online channel on Jiji.ng.

In his reaction to Orakwes arrest, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) said the painstaking investigation and process of arresting the businessman should send a strong message to those hiding behind the internet to engage in marketing and selling illicit/controlled drugs that the Agency will definitely get them to face the consequences of their action.

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Lagosians Call For Total Ban Of Commercial Motorcycles

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. . . As Government Announces 86% Reduction in Crime Rate, 63.7% Decline in Okada-Related Accidents

Lagosians are calling on the State government to place a total ban on commercial motorcycles.

At a stakeholders’ forum convened to review the ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly called ‘okada’, in six local government areas, participants unanimously called for a total ban on the mode of transportation.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy Mr. Gbenga Omotoso explained that Governor Sanwo-Olu mandated a committee to engage stakeholders and review the ban, which took effect on June 1, 2022.

The Commissioner said, “After seeing the results of the ban in the six local government areas, many Lagosians have been calling on the government to expand the ban. Some say it should be statewide, considering the present anxiety over security. Mr. Governor has mandated us to have this meeting to discuss what next”.

Calling on stakeholders to present sincere opinions and recommendations that would aid the government’s decision, Omotoso noted that data available after the ban indicated a security improvement, a reduction in motorcycle accidents, and lower admission of ‘ókada’ victims in hospitals.

Commissioner for Transportation Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said an anti-okada squad was inaugurated to aid the police and task force in enforcing the ban.

The Commissioner said: “In the affected areas within the period under review, available records show that crime and accident rates reduced by 86% and 63.7% while 7,500 motorcycles were impounded and crushed”.

He said the forum was convened “to reignite the State’s commitment to tackling insecurity, crime, non-compliance to safety rules and traffic regulations as well as underground activities perpetuated by non-State actors with the use of Okada”.

Oladeinde gave an assurance that the State Government would consider the views at the forum in taking further decisions on the okada menace.

Kick-starting conversations at the meeting, the moderator and anchor of the popular Journalists’ Hangout on TVC, Mr. Babajide Otitoju, emphasized the need for participants to give candid opinions that would help Governor Sanwo-Olu take the most beneficial decision on okada.

Otitoju gave examples of states that had banned the mode of commercial transportation, saying “When Boko Haram was using okada to kill people, the government had no choice but to ban okada in Kano. If it can happen in Kano, I am convinced a total ban can work in Lagos”.

He cited examples of other States that had banned okada as Akwa Ibom and Enugu.

The Lead Speaker at the forum, Prof. Bamidele Badejo, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago-Iwoye, traced the emergence of motorcycles as a means of transportation in Lagos to the economic depression in the early eighties.

He, however, noted that the advent of ‘okada’ heralded security and safety challenges, health consequences, confusion on highways, and a high level of indiscipline and harassment on Lagos roads, among others.

Prof. Badejo insisted that commercial motorcycles must be banned because the trend does not comply with “global best practices for mobility infrastructure development” and its health consequences, such as pollution; smoke emission, and, abuse of drugs, among riders, as well as security and safety challenges.

Expressing confidence in the State Government’s transportation plan, Prof. Badejo said that completion of the ongoing rail and road projects as well as the opening of the waterways would remove the need for okada in any part of Lagos.
The panelists – Mr. Sanya Oni, a representative of the media; Nelson Ekujumi, an activist and representative of Civil Society Organisations; Chairman of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (Lagos State Chapter), Comrade Olalekan Sulaimon-Oba, and Alhaji Azeez Amusat, Chairman Lagos State Community Advisory Council – were unanimous in their recommendations that the Government should ban okada across all Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas.

The youth representative stated that his constituency is hundred percent in support of a “total ban” and was emphatic that the government should ensure that all Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas stop the issuance of riders’ permits to commercial motorcyclists.

Sulaimon-Oba went on: “Politicians should stop empowering youths with okada in Lagos State. The government should also not relax the ban due to approaching elections”.

Also at the event were security chiefs, traditional rulers, and religious leaders, who were all in support of a ban on commercial motorcycles operating in Lagos.

Oba Segun Ajasa of Onigbongbo said; “Okada should be banned all over. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. It is used to steal and snatch phones. Okada is not a good thing because the riders are looking for fast money. That is our experience”.

The Grand Chief Imam of Ikorodu Division, Fadheelat Sheikh Seifudeen A. A. Olowo-Oribi, applauded Governor Sanwo-Olu for providing various empowerment programs for youths.

Sheikh Olowo-Oribi noted that many okada riders have arms and ammunition in their possession.

“Tell Mr. Governor to make the ban total across local governments to ensure safety all over the State”, he said.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation Mr. Sola Giwa urged all participants to return to their communities and “walk the talk” on decisions taken at the stakeholder engagement.

The event was attended also by members of the State Executive Council, including Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tunji Bello, and the Commissioner for Housing Mr. Moruf Akinderu-Fatai.

Also present were the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Kamal Olowosago, the Executive Assistant to the Governor on New Media and Public Relations, Mr. Olusegun Fafore, and other top functionaries of the State Government.

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BIG STORY

Inside Edo: Three Arrested, 20 Corpses Recovered From Shrine

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The Edo State Police Command at about midnight on Wednesday said it busted a ritual shrine in a building along Asoro slope, off Ekenhua Road, Uzebu quarters in Benin, recovering 20 mummified bodies and arresting three male suspects.

The Command, in a press statement signed by the Deputy Spokesperson, Jennifer Iwegbu, said the arrest was possible through information made available to the police.

The statement read, “In pursuance of its operational mandate of nipping crimes in the bud, Operatives of the Edo State Police Command on 17/08/2022 discovered a suspected ritual shrine.

“Following credible information that some corpses were discovered in a building along Asoro slope off Ekenhua Road, Uzebu quarters, Benin city, Operatives of the command immediately mobilized to the scene.

“At the scene, three suspects, Chimaobi Okoewu ‘M’ and Oko Samuel ‘M’ both of Afikpo in Ebonyi and Gideon Sunday ‘M’ of Akwa-Ibom State were arrested while others fled. An intensive effort is ongoing to arrest the other fleeing suspects.

“15 mummified male corpses, 3 mummified female corpses, and 2 mummified children corpses were discovered at the scene.

“To this end, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, CP Abutu Yaro, fdc, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of state CID to carry out a discreet investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the discovered corpses and therefore enjoins the general public to be calm as the command will continue to ensure the safety of all law-abiding citizens and those residing in Edo state.”

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