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Buhari not against open grazing ban, says Presidency

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s views on the May 11 resolutions of the Southern governors in Asaba, Delta State on open grazing ban were misconstrued, the Presidency has said.

Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said it was wrong to misinterpret his remarks as an endorsement of open grazing by the President.

The Presidency’s reaction to the Asaba declaration ruffled feathers.

The governors, through their spokesman and Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, berated the presidential spokesman, branding him an agent provocateur.

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom, and some senior lawyers, faulted Buhari’s opposition to the open grazing ban.

But Shehu, who in the Presidency statement questioned the legality of the Southern governors’ resolutions, appeared on ARISE NEWS CHANNEL on Tuesday night and clarified that his views were misconstrued.

Shehu said: “The president wants to see an end to open grazing; he wants to see ranching; but he wants it in a way that’s organised and he has a plan for it and the plan will take off in June.”

According to him, the attacks on the President are from people who are in the mood for a public fight, assuring that the states that meet the minimum requirements would be encouraged to embark on ranching.

According to him, those opposed to ranching will change their minds when it becomes fully functinal

Shehu said the president viewed open grazing as old-fashioned and was looking forward to a replacement for the medieval practice.

He reiterated that banning open grazing without an alternative cannot be a good approach to the issue, stating the President was worried about the crisis generated by the matter.

Admitting that the ranks of the nomads had been infiltrated by people bearing AK-47 rifles to kill and maim, Shehu called for calm as the issue won’t be solved by public show of strength.

He said: “Let us stop this shadow boxing. You just brought one or two people here who said things that nobody said from our own end. Did the president say he didn’t support…? He’s opposed to the way the governors have chosen to do it.”

On state policing, Shehu shared the President concern on how the governors, who could not pay workers’ salaries, will fund state police.

“If it is what Nigerians want, the president would have no option but to support it,” he said.

The Presidential spokesman added: “You hire a policeman. Give him a gun and for one year, you don’t pay salaries, like you are doing to your teachers, that’s a problem,” Shehu stated.

Besides, he added that to implement state policing will require amending the 1999 Constitution and Buhari has never rejected constitution amendments.

On restructuring, he stated that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was not opposed to devolution of power, saying the onus on the legislature to do what is necessary.

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Another Lagos LGA chairman dies

Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji, Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos is dead

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Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area in Lagos Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji is dead.

Olatunji died on Monday night.
It was gathered Olatunji had been battling with illness before his death.

He will be buried in accordance with Islamic rites today at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos.

Before his demise, he was seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He emerged winner in the APC local government primary election with 1977 votes to become the party’s candidate in the forthcoming July 24th election.

Confirming his death, his Media Team on Tuesday morning in a Facebook post said: “With sorrow in our heart but in total submission to the will of Almighty Allah (S. W. T), we announce the passing, after a long battle with illness, our dear father, brother, friend, confidant, role model, Nation-builder, Hon. Olufunmi Rafiu Olatunji.

“He was until late night of Monday 21st June, 2021 the Executive Chairman of Eti-Osa East Local Council Development Area, Eti-Osa Local Government.

“He will be buried in accordance to Islamic rite by 9 am prompt at his residence in Sangotedo, Ajah, Lagos. We invite you to join us in paying the last respect to our beloved father, brother, friend and Boss.

“We are confident that Almighty Allah will grant him Al Jannah Firdaus.”

In a terse statement, chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Mrs Omolola Essien expressed sadness over his sudden demise.

She said: “We commiserate with his family, friends, colleagues and staff of Eti-Osa Local Council development Area and pray against such unfortunate deaths in our fold.

“And On behalf of the good people of Lagos Mainland Local Government Areas, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the Conference 57 Chairmen, his family and pray that The Good Lord grants the people he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss and make paradise his final abode.”

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Lagos Assembly passes LASIEC Amendment Bill

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed the State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC (Amendment) Bill, 2021 for passage into Law.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa on Monday, passed the bill Having gone through its first, second and third reading at the plenary.

Obasa stated that: “The Election process of the Local Government and LASIEC which has started with the Parties contesting for the position is possibly affecting the tenure of the existing LASIEC Officials and the State needs to be on the safe side, hence, the need to look at the laws and amend where necessary to protect the effort of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission.

“The Intended Bill will empower the Governor to elongate the tenure of the officials of LASIEC and I think the six month proposed is too wide in this consideration because we need to be ahead in order to protect the State, so I proposed three month.”

The Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, Victor Akande, stressed that the amendment being proposed was needed to ensure the Bill gets the necessary backing in order to stand the test of time.

Akande stated: “Only a singular fraction of the Bill is amended; the Bill also seeks to give the Governor the leverage to be able to use his power in case the tenure lapses. It is a good amendment in the right direction.”

Other members who made contributions, noted that the proposed amendment is a worthy one because the House and its democratic dispensation must ensure that it abides by the rule of Law.

The only addition is subsection 2 of the extant Law which provides for legislation that will necessitate the extension of the tenure of the Electoral Commission to perform it duties is however proposed to be amended since the Constitution states that no part of the people from the Commission shall administer themselves as democratically elected among the selection in the electoral process.

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DSS releases Kano singer detained for Blasphemy

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has released an Islamic singer, Ahmad Abdul, taking into custody after releasing a blasphemous song.

DailyTrust reports that Abdul was picked by the security agents for releasing the uncensored song titled ‘Barhama Gwaska’, perceived as blasphemous and capable of creating chaos in the state. The DSS had said it took the singer into protective custody to avert likely violent reactions against him from Kano residents.

While in detention, Abdul tendered an apology to the entire Muslim community, Kano state government, and Islamic scholars.

Confirming his release from custody today June 21, the Executive Secretary of Kano State Films and Video Censorship Board, Ismaila Na’abba Afakallah, said he had received hundreds of petitions against the song from concerned citizens. Afakallah said he reported the singer to the DSS which later arrested him at a hotel where he had been hiding for days to save him from the mob.

“He has been released as he regretted and apologised over his offence, promising not to repeat it” Afakallah said

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