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Ooni of Ife to Buhari: We Don’t Want War

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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja 

Perplexed by the rising threats of insecurity in the country, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on Thursday, said that the South West region does not want to experience any other war. 

He said, “the drum of war is sounding loud across the country.

The revered traditional ruler raised the alarm while speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 

The royal father said that he came to speak to the President on behalf of traditional rulers towards improving security situation in the country.

 

He said: “How to improve security. I came to speak on behalf of other traditional rulers. The issue at hand in the south west is real. 

“The issue of insecurity, we that live in the remote and rural areas of the south western part of the country, most of the bushes are occupied by strange people am we decided to work with the government to fish them out. 

“Everybody is beating the drum of war, we don’t want war, who can stand war, we want something better for our youths. 

“We should better use them for something good other than shouting war and anarchy. We don’t want that. 

“We told the President that and he is on the same page with us. Politicians should be careful not to throw things out of proportion. 

“We should make sure things are right. Mr  President has actually given good directives to security chiefs especially the IGP, they will visit each and every traditional rulers palaces that are very sensitive in south west with immediate effect, he is going to give that directives. “We need to work very closely with them and every other security agencies in the country. 

“We will all put them to use now, it is very important for us to put them to use and work with the locals. It is very important so that we can separate the corn from the chaff.

He said that everything must be done to put all security agencies to good use and work with the locals to separate the bad eggs. 

He further stressed: “We shouldn’t keep over hyping it and say what is next is war, no. We know what Mr. President has been saying about South Western part of the country for a long time, the peace and peaceful co-existence in the South West, we still want to keep that, we don’t want any war to happen, we don’t want any attrition, we don’t want any anarchy. So that is the reason why I came to discuss with him.

The royal father said that the President assured him that he will say his own side of the story on the issue of Ruga because ‘it is being taken out of context.’

“Another thing that he assured me before leaving which I will go and give back to much more experienced traditional rulers in the South West and our leaders across board is that he has assured that he will say his own side of the story about Ruga because he wants to let the world and Nigerians in particular know the true side of the story because it’s being read out of context. 

“So we should give him that opportunity to speak as the number one citizen of the country.

“What is important for me is the youthful exuberance nature of our youths in Nigeria for them not to take laws into their hands, go into all those places and start to kill and maim, we don’t want that..

“The drums of war is resonating too much and we are very worried.

You were qouted as saying that the South Westners should defend themselves, don’t you think that could be misconstrued as beating the drum of war?

“I mentioned to you that it is real we have wrong people in our midst so when we have wrong people in our midst how are we not going to defend ourselves, that is why I came here that in terms of defending ourselves,we need more federal government apparatus to defend us because we don’t want to be defenceless, it is very important. 

“It is about the mission of defending ourselves that I am here, we need reinforcement from federal government and I just mentioned to you that the President has said he will give directives to the IGP to go and see every nooks and crannies of our traditional institutions in South West and that would probably extend across the  entire country because he mentioned to me that he worked in North East and North Central discussing and working with the traditional institutions.

“So  for us to defend ourselves is for me to come here to meet Mr. President for us to have reinforcement.

“We understand our territorymore than anybody. We understand our territory very well. What is important is that everybody in the South West right now, we are all on the same page. We don’t want war and we want to work with Government to defend our land.

What do you say about stigmatisation of the Fulanis across the whole country?

“Well it is not about stigmatisation, it is about separating the corn from the chaff. “A lot of them are mixed up with the good ones. We are not saying all Fulanis are bad, it’s not only about the  Fulanis, it’s not only about them, it’s about the bad miscreants that are even hiding under the name of Fulanis. We want to try as much as possible to work with the government right now. 

They have all the security apparatus, they are meant to defend us, that is what we are looking up to now. We have to stand up and meet with Mr. President and he has given us a listening ear and you would see a lot of result going forward.”

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FCTA Moves to Curb Medical Tourism

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
Federal capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has pledged to provide the necessary support for the successful completion and operation of the African Medical Center of Excellence, with a view to reversing medical tourism.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, made this pledge during a site tour of the state of the art facility, of African Medical Centre for Excellence, billed to be operational in early 2025.


Mahmoud noted that the partnership between the African Export-Import Bank and Kings College Hospital London to establish the 170-bed hospital was a testament to the commitment to advancing clinical care, training, and research in specialty areas such as oncology, cardiovascular services, hematology, diagnostics, and general medical services.

The minister further added; “The potential impact of this initiative in reversing medical tourism and reducing healthcare worker migration is commendable.
“I am encouraged by the prospect of over 1000 workers being employed to support the hospital’s operations.
“Therefore, I am fully committed to ensuring that the Federal Capital Territory Administration provides the necessary support for the successful establishment and operation of the African Medical Center of Excellence.
“We are happy to see, that the 6.5 hectares of land, which was donated by the Federal Capital Territory Administration, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, as part of the host country agreement, has been developed to accomodate this hospital.”
While conducting the minister round the project, the Chief Executive Officer, African Medical Center of Excellence, Mr. Brian Deaver, commended the FCT Administration for the strategic partnership.
He used the occasion to inform the minister that the management staff of the medical centre are looking forward to further contributions of the Administration to improvement in the management of non communicable diseases in the territory.
Deaver stressed that the potential benefits of the location of this hospital in Abuja is significant, just as he expressed confidence that the partnership would yield positive outcomes for the healthcare sector in the region.

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Ortom, Ode, Asemakaha Felicitates  With Alia on 58th Birthday

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From Attah Ede, Makurdi  
Former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, the incumbent Deputy Governor, Barr Sam Ode and the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of Benue Investment and Property Company (BIPC), Dr Raymond Asemakaha, Wednesday, extended their felicitations to the State Governor, Rev Fr.

Hyacinth Alia on his  58th birthday celebration.

The former governor in  a statement signed by  his Media Aide,Terver Akase and made available to newsmen in Makurdi, prayed God to grant Governor Alia the wisdom and health to steer the affairs of the state.

 He maintained that God would grant Alia the enablement to surmount all challenges fronting his administration and wished him a memorable birthday celebration and many more years ahead.

The statement  read in part: “Your Excellency, as you celebrate, I pray that God grants you wisdom, good health and strength to enable you to continue to steer the affairs of our dear state.
“Leadership comes with its numerous challenges, but I have no doubt that with God’s grace and guidance, all problems are surmountable.”
Similarly, the Deputy Governor of the State, Barr. Sam Odeh, on behalf of the State Executive Council (SEC), prayed that Governor Alia’s birthday would be a celebration of his uncommon passion for speedy transformation of the state.
“On behalf of the Benue State Executive Council, I write to warmly felicitate with Your Excellency, Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia, Executive Governor of Benue State on the occasion of your 58th birthday anniversary.
“As you mark your years of existence on earth today, we heartily join your family, the good people of Benue State and the entire nation in wishing Your Excellency a very happy birthday.
“May your 58th birthday be a celebration of your positive energy and uncommon passion for speedy transformation of Benue State. As Governor of our dear state, you have, in the last one year, demonstrated pragmatic leadership with selflessness and dedication, by rendering quality service to the good people of Benue.
“Your ability to turn challenges into opportunities is truly admirable. We have every reason to celebrate you today, because your transformation drive has brought the state to national and global prominence with many laudable initiatives and partnerships that are now yielding positive results in various sectors of Benue economy.
“Happy Birthday! Your Excellency, you are truly a special gift to the state and a beacon of inspiration for us all. May your birthday mark the beginning of a new chapter filled with even greater successes and fulfillment.
“We pray that the Almighty God will continue to uphold, keep and strengthen you for His glory and to the benefit of humanity. Congratulations and happy birthday!, Ode stated”.
On his part, the MD/CEO, BIPC, Dr Raymond Asemakaha, on behalf of the management and staff of the company, said  the governor had so far demonstrated visionary leadership, tireless efforts, and unwavering commitment to the transformation of Benue State.
Governor  Alia’s exemplary governance and dedication to the welfare of the people are truly inspiring, stressing that this milestone birthday marks the beginning of another remarkable year filled with wisdom, good health, and unparalleled success.

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CBN Unveils Strategy to Boost Remittances

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By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has activated plans to double foreign-currency remittance flows through formal channels by granting 14 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) Approval-in-Principle (AIP).
This was disclosed in Abuja on Wednesday, by the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs.

Hakama Sidi Ali, who stated that the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.

She said, “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.

“It will be recalled that the CBN Governor, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso, had recently declared: “We’ve set ourselves a target to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, a goal I firmly believe is within reach.
“We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry,” she stated.
Continuing, Sidi Ali, said that the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows—one of the major sources of foreign exchange, accounting for over 6% of GDP—as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors, such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.
The increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Governor Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria.
The task force was established as a direct result of an executive learning session with IMTOs during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington DC, United States of America, in April 2024. The task force will meet regularly to implement strategy and monitor the impact of its measures on remittance inflows.

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