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Ortom Dares Critics to Publicly Denounce Benue Ranching Law




From David Torough, Makurdi

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has challenged those who believe his administration erred in enacting the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law to speak against it publicly in the state and see the reaction of the people. 

Ortom threw the challenge  after receiving the award as Best Governor in Nigeria in the area of security given to him by the “Daily Independent” newspaper and other awards.

He said the law, which was enacted as a solution to the perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers has the endorsement of traditional and religious leaders, Christians and Muslims and other stakeholders who have all remained resolute that the law should not be repealed. 

The Governor stressed that no matter the level of intimidation, harassment, attacks and deprivation, his Government would continue with the full implementation of the law, saying those who were thinking of coming to repeal the law were daydreaming.

Ortom who lamented the daily invasion of Benue communities and killing of innocent people by the Fulani herdsmen whose agenda he said was to take over the land, urged the people to stand up to defend themselves and the land against the invaders.

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He advised the people to take advantage of the ongoing voter registration exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to regularize their Permanent Voters Cards to be able to elect leaders who would represent their interest in next year’s general election.

Ortom dedicated the award to the people of Benue, particularly Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs who have been living in the camps since 2017 but have vowed to support his government not to surrender the state to the oppressors.

Other awards that were presented to the Governor during the EXCO meeting in recognition of his contributions to the development of the country were from the International Council for Women Affairs,  Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) Benue State branch and Gboko Polytechnic.


Insecurity: Nasarawa Govt Set to Beef up Security




By Ibraheem Hamza Muhammad, Abuja

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has warned that his administration will take stringent actions against perpetrators of crime and criminality in the state, stressing that the government will beef up security around Nasarawa Eggon.

This is just as Engineer Sule urged political appointees and other top government functionaries, to be a little more cautious while going about their responsibilities.

The Governor made this known while chairing the quarterly meeting of the Nasarawa Enabling Business Environment Council, at the Government House, on Tuesday.

Reacting over the incident involving the state Commissioner of Information, Mallam Yakubu Lawal, who was kidnapped last night in Nasarawa Eggon by unknown gunmen, Governor Sule said efforts are on top gear to draft additional security to Nasarawa Eggon to safeguard the lives of citizens.

He further urged top government officials in the state to ensure they have adequate security protection, adding that the state Commissioner of Police, Adesina Soyemi, has expressed readiness to provide protection to government officials.

The Governor decried the spate of kidnapping in Nasarawa Eggon saying three kidnappings within a short period, is unfortunate but that government is determined to handle the situation.

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“I urge you, first and foremost, to be cautious and secondly, seek protection also from your own end. 

“I have no idea that some of our commissioners don’t have police attached to them until today. While other commissioners are having three or four policemen because of the situation they find themselves in, other commissioners don’t even want it. This is a very wrong approach. We should seek police protection. The CP is more than happy to support you,” he stated.

The governor however, assured that his administration will address the spate of kidnappings in Nasarawa Eggon.

“In a week, we now have three incidents, for that reason, we can’t fold our arms. We have to be able to take a stronger position. I urge you as members of the executive, especially top government functionaries, to do the best you can, to be more cautious. It’s unfortunate that a commissioner will be driving alone in the middle of the night,” he said.

Speaking on the essence of the meeting, the Governor said, since Nasarawa State has continued to attract more and more investment, there’s need for the council to continue to take all seriousness as it affects efficiency of attracting business into the state.

Earlier, in opening remarks, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nasarawa Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), Ibrahim Abdullahi, said the Nasarawa Enabling Business Environment Council is the apex body for discussing the bottlenecks and barriers to bring business into the state. 

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Abdullahi emphasized that the council, has in the past years, ushered in new reforms in the state business environment which has put the state as a top destination for doing business in Nigeria.

The meeting had in attendance all relevant MDAs that had to do with ease of doing business in the state.

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William Ruto Wins Kenya Presidential Poll as Senior Election Officials Disown Results




The head of Kenya’s electoral body on Monday declared Deputy President, William Ruto winner of the country’s closely-fought presidential election, despite several commissioners rejecting the results.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said Ruto garnered 7.18 million votes (50.49 percent) against 6.94 million (48.85 percent) by his rival Raila Odinga in the August 9 vote.

Meanwhile the planned announcement of the Kenyan presidential election results on Monday descended into chaotic scenes after the deputy chairperson of the election commission and three other commissioners disowned the presidential election results.

“We are not able to take ownership of the results that will be announced,’’ Juliana Cherera, the deputy chairperson of the electoral commission told a media briefing at a different venue from where the announcement was to be made.

Diplomats and international election observers were whisked out of the tallying hall where the chairman of the electoral commission was preparing to announce the presidential results.

Kenya has a history of post-poll violence and slow progress by the electoral commission in tallying Tuesday’s vote has fed fears that the election will be disputed, leading to bloody scenes like those that followed presidential polls in 2007 and 2017. (Reuters/NAN) 

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Buhari Overrides NNPC, Approves Seplat’s Acquisition of ExxonMobil Assets




By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the acquisition of ExxonMobil Corporation assets by Seplat Energy Plc despite moves by the state-owned oil company to block the deal.
In February, Seplat had entered into an agreement to acquire the entire share capital of MPNU from Exxon Mobil.
But the deal was blocked by Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited.

Regulatory authorities also declined consent to the transaction.
In a statement on Monday, Femi Adesina, presidential spokesperson, said Buhari made the approval considering the ample benefits of the divestment to the country’s oil sector. 

Considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian Energy sector and the larger economy, Buhari, Monday in Abuja, gave Ministerial Consent to the deal as the president cum Petroleum minister.

The President, in commitment to investment drive in light of the Petroleum Industry Act, granted consent to the Share Sales Agreement, as requested by the parties to the transaction, and directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.


Exxon Mobil/Seplat are expected to carry out operatorship of all the oil mining licenses in the related shallow water assets towards production optimization to support Nigeria’s OPEC quota in the short term as well as ensure accelerated development and monetization of the gas resources in the assets for the Nigerian economy. 

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Buhari also directed that all environmental and abandonment liabilities be adequately mitigated by Exxon Mobil and Seplat.

According to the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, “In his capacity as minister of petroleum resources, and in consonance with the country’s drive for foreign direct investment in the energy sector, President Muhammadu Buhari has consented to the acquisition of Exxon Mobil shares in the United States of America by Seplat Energy Offshore Limited.
“Exxon Mobil had entered into a landmark Sale and Purchase Agreement with Seplat Energy to acquire the entire share capital of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited from Exxon Mobil Corporation, Mobil Development Nigeria Inc, and Mobil Exploration Nigeria Inc, both registered in Delaware, USA. 
“Considering the extensive benefits of the transaction to the Nigerian Energy sector and the larger economy, President Buhari has given Ministerial Consent to the deal.”
According to the statement, the president has directed that the approval be conveyed to all the parties involved.
“Exxon Mobil/Seplat are expected to carry out operatorship of all the oil mining licenses in the related shallow water assets towards production optimization to support Nigeria’s OPEC quota in the short term as well as ensure accelerated development and monetization of the gas resources in the assets for the Nigerian economy,” it added.
“President Buhari also directed that all environmental and abandonment liabilities be adequately mitigated by Exxon Mobil and Seplat.”
In July, Seplat Energy informed investors that NNPC blocked the deal through a court injunction restraining Exxon Mobil from selling its assets in the country.

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