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Democracy must be protected in Nigeria – Osinbajo

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From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has tasked Nigerians, to protect the ongoing democracy in the country, because humanity has not established a better system of government.

Besides, former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, has said the 2023 general elections are under threat because of peculiar insecurity in different geo-political zones of Nigeria.

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They spoke at a three-in-one programme in honour of a former governor of the state, the late Senator Abiola Ajimobi – commissioning of Senator Abiola Ajimobi Resource Centre, fourth Senator Abiola Ajimobi Roundtable, entitled: ”Election Security and Good Governance’, as well as his 72nd posthumous birthday, held at the Institute for Peace and Strategic Studies(IPSS), University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, on Thursday.

The programme was organised Senator Abiola Ajimobi Foundation(SAAF) in collaboration with IPSS. Former First Lady of the state, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, is the President of SAAF.

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According to Jega, who presented the lead paper at the roundtable, entitled: ‘Election Security and Good Democratic Governance’, noted that “Unless elections are conducted in an environment that is peaceful and secure, its integrity and even the legitimacy of the outcome of that election will be questioned. Security challenges undermine electoral integrity. It constrains or disrupts or prevents preparations and conduct of elections and it leads to partilally if not totally illegitimate electoral outcomes.

“As we look forward to the 2023 general elections, there is increasing apprehension that the pervasive insecurity situation in the country may present a formidable obstacle if not obstruction to that election. If not appropriately and effectively mitigated, security challenges would pose the most serious danger to the integrity of the election process if it even allows the election to be conducted.”

Osinbajo, who chaired the occasion, noted in his address that “Man has not yet developed a fairer or a more just system of establishing government, than the government of the people, by the people, for the people. History has demonstrated that it is this system, captured in one word – democracy, that guarantees the respect for rights of individuals to choose their leaders.

“This right of choice is a civil and political right, and it is fundamental, because that is what separates us in terms of organisation from animals. This system of government guarantees the accountability of the elected to the electorate. And as electorate determine every electoral cycle, by their free choice , whether the mandate given was properly utilized. So, the major issue is how to ensure that this right of free choice is not corrupted anywhere. Once that right of free choice is violated, the basis of democracy and its focus – good governance, is on the line.

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“How can we protect the votes? How do we ensure that every vote will count? How do we protect the government of the people, by the people for the people? I am sure as Lincoln famously prayed that Gettysburg must not perish off the face of the earth ….”

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Bayelsa govt goes tough on violators of anti-open grazing law, seize 44 cows

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From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The Bayelsa State Government has clamped down on violators of the anti-open grazing law in the state.

To this end, it arrested 44 cows found grazing along Imiringi road, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state.

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Governor Douye Diri had on March 10 2021 signed into law the anti-open grazing known as Livestock Breeding Rearing and Marketing Regulation Law.

He also set up the Livestock Management Committee headed by the Commissioner for Agricultural Resources, Mr David Alagoa, with members drawn from the security agencies.

However many farmers in Imiringi, Elebele and Emeyal in Ogbia Local Government Area, Tombia and Okutukutu in Yenagoa Local Government Area have had cause to complain of the destructive activities of cows despite the law.

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The farmers had lodged their complaints to Alagoa and the state task force to help arrest the situation before things get out of hand.

Alagoa had during a patrol over the weekend arrested the cows while the herders escaped into the bush to evade arrest.

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The arrest followed a complaint to the task force by farmers along Imiringi road near Megastar camp where the cows were said to have destroyed crops.

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Alagoa said the task force would continue to take action to demonstrate that the state government would not condone the flouting of its laws.

Meanwhile one of the farmers, Mr Tempo explained that his farm at Elebele where he planted maize and cassava has been destroyed by cows.

He urged the state government to take more action because any farmer that tries to confront the herders is usually threatened with an attack.

“Please I want to use this medium to draw the attention of the Governor and the task force enforcing the Bayelsa State livestock breeding and marketing regulation law that the herders have adopted a new strategy of moving at nights between the hours of 11 pm to 5 am every day, destroying people’s farms along the Elebele.

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“This clarion call is Paramount to avoid loss of lives from these wicked and mindless herders and also help Bayelsa achieve its food security next year.

“When I summoned the courage to confront them as they were coming out from my farm angle, the herders threatened to attack me. Please the government and the other relevant authorities act swiftly,” he said.

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Osinbajo for President group YO-GSM inaugurates South East chapter

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From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

A major group canvassing for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to be president in 2023, Yemi Osinbajo Grassroot Solidarity Movement (YO-GSM), has been inuaugurated in the South East.

Speaking while inuaugurating the Movement, it’s national coordinator, Torty Watchman Okoro said with the inuauguration of the South East chapter, YO-GSM through a concerted and consistent efforts, has been able to register her presence and have coordinators in all the 36 states, FCT and the 774 LGAs.

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The national coordinator said the group is routing for the vice president because he has the grace, capacity and the tenacity to be president of Nigeria in 2023.

“Osinbajo has demonstrated great capacity in given tasks. He has proven the capacity to lead Nigeria as a progressive, democratic leader and not a boss.

“With Prof Osinbajo as a candidate of our great party, APC, victory is sure and sealed, and I call on members of YO-GSM and APC party faithful to support this Movement, as I urge and beckon the loyal Vice President, Prof Osinbajo, to come and answer the Clarion call by Nigerian Youths in particular to run for the seat of the president come 2023”.

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The national coordinator enumerated 10 reasons why Osinbajo should be president of Nigeria come 2023.

He described Osinbajo as a God fearing, detribalised and symbol of peace who apart from believing in one, united and indivisible Nigeria, but also “a cross-over bridge between the youth, aged and the older generation”.

YO-GSM South East Coordinator, Hon Nkem Okoro said the group under his leadership in the South East, would activate every necessary political strategies and measures to mobilise support for Osinbajo.

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Okoro said coordinators have been appointed for YO-GSM in all the Local Government Areas of the South East states, adding that those appointed were not not politicians of repute, but also great mobilisers.

“We are poised and determined to ensure the South East are massively mobilised to the party of this Movement that will entrench a new order in the history of our democracy”.

National youth coordinator of YO-GSM, Dangaladima Aku, described Osinbajo as a generational leader who is loved across the length and breadth of the country.

Aku said all these while power had remained in the North, nothing tangible has happened, stressing that with Osinbajo on the saddle, things will turn around for good in Nigeria.

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Women leader of YO-GSM in South East, Hon Patricia Eme said Osinbajo was the president the country needed come 2023.

She promised to mobilise women of the South East to ensure they help the vice president in becoming the president of Nigeria next year.

Those who attended the inauguration passed a vote of confidence on Osinbajo and called on him to join the presidential race without further delay.

They promised to mobilise support for the vice president come 2023.

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