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2023: South/Middle Belt Coalition Tackles NEF

2023: South/Middle Belt Coalition tackles NEF over numerical claims

A coalition of Southern and Middle Belt groups, the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has dismissed the position of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) that the north has a numerical advantage over other regions and therefore, is capable of retaining the presidency in 2023.

NEF, through its Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, had, at an event on Saturday, said the north could retain the country’s presidency, irrespective of clamour by the South for the next president to come from the region, taking the population of the north into cognisance.

However, the coalition says the claims are both reckless and careless and does not hold water in the present political scheme in Nigeria.

In a statement issued on Monday, signed by SaMBA’s spokesman, Rwang Pam Jnr, the group posited that the NEF assertion lacked basis, wondering why a body of respected northern elders should resort to such lowly submission.

The statement reads:

“Let Dr Baba-Ahmed be reminded that without the Middle Belt, such numbers boasted about in the North are mere political posturing.

“It is disheartening that Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed will make such reckless and careless statement at a time, when we are still battling to keep the country united.

“One would have expected that the retired Permanent Secretary with his exposure and academic prowess, will choose his words carefully, but it is quite unfortunate that NEF will talk recklessly.

“It is certain that some liberal minded people in the North will be shedding secret tears as a result of the statement credited to the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), because it is based on a delusion of a ‘one north’ that has treated the Middle Belt region as second class citizens.

“The so-called ‘north’ cannot boast of numerical strength to win election without reckoning with the strength of the Middle Belt and other northern Christians that have decided to work with their southern Nigeria counterparts to produce fresh and effective leaders for the country.

“Rather than boasting of numerical strength to win election, NEF should look for ways to turn the numerical strength to productivity.

“Nigeria is presently rated as the poverty headquarters of the world, because of poor standards of living in the region under the present leadership.

“We, therefore, urge liberal minded northerners to work with the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) to produce a new crop of leaders in 2023 with the requisite competence, character and courage to usher Nigeria into the 21st century.”

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Osun Transport Masterplan to Be Ready Soon-Governor Adeleke

Governor Ademola Adeleke has announced his administration’s plan to release to the public the Osun State Transport Master Plan to facilitate integrated connectivity for the Osun economy.

The Governor made the announcement on Thursday while commissioning the Osun State Computerised Vehicle Inspection Testing Center at Osogbo.

The Governor who narrated a series of ongoing reforms being delivered by his government said “The test center right here is the first of its kind among other interventions of our administration to reposition the State’s Transportation sector

According to the State Governor, “Our government is pursuing reforms across the transport sector. We ensure that Commercial Motorcycle operators across the State are registered under a database with a rider’s jacket and identification card for safety purposes. Mini-buses, popularly known as (Korope) have also been registered and numbered for easy identification and security.

“We have introduced single ticketing to all commercial drivers in the State through the Osun State Transport Management System (OSTMS) to guide against leakage of revenue.

“It is equally my pleasure to inform the public that our administration is working on a Transportation Master plan for Osun state. We are focused on a multimodal plan that will integrate all modes of transportation within the state. It will lay our objectives and strategic agenda for land, air, and water transportation.

“The plan is to regulate, plan, and develop an efficient and well-integrated transport system that will serve the public interest, enhance mobility, and deliver a secure and environmentally friendly Public Transportation System in different areas across Osun.

“The plan is central to our five-point agenda as it focuses on connectivity within and outside the state. Osun is centrally located in the heart of Yorubaland.

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Adeleke speaks on collapse of OAU amphitheatre

Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun has promised to pay the medical bills of students injured in the Obafemi Awolowo University(OAU), Ile-Ife, Amphitheatre roof collapse.

The affected students are receiving treatment at the University Health Centre and the Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC), Ile-Ife.

Adeleke, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Dipo Eluwole, sympathised with the management of the University and parents of the affected students on the unfortunate incident.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr Abiodun Olarewaju, in Ile-Ife on Saturday.

The commissioner was conducted round the scene of the incident by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Simeon Bamire, and other principal officers of the University, and visited the two health facilities where the students are receiving treatment.

He expressed happiness that the affected students are responding to the treatment.

Eluwole lauded the university management for its quick response to the emergency and prompt medical attention given to the students.

Speaking to the four students being treated at the University Health and Medical Centre, the commissioner commended their bravery and wished them quick recovery.

At the Neurological ward of the University Teaching Hospital where two other students are being treated, Eluwole pleaded with their parents to see what happened as a natural occurrence.

He, thereafter, informed the vice chancellor that the Gov. Adeleke pledged to bankroll all medical expenses that may be incurred in the course of the treatment of the students.

Responding, the vice-chancellor thanked the governor for being so kind and loving, stressing that his fatherly role to the students and the good people of Osun is commendable.

A torrential rain on Thursday morning, accompanied with a whirlwind affected a part of the ceiling of the Amphitheatre as it fell off and injured some students.

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Woman burns stepchildren’s hands for eating rice prepared for their father

The Adamawa State Police Command has arrested one Rachel Geoffrey, a 23-year-old woman and resident of Federal Housing Estate, Girei, for allegedly setting fire to the hands of her stepchildren.

The children, Genesis Geoffrey, seven years old: and Idadai Geoffrey, three years old, now have their affected hands bandaged.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, SP Suleiman Nguroje, said in a statement that Rachel intentionally inflicted severe physical injuries on her stepchildren.

In the statement released Saturday, the police image maker said the incident occurred on Tuesday, May 14.

He said the children suffered several calculated acts of cruelty and human rights violations from their stepmother.

He explained that the children faced the wrath of the woman over a plate of rice she cooked and kept for her husband.

“The kids, because of hunger, ate their father’s food and that angered her. She then tied their hands with a handkerchief and set fire to them, resulting in the severe injuries they sustained,” Nguroje explained.

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