Connect with us


Ondo women farmers lament insecurity, fuel scarcity



By Akintunde Jacobs, Akure

Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Ondo State Chapter, has expressed worry over the continuous rise in the prices of premium motor spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, in the state, the situation, the farmers say, is having a huge toll on their source of living.

The farmers also called on the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, to find lasting solution to the farmers-herders’ crises in the state with a view to ending destruction of farmlands by cattle and as well as consider payment of compensation to victims as a means of support.

Speaking on the theme, “Gender equality today for sustainable tomorrow”, organized by Life and Peace Development Organisation,” the Ondo state coordinator, SWOFON, Grace Oyediji said, “the challenges facing women farmers in Ondo State LGAs are enormous including lack of finance, absence of farm equipment and as well agriculture input which are as a result of detached attitude of the government to the plight of women farmers and lack of financial support for them.”

Oyediji, while speaking against the backdrop of the 2022 International Women’s Day Campaign, with the theme “Break the Bias,” advocated the awareness of the policy environment in the state that support gender-responsiveness and as well focuses on empowering the needs of the smallholder women farmers in the 18 local government areas within Ondo State.

She said, “What has become the order of the day is that the enabling environment is not there for smallholder women farmers to survive. Since there are no tractors or equipment to work with in the state, we have to travel out of the state to rent such. The same is applicable to chemicals and other agro inputs needed to facilitate agricultural product.”

She specifically said, cattle menace and general insecurity have remained threats to the survival of women farmers in LGAs within the state.

“We have cases whereby we sourced loans to farm only for cows to ravage the farms. Such is devastating and tragic. Worse still, there are no forms of compensation to such victims since they are not aware of the state policy which facilitates women-friendly environment and security. We need gender friendly machines.

“To redress the trend and break the barrier and the bias in line with this year’s WD Campaign, we are calling on local government authority to, among other things, create awareness of policy environment in the agricultural sector that will support the needs of smallholder women farmers including those living with disabilities in the LGAs in Ondo State.

“It is also imperative for Ondo state local government authorities to enhance and empower smallholder women farmers in the 18 LGAs to add values to their produce. We want Agro Women initiative domicile across the 18 local government areas of the state and we want farmers in rural areas to benefit from it.”

The SWOFON coordinator also called on stakeholders at all levels to ensure inclusive participation of smallholder women farmers as business membership organisation for inclusion into the organized private sector.

“The government should go all out to tame the monster of insecurity which is affecting lives and property of everybody including women farmers. Government should find lasting solution to the farmers-herders’ crises in the state with a view to ending destruction of farmlands by cattle and as well as consider payment of compensation to victims as a mean of support.”

While reacting, the Executive Director of Life and Peace Development Organisation/ Inclusive Agricultural Cluster, Franklin Olomiju, said his organization has discovered a lacuna and lack of women-friendly environment in the agricultural sector in the 18 local government areas in the State.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


ECOWAS Court nullifies ECOWAS Commission staff’s dismissal



The ECOWAS Court of Justice has nullified the dismissal of Mr Momodu Cham, a former staff of the Commission, saying it breached Article 69 of the ECOWAS staff regulations.

Cham had filed the suit following his dismissal from his position as a Procurement Officer with the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (GIABA), a specialised ECOWAS agency.

The applicant, a community citizen residing in Banjul, Gambia, had joined the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) and its President, as first and second Respondents, respectively, in the suit challenging his sack.

Delivering judgment, Justice Dupe Atoki, the Judge Rapporteur, held that the cessation of Cham’s salary by the Commission before the exhaustion of the appeal process was arbitrary, unlawful, null, and void.

According to Justice Atoki, the action of the Commission is contrary to Article 73(b) of the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.

The Court, therefore, ordered the Respondents to pay Cham his salary arrears and other entitlements from January 2021 to June 2021, as compensation.

It further ordered the Commission to pay Mr Cham’s salaries and emoluments from July to December 2021 as compensation for the unlawful dismissal.

“Requesting an on-the-spot response to charges without prior notice or an opportunity to prepare a defense violates procedural safeguards outlined in the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.

“The regulations are designed to ensure an Applicant’s rights are fully maintained until the Council’s final decision.

“Consequently, the summary dismissal of the Applicant by the 2nd Respondent breached Article 69 of the regulation.

“Therefore, the cessation of the Applicant’s salary and other emoluments after invoking the right of appeal is a violation of Article 73(b) of the ECOWAS Staff Regulations,” Justice Atoki held.

The Court, however, declined to grant any orders for mandatory injunctions against the Commission and reinstatement of the applicant .

The Applicant had contended at the trial that he was suspended on July 11, 2019, following a forensic audit report by Ernst and Young UK, which implicated him in irregularities related to the purchase of IT equipment for GIABA.

He said that on Jan. 26, 2021, he was summarily dismissed, and his salaries and emoluments were withheld in violation of the ECOWAS Staff Regulations.

Cham had prayed the court to grant him several reliefs, including a declaration that his dismissal was arbitrary, null, and void.

He also sought an order setting aside his dismissal and the immediate payment of his salary arrears and other entitlements from January 2021.

The applicant had also prayed for his reinstatement to his position as a Procurement Officer and compensation for costs incurred in prosecuting the suit.

The Respondents, in their defense, had however, maintained that the applicant was properly suspended and later dismissed following a forensic audit report and a subsequent query.

They had also argued that the dismissal was appropriate due to the allegations of gross misconduct, embezzlement, theft, fraud, and abuse of trust.

The three-member panel also had Justices Gberi-bè Ouattara, presiding, and  Sengu Mohamed Koroma, as a member.

Continue Reading


Tinubu names National Theatre after Wole Soyinka



President Bola Tinubu has named the National Arts Theatre in Iganmu, Lagos, after Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka.

Tinubu announced this in a tribute he wrote to celebrate Soyinka in commemoration of his 90th birthday.

The tribute dated “Professor Wole Soyinka at 90: Tribute to a national treasure and global icon,” was personally signed by the President and made available to journalists on Friday.

Tinubu expressed his delight to join admirers around the world in celebrating Soyinka, adding that July 13 would be the climax of the series of local and international activities held in his honour.

Tinubu wrote, “Professor Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Literature Prize in 1986, deserves all the accolades as he marks the milestone of 90 years on earth. Having beaten prostate cancer, this milestone is a fitting testament to his ruggedness as a person and the significance of his work.

“It is also fitting we celebrate this national treasure while he is still with us. I am, accordingly, delighted to announce the decision of the Federal Government to rename the National Theatre in Iganmu, Surulere, as the Wole Soyinka Centre for Culture and the Creative Arts.”

Tinubu stated that Nigeria not only celebrates Soyinka’s remarkable literary achievements, but also his unwavering dedication to the values of human dignity and justice.

When he turned 80, I struggled to find words to encapsulate his achievements because they were simply too vast. Since then, he has added to his corpus with his series of Interventions, which have been published in many volumes.

“Professor Soyinka is a colossus, a true renaissance person blessed with innumerable talents. He is a playwright, actor, poet, human rights and political activist, composer, and singer.

“He is a giant best riding not just the literary world but our nation, Africa, and the world,” he averred.

According to the President, Soyinka is one Nigerian whose influence transcends the Nigerian space and who inspires people around the world, explaining that since his youth, he has been a vocal critic of oppression and injustice wherever it exists, from apartheid in South Africa to racism in the United States.

“Beginning from his 20s, he took personal risks for the sake of our nation. His courage was evident when he attempted to broker peace at the start of the civil war in 1967. Detained for two years for his bravery, he narrated his experience in his prison memoir, ‘The Man Died.’

“Despite deprivation and solitary confinement, his resolve to speak truth to power and fight for the marginalised was further strengthened.

“Our paths crossed during our struggle for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria following the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election,” Tinubu stated.

Continue Reading


Tinubu sympathises with victims of building collapse in Plateau



President Bola Tinubu receives the news of the tragic collapse of a school building, which resulted in multiple deaths and many surviving victims in Jos, Plateau, with profound grief.

His spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement on Friday, said the President described the incident as a huge loss to the nation, as well as a devastating development – too excruciating to imagine.

“The President condoles with the bereaved families, families of all the victims, and the people and Government of Plateau State.

“President Tinubu commends emergency responders, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), security agencies, and all citizens involved in the search, rescue, and resuscitation efforts.

“The President assures the people of Plateau State of his fervent support at this difficult time,” said the statement.

Continue Reading