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Put Yoruba interest first — Ex-Afenifere Publicity Secretary tells warring parties

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The warring leaders of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, have been urged to sheathe their swords and allow peace reign in the overall interest of the Yoruba ethnic group and its progress.

A former National Publicity Secretary of the organisation and former two-term member of the House of Representatives, Chief Babatunde Oduyoye, in a statement issued in Ibadan, called on the leadership of the Afenifere, now divided along the Pa Reuben Fasoranti and Pa Ayo Adebanjo factions, to put the interest of the Yoruba people first at this moment in history.

Oduyoye, who also served as the Minority Whip of the House of Representatives during his tenure in the chamber, spoke against the backdrop of the disagreements within Afenifere over different issues, especially the ambition and eventual victory of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in the February 25 presidential election.

He maintained that it was saddening that leaders, who should be the moral compass of the Yoruba nation, were allowing division in their ranks, warning all sides to cease fire until a common ground can be reached on the issues.

Oduyoye equally called on well-meaning Yoruba elders, traditional rulers and men of reason to wade into the crisis rocking the Afenifere, noting that if allowed to fester, it would end up consuming the organisation and eventually affect the Yoruba nation.

According to Oduyoye, the evil intentions of the enemies of the Yoruba ethnic group, who have always tried to bring down the Afenifere over the years, would materialise unless well-meaning Yoruba leaders rally round to save the organisation.

The former lawmaker equally warned individuals taking sides in the ongoing face-off to desist from fanning the embers of discord within the Afenifere, noting that it was untoward for any Yoruba man to insult elders because of political cleavages.

Oduyoye said, “One has heard and watched with much pain the brickbats and unsavoury attacks within and against the leadership of the Afenifere in the last few weeks and it becomes imperative to wade in.

“I call on all well-meaning Yoruba indigenes, especially our royal fathers and elder statesmen, to rise at this point and bring together the different interests, which now threaten the continued existence of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere.

“The Afenifere, as a brainchild of Papa Obafemi Awolowo, has fought for the interest of the Yoruba nation at different points in history and it remains the only surviving umbrella body that can unite all Yoruba and protect its interests.

“It will not bode well for the race and its people to allow the differences occasioned by the buildup to and eventual outcome of the just-concluded presidential elections to destroy the legacy of our founding fathers.

“Like it is in every democracy, Afenifere can, and has had disagreements within its fold, but I urge well-meaning Yoruba citizens not to sit idly and watch the Afenifere disintegrate.

“I equally call on individuals fanning the embers of discord by joining sides and insulting our elders in the name of political patronages to desist from such act. It is democratic to disagree and hold different views, but it is unsavoury for young people to denigrate Yoruba elders and leaders.

“For the victories it has won in many battles for and on behalf of the Yoruba people, the Afenifere has earned many enemies within and outside Yoruba land and these enemies have always tried to fight back.

“We must show these enemies that we are stronger than their shenanigans. And now is the most auspicious time for Yoruba leaders to save Afenifere.”

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Adeleke bags fellowship award on infrastructure devt

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Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun has bagged the fellowship award of a socio-cultural group, Ede Unique Club of Nigeria, in recognition of the various infrastructural development projects embarked upon since his assumption of office.

Spokesperson for the organisation, Prince Wale Ojetimi, said in a statement on Tuesday in Osogbo that the investiture of the fellowship award would hold in Ede on Thursday, as part of the organisation’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Ojetimi said that the award was a testimonial to Adeleke’s personal achievements and his progeny’s remarkable contributions to the socio-economic and political development of Osun and Nigeria at large.

He said that the governor would also perform the inauguration of the N5.5 million solar-powered facility donated by the club to the State Hospital in Ede.

The spokesperson said that the solar-powered facility was part of the organisation’s corporate social responsibility component of its 40th anniversary.

He said that the event, to be presided over by the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Lawal, will feature an anniversary lecture to be delivered by a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Prof. Mojeed Alabi.

According to him, among the prominent individuals to receive special recognition awards at the event is a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Wale Abass.

 Abass recently retired from Nigeria Police Force (NPF) as AIG after 35 years of service to the country.

The club is a non-partisan, socio-cultural organisation of leaders in business, academia, the professions and public service who have excelled in their various chosen fields and are contributing positively to the society, both in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

The organisation, established in 1983, engages in human capital and social development, focusing particularly on development of young people.

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Sallah: No security breaches in Ebonyi — NSCDC

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday, said so far there has not been any security breach as Ebonyi residents join other Nigerians to celebrate Eid-el Fitri.

The State Commandant of the corps, Dr Elijah Willie, said in Abakalikii that the celebration in the state has been peaceful.

Willie said he was monitoring operations of his personnel deployed across the state especially at security flashpoints.

“We deployed over 700 personnel across the state to ensure maximum security during the celebration.

“We are maintaining the same security deployment used during the sit-at-home directive of an outlawed group in the south east zone, on May 30.

“We are working in synergy with relevant security agencies  to ensure that there are no security breaches across the state,” he said.

He urged the citizens to continue being law-abiding and provide security agencies with relevant information to combat crime.

“I advise criminals to repent or leave the state as the NSCDC and other security agencies would make life very uncomfortable for them.

“The citizens should see security agencies as their friends because protecting their lives and properties is our business,” he said.

He thanked Gov. Francis Nwifuru for his support to security agencies in the state which, he said had made their work easier and more efficient.

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Enugu residents turn to charcoal stove as kerosene price soars

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Some Enugu residents have jettisoned their kerosene stoves, opting for charcoal stoves instead due to the high cost of kerosene which currently sells for between N1,350 and N1,600 per litre.

A market survey on charcoal on Tuesday in Enugu, revealedthat many people now prefer charcoal for cooking due to its affordable price.

A charcoal seller in Garki Market, Grace Umeh, said that although the price of charcoal had risen from N5, 000 to N8,000 per sack; the patronage had continued to soar.

Umeh said the increase in patronage was because an average family of five could use up to 20 litres of kerosene in a month for their cooking.

“So, the family spends over N20, 000 on kerosene in a month.

“On the other hand, a bag of charcoal will last for two months, no matter the pressure of use, for the same size of family,’’ she said.

Another seller at Mayor Market, ObyOkafor, said that most families were buying the commodity in large quantities due to the high cost of kerosene and other energy sources.

“We have continued to experience good and profitable business for some time now in this charcoal business,” Okafor said.

Mrs Christiana Ozor, a charcoal dealer at Achara Layout, said that due to increase in patronage, she now sells more than two bags a day.

Some buyers said that using the charcoal for cooking had saved them a lot of money.

Mr Gilbert Nnamdi, a father of four, said the new charcoal stove introduced to him by his friend had helped him to reduce the amount he spent on kerosene.

“With only N200 charcoal my wife can cook a pot of soup and a pot of rice for the family no matter the quantity of the food.

“This new charcoal stove does not take time to catch fire and does not bring out smoke while cooking with it,” he said.

Another charcoal user, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that she had been using charcoal since the increase in the price of kerosene.

“I stopped using kerosene when the price increased to N900 and because I am afraid of using cooking gas, I quickly opted for charcoal as a means of energy cooking source,” she said.

Food vendors are not left out in the rush for charcoal because they can no longer afford the prices of kerosene and cooking gas.

A restaurant owner, MsIjeoma Dim, explained that the high costs of kerosene and cooking gas had given charcoal a sudden prominence.

MrOforAnyawu, added that charcoal sellers now made brisk business due to the price increase of other cooking energy sources.

Anyawu called on the government to make all cooking energy sources affordable and available for the masses, especially in the face of economic challenges in the country.

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