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FOOD BLOCKADE: Prices Skyrocket In Nsukka, Aba, Environs

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Following the order to block the supply of foodstuffs to the South by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria, prices of food items have skyrocketed in daily markets in parts of Enugu State and Aba, Abia State.

Meanwhile, the Association of South East town unions, ASETU, has described the blockade as a good opportunity for the people of the South East to enhance their agriculture and produce more foods.

Also, Leaders of Omo Eko Pataki including Chief Bode George, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju (retd) and Mr Gbadebo Dallas, yesterday, urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to embark on the agricultural revolution in the state, following the blockage of food items supply by northern traders to the south.

Similarly, Dean School of Post Graduate Studies, Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Prof Benjamin Okaba, has charged Niger Delta State governments to take the blockade of food items as a challenge to rejig their agricultural policies to boost food production.

A cattle dealer in Orba, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, Jonas Ndidiamaka, told Vanguard that the development has affected cattle business in his area.

He said “This development is affecting our business because we don’t know what to do when we run out of stock. Prices of cattle are higher now than the last Christmas season. A cow of N120,000 during Christmas season now sells for N160,000, while those sold for N200,000 before, now sells for N280,000.”

Also, a banker at border town to the Northern Nigeria, Obollo Afor, Ifeanyi Anigbo, lamented a drastic drop in transaction. Anigbo, who told Vanguard that most of his clients were foodstuff dealers and that the development has affected the volume of transactions he usually had with them.

Aba

In Aba, Abia State, a bag of onions that previously sold for N20,000 now sells for N30,000.

Onions dealer at Orie Ugba market Umuahia, who identified herself as Matam Bala told Vanguard that a bag of onions which she bought from Aba Onion market last week was way-billed to her Tuesday, at the cost of N30,000.

Following the 50 percent increase in the price at the point of purchase, the quantity that previously sold for N200 now sells between N300 and N400.

The worst-hit appears to be tomatoes, pepper and other perishables from the North.

It’s a good thing for Igbo —ASETU

ASETU in a statement by its National President, Chief Emeka Diwe said, the decision of Northern foodstuff traders was “a dream come through” for the people of the South East, adding that “ASETU has since created alternatives for Ndigbo.

“The blockade on food supplies to Igboland by the North cannot make us cower, or shake or scamper for help. We prepared for it.

“We have noted with great delight the statements by some Northern groups in which they threatened to end the supply of food items to our land. We are also aware that MACBAN and other foodstuffs and cattle dealers’ associations in the North have begun to grapple with enforcing these threats.

“What is really exciting about this move by the North is that it has helped the plan of Ndigbo through ASETU to attain total self-sufficiency in food production, and it will certainly within a short time put a stop to the capital flight caused by the imperialism of the Northern agro-cartels in Igboland.‘‘

Sanwo-Olu must start Lagos Agric Revolution now —Bode George, Olarenwaju, Dallas

Leaders of the group, who were reacting to the recent blockade of foodstuffs from the north to the south, said Lagos State is blessed with nutrient-rich agricultural fields that can quickly be marshalled into farmlands.

They said: “The recent action which halted the convoy of trailers from bringing tomatoes, peppers, onions and all kinds of good stuff to the south should awaken the leadership of Lagos state to redirect its policies in widening its agricultural investments.

“Lagos State which is naturally our foremost concern as ?m? Eko Pataki should, henceforth, use a massive workforce of her unemployed youths across the IBILE traditional enclave, whipping our vast and enriched lands into huge agricultural holdings. ‘‘

N-Delta states should synergies, rejig agricultural policies —Okaba

Prof Okaba, said: “When they say necessity is the mother of invention, that means that when you are faced with a situation like this, you should take it as a decent challenge and think of what you can do within and outside the box to grow our economy.

“I think it is an opportunity for us to rejig those processes that God had given us. Rather than panic, I think this is an opportunity for us to do the needful, we have the population, we have the graduates that are not working, let the government open up farms and unemployment will be dealt with. The issues of youths restiveness and unemployment will be taken care of by this challenge.

“I am calling for synergy among the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the region, they should come together and exchange ideas on how they can boost agricultural productions.”

We’ll ensure food production, supply to South not affected —MBF

Meanwhile,  Middle-Belt Forum, MBF, has assured Nigerians that the Central region would ensure that food production and supply to the South won’t be affected by the  blockade upon by members by the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria.

MBF  in a statement by its Secretary (Kaduna), Mr John Haruna, said, “All ethnic nationalities within the Middle Belt region comprising of the people from Plateau, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Taraba, Niger, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, the Federal Capital Territory, alongside Southern Kaduna, Southern Bauchi, Southern Kebbi, Southern Gombe, Southern Yobe State and Southern Borno have disassociated themselves from the  blockade of food supply to the Southern part of the country.

“The call for the blockade is laughable and unacceptable. So, we from the Middle Belt region of Nigeria shall continue to transact, and supply abundant food items to the South. ‘‘

Vanguard

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ICC:  Arewa Group Sparks Fire, Says Wike Must Go

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A Northern group under the auspices of Arewa New Agenda (ANA) blasted the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barrister Nyesome Wike as an intruder who is having vested interest in the political space of 2027.

The group said the dictatorial nature of Tinubu shown today with forceful takeover of International conference center (ICC) which is under the management of their leader, Sen. Ahmad Abubakar MoAllahyidi and incidentally is the Managing Director of Integrated Facility Management Services Ltd (IFMSL) – the contracting firm managing ICC was a pure disgrace of the tenets of democracy.

The group in a press conference in Abuja cautioned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary about his political maneuvers that is pitching a tent of political allies to work against him.

Prof Usman A. K, ANA’s Deputy Chairman addressed journalists on behalf of the group and reiterated that Wike is depicting the government of Tinubu in bad light and creating confusion where none exists.

According to him Minister Wike is an unrepentant member of the PDP who placed a curse on himself should he leave the PDP.

” Being in the main opposition party, he might as a presidential candidate of his party, be pitched against Tinubu in the 2027 presidential election. Undermining the Tinubu administration the way he is currently doing therefore would, in such scenario, serve him well.”

Usman described the administration of the FCT Minister as a Nepotism as a “Knight in Shining Armor”: Minister Wike’s Naked Dance in the Village Square.

He said ANA is known with a routine public engagement in support of the Tinubu Administration- going back several months before, during and after the 2023 Presidential election.

But he however said  today’s press conference is caused by a worrisome dimension that crept into the body-politic of the Tinubu administration and is eating deep like a cankerworm into the fabric of the nation destroying trust between the people and the APC led Federal Government.

The statement of the press conference reads as follows:

“The name Nyesom Wike has become synonymous with controversy and un-guarded pronouncements not-minding whose ox is gored and what the larger consequences may be. This summarizes the character of the person who sits as the Minister of the FCT in the current administration. As an outsider in government, ordinarily this man should have been the humblest man in this government with a pleasant disposition and kind words. This unfortunately is not the case. The case is that Wike is projecting himself as the lord of the manor and a knight in a shining armour driven by nepotism, conceitedness and narcissistic posturing.

“The Arewa New Agenda is not new to you gentlemen of the press. You will recall that long before the electioneering process for the 2023 general election took firm roots, ANA, in the spirit of fairness, has been in the forefront of projecting northern values of fairness, trust and friendship and rallying support of northern Nigeria for Tinubu. Data from the last six election cycles indicates that the north control 73% of votes that makes anyone President in Nigeria. Arewa New Agenda helped in getting majority of these votes for president Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the last Presidential election in the country.

ANA is on record to have convened series of dialogue sessions to support key policies of the Tinubu Administration such as poverty reduction, peace and peaceful coexistence, removal of oil subsidy and benefits of the renewed hope agenda.

“ANA has been engaged in the support and promotion of good policies and actions of the Tinubu Administration under the leadership of our convener, Sen. Ahmad Abubakar MoAllahyidi who incidentally is the MD of Integrated Facility Management Services Ltd (IFMSL) – the contracting firm managing the International Conference Center in Abuja (The ICC).

“The minister of the FCT, in his usual element, recently took to the media saying he has revoked the management contract of the ICC and threatened to shut it down. This action of the minister is irregular, devoid of due process and without regard for fair hearing.

Minister Wike in purporting to terminate the management contract between IFMSL and Abuja Investments Company Limited (AICL) exhibits ignorance of what the ICC as a global standard Event Centre stands for. The ICC is the No. 1 event center in Nigeria. It is the go-to venue for international organizations having events in Nigeria. At the time of Wike’s purported revocation of Integrated Facility Managers management contract of the ICC, a number of international organizations have booked the ICC for their events. These bookings are for the whole year ending December 2024. The threat of the Minister to close down the ICC has impacted negatively on these bookings which are third-party contracts with clients locally and internationally. The threat also hampers international business; drives away foreign investment and kills growth and business prospects at a time the country needs these the most. 

It is worth noting that the facility managers of the ICC –  Integrated  Facility Management Services Ltd, has remolded the ICC to meet global standards. By IFMSL remolding of the ICC, the Centre is now a flexible venue that can be customized to client’s specifications. The facility depicts opulence and refined aesthetics of the modern world. 

“In the circumstance, it is very distressing hearing Wike saying he is going to renovate the ICC when no assessment has been carried out and no performance audit has been done in the ICC. As it stands today, the ICC is in its best form delivering first class and five-star services to its clients. To embark on a so-called renovation at this time is to engage in a wasteful exercise. If it is not broken, why mend it? 

“We hasten to state that the ICC is managed by Integrated facility managers under a subsisting management contract with Abuja Investment Company ltd, that has provisions on how the contract could be terminated. Without recourse to the management contract provisions on termination, the FCT Minister took to the air announcing he has terminated the contract. This action of the minister is irregular, against fair hearing and the rule of law and unhelpful to the Tinubu administration. Simple: The FCT Minister cannot do what he is threatening to do because it is against the law, fair dealings and has no place in governance and service delivery.

The FCT Minister’s despotic and nepotic profiling of the north, going after the businesses and social interest of individuals and groups that are Bonafede APC members is unhelpful to the Tinubu administration and paints the picture of one undermining his master in a veiled effort to feather his political nest against 2027.

“By his actions, Minister Wike is pitching the Tinubu administration against Nigerian citizens by depicting the government in bad light and creating confusion where none exists. Minister Wike is an unrepentant member of the PDP who placed a curse on himself should he leave the PDP. Being in the main opposition party, he might as a presidential candidate of his party, be pitched against Tinubu in the 2027 presidential election. Undermining the Tinubu administration the way he is currently doing therefore would, in such scenario, serve him well.

“By this we will go any length to seek for justice and fight for our rights. We are party men and women who supported this government against all odds yet what we see now is a show of hatred for those that love Tinubu and our Great. We can’t accept these charades.

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Gov Fintiri Sets Up Committee To Investigate Yola Market Inferno

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Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State has set up a 15-member high powered investigation committee on the Yola Market fire disaster. 

The fire has burnt down many shops of the market on Monday. 

This is contained in a statement released on Tuesday by the Secretary to the State Government, Barrister Awwal Tukur.

The committee has the Commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Humanitarian Services as Chairman, while the executive Secretary of Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency (ADSEMA) will serve as the Secretary. 

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Wike: APC Chieftain Lampoons Northern Politicians In Tinubu’s Cabinet

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…says they’re gullible politicians who failed to represent the region well

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Sai’du Bobboi lampooned Northern politicians who have formed the cabinet of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a bunch of failures in representing the entire region.

He said the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barrister Nyesome Wike is an intruder and the Party’s interloper who came from the opposition ruling party and displaced them in silenced any issues concerning the northern region.

He accused Wike of attacking some well-meaning Nigerians, especially those from the Northern extraction at will without any of the politicians in the current government fighting for the injustice being meted out by the current FCT minister to many sons and Daughters of the party.

Sai’du from Adamawa Central Senatorial District gave the example of Messrs Integrated Facility Management Services Ltd managing the affairs of the International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja abruptly revoked its contract with the federal government by Wike without following due process.

According to him, Wike did that because the company is owned by a Northerner and revoked the contractual agreement with the sole aim of empowering his political cronies who will be loyal to him in 2027.

The Adamawa State-born politician said the crop of ministers from the Northern region in the current cabinets are Wike stooges who do not have the capability and capacity to stand against injustice and defend anyone in the North.

Worried that if they cannot defend the interest of the North and any politician who has served the party well and wholeheartedly worked for the success of the party they have become failures and all Nigerians should boo them because they are a disgrace.

Sai’du further said that Mallam Ahmad Abubakar Moallayidi, a non-serving Senator who has represented Adamawa Southern Senatorial District in recent times became a victim of Wike’s “rascality” of attacking Northerners.

Sai’du who was the former National Chairman of the KOWA Party said Moallayidi was one of the few individuals who sacrificed a lot in delivering President Tinubu and all he could get in return was Wike’s sheer wickedness in attacking Northerners.

He called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to as a matter of urgency replace Wike with a more decent politician from Rivers State who is a true member of APC otherwise, the excesses of his leadership are becoming more unbecoming and will consume everyone in the party, including the president.

“Wike from PDP is getting on the nerves of everyone in APC, the Man is having his field day and his atrocities are going unhindered being aided by the so-called Ministers who are afraid to call him to order.

“All I’m saying is he should stand up for Justice and stop fighting those who worked for the party that’s today a beneficiary of their hard work and labor through all sorts of pains to bring Tinubu on board,” Sai’du said

Sai’du a one-time Vice Presidential Candidate of the KOWA PARTY in the 2015 Presidential Election With Professor Oluremi Sonayya as the only woman Presidential candidate continued to say that the APC party is becoming evil with the glaring tendencies of killing her own bonafide Sons and Daughters.

“Many people sacrificed a lot, who against all odds served the party and spent their time, energy and resources in bringing into power the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are today crying for marginalization because the likes of Wike are the Alpha and Omega of all that’s happening in the party.” He said

He said Northern politicians in Tinubu’s regime are dosing off, they should wake up and fight for the collective interest of the entire region.

“Your silence is too much for our liking, you are becoming stooges to a Man that ought to be under your tutelage. He has silenced you and is making you irrelevant in this administration for his personal interest. Under your nose is fighting one of our own for no just course, under your watch is meting out injustice to some northern politicians and none of you can address him. You are failing us, you are not representing us well and you all will regret it later. Remember the consequences of your actions or inactions will bore down to the electorates to decide.” Sai’du further stated

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