Six state governments: Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Oyo have said they will not donate any land to be used as grazing reserves for herdsmen under the National Livestock Transformation Programme. 17 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as three southern states, Ebonyi, Ekiti and Ondo, have signed up for the programme. The Federal Government had in February said it had mapped out 30 grazing reserves across the country for the planned implementation of the NLTP. The government said the implementation of the programme would result in a lasting solution to the farmers-herders crisis in the country. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, said in a statement, “And every state that adopts the NLTP, it is to its own reality. It is not conscription, but if they do it this way, it will modernise livestock and crop production, remove conflict, create dialogue, and create cohesion in communities.” In 2018, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, had inaugurated the NLTP at the Gongoshi Grazing Reserve in the Mayo-Belwa Local Government Area of Adamawa State. He said the plan was designed to run from 2019 to 2028 as a collaborative project among the federal and state governments, farmers, pastoralists and private investors. However, some southern state governments on Saturday rejected the idea of creating a grazing reserve for herders. They said they did not have any land to donate for the initiative. They stressed that any individual who wanted to go into ranching should rather look for land to buy.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, and Transparency International have called for the probe of National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno’s allegation by anti-graft agencies. Monguno had, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation early Friday, alleged that $1 billion arms funds went missing under the watch of the immediate-past service chiefs and neither the funds nor the weapons the ex-service chiefs were meant to buy could be traced. The NSA said the President would soon order a probe into the matter. But after Monguno’s comment went viral in the news, the Presidency said no such funds were missing, adding that Monguno was misquoted. The NSA himself later denied the statement, saying he was misquoted. Between 2015 and 2021, defence got total budgetary allocations of ₦3.8 trillion. In 2015, budgetary allocation to defence was ₦388.45 billion; 2016, ₦429.12 billion; 2017, ₦467.12 billion; 2018, ₦580.14 billion; 2019, ₦158.11 billion; 2020, ₦975.77 billion; and 2021, ₦838 billion. SERAP said Monguno’s denial should not be the end of the issue, adding that Buhari should order anti-graft agencies to probe the missing arms funds. SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said, “Any allegations of corruption in the spending of public resources must be promptly, thoroughly, independently and transparently investigated. Suspected perpetrators should be brought to justice if there is relevant admissible evidence. Any missing public funds must be fully recovered and returned to the treasury. “Investigating and prosecuting the allegations would help Nigerians to know if the funds meant to defend the country and for purchase of arms to empower Nigerian soldiers have been transparently and accountably spent.”
An ex-militant in the Niger Delta region, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, has announced himself as the leader of the new “Biafra de facto customary government” citing “injustice and marginalisation” on the Igbo found in various zones of the country as the reason for his aspiring for a “better life for his people.” Dokubo’s declaration was contained in a statement issued by Uche Mefor, who is the Head of Information and Communication of the customary government. Mefor’s statement also named George Onyibe as Secretary of the group and Emeka Esiri as the officer in charge of its legal matters. Dokubo vowed that the new body would take care of the current insecurity challenges faced by the Igbos as well as focusing on science and technology to make life easier for the people. According to him, in the efforts to achieve the set goals, the ‘government’ shall never go into war with anybody. In the same vein, he reiterated the customary government’s determination to take care of the needs of the people. Dokubo listed the proposed government’s paramount agenda as comprising security by “securing the lives and properties of our people, we are going to invest everything we have in science and technology to increase the scientific and technological discoveries, fabrications and making life easier for our people through science and technology”. He said, “We are going to pursue rigorously the education of our people, we are going to make sure that we feed ourselves. “You are all aware of the recent plot where they decided to stop food from the north. They failed woefully, they will continue to fail. The government of Biafra States will look to make sure that we only eat what we can produce. “Nobody can stop us. Nobody can blockade us as they did in the first war. We’re not going to fight any war with anybody, we’re walking to freedom. “We are going to proceed to set up provincial structures of government starting with provincial assemblies and provincial governance and administrators. “Let nobody be mistaken that a Biafra will be worse than Nigeria. There is nothing that will be worse than what we are facing today in Nigeria”.
Turkey’s actions must show alignment with Egypt’s principles and goals for relations between the two countries to return to normal, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Sunday. Shoukry confirmed contacts between Cairo and Ankara after years of tensions but indicated that dialogue was limited. Relations have been frosty since Egypt’s army ousted Mohammed Mursi, who was the country’s first democratically elected president and an ally of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, following protests in 2013. “(There is) no communication outside the normal diplomatic framework. If real actions from Turkey show alignment with Egyptian principles and goals then the groundwork will be laid for relations to return to normal,” Shoukry said. Top Turkish officials said last week that diplomatic contacts had resumed and that Ankara was seeking further cooperation. Erdogan said contacts were “not at the highest level, but right below the highest level”. Egyptian intelligence sources said Turkey had proposed a meeting to discuss cooperation. Any thaw in ties between the two regional powerhouses could have repercussions around the Middle East, where Cairo and Ankara have sought to influence events in various hotspots and stand on opposing sides in a Mediterranean maritime dispute. Shoukry also told lawmakers there were positive messages from Qatar indicating a desire to further repair relations following a summit in Saudia Arabia’s al-Ula in January. Egypt and its Gulf allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed at the summit to restore diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Doha, which had been severed in 2017 over allegations Qatar supported terrorism, a charge it denies.