Punch Newspaper Review

Punch Newspaper Headlines (Monday, 25 January, 2021 Edition)

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

Good Morning Nigeria! Hope you all are doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19!

Here’s our picks on today’s top buzzy stories on Punch Newspaper. We prepare it as a quick-read for our visitors who also enjoys Punch News.

Ondo eviction begins today as South-West govs, Miyetti Allah meet

Ahead of Monday’s meeting between South-West governors and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, groups, including the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere and its northern counterpart, the Arewa Consultative Forum, on Sunday called for a peaceful resolution of the eviction notice given to herdsmen in Ondo State’s forest reserves.

While the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Emmanuel Yawe, in an interview with The PUNCH said the group’s focus was peace, Afenifere stated that one side should not regard itself as the master of others in the Nigerian federation.

But the Ondo State Government said it was prepared to begin enforcement of the eviction notice on Monday (today). It, however, assured Nigerians that the exercise would not be violent.

My abductors threatened to transfer me to Boko Haram – Lagos varsity DVC

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Anchor University, Lagos, Prof. Johnson Fatokun, has narrated how he spent three days in the den of kidnappers, who abducted him last Monday. Anchor University is a faith-based tertiary institution in Ayobo, Lagos, owned by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.

Fatokun left Lagos to drop off his children, who were resuming their academic studies in Jos. He had lived with his family in the North for over 20 years before moving to Lagos to take up the university’s appointment. The Oyo State indigene, after dropping his kids in school, was returning to his base in Keffi, Nasarawa State, around 9pm on Monday, when his vehicle was attacked.

Narrating his ordeal to our correspondent, Fatokun said together with other motorists, he had driven past police and military checkpoints when he encountered the gunmen, who were in military camouflage. “We heard a gunshot at the back as the hoodlums came out in front. They blocked vehicles that had entered their trap and shot several bullets at my vehicle. They asked everybody to come out and lie down. They requested my gun and I told them I did not have any. They searched everywhere and saw my ID card. They also took my ATM cards. They took me through the bush and asked, ‘Do you know what just happened to you?’ They said I had been kidnapped. They assigned some men to me. They switched on my phone anytime they wanted to continue negotiation with the pastor. When the discussion did not go down well at a time, their leader came and said they would transfer me to the Boko Haram camp and he was no longer interested in money.”

Igangan/Fulani crisis: Town presents evidence, alleges herders collected N50m ransoms, raped 15 women

Residents of Igangan in the Ibarapa area of Oyo State on Sunday recounted their ordeals in the hands of Fulani herdsmen. The community leaders, who spoke during a visit of the state government delegation to the town, stated that they had paid a total of N50m as ransoms for kidnappings carried out by herdsmen in the community.

The community also presented to the delegation, pictures and other evidence of ransoms paid to the herdsmen. They accused the Seriki Fulani of complicity in the negotiation of ransoms.

The delegation comprising officials of the state and the new Commissioner of Police in the state Command, Mrs Ngozi Onadeko, on Sunday, visited Ibarapa where violence erupted on Friday over kidnappings and killings by herdsmen.

Akeredolu: Presidency reaction widens ethnic division, says Falana

Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), says the order by the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, that herdsmen should leave forest reserves within seven days is legal.

In a statement on Sunday, Falana said the order was in tandem with Section 42 (1) (e) and (g) of the Forestry Law of Ondo State which provided that whoever in any forest reserve, except with the authority in writing of the prescribed officer, digs, cuts, turns or cultivates the soil or makes a farm or plantation; pastures cattle or permits cattle to trespass or trespasses in any part of forest reserves in which trespass shall be prohibited by an order of the governor.

The human rights lawyer said the Presidency ought to have studied the law properly before issuing a statement last week to condemn Akeredeolu. “Without addressing the relevant provisions of the Forestry Law or reaching out to Governor Akeredolu, the Presidency rushed to the media to challenge the directive of the Ondo State Government as it might affect undocumented herders operating in the said forests. Regrettably, such official mismanagement of the crisis has been allowed to polarise the people along ethnic lines to the detriment of national security,” Falana said.

I am still a member of APC, says Okorocha

A former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha, has said that he is still a member of the All Progressives Congress.

Okorocha, according to a statement by his media office in Owerri, on Sunday, explained that the speculation that he wanted to leave the APC was untrue.

The statement read in part, “Former governor of Imo State and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial District, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has said he is still a member of the All Progressives Congress, and asked the public to disregard speculations that he has a plan to leave the party.”

PDP defends Wike’s N500m donation to Sokoto

The Rivers State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party has defended the state Governor Nyesom Wike, for donating N500 million to Sokoto State on behalf of the people of the state.

The money was donated to Sokoto State to assist in rebuilding a market gutted by fire.

The Rivers State PDP Chairman, Ambassador Desmond Akawor made the party’s position on the controversy generated by the donation known in Port Harcourt, on Sunday.

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