NNPP in Osun removes chairman over alleged financial misappropriation
Fruit sellers in Osun on Sunday described Gov. Gboyega Oyetola’s decision to challenge the outcome of the July 16 election in the state at the election tribunal as the best decision ever.
Operating on the platform of the Osun Chapter of the Fruit Sellers Association of Nigeria, they made the pronouncement at an engagement programme organised by the state’s Civic Engagement Centre in Osogbo.
Chairman of the group, Alhaji Adbulateef Famakinwa, said the people of the state would not allow the outcome of the election to demoralise them, but would continue to support the governor with prayers.
Famakinwa said the group was confident that the tribunal’s verdict would be favourable to the governor at the end of hearings.
He noted that the various projects executed by the governor could not go unnoticed and added that the association was solidly behind the governor to reclaim his mandate at the tribunal.
“We will not stop praying for the governor to come out victorious at the tribunal.
“We are with him and we will support him with everything we have for him to succeed,’’ he stressed.
In his response, the governor thanked members of the group for their support and solidarity.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the governor said he was confident of victory at the tribunal.
The governor also commended people of the state for their unflinching and unwavering support, adding that the will of God would prevail.
He said the grounds on which he was challenging the election at the tribunal were valid and expressed optimism that justice would prevail.
The governor added the good works he had started would continue and dividends of democracy would continue to be provided for the people.
Gov. Oyetola filed a petition at the election tribunal on Aug. 5 challenging the outcome of July 16 governorship election won by the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP), Sen. Ademola Adeleke.
Osun Police Command on Saturday said it arrested one Akintunde Joy, 22, an ex-convict, who had allegedly been breaking into shops in Ede town and stealing from shop owners.
A statement by its spokesperson, SP Yemisi Opalola, said the suspect was arrested after one Akinkunmi Oyekola, a cellphones shop owner in Ede reported that his shop was severally robbed.
“A case of conspiracy, armed robbery, burglary and stealing was reported at ‘A’ Divisional Police Headquarter, Ede. ”Preliminary investigation was carried out before it was transferred to anti-vice intelligence squad on July 26. “The complainant, one Akinkumi Oyekola reported that since March, 2022, his shop had been repeatedly broken into and items worth millions of naira carted away,” she said Opalola said police investigation however led to the arrest of the suspect who claimed to be a student in one of the higher institutions in the state.
The police spokesperson added that when the suspect was arrested, one of the iphones stolen from the store of the complainant was recovered from him.
Opalola said investigation revealed that the suspect is an ex-convict who was convicted in 2018 and imprisoned at the Ile-Ife correctional centre before he was released after serving a one year jail term.
She said the suspect, however, continued with his nefarious acts after his release and that in the course of interrogation, he confessed to being responsible for the alleged crimes he was arrested for.
“He confessed that himself and others at large, sometime in March, broke into the shop of the complainant, located at no.
4, Polytechnic Road, Ede, at midnight and carted away different types of cell phones valued N3.8 million.
“He said on April 27 again, they robbed the same shop again, where they tied the night guard and went away with mobile phones worth N29 million,” she said.
Opalola said the suspect and his accomplices again, on May 29, robbed Oyekola’s shop for the third time and stole mobile phones valued at about N1.2million.
She said in addition to robbing Oyetola’s shop multiple times, the suspect also confessed to robbing about nine other stores in Ede. Opalola stated that the exhibits recovered from him had been identified by their respective owners.
Opalola said the suspect would be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded
The Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) says the scarcity of the American dollar has become a worrisome threat to the survival of the tourism industry, related enterprises in Nigeria and third world economies.
Chief Foluronsho Coker, Director General, NTDC, said this during a breakfast meeting in Lagos on Saturday.
Coker likened the dollar position, particularly its scarcity as another COVID-19 pandemic, which had affected the fabric of goods and services in Nigeria in recent times.
“The dollar has ravaged our industry, from aviation fuel, spare parts purchases, hospitality and recreation services, transportation, logistics and the entire national economic architecture.
“This currency has assumed a scarcity presence and snuffing life of the tourism sector,” he said.
Coker, who also spoke on Nigerian festivals, pleaded that the process and engagement should not have political colouration and undertone to avoid polluting the heritage value chain.
“I am going on a road show in the south west to appeal to the traditional rulers to hold on to what is true, enduring and beneficial to the growth of our festivals.
“We should not pollute our local festivals and do not turn festival grounds to political podiums leading to violence,” he said.
The NTDC DG who was part of the Osun-Oshogbo Festival, which ended on Friday, informed that Nigeria must not lose sight of the unification process which various festivals in the country desired to promote.
He berated the disturbing tribal and religious sing song which was fast eating up the fabrics of national unity and cohesion.
“We grew up in Nigeria not concerned about where anyone comes from, your dialect or those things which irritate relationships.
“We saw ourselves as neighbours, family and friends, so I wonder at the divisions and acrimonies over ethnic and religious sentiments which unfortunately is eroding the fabric of national unity, peace and development,” he said.
Coker commended the Lagos State Government for reintroducing History and Culture studies in its schools, noting that it was a welcome healing process that should remain.
He said this will go a long way in teaching and educating children about the richness of Nigerian cultural tourism history and tradition.
He urged states government to emulate the intervention to the benefit of the country unification process and cohesion.
“At NTDC, we will help give our people hope and faith in Nigeria, indeed, these are difficult times and people are worried about tomorrow, tourism businesses bleeding.
But, we shall preach hope, stand in gap, lift up depressed minds even though we don’t have all the resources.
“We will try to navigate the process, collaborate with industry associations and together, we can win these challenges and return our country to winning ways.
“Nigeria’s image must be salvaged, no controversies about it and we call out all hands on to the rescue efforts,” he said.
The Aare Onakankafo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams, has appealed to the Osun government to protect the Osun river from the illegal activities of artisanal miners.
Adams, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the grand finale of the Osun- festival, said the pollution of the river by the artisanal miners was worrisome.
He called on government to put an end to the activities of the artisanal miners in order to preserve the sanctity of the sacred grove.
” I want to appeal to the state government to put a stop to the activities of the artisanal miners so as to protect our heritage.
” These artisanal miners are contaminating our heritage and this is dangerous, highly ridiculous and a threat to our tourism and cultural potential,” he said.
Adams, however, expressed the belief that the Osun goddess would protect those who drank the contaminated water during the festival.
“I believe by the power of Osun, anybody that drank the contaminated water will not be affected,” he said.
Adams also called for the promotion of Yoruba culture.
” We must continue to promote our culture because if we refuse to promote our culture, we will lose our identity and history.
” By promoting our culture, there will be cohesion and unity,” he said.
Adams, who described Osun Osogbo festival as one of the oldest in Yorubaland, said it was one of the ways to promote the rich culture of the Yoruba.
“Osun Osogbo festival is not about religion but rather it is about promoting Yoruba culture,” he said.
NAN reports that government on Thursday advised tourists and devotees to the grand finale of the festival to refrain from drinking the water because of contamination.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, gave the advice in an interview with NAN.
He said government embarked on sensitisation to discourage people from drinking the water during the festival as it had been contaminated by the activities of artisanal miners But in spite of government’s warning, many devotees and visitors were sighted on Friday defying the warning.
Osun-Osogbo: Stakeholders seek support for tourism sector Festival By Joshua Oladipo Osogbo, Aug. 13 , 2022 (NAN ) Stakeholders in the culture and tourism sector have solicited the support and collaboration of government at all levels in boosting the sector.
The stakeholders made the call in seperate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the grand finale of the Osun Osogbo festival on Friday.
The Araba Awo of Osogbo-land, Chief Ifayemi Elebubon, said the Osun-Osogbo 600-year-old heritage had intrinsic connection with Yoruba tradition and worship.
The renowned traditionalist, who noted that the annual festival had become a huge tourist destination, urged all tiers of government to collaborate in boosting the world heritage site.
NAN reports that Osun-Osogbo festival, whose history dates back to many centuries, is usually celebrated in an ancient grove believed to be among the last of the sacred forests still remaining among Yoruba cities.
In recognition of its global significance and cultural value, the Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Elebubon said the purpose of the festival was to fulfill the ancestral oath taking with the Osun goddess for protection.
He said the blessings from the deity were enormous and these required the annual sacrificial homage to the heritage site.
Similarly, Nike Okundaye, the owner of the popular Nike Arts and Gallery, called for collaboration among key stakeholders to boost the Culture and Tourism sector.
She congratulated the government and people of Osun for a successful hosting of the festival while expressing gratitude to the visiting devotees and tourists who attended.
” We have people who came from Brazil and other parts of the world.
Thank you for coming .
We appreciate you and hope to see you next year,” she(
Some foreign devotees at the just concluded Osun-Osogbo festival have expressed belief in the sanctity of the Osun deity, saying the annual fiesta offers opportunity for worship through the sacred grove.
The tourists, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the grand finale of the festival in Osogbo, said the event gave them joy and a sense of belonging in the worship of the Osun goddess.
A Brazilian, Mrs Regina Alberto, said she was in Osun specifically for the Osun-Osogbo festival as a devotee of the Yoruba Orisa worship.
NAN reports that Alberto is a member of the Odudua Worldwide Group, a Diaspora socio-cultural organisation committed to the promotion of Yoruba culture, tradition and worship.
NAN also reports that no fewer than 50 members of the group were sighted at the sacred grove during Friday’s grand finale.
Alberto, who said this was her second outing at the festival, however, said that her group had been coming for the festival since 2011. “I am from Brazil.
I am with Odudua Brazil, which is part of Odudua Worldwide Group.
“This is my second year of coming for the festival, but my group had been coming since 2011. “The Osun-Osogbo festival is very important to us because in Brazil we praise Orisa diety and being here and seeing everyone praying and worshipping, just like we try to do is so emotional.
“The energy is so powerful , it is really hard not to cry, ” she said.
Alberto said the understanding of her group that the source and worship point of the Osun goddess was located at the Osun-Osogbo grove spurred its interest in the festival.
She said the festival gave members of the visiting devotees joy to be in company of indigenous devotees and others from around the world to celebrate the Osun goddess.
Also speaking with NAN, a German, Johnnnes Wollbold, said he was in Osun to study Yoruba culture and take part in the Osun-Osogbo festival.
Wollbold said the study would give him a comprehensive report on the lives and nature of Osogbo people.
Wollbold, who said he came from Weimer Germany, said he was working in partnership with Jungle Communication Centre(JCC) to study African philosophy vis-a-vis Yoruba culture.
He said he had been to Nigeria three times in the 90s but took part in Osun-Osogbo festival in 1995. “I am here to study Yoruba African culture, the music, drumming, dancing and African philosophy.
“The Yoruba culture is not individualistic, often the Yoruba celebrate together and the Osun festival brings people together.
“The festival afforded me the opportunity to understand how the Yoruba people mix together, their contact with nature and harmony between nature and humans, and not forgetting their roots.
“The Osun festival is joy of life.
I see people in their everyday life, joyful and I love the celebration.
” I like the Yoruba people.
They are friendly.
They are not individualistic .
As a German-European , I will, however, like them to stay peaceful.
“There is a senseless war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine which is crazy, so I will advise Nigerians to learn to settle their differences and stay peaceful,” he said.
Most Rev. Alfred Martins, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, has called on youths to utilise the power of casting a vote to bring in a leader of their choice come 2023. The prelate made the call at the ongoing National Youth Day Congress organised by the Catholic Bishop Congress of Nigeria(CBCN), at SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary in Bodija, Ibadan.
Martins said the power of casting a vote was the ultimate rather than resort to violence during and after any election.
Martins, who was represented by the CBCN Chairman, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji, Archbishop of Owerri, decried the high rate of insecurity in the country and urged the government at all levels to check the trend.
Martins urged the youth to avoid temptations that their votes would not count as there were indications that it would due the results of Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.
He encouraged everyone to collect their Permanent Voter’s Card and use it to vote wisely as it was the only way to help in the development of the country.
Martins also called for more prayers and devotions to the teachings of our Creator to end the killings and change the fortune of the country.
Martins said the ongoing congress, which had high attendance of Catholic youths, priests and Bishops across the country, was a sign that the youth recognised the role of God in their lives.
He enjoined them to use their youthful days in the service of God and the country positively.
In spite of the state government’s warning against drinking water from Osun river during the grand finale of the Osun Osogbo festival due to contamination, many devotees and visitors were sighted on Friday defying the warning.Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria at the grove reports that some of the worshippers, who fetched the water in different sizes of Jerry Cans, were seen drinking the water on their way out of the grove.Devotees and visitors, who had trooped out to the river side in their white attires and beads, were seen singing traditional songs and dancing.One of the worshippers , Abidoye Osungbenro, told NAN that she has a strong faith that nothing would happen to her inspite of the fact that the water is contaminated .Osungbenro said the deity would protect her and others from any ailment as a result of drinking contaminated water.She said the state government’s warning against drinking the water would not be beneficial to those who believe in the efficacy of the water.Another devotee, Adeoye Ifadayo , who also spoke with NAN, described the Osun river as divine, adding that it could heal and protect.Ifadayo said goverment warning would not stop them from drinking the water even if contaminated.Also speaking, Sadiq Adeoso, another devotee, said with the divine power in the river, nothing would happen to those who drink the water because of its sacred powers.NAN reports that those selling the Jerry cans made brisk business at the entrance of the grove.Prices of the Jerry cans ranged from N150 to N350, depending on size.During the festival, tourists, visitors and devotees usually drink from the Osun River for its perceived divine healing properties while some take the water home to bathe with.NAN reports that government on Thursday had advised tourists and devotees to the grand finale of the festival to refrain from drinking the water because of contamination.The Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, gave the advice in an interview with NAN.He said government embarked on sensitisation to discourage people from drinking the water during the festival as it had been contaminated by the activities of artisanal miners.Isamotu said public health officials would be at the grove during the festival to further sensitise people on the dangers of drinking the water.According to the Curator and Site Manager of Osun Osogbo Grove, Mr Adekunle Fatai, no fewer than 60,000 devotees and tourists are expected at the grand finale.The river is said to have been heavily contaminated with mercury, lead, cyanide and other injurious elements that are poisonous to human health.A Geographical Information Analysis and Laboratory Tests carried out by a Non-governmental Organisation, Urban Alert, also affirmed the presence of heavy elements in the water.Meanwhile, traditionalists and Osun goddess devotees continued to troop to the river in their numbers as early as 700 a.m to celebrate the grand finale of the festival.Traditional entertainers and cultural troops were also seen entertaining guests and visitors at the grove.The Osun-Osogbo festival, whose history dates back to many centuries, is usually celebrated in an ancient grove believed to be among the last of the sacred forests among Yoruba cities.In recognition of its global significance and cultural value, the Sacred Grove was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. NAN further reports that for the people of Osogbo land, the festival symbolises the traditional cleansing of the town and cultural reunion of the people with their ancestors and founders of Osogbo kingdom. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
A Kwara High Court in Ilorin on Thursday convicted one Christopher Adetuberu, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member serving in Ogbomosho, Oyo state, for offences bordering on internet fraud.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) secured the conviction.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Yusuf said that Adetuberu, 28, was found guilty of the two counts of cybercrime preferred against him by the Ilorin Zonal Command of EFCC.
Yusuf sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment with N200,000 as option of fine, adding that his conviction would serve as deterrent to others.
The court also ordered the forfeiture of a 3-Bedroom flat acquired with the proceeds of the illegal activities, a Lexus car, different brands of phones, a laptop, as well as N921, 535.49 found in his bank account to the Federal Government.
Adetuberu, an indigene of Ilesha, Ilesha West Local Government Area of Osun, was arrested at Ogele area of Eyenkorin, Ilorin.
The convict had in the course of investigation, revealed that he ventured into ‘Yahoo Yahoo Business’ in 2016 and had among other things, built a house with the proceeds of the illegal activities.
In a related development, Justice Yusuf sentenced a 30-year old aluminum fabricator, Saheed Olayiwola to six months custodial imprisonment at the Correctional Centre in Ilorin Olayiwola, who hailed from Olorunda Local Government Area, Osogbo, Osun, was sentenced without option of fine for allegedly acting as ‘Loader’ to co-fraudsters.
The court also ordered forfeiture of the Toyota Camry car recovered at the point of his arrest, his phone and a laptop, which were instruments of the illegal activities, to the Federal Government.
Justice Yusuf in his judgment, said the convinct was found guilty of one count charge of possessing funds which he knew to be proceeds of unlawful activities preferred against him by the anti-graft agency.
The judge said there was merit in the prosecution’s case, adding that that the admittance of guilt by the convinct was enough evidence to convict him.