Tuesday Update: Is Nigeria About To Exit COVID-19 Second Wave?
We are leading with updates on the farmers-herdsmen crisis and the very pertinent question of whether Nigeria will soon exit the second wave of the pandemic.
Governors Continue War Of Words
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom on Monday described his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed as a terrorist based on his apparent support for herdsmen who move around with AK-47.
Mr. Mohammed had said herdsmen had no option but to wield AK-47s to protect themselves, due to the security situation in the country. After drawing criticism from several quarters, including from Mr. Ortom, the Bauchi Governor said he had used AK-47 as a figure of speech for protection.
But Mr. Ortom’s latest comment shows he remains unhappy with Mr. Mohammed’s position.
Quote: “I am beginning to think that my brother, the governor of Bauchi State is part of the terrorist Fulani organisation that is terrorising this country,” Mr. Ortom said at his Monday press conference.
Context: The farmers-herdsmen conflict is an inflammable issue. Farming-centric states like Benue have pushed back against the free movement of cattle, but herdsmen communities, mostly Fulanis, claim they have been unfairly targeted for practicing their nomadic lifestyle. The conflict has devolved into various forms of violence and governments, both states and federal, are exploring a number of options – ranching, ban on open grazing – to tackle the problem.
Babagana Zulum: The Borno State Governor said the time has come to transform livestock production in the country as a way to tackle the farmers-herdsmen crisis.
Sheikh Gumi Makes Case For Fulani-Herdsmen Bandits
Since he met with Fulani-herdsmen bandits in the bush, popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi has attracted national attention.
In an exclusive interview with Channels Television on Monday, the cleric reiterated his calls for the government to grant repentant bandits amnesty and reintegrate them into society.
Gumi’s stance has been roundly criticised for pampering criminality, but he maintains that the bandits are a victim of circumstances.
Quote: “I think it is a population that is pushed by circumstances into criminality,” he said. “And this is what we should look, let’s remove the pressure, let’s remove the things that made them into criminals because we have lived thousands of years without any problems with the nomadic herdsmen. They are peaceful people. But something happened that led them to this.”
Nigeria To Exit Second Wave Of COVID-19?
Health Minister Osagie Ehanire, on Monday, suggested that the country may soon exit the second wave of the pandemic as the rate of new COVID-19 infections slows down.
“We are, however, not drawing conclusions yet and certainly not declaring victory, but rather watching developments as they unfold nationally and internationally, ready to make use of comparative advantages that may emerge,” the Minister said.
On Monday, Nigeria recorded 542 new cases of the virus and 23 deaths, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has said the country will soon receive four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
What else is happening?
Aminu Tambuwal: The Sokoto State Governor has called on the need for Nigerians to live in peace with one another irrespective of their belief, tribe, or religion. He made the call while assenting to Sokoto’s hisbah law.
Ahmed Lawan: The Senate leader met with President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday to discuss the nation’s security challenges, among other topics.
Niger State: The 53 abducted travellers who recently regained their freedom have been reunited with their families. They have also been sharing their stories.
Rivers State: Gunmen have abducted a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Jones Ayuwo, and a first-class traditional ruler in the state, Aaron Ikuru of Ikuru Town.
Ayo Fayose: The Federal High Court in Lagos has granted permission to former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, to travel abroad for further medical treatment. He must however return to defend himself in corruption charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the court said.
DRC: The government has blamed a Rwandan Hutu rebel group for the killing of Italy’s ambassador to the Central Africa nation.
China: Canadian ministers have voted to label China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang as genocide, a move angrily slammed by Beijing as a “malicious provocation”.
And that’s it for this morning. See you tomorrow.