Ondo Govt Will Reject Money To Trace Grazing Routes – Governor Akeredolu

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu said his state would reject funding to trace grazing routes. 

The governor stated this on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today. 

“Ondo State has not received any money. But if money is being given out to trace grazing routes, you can be sure that Ondo State will not receive that,” he said.

“There is no grazing route anywhere; we are not going to allow that to happen. We have seen modern animal husbandry. That is what should be our concern now. We are not to allow routes; routes to where?”

Grazing In The Open?

Clashes between herdsmen and farmers have been an age-long issue in Nigeria. LUIS TATO / AFP

 

Ondo, the Sunshine State, is one of the states that have signed the anti-grazing bill into law.

On August 31, Governor Akeredolu assented to the bill after it was earlier passed by the Ondo State House of Assembly.

He explained that the development is in line with the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum at its meeting in Lagos where September 1 was set as the deadline for members to enact the anti-open grazing law.

Despite criticisms from several quarters, Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the forum, maintains there is no going back on the law.

He explained his state is encouraging ranching to cater for livestock, rather than open grazing.

“We are saying you will not graze in the open. We have passed the law. So, there is no route we are going to allow anybody to trace in Ondo State.

“What we have said is very clear. But if there is money for us to have ranches, we are encouraging ranching. There is nothing wrong with it. I have always argued this point,” Akeredolu insisted.

TB Joshua Gave Me Money After I Won Governorship Election- Akeredolu

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Olurotimi Akeredolu.

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State said the late T. B Joshua gave him some cash following his electoral victory. 

The Ondo leader made the comment on Friday during the funeral service of the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in the Ikotun area of Lagos State.

He described the preacher as someone who positively impacted many people with his philanthropic gestures as well as his spiritual gifts.

“He touched lives of special people economically and spiritually. We want to recall him for the great works he did on this side of the divide,” Akeredolu said but did not indicate whether it was after the 2016 or 2020 polls.

“I can testify personally to the good things I have benefitted from him. When I won the governorship election in Ondo state. He drove to Owo and something went wrong with his vehicle in his Akure.

“He told me he has come to wish me well and pray. And when he was leaving he put something in my pocket. I won’t tell you how much he put in my pocket.”

READ ALSOTB Joshua Was A Blessing To Humanity, Says Akeredolu

READ ALSO: TB Joshua Will Be Missed For His Spiritual Contributions, Philanthropic Gestures – Buhari

Shunned By Top Pastors

 

Prophet T.B. Joshua had a teeming followership that stretched beyond Nigeria’s borders.

 

Akeredolu was among dignitaries and T.B Joshua’s followers that stormed the SCOAN premises for the interment service which was the culmination of a week-long funeral rites.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi. The wife of the Ooni of Ife, Olori Naomi Adeyeye was also present.

Many of his followers across the globe also came to pay their respects to the charismatic clergyman who died at 57.

The late preacher whose followership stretched beyond the Nigerian border had a strenuous relationship with top pastors in the country.

None of them attended the funeral but the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), sent a delegation to the event.

Prophet TB Joshua, as he was fondly called by his admirers, died on June 5 after a church service at the SCOAN.

Open Grazing Ban: Our Decision Is Irreversible And Will Be Enforced, Akeredolu Fires Back At Malami

A photo collage of AGF Malami and Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu says the decision of the Southern Governors to ban open grazing is irreversible and will be enforced.

Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum said they are ready to defend the legality of their decision in court.

He is reacting to the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

READ ALSO: Free, Fair Election Is Great Concern, Our Position Of Non-Interference Remains Same – Buhari

Malami during an interview on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today, faulted the ban on open-grazing and said the governors do not have the right to do so.

Ondo Governor in reaction said Malami’s comparison of open grazing to auto parts trading is not only strange but also annoyingly and ‘betrays a terrible mindset.’

He stressed that the Southern Governors are “most willing to meet him in Court.’

 

See below the full statement by Ondo State Governor…

OUR DECISION IS IRREVERSIBLE AND WILL BE ENFORCED

I have just read the press statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Shehu Malami SAN on the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum to ban open grazing in their respective States. The AGF is quoted to have said that this reasoned decision, among others, is akin to banning all spare parts dealers in the Northern parts of the country and is unconstitutional.

It is most unfortunate that the AGF is unable to distill issues as expected of a Senior Advocate. Nothing can be more disconcerting. This outburst should, ordinarily, not elicit a response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in any way injurious and a certain predilection for anarchy.

Clinging to an anachronistic model of animal husbandry, which is evidently injurious to harmonious relationship between the herders and the farmers as well as the local populace, is wicked and arrogant.

Comparing this anachronism, which has led to the loss of lives, farmlands, and property, and engendered untold hardship on the host communities, with buying and selling of auto parts is not only strange. It, annoyingly, betrays a terrible mindset.

Mr Malami is advised to approach the court to challenge the legality of the Laws of the respective States banning open grazing and the decision of the Southern Governor Forum taken in the interest of their people. We shall be most willing to meet him in Court.

The decision to ban open grazing stays. It will be enforced with vigour.

SIGNED

ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O AKEREDOLU, SAN

GOVERNOR, ONDO STATE

Akeredolu Orders Herdsmen To Vacate Ondo Forest Reserves, Bans Night-Grazing

File: Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, on Monday ordered herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state within the next seven days.

The Governor, who made the proclamation via Twitter, said the order had become imperative due to the increasing incidents of kidnap cases in the state.

“These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen,” Akeredolu said. “These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom, and carrying out other criminal activities.”

READ ALSO: Navy Arrests 24 Illegal Oil Bunkers In Ondo

The Governor also banned night-grazing with immediate effect “because most farm destruction takes place at night.”

“Movement of cattle within cities and highways is prohibited,” he added. “Under-aged grazing of cattle is outlawed.

“Our resolution to guarantee safety of lives and property within the State shall remain utmost as security agencies have been directed to enforce the ban.”

The Governor noted that his administration “will give a grace period of seven days for those who wish to carry on with their cattle-rearing business to register with appropriate authorities.”

In November, bandits shots a prominent traditional ruler, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi.

Later that month, unidentified gunmen abducted the wife of the Chief of Staff to Governor Akeredolu.

Earlier in January, gunmen abducted a couple and two others in Uso community, in Owo Local Government Area of the state.

Days later, gunmen kidnapped a traveller along Ise/Isua – Akoko Road.

Ondo Poll: Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Akeredolu’s Validity To Contest APC Primaries

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu

 

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed a suit challenging the validity of the primary election that produced Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2020 election in Ondo State.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Iyang Ekwo, the court held that the suit instituted by Olajumoke Anifowose was statute-barred having been filed outside the 14 days allowed by law for a pre-election matter.

The plaintiff in the suit filed on her behalf by Adesina Oke, contended that section 87 of the electoral Act and article 20 of the APC Constitution were violated in the primaries by the state executive committee and local government committee that conducted the election.

Anifiwoshe had prayed the court for an order declaring the primaries null and void and to bar the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Rotimi Akeredolu as the governorship candidate of the APC in Ondo State.

Justice Ekwo, while dismissing the suit, noted that Mr. Akeredolu was nominated by the APC on the 20th of July 2020 and the plaintiffs filed the suit on the 29th of the same month which fell within 14 days required by law but the suit became incompetent due to the withdrawal of the initial originating summons and its substitution on the 20th of August 2020.

Gunmen Abduct Wife Of Akeredolu’s Chief Of Staff

A map of Ondo, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

Unidentified gunmen have abducted the wife of the Chief of Staff to Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.

The police spokesman in the state, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, confirmed the news to Channels Television on Friday.

The news of the abduction comes barely one day after a prominent traditional ruler in Ondo State, Oba Israel Adeusi, the Olufon of Ifon, was shot by suspected kidnappers.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon

Mr. Olugbenga Ale’s wife was abducted in the Owena village, along Akure/Ondo Highway of Ondo State on Thursday evening and whisked into a nearby bush by the gunmen.

Channels Television gathered that the woman was abducted alongside another woman while returning from a business trip.

ASP Ikoro said a detachment of police detectives have been searching the nearby bush in a bid to rescue the victims and apprehend the abductors.

 

‘There Must Be Gatekeepers’: Gov Akeredolu Defends Calls For Social Media Regulation

 

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has defended calls for the regulation of social media and is advocating the use of gatekeepers to sieve content before they are published

“There must be gatekeepers. Yes, you want to publish any news you like, there must be gatekeepers using technology that will be able to at least, sieve what is right and what is wrong,” the governor said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday while explaining part of the communique issued by the South-West Governors’ Forum after a meeting held last week.

READ ALSO: SERAP Threatens To Sue Northern Governors, NASS Over Social Media Bill

The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum blamed fake news for the destruction of properties by hoodlums in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests. He explained that no government would allow fake news to take over the cyberspace.

A file photo of cars burnt by hoodlums during the violence in Lagos on October 21, 2020.

 

“When the hoodlums took over, a lot of fake news were fed to the public. People were reacting to it,” the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, 64, added. “False news were fed to the public, they reacted to it. It led to the destruction of properties, Lagos, Akure, everywhere.”

READ ALSO: [‘The Timing Is Suspicious’:] NBA President Faults Moves To Regulate Social Media

According to him, “if we cannot be disciplined enough to be able to know that we don’t churn out news that can cause a lot of damage in the society, then the government itself must be proactive enough to find a way to control it.”

While explaining that the planned restrictions on social media would not affect personal conversations, the governor who recently secured a second term in office, said social media is already regulated in places like China and Russia.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Protesters Used Social Media To Escalate Tensions, Monguno Claims

“They won’t restrict my personal conversations, they would not restrict what I am saying to my friends but if I want to take out news and say that thousands have been killed in Lekki Toll Gate for instance, then before it comes out, I must have evidence of people who died on the ground,” Akeredolu noted.

“Show me and if it is not there, I will say to you cannot use my band to propagate such news item. That is what we are saying.”

 

 

‘I Don’t See Anything Wrong With It’: Akeredolu Backs Freezing Of EndSARS Protesters Accounts

A file photo combination of #EndSARS protesters and a court gavel.

 

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has defended the freezing of bank accounts belonging to #EndSARS promoters and believes the action is not a conclusion the accounts were used to sponsor acts of treason.

“Speaking very honestly, I don’t see anything wrong in it,” the governor who doubles as the Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum said on Wednesday in the latest edition of Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“If for instance, my account was frozen, what would I do? All I would do is go back to court to explain. Even politicians, their accounts are sometimes frozen. You have to go to court and explain. And at the end of the day, the court will say, ‘Leave the account. The account should be de-frozen’ and you take your money back.”

READ ALSO: Activist Sues Sam Adeyemi, Burna Boy, 48 Others Over Role In #EndSARS Protests

Although some social commentators and members of the public have described the action of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as an abuse of power, the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said the protesters must explain the flow of funds into their accounts.

A file photo of #ENDSARS protesters.

 

“If your account is frozen, you justify why the money was there. You come to explain to what use you have put this money,” Akeredolu, who in October defeated Eyitayo Jegede to win a second term in office, explained.

“If it is that ‘Okay, we used this money to pay this caterer to give food to these boys when they were there. We spent money before the hoodlums took over,’ it will be explained, people will know and the accounts will be de-frozen.”

Akeredolu equally downplayed insinuations that the protesters are being charged for a treasonable offence.

“It is just that we (CBN) suspected this account then the owner of the account will explain,” he said, noting stressing that it “is not a conclusion that those accounts were used for acts of treason.”

CBN Secures Order

A federal high court in Abuja on Friday last week granted the request of the CBN to freeze the accounts of 19 individuals and a public affairs company linked to the #EndSARS protests.

The request, granted by Justice Ahmed Mohammed, was filed by the CBN on October 20.

Some of the affected individuals include Bolatito Racheal Oduala, Chima David Ibebunjoh, Mary Doose Kpengwa, Saadat Temitope Bibi, Bassey Victor Israel, Wisdom Busaosowo Obi, Nicholas Ikhalea Osazele, Ebere Idibie, Akintomide Lanre Yusuf, Uhuo Ezenwanyi Promise and Mosopefoluwa Odeseye.

READ ALSO: ‘Who Sent This Guy?’: Sam Adeyemi, Others Respond To Lawsuit Against #EndSARS Protesters

Others are Adegoke Pamilerin Yusif. Umoh Grace Ekanem, Babatunde Victor Segun, Mulu Louis Teghenan, Mary Oshifowora, Winifred Akpevweoghene Jacob, Victor Solomon, Idunu A. Williams, and Gatefield Nigeria Limited.

#EndSARS protesters during a candlelight procession in honour of victims of police brutality.

 

The court order addressed to the head offices of Access Bank, Fidelity Bank, First Bank Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank, United Bank of Africa, and Zenith Bank, directed the banks to freeze forthwith all transactions on the 20 accounts on the list annexed to the CBN’s application as Exhibit A and all other bank accounts of the defendants/respondents for a period of 180 days pending the outcome of investigation and inquiry currently being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Gatefield Nigeria Limited had earlier sued Access Bank Plc for allegedly blocking an account used to promote media coverage of the #EndSARS protests.

 

Attacks: Lagos Was Turned Into A War Zone, Says Governor Akeredolu

 

The South West Governors forum have commiserated with families who have lost their lives as a result of the #EndSARS protests, and other affected citizens of Lagos State.

The chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu who spoke after the assessment of the damage done by hoodlums, says Lagos was turned to a war zone.

Akeredolu charged the police to investigate the various cases of violent crimes committed within the period under review and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

He also appealed to the youths to put an end to infrastructure destruction, and defend their heritage.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Killed Before, During, And After #EndSARS Protests Must Get Justice – Gbajabiamila

In a similar vein, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who spoke on behalf of some ministers who were present to also commiserate with the Lagos State Government, said the Federal Government (FG) sympathizes with the people.

Fashola further stated that the FG supports an end to police brutality.

The former Lagos State Governor called for peace in the state and assured the youths that all will be well.

He urged everyone to come together and make Lagos great and habitable for all.

INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Akeredolu, Running Mate

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificates of return to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and his running mate, Lucky Ayedatiwa, in last Saturday’s governorship election.

INEC National Commissioner for Ondo State, Adekunle Ogunmola while presenting the certificate at the INEC office in Akure reiterated the commitment of the commission to conducting credible elections.

Governor Akeredolu after receiving his certificate commended INEC for the successful conduct of the election.

He said the conduct of the Ondo election is an improvement over the recent Edo Election.

The INEC had on Sunday announced Akeredolu, the candidate of the APC winner of the governorship election, polling 292,830 votes to defeat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who had 195,791 votes.

Ondo Poll: INEC’s Official Result Falls Within Our Estimate – Yiaga

A file photo of a ballot box used during the Ondo guber poll.

 

A non-government organisation, Yiaga Africa has aligned itself with the outcome of the Ondo State governorship election.

At a press briefing on Sunday in Akure by the group’s Executive Director, Samson Otodo, and other senior officials, Yiaga backed the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

According to them, the percentage of votes scored by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu falls within the range it estimated.

“Based on reports from 97 per cent – 291 of 300 – of sampled polling units, Yiaga Africa’s statistical analysis shows that the APC should receive between 48.9 per cent and 54.1 per cent of the vote; the PDP should receive between 31.2 per cent and 36.6 per cent of the vote; ZLP should receive between 10.5 per cent and 13.3 per cent of the votes, while no other party will receive more than one per cent of the vote share,” one of the officials told reporters in the Ondo State capital shortly after INEC returned Governor Aekeredoku elected for another term in office.

As announced by the electoral umpire, Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 292,830 votes, while Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) came second and third with 195,791 and 69,127 votes, respectively.

The incumbent governor sailed to victory after securing 51.12 per cent of valid votes cast in the election, leaving the remaining 48.88 per cent for the other candidates.

Similarly, Jegede had 34.18 per cent and Ajayi scored 12.06 per cent of the total valid votes put at 572,745.

“Had the official results been changed at the ward, LGA or state collation centres, the official results would not have fallen within the Yiaga Africa WTV estimated ranges.

“Because the official results fall within the estimated ranges, governorship contestants, parties, and voters should have confidence that INEC’s official results for the 2020 Ondo gubernatorial election reflect the ballots cast at polling units,” the Yiaga official added.

The group insisted that the counting process at polling units was transparent and included representatives from the three major political parties that received the most votes.

They also noted that INEC’s official results for turnout and rejected ballots also fell within their estimates.

Yiaga, therefore, called on Governor Akeredolu and his supporters to be magnanimous in victory.

They asked those candidates who did not win to accept the results, saying they reflected the votes cast.

The group appealed to all candidates, parties and Nigerians to show political maturity and maintain the peace.

They commended INEC for its efforts to improve the election day process and efforts to comply with the COVID-19 protocol.

Akeredolu Defeats Jegede Again, Re-Elected As Governor

 

Mr Rotimi Akeredolu has been re-elected as Governor of Ondo State on the back of a campaign in which he promised to provide composed and focused leadership marked by economic growth and improved security for people in the state.

The incumbent governor, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, swept to victory by winning 15 of the 18 local governments.

Governor Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress got 292,830 votes, while Mr Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party and Mr Agboola Ajayi of the Zenith Labour Party came second and third in the election with 195,791 and 69,127 votes, respectively.

“Having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes, I hereby declare Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu of the APC as the winner, and he is hereby returned elected,” Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Olayinka said.

Professor Olayinka, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, announced the winner on Sunday at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Akure, which doubles as the final collation centre.

 

It is the second time the governor is defeating the PDP candidate. In 2016, Akeredolu, with Ajayi as his running mate, defeated Jegede to win his first term as governor. Ajayi fell out with Akeredolu and chose to go against his boss this time around.

Residents of the state came out on Saturday, across 3,009 polling units of 203 electoral wards/ registration areas in the 18 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state, to choose their leader for the next four years.

The poll, the second major election to be conducted since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, was preceded by a dramatic campaign featuring 17 political parties and their candidates, all racing for the top political office in the south-western state.

Up to 11 contenders pulled out of the race in favour of other candidates just in the final days of the campaign with the trio of Akeredolu, Jegede and Ajayi emerging as the leading contenders.

Ajayi’s conflict with Governor Akeredolu was one of the intriguing issues that provided drama in the months preceding the election in the state.

After surviving an attempt by the State Assembly to impeach him, the deputy governor dumped the APC for the PDP. But after failing to secure the PDP’s governorship ticket, he joined the ZLP – the platform on which he contested.

A file photo of Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (file)

Governor Akeredolu’s first tenure as governor will expire on February 23, 2021, with victory in the bag, he is on course to govern the state for another four years.

In the coming hours and days, it is expected that the opposition parties that fielded candidates in the poll will make their position on the outcome known.

Under the Nigerian Constitution, the outcome of a governorship election can be contested at the Election Petitions Tribunal and should aggrieved parties be dissatisfied, they can proceed to the Court of Appeal.

Any party who is still not satisfied with the decision of the appellate court is at liberty to approach the Supreme Court, which has the final say.