Buhari’s Presidency Has Made Us Kings – Rice And Wheat Farmers Associations

THE Buhari presidency has a clear idea on how to execute its agricultural policy to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and diversify the economy in the process, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Speaking today at a meeting in his office with a delegation of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, and the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, alongside Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, the Vice President praised rice and wheat farmers, saying “farmers are among the most important people in Nigeria today.”

Prof. Osinbajo said by launching the CBN Anchor Borrowers financing initiative in Kebbi State, while also flagging-off the dry season rice and wheat farming late last year, what the President did was setting-off an agricultural revolution without saying so. He added that President’s action also “showed he had a clear idea of how to execute a formidable agricultural policy.”

According to the VP, “the President said it throughout the campaigns that pursuing an active agriculture policy in rice and wheat would be important” because Nigerians consume them, and importing more of both, even though these are crops that the country has the capacity to grow locally.

Earlier the Kebbi State Governor Bagudu observed that the political will of the Buhari presidency in supporting rice and wheat farmers is “energising,” the agricultural sector, raising the esteem of the farmers and heightening productivity. As a result, he noted that Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice under two years and in wheat within three.

In their remarks, the presidents of both associations expressed satisfaction with the support rice and wheat farmers are now receiving from the federal government.

According to Mallam Aminu Goronyo, the President of the Rice Farmers Association, before the coming of the Buhari presidency, “farmers in Nigeria were considered useless people on the streets, but now farmers are kings.”

As a proof, he disclosed that banks are now soliciting farmers to open accounts, even offering banking services on the farms. He added that people have also been offering farmers credit lines for purchases. “We have not been having this kind of respect before, we have become kings today,” Goronyo stated.

The President of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria Salim Saleh Mohammed said most rice farmers were also wheat farmers, adding that the productivity level of both sets of farmers have already gone up.

Part of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the 2016 Budget which has been adopted yesterday by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, is the pursuit of measures to make the country self-sufficient and net exporters of certain agricultural items including rice in 2018 and wheat in 2019.

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I stand By Ranking Of Kings, Alake Replies Awujale… Produces Documentary Evidence

The royal diatribe between the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona, worsened yesterday with the Alake insisting that the Awujale remained the last in the echelon of major Yoruba traditional rulers.

Alake said his earlier listing of the Awujale as occupying the last position after the quartet of the Ooni of Ife, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin and Alake of Egbaland “was supported by documentary evidence and I therefore stand by my position”.

Oba Adetona, at an event in Lagos last Thursday, claimed among other things that the Alake was a junior chief in Egba forest under the Alaafin and that Alake is also of the same status with some Ijebu obas such as the Ebumawe of Ago -Iwoye who are under his (Adetona’s) jurisdiction.

But yesterday, Oba Gbadebo, who spoke through 22 Egba chiefs, including 15 Ogboni chiefs who gathered in Ake Palace, Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to reply Adetona, said the ranking of the Yoruba traditional rulers was carried out in 1937 by the then Ooni of Ife.

Reading a prepared speech signed by the Balogun of Egbaland, Chief Sikirulai Atobatele at a briefing, the Baaroyin of Egbaland, Chief Layi Labode, said the ranking took place at the Central Native Council meeting in Lagos and was chaired by the Governor – General, Sir William Macgregor.

Labode added that those in attendance at the said 1937 meeting in the Government House, Lagos, were the Ooni of Ife, the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba of Benin, Alake of Abeokuta and the Awujale of Ijebu – Ode.

He said their concern about Awujale’s comment is predicated on the monarch’s “self – indulgence to churn out outright historical falsehoods in the presence of knowledgeable Nigerians”.

Labode said “historically speaking, Alake was higher by salary differentials paid by the Colonial Government” at the time.

According to him, the Alake of Abeokuta earned £2,250 while the Awujale of Ijebu – Ode earned £1,700 during the colonial era.

“Awujale (claimed he) made several calls to Alake to confirm if Alake actually made the statement on Yoruba Obas ranking. Awujale also claimed that Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, also contacted Alake on the same issue which Alake again denied.

“(The fact) both Awujale and Oba of Lagos actually called Alake on the ranking of Yoruba Obas, Alake responded that his ranking was supported by documentary evidence and he therefore stands by his position,” Labode said.

The Baaroyin of Egbaland and Media aide of the Alake also refuted claims by Oba Adetona that the Alake was a junior chief in Egba forest under Alaafin where he (Alake) fled to Ibadan and later to Abeokuta and met the Osile, Olowu, Agura and Olubara on ground.

Labode said, on the contrary, 20 Alakes had reigned in Egba forest prior to the founding of Abeokuta, explaining that that there was also no Alake who fled to Ibadan or took refuge there.

According to him, the Egba arrived and settled in Abeokuta in 1830 with the first Alake installed in 1854 followed by the Olowu in 1855, the Agura in 1870 and Osile in 1897.

He stressed that by the Egba United Government Proclamation of February 1, 1898, and approved by the then Governor of Lagos, the Egba cabinet had Alake as President, Osile Minister of Justice, Agura Minister of Communications and Works and the Olowu, the Minister of Finance.

He also noted that some of the comments on Alake by Oba Adetona were “uncalled for and neither civil nor decent,” but said the Egba chiefs would not “defile the sacred Yoruba traditional institution and therefore, refrain from trading insult with a highly regarded monarch of his (Awujale’s) status”.

Also present were Bameto of Egbaland, Chief George Taylor, Balogun of Ilaho, Chief Adebayo Soyoye, and the Ilagbe of Egbaland, Chief Akin Akinwale.

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Reverend King’s Church Blames His Death Sentence On Witches, Wizard

Last Friday’s confirmation of the death sentenced passed on General overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly (CPA) Chukwuemeka Ezeugo (aka Rev. King), has been attributed to the handiwork of witches and wizards by his church members.

The members also reaffirmed their belief that Rev. King will be spared the hangman’s noose and “return to join us.”

The self-styled cleric was sentenced to death in 2007 for the burning to death of a member of his church in 2006. He appealed the judgment and lost before the apex court sealed his fate last Friday.

But yesterday during the first church service after the Supreme Court decision at the Lagos headquarters at Ajao Estate, off the Murtala Muhammad Airport Road, Pastor Ifeanyi King, who preached said:  “Our G.O. (General Overseer) the most holiness, Rev King, is coming back. He said he would come back and we believe the words of his mouth. We believe his report that he is coming back. Everything happening now we know is the handiwork of witches and wizard. Soon a new story will emerge.”

The preacher added: “Whether people realise it or not, everybody now knows his holiness, our G.O. Rev King. The front pages of newspapers are flooded with his name. People are yearning to read about him in the social media. I can confirm to you that by all these, a lot of people have become endeared to him. Our Daddy G.O. shall live forever for us in Jesus name.”

To every word he uttered, there was a chorus of Amen by the congregation. They sang hymns and danced to mark “the birthday of the G.O.” His death sentence was confirmed on his birthday last Friday.

Pastor Ifeanyi, sported a shaved head and beards like Pastor king. A number of male in the congregation also appeared in the same way. Most of the pastors also use the name King as substitute for their surname.

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Rev. King, The Law And King’s Supporters, By Reuben Abati

In the case of the State and Rev. Chukwuemeka Kingsley Ezeugo, the Supreme Court a few days ago, upheld the rulings of the lower courts and ruled that the bearded, self-styled “little god”, “Jesus Christ of our time”, and founder of the Lagos-based Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), deserves to be hanged, for enacting a form of horror movie which resulted in the death in 2006 of Ms Ann Uzoh. The simple import of that ruling is that no man is a king before the law, and that the law is no respecter of persons including those who describe themselves as anointed men of God, and who on that account use religion to commit atrocities.

But the most bizarre development since that ruling last Friday has been the intervention of a group called the Ndigbo Cultural Society of Nigeria (NCSN). The group says Nigeria has nothing to gain by shedding Rev. King’s blood and that President Muhammadu Buhari should grant the convicted murderer state pardon because “he is still a spiritual leader to many Nigerians.” The Ndigbo Society is indirectly saying that Rev King’s life should be spared because he is Igbo, and a religious leader. This is nothing but arrant nonsense. It makes us wonder what happens to people’s heads once they are in the grips of the disease of ethnicism. Has anyone told the Ndigbo Cultural Society that Rev. King’s victim, Ann Uzoh, was also Igbo? Or is Emeka Ezeugo’s Igbo life more important than that of Ann Uzoh? Or the lives of the others: Jessica Nwene, Kosiso Ezenwankwo, Chiejina Olisa, Chizoba Onuora, Vivian and Uche?

We keep encountering this kind of absurdity. Crime is excused on the grounds of ethnic affiliation. My-brother-can-do-no-wrong-once-we-are-from-the-same-village: and it is this that has created a web of conspiracy whenever and wherever the ethnic game is at play, and that conspiracy is against the state and decent values of national togetherness. But we thank God for the courts of law, which in this case have brought the Rev. King saga to a closure. And please note that if the victim in this case had been of non-Igbo extraction, perhaps the Ndigbo Cultural Society would have been more strident with their appeal. They’d do well to keep quiet and not further insult the memory of the dead.

They are right on one score though: that Rev King is still a religious leader to many Nigerians. It is one of those funny things about the scope and spread of superstition and religious fanaticism in Nigeria that there are indeed persons who worship their fellow human beings and turn them into their gods. It is precisely this same form of delusion that led to the crime that is taking Rev. King to the gallows in the first place.

It is why he still has followers who believe that the Supreme Court ruling is a joke and that “Rev. King is superhuman, he can’t be killed by mere mortals”. Members of the Christian Praying Assembly are still reportedly awaiting the return of the man they call “His Holiness”. One Sunny, acting as their spokesman, says: “His Holiness cannot be killed. He is more than a mere human being and cannot be killed by any mortal…He will come back home at the appointed time and by then, the people behind this whole thing will bury their heads in shame…” These characters imagine that the people who will bury their heads in shame include the Justices of the Supreme Court?

Apart from ethnicity, religion is another major source of crisis in Nigeria. It turns people’s heads, turns them into zombies and forces them, in many cases to worship man instead of God. Across the country, every day, there are millions who have turned religious leaders including herbalists into “Little gods”. Among Christians and Muslims, widespread confusion over the interpretation of the doctrine has created such complexity that continues to lead people astray. Poverty and the scarcity of opportunities continue to drive people to places of imagined salvation. The pastors promise miracles: they not only preach the gospel, they claim all kinds of powers including the power to make the blind see, to make the lame walk, and to help the unmarried find husbands and wives. Some of the pastors add a touch of the melodramatic to it: they give out clothes, cars, houses, and free food.

But it is the people’s money being recycled and given back as token. The lifestyle of many of the religious leaders would make the Pope cringe. They preach salvation and divine protection, for example, but they live as if they are afraid of their own shadows. The poor members of the congregation relate with the anointed man of God from a distance because they are not rich enough to get close to him, but from the pittance that they manage to make, they contribute tithes unfailingly, to make the man of God and his family live it up and boast that their “Lord is Good!”

The more stylish a religious leader is, the more popular. And some have even gone from being stylish to being practically unusual. There are churches where the Pastors slap, beat, and kick members. In some other places of worship, the Pastors are reportedly romantically involved with female members of the congregation, including married women. There is freedom of religion and freedom of worship and association and so, anyone can call himself a Reverend, a Prophet, a Spiritualist or God’s Deputy, erect a tent and turn himself into some people’s God. Rev King actually lived like that, like a mini-God. He built a large cult-like followership and exercised near-absolute powers over his besotted followers. Ann Uzoh was one of his victims. Sometime, in 2006, he had set her and six other members of the church ablaze for allegedly committing fornication, witchcraft and other offences. He sat in judgment in his own court and issued a death sentence. Ann and other ladies in church were Rev. King’s sex slaves, and according to one account it was the rivalry between Ann and another sex slave that led to the dousing of Ann and others with petrol, their being set ablaze, and Ann’s death.

Ann Uzoh is better remembered as one of those promising young Nigerians whose life was derailed by religious hypnotism. Young ladies who are still today selling themselves to churches and pastors should be reminded of her story and there is no better person to offer a reminder than the father of Ann Uzoh, Mr. Raphael Uzoh. In 2006, the Nigerian Tribune (August 9, 2006) interviewed him and reported, in part, as follows:

“The decision of Miss Uzoh, a Higher National Diploma graduate in Accountancy from the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu State, to pack out of her parents’ house at the period without telling anybody, was said to have shocked everyone. According to the father of the deceased, during a chat with Mid-week Tribune, when he could no longer withstand the pressure being mounted on him by his daughters suitors who had sought her hands in marriage, shortly before she eloped with Rev King, he began the search for her until he was informed by some concerned family members that she had been sighted at the Christian Prayer Assembly belonging to the suspect.

“To my surprise, when I got there, based on the instruction of Rev. King to my daughter, I was told by some insiders that my daughter had changed her name to Ann King. And she told me that I was not her father, that she had started bearing Ann King, said Mr. Raphael Uzoh. He stated that despite this strange behaviour by his daughter and her unusual and sudden rudeness to him, he did not relent in trying to re-assure her that she was still welcome at home if she could still change her mind and come to her senses. Rather, he expressed regrets that his late daughter who was his first child remained adamant and unrepentant.

“However, the bereaved father, in tears, noted that sometime on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the church’s premises, the accused person was said to have called the deceased and some other five members of the church into his residence and leveled some accusations against the worshippers who saw him as a little god. Mr Uzoh, now left with two children, said he learnt that once anyone was summoned by the pastor, that person, out of fear, must kneel down before the pastor, no matter how old he or she might be. There and then, the suspect was said to have passed death sentence on the girls for perceived fornication and witchcraft. He ordered for fuel and it was brought to him by one Kelechi because the first gallon of fuel brought by the accused person to sprinkle on the unfortunate worshippers was not enough, he recalled.”

That is not the end of the story. Mr. Raphael Uzoh, while trying to rescue his daughter, was ordered to join Rev. King’s church. He did and was given the assignment of lacing Rev. King’s shoes (!). Rev. King definitely lived like a king, and here are some of his followers still insisting that the hangman cannot kill him, even after the Supreme Court had spoken. It won’t be long before they start claiming that he will resurrect! But what on earth could have turned a graduate of Accountancy into a willing sex slave in a church? Unemployment? We need to worry seriously and do something about the growing hordes of young men and women who have turned themselves into slaves of churches, other religious groups, pastors and clerics. Nigeria is losing too much talent and national productivity time to places of religious worship. It is sad that political leaders also patronize these haunts and their managers. Nigeria has become one big theatre of religious ritual. The name of God is the most abused name in Nigeria today. The resultant tragedy and hypocrisy are astonishing.

For now, we can only hope, that all the religious leaders who use religion as a vehicle of abuse will learn the appropriate lessons from the saga of Rev. Chukwuemeka Kingsley Ezeugo a.k.a. Rev. King. And I am not in any way saying all clerics are bad; but that the likes of Rev. King bring the calling to disrepute and sadly, their population seems to be increasing. Rev King has had his day in court. The law has taken its course. Now, let justice be done according to the existing law, even if the heavens fall, quake or wail.

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10 Nigerian First-Class Kings Who Died In The Last 6 Months

Nigeria has lost some of her most powerful traditional rulers in the past 1 year. In 2014, one of the kings who passed away was His Eminence Alhaji Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano. See others below:

Alhaji Muhammad Danbaba – Emir of Gusau (Zamfara State) – March 2015

Oba Steven Suulade Adejugbe – Jegun of Ileoluji (Ondo State) – June 2015

Oba Okunade Sijuwade – Ooni of Ife(Osun State) – July 2015

Nde Shedrack Dimlong – Ngolong Ngas (Plateau State) – August 2015

Alhaji Muhammadu Manga III – Emir of Misau (Bauchi State) – August 2015

Ogiame Atuwatse II – Olu of Warri (Delta State) – September 2015

Alhaji Abbas Ibrahim – Emir of Zing (Taraba State) – September 2015

Alhaji (Senator) Haliru Dantoro Kitoro III – Emir of Borgu( Niger State) – October 2015

Plus one more (yet to be confirmed officially)

Source: Jumi Rhodes of Down To Dusk
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