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Flood: Devastation persists, victims count losses in Anambra

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The 2022 flood disaster in Anambra and some other States in Nigeria is no doubt one too many.

In previous years, after two weeks, the flood usually recedes, giving victims who may have relocated to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps the opportunity to move back to their homes.

This year’s flooding which began in Anambra one month ago has not shown any sign of receding, just as more homes are being submerged on a daily basis, swelling the number of victims who are relocating to IDPs camps daily.

A recent visit to two IDPs camps in Anambra East Local Government Area showed the level of pain most of the victims were undergoing.

In Umuoba Anam, hundreds of people were seen living in a hall, owned by a school. While some had mattresses to sleep on, many others, especially women and children, used pieces of clothes spread on the floor.

A flood victim, who spoke to journalists; Mr Emmanuel Okonkwor said: “I am saddened over the condition of the victims here. They lay on bare floor, and most of them are yet to receive anything from the government except what some individuals brought. They also need money to buy condiments, kerosene and firewood to make the food which people eat once a day.”

In Mmiata Anam, Mrs Tina Okeke said she has been sleeping on the floor with her six children since the flood set in and forced them to relocate to the camp, while also saying that hunger has been a major challenge to them.

Meanwhile, the high number of deaths in the flood prone areas has been attributed to the unwillingness of most rural farmers to leave their farms.

A farmer in the area, David Ogbonna, who spoke to us during a visit to the flood prone area said: “You won’t understand, but it is difficult to just enter the boat and be taken to upland areas, when you know that you have a house, and properties that you will be leaving behind.

“Sometimes, these government people just provide a boat to rescue you, but the truth is that we consider the things we are leaving behind. Sometimes, when you leave and water recedes, thieves may raid your house, even your crops in the farm.”

Offering another perspective, a candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mrs Peace Obimuonso said the human casualty being experienced as a result of the flood could have been averted if the people were guaranteed of a good camp with amenities, food, water and other basic needs.

“All these deaths could have been averted if the people were sure of the source of their next meal. Most times, the farmers borrow money from local money lenders, which if they fail to pay back when due, attracts heavy consequences. But because they know that leaving their homes and going to live as refugees in camps was not the best, they now stay back to see what they can salvage of their crops.”

We, however, gathered that efforts were in top gear by farmers in Omor, Ayamelum Local Government Area, to rescue their crops from flood.

Mr Ejike Sunday, who spoke to our correspondent in Awka said: “I’m going to the village. We have a meeting, and we hope to commence an operation to rescue our crops. The Government doesn’t know what our people go through when a flood comes. They just hope that you will quickly move to IDPs camps, but our people are basically farmers. The crops we have spent time, energy and money growing will be underwater. It is hard to leave.

“Some people took loans to farm for the year, what will you tell the lenders? So, there is a meeting in the village to see how we can rescue some crops. The tendency is that most farm produce may be harvested earlier than normal, to avoid being further destroyed by flood.”

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Man, 21, to spend four years in prison for stealing Infinix phones

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An Ekiti State Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has sentenced 21-year-old Owolabi Olamide to four years imprisonment with hard labour, after he was found guilty of a five-count charge that included a break-in, stealing and escape from police custody.

The convict was arraigned before Magistrate Michael Faola on five counts of criminal charges bordering on causing a breach of peace by jumping over the fence of one Otutu Ifeanyi, unlawfully breaking into his shop, stealing items worth millions of naira, escaping from Police custody while detained for enquiry, among others.

The offences contravened and are punishable under sections 181,322,363, and 120(a) of the Criminal Law, No 12 vol.1, Laws of Ekiti State Nigeria, 2021.

The charges were read, explained and interpreted to the defendant, to which he pleaded guilty.

The complainant Otutu Ifeanyi was led in evidence by the prosecutor, Inspector Bankole Olasunkanmi. He tendered cartons of power banks, recovered Infinix phones, cartons of phones and other valuables as exhibits.

The defendant did not object to all exhibits tendered and confessed to having committed the offences as charged.

Delivering his judgment, Magistrate Michael Faola sentenced the defendant to three years imprisonment on count two (jumping over the fence) and one-year imprisonment on count five (escape from Police custody) with hard labour. Sentences are to run consecutively.

The judge ordered that all items recovered from the defendant, currently in police custody, should be released forthwith to the complainant.

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2023: APC debunks rumours of planned move of Nigeria’s capital to Lagos by Tinubu

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The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has described as false, a statement making the rounds on social media that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the party’s presidential candidate, harbours plans to relocate the Federal Capital from Abuja to Lagos on succeeding President Muhammad Buhari.

It said Tinubu never contemplated such plans and would never do so as it goes contrary to the country’s constitution.

This was disclosed on Tuesday in a statement issued and signed by Bayo Onanuga, the Director, Media and Publicity APC Presidential Campaign Council.

The statement pointed fingers at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the Labour Party, for Championing the misinformation campaign against its candidate, saying some field reports had proved so.

Part of the statement read: “The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council hereby alerts Nigerians about the latest insidious campaign in some parts of the country against our candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

“In one of the falsehoods being circulated, especially in the North West of the country, Tinubu is said to harbour plans to relocate the Federal Capital from Abuja to Lagos on succeeding President Muhammad Buhari from 29th May, 2023.

“This misinformation campaign, according to field reports, is being given some traction by some elders on the payroll of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“Let us say with emphasis, that Asiwaju does not contemplate any such plan and will not do anything that is so ultra-unconstitutional.”

It further lamented that some purveyors of fake news had also distorted facts about the recent commercialization of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.

It clarified that President Buhari had instead made it a commercial entity in line with the Petroleum Industry Act.

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Fuel scarcity: Remove subsidy, heavens won’t fall – Former NNPC GM tells FG.

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The former General Manager of Corporate Planning and Business Development at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Babajide Soyode, has urged the Federal Government to halt the fuel subsidy payment regime to end the persistent scarcity of the product.

Soyode made this disclosure on Tuesday in an AriveTV interview monitored by us.

He decried the outrageous cost of diesel in Nigeria compared with the price in neighboring countries such as Ghana.

According to him, Nigerians are paying the highest cost of diesel in Africa.

“We spend subsidies to maintain the elite of this country; that is all we are doing. Even the elites no longer get it, but some people are taking it to squander in Dubai. I am saying, remove subsidy today heavens will not come down.

“All these things they are talking about are not true; diesel in Ghana is N549; do they have subsidies for diesel? Why are they paying N549, and we are paying N786? We are importing the product from the same market. I am not blaming IPMAN or NNPC if the government has screwed up the market by maintaining subsidies. You can quote me; the fuel scarcity situation will continue after December”, he stated.

Nigerians continue to grapple with the attendant implications as fuel queues resurfaced in Abuja, Lagos, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, and other major cities.

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