Flood Overruns Minna
Against the backdrop of a recent alert by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that about 20 states of the country are prone to flooding, among which is Niger State, some parts of Minna, the Niger state capital and other neighbouring communities of the state were on Friday submerged by flood after a heavy downpour which lasted more than six hours.
Many residents were also said to have been rendered homeless while commercial parts of the state capital were overflooded.
Saturday Tribune investigation revealed that many commuters and pedestrians alike were seen crossing the flooded areas while some others were trying effortlessly to drain water out of their homes and stalls.
It was learnt further that the affected areas within Minna were Fadipe, Kpakungu, Dusten Kura Gwari and Soje, while communities outside Minna include Wuya kede, Wuya kanti, Batati and Muregi in Mokwa Local Government.
Further checks revealed that among some of the most threatened communities included Akere, Shiroro, Erena and communities down the stream of River Kaduna and River Niger in the hinterland of the state.
However, when newsmen contacted the state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Abdullahi on the level of damage caused by the incident, she said she was yet to ascertain the level of damages caused by the incident.
She referred journalists to those agencies responsible for flood control adding that they would be in a better position to respond to emergency situations in the state.
But when Saturday Tribune contacted the Directors General of the agencies which includes Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA), Niger state Urban Development Board (NUDB) and Niger state Emergency Management Agency (NISEMA) their telephone lines were switched off.
Jubilation As Esut VC Regains Freedom
It was jubilation galore at the Enugu State University of Technology (ESUT) on Friday as the community celebrated the release of its vice chancellor kidnapped nine days earlier.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, was abducted by unknown gunmen on August 15 as he made to enter the school. Three policemen sustained gunshot wounds in the attack.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who monitored the Enugu and Agbani campuses of the institution, reports that workers and students discussed the development in groups as they thanked God for the release.
Those who volunteered to speak with NAN thanked God for the release, saying it had brought down the fear and tension that pervaded the institution.
Mr Chimaobi Ifebude, a final year student of accountancy, said that since the incident happened, social and economic activities in the institution had been paralysed.
Ifebudu expressed the hope that with the late Thursday night release of Onyeji, normal activities would resume in the institution.
Miss Chinyere Okoro, another student, expressed happiness with the development, saying “I pray that anything like this will not happen again”.
Dr Sunny Udeze, a lecturer at the Mass Communication department, also expressed happiness with the release and applauded the staff for being steadfast during the kidnap.
He said the prayer rallies during the period of the kidnap showed that the vice chancellor was a man of the people.
Reacting to the release, the Public Relations Officer of the Enugu State Police Command, Mr Ebere Amaraizu, said the vice chancellor was found in Igbariam in Anambra State.
Amaraizu confirmed that the VC was hale and hearty and that he had rejoined his family.
Resiadents Troop Out To Celebrate Osun-Osogbo
Osun State residents on Friday trooped out in their colourful attires to celebrate the grand finale of the Osun-Osogbo Festival which began on August 13.
The palace of the Ataoja, the traditional ruler of Osogbo, was overflowing with people as the celebrants, including traditional chiefs, Osun devotees and visitors from within and outside the state thronged the venue.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the celebration, which was also attended by people from all walks of life, including members of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), was peaceful.
Various age groups in the ancient town, especially the hunters, farmers, artisans, hair-dressers and market women were seen dancing on the streets.
As the ‘Arugba’ (symbol of the Osun-Osogbo) entered the palace in resplendent traditional attire, there were booming of gunshots amid music from talking-drums and acrobatic dances.
The tempo of the ecstasy increased as the monarch, Oba Jimoh Olanipekun, came out to receive the ‘Arugba’ following which the celebrants relocated to the Osun grove.
Mr Boyeh Abodunrin, the Secretary of the 2012 Osun-Osogbo Budget Implementation Committee, said this year’s festival was planned to be unique.
On the argument that the festival was fetish, Abodunrin said the Osun-Osogbo Festival was historical, celebrated annually in remembrance of the first Ataoja of Osogbo, Oba Gbadewolu Larooye.
“Contrary to the belief that the festival is fetish, Osun-Osogbo has become an international event, and that is why it has been enlisted as a world UNESCO heritage centre.
“The Kabiyesi is the custodian, and we have the Osun devotees; the worshippers. There are also people of other religions here to show that it is a purely cultural and not a religious event.”
According to him, the annual celebration serves as a forum for all sons and daughters of Osogbo home or abroad to come together to rub minds on common issues.
Abodunrin said the annual event had already attracted international attention such that residents were now benefitting from it from different dimensions.
“From day one, it promotes the economic activities of the town because tourists have been arriving and booking hotels for the 14-day event, thus pushing the demands for goods and services up.
“We can say that it is a cultural event that promotes cultural heritage as well as economic activities, and this is why the government is interested in the festival.”
Also speaking, Mrs Mulikat Rasheed, Head of Ataoja Larooye Princesses (Mosun), said the Osun-Osogbo could not be brushed aside by residents because it was the foundation of Osogbo.
She said that the significance of the annual event was to preserve the tradition and custom of the town as well as showcase them to the world as culture par excellence
Court Convicts 6 Chiefs, 4 Others For Stealing
An Igbokoda Chief Magistrates’ Court on Thursday convicted 10 persons, including six chiefs, for conspiracy and stealing.
The court found them guilty on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing and fined them N2,000 each.
Those convicted were High Chief Thomas Ogbaro (75), High Chief Owoloye Omotehinse (45), Chief Odopetu Ogbaro (61), Chief Wilson Ogbaro (79) Chief Segun Ogbaro (60) and Chief Rotimi Ogbaro (48).
Others convicts were Prince Censor Ogbaro (49), Pastor Oye Ogbaro (44), Esimaje Ogbaro (62) and Toluwase Ogbaro (30).
The convicts were alleged to have committed the offences on January 21 at No. 31/33 Ikuemola Street, Igbokoda, in the Igbokoda Magisterial District.
Police Prosecutor Insp. Sunday Efurubu said that the convicted persons conspired to steal N870,000 belonging to the Ogbaro family of Igbokoda.
All 10 convicts had earlier pleaded not guilty to the charges and had been granted bail in the sum of N400,000 and one surety each.
The prosecution called five witnesses while the counsel to all the accused, Mr Orimisan Okorisha, called two defence witnesses.Share