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Kogi state govt seals Dangote Cement factory over ‘ownership tussle’



The Kogi government and Dangote Cement are currently at loggerheads following a move by the state to seal off the company’s factory amid an “ownership tussle”.

The Kogi house of assembly had ordered the sealing of the factory following agitations by indigenes who raised questions about the ownership of the company.

An investigation into the company’s operations allegedly revealed that there was nothing much to show on the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the company.

Youths were also said to have claimed that the company was constituting a source of pollution for the environment, while the host community had been neglected.

Dangote Cement was said to have been invited to appear before the assembly, but its officials did not appear before the house despite requesting for more time.

Amid moves by the state to seal off the factory on Wednesday, youths were said to have surrounded the area, while there was a shooting incident.

In a statement, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi commissioner for information, said a yet-to-be-identified youth was shot and is currently receiving treatment at a government hospital in Lokoja.

“The Kogi State Government wishes to express total support for the decision of the Kogi State House of Assembly to seal the Dangote Cement Company over ownership tussle between the State Government and the Dangote Group,” the statement reads.

“The successful sealing of the factory is a welcome development to enable all parties advance providing answers to the various unanswered questions surrounding the ownership of the Company.

“Today’s operation at Obajana has further opened the eyes of the State Government to the criminal hub that Obajana is fast becoming, with the level of arms and ammunition deployed by hoodlums hired to stop the sealing of the company as directed by the State House of Assembly.

“We thank the enthusiastic young men and women who came out in their hundreds to support the sealing of the Company as well as our gallant security agents for repelling the criminals that were hired to stop the implementation of a lawful resolution by the law-making body of the state.

“It is unfortunate that one of the youths supporting the sealing of the company in solidarity with the House of Assembly resolution was shot by the hired gunmen of the capitalist and he is currently receiving treatment at a government hospital in Lokoja.

“It is our responsibility as a government to protect the interest of our people and we will stop at nothing to ensure Kogi’s resources work for Kogi people.

“The Executive Governor of Kogi State, His Excellency Alh Yahaya Bello, has directed security agencies to fish out those who shot the innocent youth at Obajana and bring them to justice.”

However, sources said seven workers at the cement factory were shot during a clash involving youths and vigilantes.

On his part, David Oluruntoba, spokesman for the Oyo mining host community, described the shooting incident at the factory as primitive, adding that youths should not be involved in “evil practices”.

“They called us to join them, but I told them that the company has not offended us. We just signed a community development agreement (CDA) and the company has been helping us and providing us with jobs. What has the government done for us? Nothing. There is no basis to support the government,” he said.

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Buhari’s administration has saved Nigerians from hunger, says Lai




Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has achieved food security and the scaling up of made-in-Nigeria products.

The minister said this on Thursday in Abuja at the 9th edition of the ”PMB administration; scorecard series (2015-2023)”.

According to Mohammed, in spite of the crises affecting the cost of living globally, the administration had done well since assuming office in the area of self-sufficiency in most basic needs.

“I am sure many of us have seen video clips of empty supermarket shelves in the Western world, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and the economic uncertainty, which have all combined to disrupt global supply chains,” he said.

“Long before these crises, however, President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a statement that has now turned out to be prescient, admonished Nigerians to grow what they eat and eat what they grow.

“Then, many neither understood the importance of that admonition nor appreciated its relevance.

“Well, it turned out that the consequence of that statement made Nigerians look inward and relied less on imports.

“This has saved Nigerians from hunger, especially during the prolonged global lockdown, when exporting nations shut their ports and borders and nations that relied on imports were struggling to meet their needs.”

Mohammed also said the worst could have happened if the country had, during the period of the crises, relied on imports to feed itself.

The minister added that the presidential fertiliser initiative was a successful policy that made the production and distribution of fertiliser to the farmers effective.

According to him, the number of fertiliser blending plants in the country increased from 10 in 2015 to 142 and the increase in the number of rice mills also from 10 in 2015 to 80 integrated rice mills.

This, he added to have aided food sufficiency.

“Our farmers are now part of our economy. Companies and factories are coming up to manufacture, process and distribute food,” he added.

“If you visit our markets and supermarkets today, what you will see mostly are ‘made-in-Nigeria’ products. This is a huge progress in such a short time.”

Speaking further on the high prices of food items, the minister assured that as the country engaged more in local food production and moved closer to achieving food security, prices would begin to fall.

“For now, we must acknowledge the success we have achieved in the area of food production and in scaling up made-in-Nigeria products’’ he said.

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Military is under pressure to compromise 2023 polls, says defence chief, Lucky Irabor




Lucky Irabor, the chief of defence staff, says the military is under pressure to compromise the 2023 elections.

The defence chief however said the military will remain neutral and assist the police in monitoring and securing the process.

Irabor spoke on Thursday at the ministerial media briefing organised by the presidential communications team at the presidential villa, Abuja.

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INEC reacts to viral video of staff copying numbers on PVCs




The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked claims accompanying a viral video that its workers were stealing voter information from permanent voter cards (PVCs) in Lagos.

Within the past 48 hours, videos have gone viral on social media platforms showing some persons copying information from PVCs onto their mobile phones.

There were also claims following the videos that INEC was trying to rig the 2023 elections.

In a statement on Wednesday, Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner, said the commission was aware of the video.

While confirming that the persons in the video were INEC staff at an office of the commission in Festac, Amuwo Odofin LGA in Lagos, Okoye said the video shows the staff “harvesting” voter information numbers (VINs) from PVCs as part of an inventory process for older, uncollected cards.

“In its determination to enhance the rate of collection of PVCs, the Commission decided to establish a PVC collection process that includes an online component,” the statement reads.

“The procedure entails that registered voters with access to the Internet could go to a dedicated portal to ascertain whether their PVCs are ready and to find their locations for subsequent collection.

“All they are required to do is to provide their details such as name, date of birth, state of registration or the last six digits of the VINs that they provided/received during registration, to locate their cards.

“This would improve the PVC collection process, but without prejudice to those who wish to go directly to the collection centres.

“For the newer PVCs, that is those from the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) that took place between January and July 2022, the VINs were harvested automatically and made available online.

“However, for the older uncollected PVCs that predate the new guidelines, their VINs must be harvested manually and painstakingly for upload to the PVC collection portal ( The portal will also improve the records of the Commission regarding collected and uncollected PVCs.

“While the Commission appreciates the vigilance of Nigerians and their determination to see the conduct of free, fair, credible and inclusive elections in 2023, it is exceedingly important that information such as contained in the said video is verified before sharing it with the public.

“A major threat to the upcoming general election comes from fake news and disinformation. The Commission appeals to Nigerians to remain conscious of this, even if the prior intention is worthy.”

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