Below are the headlines found on The Blueprint Online Newspaper for today, Monday, 16 April, 2018.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018
Wife of the President, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has explained that her criticism of the her husband in an interview in 2016 was based on her sense of justice and not meant to confront or disrespect her husband.

Mrs. Buhari said this in a message she sent to the 2017 Vanguard Awards where she was honoured as Vanguard Personality of the Year 2017 on Saturday.

A copy of the message of the President’s wife, who was represented at the event by one of her daughters, Halima, was made available to State House correspondents on Sunday by her spokesman, Suleiman Haruna.

Mrs. Buhari said she was brought up to stand by the truth and that was how she has been living her life.

She said Nigerians elected her husband based on the trust and confidence they have in him and she felt the administration must serve Nigeria to the best of its ability.

The President’s wife said, “I wish to thank the management of Vanguard Media Limited for this unexpected award, in recognition of my humanitarian efforts towards improving the health and welfare of Nigerians particularly women, children and less privileged.

“One of the reasons adduced for honouring me was the interview I granted which some people saw as criticism to a government that I am part of.

“I need to state that my position was a result of my sense of justice and not confrontation or disrespect. I was brought up to stand by the truth and this is how I have always been.

“As we are all aware, Nigerians elected this administration based on the trust and confidence they have on my husband; I, therefore, feel that we are here to serve Nigeria to the best of our ability.

“Let me use this opportunity to state that I support my husband in this call to service and will continue to do so.

“On this note, I hereby dedicate this award to the people of Nigeria, especially women. Thank you sincerely for this award.”

Mrs. Buhari had in the 2016 interview with BBC urged her husband to rejig his government as many of the people benefitting from the government were not known to him and did not contribute to the campaign.

While lamenting that Nigerians were suffering and the people who worked for her husband’s election had been left in the cold, she said if things continued in that manner, she would not support the President’s reelection in 2019.  

Mon, 16 Apr 2018
A youth group, National Committee of Yoruba Youths (NCYY) has called on the outgoing Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Comrade Timi Frank, to contest the position of the National Chairman in the forthcoming national convention.
The group in a statement signed Sunday in Abuja by its President Comrade Oladimeji Odeyemi, said Comrade Frank’s forthrightness and insistence on standing by the truth at all times no matter whose ox is gored, “is a quality lacking in the leadership of the ruling party.”
The group said that the outgoing deputy spokesman has always seen and warned the ruling party of dangers in how the current leaders of APC under Chief John Oyegun were running the affairs of the party before the escalation of the current crisis rocking the party.
The statement read: “In the last two years, there has been intense clamour from young Nigerians to occupy very senior political positions in the country. Comrade Frank is a perfect representation of this generational shift that young Nigerians seek to take them out of the present political quagmire across the country, that not only affect them presently, but also affects their future.
“We are appealing to leaders of thought in the ruling party to allow this Bayelsa born young politician to pilot the affairs of APC. We also appeal to Comrade Timi Frank to urgently make up his mind to contest for the said position during the forthcoming APC National Convention.”
While declaring that youths at all levels should no longer take the back seat when it come to issue of leadership, especially in politics, the statement said the clamouring for generational shift and the the current technology age demands that the right young men and women, from any region should be allowed to take up leadership responsibility.
“The current National Chairman of the ruling party is just 30 years old. Timi Frank is above 30. Though, he may be young but very experienced politician who has seen it all in Nigeria’s politics having been a youth leader for the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for years. His experience in politicking spans almost two decades, and he has the ears of most political leaders spread across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“Comrade Frank’s disposition towards political party supremacy is also key to taking the party to the next level. Over time, political parties’ leaders in the country are not respected, and by extension the party’s rules. The ruling APC needs a leader with the political will to insist on doing things right, especially as the 2019 general elections draws near.”
The group, however, promised to intensify pressure in conjunction with its counterpart in South-south until Comrade Frank declare interest to seek the chairmanship position in APC.

Mon, 16 Apr 2018
Mr. Shedrack Madlion is the Chief Executive Officer of Safari 54 Integrated Farms in Kaduna; he is also an agricultural investor. In this interview with TOPE SUNDAY and KEHINDE OSASONA, he speaks on the farmers and herders’ clashes and their negative impact on the Nigerian economy, among other issues.

Nigeria is faced with the challenges of incessant clashes between herders and farmers, which have resulted in the loss of live’s. What do you think is responsible for this?

The farmers, herdsmen clash is a sign of institutional failure in Nigeria. We’ve lost grip of the cardinal point of human existence in Nigeria. Those institutions that are saddled with the responsibilities of our environment and agriculture have also failed us. We had a gazetted 423 reserves that have shrunk to less than 42-43 over the years. But our traditional institutions are no longer playing their roles, so they have all shrunk.

How do you mean?

Nigeria is the highest cattle-consumption point in West Africa. Lagos state consumes 212 trucks of cow every single week, followed by Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Ogun state. Yet, we don’t produce. We have the worst set of cows. The only good thing about Nigerian cows is that they can trek from here (Abuja) to Umuahia and come back.

So, it is an institutional failure because the Ministry of Agriculture has not done its bit. The Director of Livestock in the ministry and Ministry of Environment have also failed. With the advent of gadgets, you can tell a particular region that does not have water.

River Benue and River Nigeria have not been desilted since the establishment of New Breed in North bank. It is only the Old Gongola river in Taraba State that is the major water tributaries we have as of today.

Going by your analysis, government seems to be responsible for the crisis

The crisis started when the Minister of Agriculture, (Chief Audu Ogbeh, said he was going to import grasses. Kaduna, Zamfara and other states are under siege. From December to January, this year, Nigeria has lost about 173 people or more. The Minister of Agriculture is from Benue state but did not attend their burial in the state. He was busy commissioning egg production facility in Ondo state. Therefore, we have institutions with insensitive people who should be held responsible.

If I had my way, I would have dragged the Ministry of Environment to The Hague because it is responsible for the genocide in the country. The ministry should have known that the grazing reserves are no longer in existence; that they have been overtaken by climate change.

So, what is the likely effect of this clash on Nigeria?

It is a well-known fact today that AK-47 is sold for N75,000 in the black market and a packet of bullets is sold for N10,000. That is insecurity of highest order. Also, it has resulted to food insecurity. Benue state lost over 42,000 metric tonnes of yam seedlings to these clashes and it will take a long time for people to regain their confidence. How do you even console someone who lost a loved one? In 2015/2016, we lost over 49 per cent of farmer’s participation in the country as a result of these clashes and the prices of food items will soar as a result. And we are entering into an election year.

What solution would you proffer clash?

The solution is for us to go into ranching, to privatise it and put in incentives. The army, police and other agencies should all have their own ranches and rent them for ownership. This is how Netherlands, U.S.A. and other countries became who they are today.

We have to support ancient ways with technology so that our children will inherit from us. When a Fulani man dies, his children inherit his cows. We should have 196 ranches across the country as a pilot programme to kick start with. This should be implemented in three Senatorial districts or more in the North because the southern part of the country has limited land resources.
Naija Newspapers
Naija Newspapers

Naija Newspaper is a digital media distribution and review company focused on delivering Nigerian news across Nigerian audience. We are the biggest newspaper review company online; our value proposition is to be the all-in-one station for daily newspapers distributed in the country to various online audience. Our partnership includes and is not limited by the following Punch newspaper, Thisday online, Daily Sun Newspaper, Nigeria Tribune, BusinessDay, Leadershjip, Blue Print, Nigeria Guardian and Vanguard newspapers.