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Researchers employ SAH technology to speed up multiplication of cassava planting materials

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Scientists working on cassava breeding are now using the Semi-Autotrophic Hydroponics (SAH) technology to rev up the propagation of clean cassava planting materials.

The SAH involves the use of modified soil which holds plant roots in planting pots with little water. Usually the trays are filled with a little amount of water, and the soil transports the moisture up to the plant roots, yet the top of the soil remains relatively dry.  The roots are encouraged to grow down, and the dry soil on top discourages damp-off and other diseases caused by excess moisture.

Dr Peter Kulakow, a cassava breeder with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), said the beauty of technology was its rapid multiplication ratio.

Usually when breeders develop new cassava varieties, the challenge is how to multiply and disseminate to farmers. Hence cassava is a clonal crop and multiplication is done using stems, this process takes several years.

Dr Kulakow said this explains in part why it takes long for new improved varieties to be disseminated at scale to farmers.

“With this technology, these constraints will be addressed and it will be easier for farmers to have easy access to new varieties once we develop them,” he explained.

But besides addressing the constraints of slow and low multiplication ratio in cassava seed system, the SAH technology also produces clean planting materials that are disease-free.  The cost of production of the plants is cheaper using SAH when compared to tissue culture, Dr Kulakow said.

The SAH technology in cassava is a brainchild of the project: Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Seed System for Cassava (BASICS).

Hemant Nitturkar, Project Director of BASICS explained that once the technology, which is adopted from Argentina, is adapted and perfected in Nigeria by the Project, it is expected to have a significant impact on the ability of early generation seed businesses to quickly bring suitable varieties within reach of farmers.

The BASICS project is also working with National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) and Fera of United Kingdom to improve the quality certification system in Nigeria.

Grown by more than 500 million people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America; cassava is an important crop for both food security and wealth creation. The root crop is a source of commercial animal feed, fiber for paper and textile manufacturers, and starch for food and pharmaceutical industries.

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Metro

Oyo: ‘Most okada riders are spying for bandits, foreign kidnappers’ – Amotekun boss hints

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The Chairman, South-Western Security Network codenamed ‘Amotekun’ in Oyo State, Col. Kunle Togun on Monday hinted that most commercial motorcyclists in the State are spies for kidnappers and bandits that have entered the Yoruba land from the porous borders of Nigeria.

Col. Togun  informed that the foreigners who were ferried inside trailers into Oyo State among other States during the Covid-19 lockdown could not speak any Nigerian language but French whenever accosted by his men.

He averred  that the warning from the State governor to traditional chiefs to stop allocating lands to herdsmen with no papers showing Nigerian nationality would go a long way to stem the spate of killing and kidnapping in Yorubaland.

The Amotekun boss who was responding to questions from reporters at his office in the State Secretariat at Agodi on Monday, said the greedy nature of some traditional and community leaders in many Yoruba towns led to high rate of insecurity, which he claimed  the security outfit has been curbing.

He said, “Before Amotekun was established, the problem of Yorubaland since the invasion of the land by these herdsmen has been our traditional chiefs and leaders in Yorubaland, they take money, cows and cars from these people, and allow them to settle and wreak havoc in their domains.

“I have attended meetings of Obas in Oke-Ogun and I told them to stop giving lands to foreigners, these herdsmen are called Bororos in Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa areas, they are not Nigerians, what is happening should not be analysed in the area of religion, it is territorial expansion.

“Their leaders argue about the ECOWAS Free Movement law, but the one I am aware of is that anybody from ECOWAS country can go into another ECOWAS country without visa but you cannot stay there for more than ninety days at a stretch, some of these people have been occupying our land for years and they are not Nigerians.

“Most of them that were dumped here by trailers during the Covid-19 lockdown have turned to Okada riders, many are carrying wheelbarrows all over the place, selling carrots, orange and the rest, the Okada riders are their spies, we have noted that and we are working on government policy that will curtail the use of these people to foment crisis in Oyo State and the Yorubaland as a whole”.

Togun noted that Nigerians are the most security unconscious people in the world as he added that even the neighboring Benin Republic has a database and is more secure because according to him, security is supposed to be everybody’s business.

He said those that expected Amotekun to fail in Oyo State should be ashamed as the outfit would continue to be the pride of all Yoruba people at home and in the diaspora, urging the people of the State to continue to put their trust and support in the outfit.

 

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Politics

Oyo APC women stakeholders mobilise for party’s membership registration

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Women stakeholders in the Oyo state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have resolved to mobilize all existing and prospective members to participate in Party’s forthcoming nationwide membership registration and revalidation exercise billed for January 25, 2021.

Rising from a stakeholders meeting held at the Oke-Ado, Ibadan State Secretariat of the APC on Monday and attended by women executive committee members, party chieftains, serving and former elected lawmakers, former political appointees and faithful, Oyo APC women expressed their readiness to support the exercise which, according to them, would send the signal to the world that APC remained the party to  beat in the state come 2023.

In her welcome address, the Oyo APC Caretaker Woman Leader, Mrs Mabel Williams, charged those in attendance to do all that was necessary to encourage old members of the party to revalidate their membership as required and also mobilize all residents across the state to register as new members with a view to accommodating all willing patriots wishing to contribute their quota to the cause of democracy and nation building.

“Women have always been at the forefront when it comes to mobilization of people, electioneering campaigns and promotion of the ideals within the Progressive fold. This time, we would do more to maximize the gains for our great party and also give hope to the people of the state who are currently suffering in the hands of the current PDP administration. We shall take the gospel to all the nooks and crannies of the state to ensure that Oyo APC’s membership population rise to, at least, 2.5 million”,  Mrs Williams said.

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In her remarks, the former Head of Service and a stalwart of the party in the state, Mrs Hannah Olawumi Ogunesan, observed that it was time for all leaders and members of Oyo APC to sheathe their sword and give a room for genuine reconciliation among themselves.

“We must all bury the hatchet and embrace one another as members of the same Progressive family. As women, we are agents of peace and tranquillity. So, we must spare no efforts to preach peace and harmony at all times”.

A serving member of the State House of Assembly representing Ogbomoso North Constituency, Hon. Wumi Oladeji, in her own address at the meeting, also charged those in attendance to go all out and encourage people at the grassroots to keep faith with the party as doing so “would guarantee the quick realisation of the dream to make the Pacesetter state great again”.

Notable party faithful at the meeting are the representatives of former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Folake Olunloyo-Oshinowo and a former Senatorial candidate in Oyo South, Chief (Mrs) Olanrewaju Otiti. Others include; Mrs Toyin Ajibade (deputy state woman leader), Taiwo Moteleola (Oyo South Senatorial woman leader), Mrs Juliannah Ajuwon (Oyo North Senatorial woman leader) as well as all the Woman Leaders in the 33 local government areas of the state.

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Crime & Court

Osogbo: 32-year-old Man Jailed 14 Months for Defrauding American of N19.6m

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Ibadan zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of one Oteyowo Akinkunmi Samuel over internet-related fraud.

Justice Nathaniel Ayo-Emmanuel of the Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo, Osun State pronounced the 32-year-old, who claimed to be a graduate of civil engineering, guilty of a one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation on Monday, and handed him fourteen months custodial sentence.

The crime offends Section 22(2) (b) (ii) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (2) of the same Act.

He was charged for defrauding one Warren Doht, an American, of a total sum of N19,664,128.50 (Nineteen Million, Six Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, One Hundred and Twenty Eight Naira, Fifty Kobo).

The convict had, however, approached the Commission for a plea bargain agreement which formed the basis for the amended charge with which he was arraigned and convicted of on Monday.

After pleading guilty to the amended charge, prosecution counsel Murtala Usman urged the court to convict him accordingly.

Apart from the jail term, the court also ordered Oteyowo to restitute the N19,664,128.50 to the victim of his crime.

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