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Yam festival 2019 : OONI urges Nigeria’s farmers, herders to close ranks for peace, economic progress  



The Arole Oodua and Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II on Sunday played host to thousands of Ile Ife natives and guests from other parts of the country to celebrate the 2019 edition of the annual yam festival.

While addressing the multitude at his Ile Oodua Palace in the town, the Ooni who was flanked by his beautiful queen, Olori Silekunola Ogunwusi ( Yeyeluwa) and Obalufe of Iremo-Ife, Oba Idowu Adediwura, told his audience which included farmers and traders, priests across the land that peaceful coexistence is the secret to economic prosperity.

Ooni, the Co-Chairman of National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria (NCTRN) lamented that the country has suffered economically from the clashes between farmers and herders, he therefore charged the two groups to embrace peace as a tool to enhance productivity.

“Both farmers and herders are two critical stakeholders in food production, I want to advise them to use peace to boost productivity.

“The government has been trying and has even promised to step up the fight against insecurity in the country. So I call on all stakeholders in food production especially the farmers to be patience with the government’s approach towards stabilizing peaceful coexistence across the country.” Ooni said.

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On the motivation behind the recent economic boom across Ile Ife markets, Ooni Ogunwusi described the ancient city as one of the prominent cities known for countless economic activities earlier before modern civilization.

“The abandoned ancient Oja-Ife market also spiritually known as Oja Ejigbom’ekun which is the first market in the world and others like the Itakogun and Ajifowobaje markets as well as Oja Tuntun have been revived to bring back the lost economic glories of Ile Ife.” The Ooni noted.

The African foremost monarch who is also the Spiritual father of all the Yoruba people worldwide closed his speech at the annual Yam Festival with prayers that Nigeria would soon defeat the insecurity menace currently facing the country.

He also prayed for economic progress and agricultural productivity while he symbolically sliced a tuber of yam which is a declaration that farm produce can now be consumed across Yorubaland, after which tubers of yam and other farm produce were shared among the excited participants.




Outdoor Advertising in Oyo State And The Growing Insanity | By Waheed Ganiyu



The billboard is the main outdoor advertising medium in Nigeria. It is large structures erected on highways, roads for the display of huge advertising materials. Billboards expose passers-by to the brief and bold advertising messages.

Prior to 2007, billboards was a source of revenue to the local governments. However, on assumption of office, the former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola established the Lagos Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA).

The pioneer LASAA Director-General, Barrister Makanjuola was reporting directly to the governor. He performed excellently by flushing the charlatans and quacks out of business and paved way for the key players and competent practitioners. LASAA got rid of illegal structures in areas like: Ikeja, Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Ojota, Costain and other parts of Lagos Mainland. Within a year the agency was able to generate over N3b.

The Lagos model prompted other states, especially in the south-west to establish their own advertisement agencies. Unfortunately most of them have not been able to meet up with the ‘Eko’ standard.

In the pacesetter state, the Oyo State Signage and Advertisement Agency, unarguably, has not been able to live to its mandate of ensuring that the signage beautify our environment. Many billboards constitute nuisance and threats to the lives of the people.

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Ideally, a minimum of 100m is required in between billboards on the same road. But here in Oyo State, especially in Ibadan, the state capital, billboards are clustered in areas like: Adamasingba, Dugbe, Agodi-Gate, UI-Ojoo road, Iwo road and others. Apart from clustering, many of these structures are erected directly high-tension wires. Inasmuch the state needs to boost its revenue, people’s lives, healthy and safety environment are also significant.

The question is who are those people behind this growing insanity and illegality? In a chat with the Head, Ibadan Office of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), Mr. Olajide Olishile, he said: ‘allocation of sites for billboards is the sole responsibility of OYSAA’. When confronted with the query on the billboard erected at Mokola Roundabout under the high-tension wire, an Enforcement Officer at OYSAA simply denied that no structure is under the wire.

Meanwhile, further investigations revealed that many of these billboards belong to OYSAA members of staff who don’t even have the skills and statutory requirements to practice.

Now that the rainy season is here, many of these billboards may not be able to withstand the heavy winds that characterise the period. In order to avoid any eventuality, it’s high time the OYSAA, Director-General, Hon. Temi Addibi, stop relying only on the reports from the field, swung into action by leading a powerful task force to uproot these illegal billboards.

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COVID-19: NCDC Deploys Rapid Response Teams to Affected States




The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday deployed Rapid Response Teams to affected states to support response activities, as Nigeria have recorded 51 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19.

The breakdown showed that 32 are in Lagos, 10 in FCT, 3 in Ogun and 1 each in Ekiti, Oyo, Edo, Bauchi, Osun and Rivers States.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire disclosed this at the Ministerial Press Briefing on COVID-19 held at the Ministry’s headquarters, Abuja.  He further said that, out of the 51 cases, 37 had immediate travel history, 8 were confirmed close contacts of confirmed cases and 6 had neither a recent travel history nor a known contact.

Dr Ehanire informed that two persons have been cured and discharged, one fatality had been recorded and all the 48 present active cases are clinically stable with only mild or moderate symptoms. He stated that Contact tracing to identify persons who has been in close contact with confirmed cases is on-going, while the Ministry is working closely with states and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, to review response activities and to institute measures to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians.

The Minister further disclosed that one major item in Nigeria’s disease containment strategy is social distancing, which has been repeatedly announced. As a result, directives have been issued at national and state level, to limit all large gatherings including religious, social and political gatherings, schools, events etc. Some states have put the maximum number of gatherings at 50, but a general order will be announced.

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He disclosed that The NCDC communication campaign titled ‘#TakeResponsibility has kicked off. It is a call to all residents in the country to join hands and be proactive in taking greater individual and collective responsibility for the prevention and control of the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. You can join this collective effort via your social media platforms” The Minister urged individuals, businesses, professional bodies, media houses and all committed Nigerians to take ownership of this campaign by developing and communicating prevention messages around the following critical thematic areas;

●       Frequent hand washing with soap under running water or using an alcohol-based sanitizer

●       Coughing/sneezing into tissue and disposing properly or coughing/sneezing into your sleeve, if no tissue available.

●       Avoiding crowds, large gatherings and needless physical contact

●       Cleaning all surfaces frequently with disinfectants

●       Getting information only from official sources and;

Self-isolating for 15 days on return from any international travel or close contact with a recently returned person. Call NCDC’s toll-free number: 080097000010 or the emergency no. 112, which we are working to link together and expand for improved speed and efficiency.

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In Italy, Morgues overwhelmed as COVID-19 death toll tops 8,000




An overwhelmed Italian city at the heart of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday sent more of its dead to nearby towns for cremation as the country’s world-leading toll topped 8,000.

Officials in Rome reported 662 new deaths and 6,153 infections — largely in line with the figures reported throughout the week.

The rise in daily deaths edged down to the lowest point in the crisis — 8.8 percent — while the infection rate stood at around eight percent for the fourth day running.

But the numbers are not dropping much further and Italians appear to be coming to terms with the realisation that two weeks of life under lockdown have not made the disease go away.

“Until we see this damn rate drop, we will have to continue making very hard sacrifices,” deputy civil protection service chief Agostino Miozzo said in reference to the ever-tightening containment measures.

Italy’s coronavirus death toll now stands at 8,165 — more than that of second-placed Spain and China, where the virus emerged in December, combined.

‘Crematoriums could not cope’

The endless flood of victims forced the city of Bergamo at Italy’s northern epicentre of the pandemic to send still more bodies to less burdened crematoriums in neighbouring towns.

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An AFP photographer saw six camouflage green army trucks transporting coffins out of a Bergamo cemetery on Thursday.

“The large number of victims has meant that Bergamo’s crematorium could not cope on its own,” mayor Giorgio Gori said in a statement released to AFP.

The mayor said the city had also received 113 urns with the ashes of bodies that had been sent out for cremation earlier this week.

The bodies in the city of about 120,000 people are literally piling up.

A warehouse in the commune of Ponte San Pietro on Bergamo’s western outskirts held 35 freshly-made wooden coffins Thursday that were destined for cremation at a later date.

Still more coffins filled a barren church hall in the Seriate commune to Bergamo’s east.

A priest said a quiet prayer over the rows of coffins and a single red rose rested atop one in the otherwise empty room.

Anxious south

Yet the Italian government is just as anxious about the northern crisis spilling over into the far less developed south.

The head of the Campania region that includes Naples warned of a “dramatic explosion” of infections based on this week’s trends.

“The next 10

days will be hell for us,” governor Vincenzo De Luca said in an open letter to Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

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The number of officially registered deaths in Campania — Italy’s third-most-populous with nearly six million people — rose from 29 on Sunday to 83 on Thursday.

But no southern region has recorded more than 100 coronavirus fatalities to date.

Italy’s latest figures confirm that COVID-19 overwhelmingly kills the elderly and the sick.

Data from Italy’s first 5,542 fatalities show that 98.6 percent of the victims already suffered from at least one ailment or pre-existing condition.

Slightly over half had three or more other health problems when they died.

Only 29.1 percent of the victims were women. The disparity has been observed elsewhere and still puzzles doctors around the world.

The average age of victims was 78 — a fraction lower than the 78.8 reported last week based on the first 3,200 deaths.

But Italian virologist Roberto Burioni said the figures were “not particularly reliable” because the country was primarily testing people who already exhibited flu-like symptoms.

Italy’s death rate among the confirmed COVID-19 cases — 10.1 percent — was thus much higher than in countries with broad-based testing such as South Korea.








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