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Ife begins Olojo Festival as Ooni enters 7-day seclusion

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The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, on Sunday moved into Ile Mole, Iremo Quarters, Ile-Ife, for a seven-day seclusion as the ancient Olojo Festival kicks off in the city.

The monarch appeared in his usual white traditional attire laced with colourful ancient beads on his way out of the Ile Oodua Palace of Ife.

He told the newsmen that he will use the spiritual moment of seclusion as a point of contact with God Almighty towards the total eradication of the coronavirus as well as for peace and stability in the country.

Oba Ogunwusi explained that Olojo is a festival that connotes a strong indication of God’s creation and the day of the first dawn on earth.

“I am going into seclusion, I am going into fasting and prayer in the ways of our ancestors.

“As you know, we’re gradually winning the war against coronavirus and we must indeed be thankful because we are not superior to those countries being crippled by this pandemic.

“After the seven-day seclusion, there follows the climax of it, which is the procession of the sacred Aare crown with which we will pray for the entire nation and humanity.

“Every move of the Aare procession is highly significant, including the junctions of spiritual and historical significance where I would make supplications and prayers to our ancestors.

“The first junction indicates where the first dawn came and that is where we must stop, followed by where the pathfinder deity, which we call Ogun sighted the first dawn and that is Oke-Mogun.

“When I came down from the hill, there was turmoil among the deities because Aare is the first monarchical crown.

“At some point they all converged at Ita Oranfe, where they all agreed that kingship and organisation should commence and that is where the modern day democracy and other forms of government emanated from,” he said.

ROYAL NEWS reports that during the seclusion rites, the monarch would be incommunicado and not grant audience to anyone.

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No president will say there won’t be banditry next year — Lai Mohammed

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has said that no president will say banditry will next year.

Lai Mohammed said this while responding to a question on whether the current security challenges would end before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office in 2023.

Responding to the question at a press conference on Wednesday December 15, Lai Mohammed said;

“Nobody, I’m not sure any president will say by next year there will be no banditry. It is just like saying by next year, there will be no thief.

“But what is important is that they should judge us by our achievement. We’ve not thrown our hands in the air. There was a time they asked us to hire mercenaries, but our soldiers are doing their best in these circumstances.”

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Buhari jets out Turkey for summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday leave Abuja for Istanbul, Turkey, to attend the third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit, hosted by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the Republic of Turkey.

According to the organisers, the theme of the Summit is ‘‘Enhanced Partnership for Common Development and Prosperity’’ and the agenda includes reviewing the cooperation between African countries and Turkey since the last Summit in 2014.

This was disclosed in a statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, on Thursday morning.

The third Turkey-Africa Partnership Summit is coming on the heels of President Erdogan’s recent State visit to Nigeria during which several agreements in the fields of energy, defence industry, mining and hydrocarbons were signed to expand existing bilateral ties.

The Turkish leader had during the visit to Nigeria, affirmed his commitment to immediately expand the volume of trade between the two countries to 5 billion dollars and the Nigerian delegation will seize the opportunity of the gathering in Istanbul to enhance cooperation with other partners for more trade and investment opportunities in the country.

It is expected that the Summit would provide guidelines and direction for cooperation with African countries for the next five years.

President Buhari will be accompanied on the trip by his wife, Aisha Buhari; the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); FCT, Mohammed Bello; Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar; Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in Abuja on Sunday, December 19.

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2023 presidency: I’m not going to turn it down – Tinubu

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said he will not turn down the calls of those asking him to contest for president in 2023.

Tinubu stated this after a meeting with leaders of the Northern Alliance Committee in Abuja on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the former Governor of Lagos said he would, however, make consultations before officially announcing a decision on the matter.

“I’m not going to turn them down but I will still effectively and widely consult, particularly brainstorm with my friends and find a date to come out openly to tell Nigerians.

“But the president is still in office. I don’t want to distract him from all the challenges that he might face today.

“So, don’t muddle the political water. Consult, make our programme known to the people later,” Tinubu said.

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