#EndSARS: Ogun Panel Treats 58 Petitions, To Submit Report

A file photo of youths gathered at one of the venues of the #EndSARS to condemn police brutality in the country in October 2020. (Photo by Benson Ibeabuchi / AFP)

 

The Ogun State Judicial Panel of Investigation on Police Brutality, Human Rights Violations, and Extra-Judicial Killings has concluded its sitting six months after it held its inaugural session.

A total of 58 petitions out of the over 100 complaints received were treated in the course of the panel’s sittings at the Magistrate Court 1 in the Isabo area of Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Chairman of the panel, Justice Solomon Olugbemi, announced the completion of the committee’s sitting while briefing reporters in Abeokuta at the end of the six-month period.

“The panel received a total of 106 petitions, out of which 58 were treated and the remaining 48 were either withdrawn, rejected, or abandoned wholly or halfway by the petitioners,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the media officer of the panel, Femi Osipitan.

Justice Olugbemi explained that some of the petitions were rejected because they were not in line with the terms of reference that the panel was given by the state government.

He, however, assured all petitioners and respondents of justice without fear or favour, saying the panel’s report was ready for submission to the state government.

The chairman of the panel stated that after submission, it would be left for the government to implement the report or not.

“Although the panel encountered some logistics challenges, it was able to surmount them,” he said of some of the hurdles faced by the panel.

The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, inaugurated the members of the panel on October 19, 2020, and gave them six months to receive and investigate petitions from members of the public whose human rights have been violated and abused by security personnel within the state.

He also asked the panel to make appropriate recommendations to the state government.

FG To Sanction Returning Travellers Who Fled Quarantine Facilities

A file photo of the SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, addressing reporters in Abuja.

 

Returning foreign passengers who fled the quarantine facilities and violated the compulsory requirement will not go unpunished.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, stated this on Monday at the resumed briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He noted that the committee has received reports that some persons who recently returned to the country violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities.

Mustapha, who is also the PSC Chairman, condemned the violation of the nation’s laws and hospitality, noting that the committee was awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and would impose appropriate sanctions on the violators.

He revealed that the PSC has considered several pre-emptive measures to be taken to mitigate the likely impact of the variants of COVID-19, should they get imported into Nigeria.

The SGF explained that this became important in view of the fragile state of the nation’s health systems, the disruption to the delivery of vaccines, and the lack of compliance with the extant public health measures and social measures contained in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021.

According to him, it is imperative to reinstitute the various public health measures that were put in place under the health protection regulations.

Read the full text of the PSC chairman’s briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENTIAL STEERING COMMITTEE (PSC) ON COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL BRIEFING FOR MONDAY, 10TH MAY, 2021.

I welcome you to the National Briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC).

​The PSC continues to watch with focus and concern the unprecedented rising cases of infection and fatalities caused by variants of concern in a number of jurisdictions around the world.

It has also continued to rely on data, science, and experiences around the world to establish the basis for steps to be taken to strengthen the National Response programme.

​Since the last national briefing on 26th April 2021, the PSC has also received the expression of genuine concerns by experts, international organisations, the Africa CDC, Nigerians, and other friendly nations over these developments.

It has also, on merit, assessed the situation in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the USA with a view to preventing the importation of the variants of concern.

The surge and virulence of the variants of concern have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of persons in India and a number of countries and has unfortunately disrupted the production of and global delivery programmes for vaccines. These developments clearly underscore the fact that indeed, no one can be safe until everyone is safe.

On behalf of the government and the people of Nigeria, the PSC wishes to express deep sympathies and condolences to these nations that have been badly affected by the new surge and pray that the Almighty should bring relief and a total halt to the ravaging effect on humanity.

The PSC also calls on all nations of goodwill, to continue the good work of supporting nations that are encountering turbulence at this time.

As you are all aware, the PSC has already issued a Travel Advisory which took into consideration, the utility of travel restrictions, outcomes of epidemiological risk assessment, factors that aid transmission as well as control measures that could be deployed.

In the Advisory, additional requirements were placed on passengers from India, Turkey and Brazil.  The Director-General (NCDC) will elaborate on this during the briefing.

The PSC has received reports of some returning foreign passengers who violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities. We deprecate such violation of the laws of our land and our hospitality.

The PSC is awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and we wish to assure Nigerians that appropriate sanctions would be imposed on the violators.

​The PSC has also considered several pre-emptive measures to be taken to mitigate the likely impact of the variants of concern, should they get imported into Nigeria.

This step has become compelling in view of the fragile state of our health systems, the disruption to vaccines delivery and the lack of compliance with the extant public health measures and social measures contained in the CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) HEALTH PROTECTION REGULATIONS 2021.

​The PSC has therefore considered it imperative to re-institute the various public health measures that were put in place under the Health Protection Regulations.

In taking this step, the PSC requests the State Governments to please step up to play lead roles in the area of enforcement and sanctions. Similarly, our appeal goes to traditional, religious and community leaders to take up more ownership and responsibility for risk communication and community engagement on the virulent nature of the pandemic, concerns over the variants of concern and the need for compliance.  The National Incident Manager will elaborate on the re-instituted guidelines.

Closely associated with the control measures is the issue of vaccine access and administration. Given the challenge of vaccine nationalism compounded by the production situation in India, the PSC is exploring other options to get Nigerians vaccinated.

As at date, 1,690,719 persons have received their first dose of the vaccine in Nigeria representing 84% of the targeted persons for this phase. We appeal to States, especially those high burden areas, to push ahead with the vaccination programme. The Hon. Minister of Health and the ED-NPHCDA will elaborate on this.

​Accordingly, the PSC has produced a new Implementation Guidelines being Phase IV of our Eased restrictions of COVID-19 Lockdown in the Country. The Head of Technical Secretariat will brief you on the details of this new guideline.

The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government has fixed the cost of COVID-19 testing, whether PCR or otherwise, at $50 (Fifty US Dollars) at all Points of Entry with effect from 17th May 2021. This is to ease travel and trade among citizens of ECOWAS States travelling within the region.

Before I invite the Hon. Minister of Health, DG NCDC and National Incident Manager to elaborate on the details of measures Nigerians will be taking subsequently, let me use this opportunity to wish our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy Eid El-Fitr and may the Almighty answer all our prayers during the Ramadan.

I thank you all for listening.

FG Reintroduces COVID-19 Restrictions, Shuts Bars, Recreational Centres, Limits Public Gatherings

 

The Federal Government has reintroduced COVID-19 restrictions across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

This new directive is to take effect by midnight of Tuesday, a member of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed, declared.

Mohammed, who is the Head of Technical Secretariat of the PSC, made the announcement while briefing reporters on Monday in Abuja.

With the restrictions imposed, mass gatherings in public spaces have been restricted to 50 people at any given time.

Access to government institutions would also be denied to anyone not wearing a face mask while government meetings and travels have been limited to the virtual platform.

According to Mohammed, the government has directed that bars and nightclubs should remain closed and the nationwide curfew will be in force until further notice.

He added that only essential international travels would be encouraged, and all existing protocols must be strictly adhered to.

The PSC member, however, stated that there was no limitation to intra-state travel.

A file photo of a healthcare worker holding a COVID-19 test kit. TARSO SARRAF / AFP

 

On his part, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said returning foreign passengers who fled the quarantine facilities and violated the compulsory requirement would not go unpunished.

He noted that the committee has received reports that some persons who recently returned to the country violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities.

Mustapha, who is also the PSC Chairman, condemned the violation of the nation’s laws and hospitality, noting that the committee was awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and would impose appropriate sanctions on the violators.

He revealed that the PSC has considered several pre-emptive measures to be taken to mitigate the likely impact of the variants of COVID-19, should they get imported into Nigeria.

The SGF explained that the step became important in view of the fragile state of the nation’s health systems, the disruption to the delivery of vaccines, and the lack of compliance with the extant public health measures and social measures contained in the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021.

According to him, it is imperative to reinstitute the various public health measures that were put in place under the health protection regulations.

Wike Increases Curfew Hours In Rivers After Killing Of Policemen

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has announced the review of the existing night-time curfew in the state.

In a state-wide broadcast on Monday at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital, he noted that the initial starting time of 10pm has been adjusted to 7pm until further notice.

The governor explained that the time was adjusted by the State Security Council after an appraisal of the recent security situation in which seven police officers were killed in another overnight attack on two police stations and a checkpoint.

Before the broadcast, the governor had met with the Police High Command in the state where he announced a cash donation of N20 million each to the families of the 11 policemen killed in the attacks on security formations in the state in the past weeks.

He described the killing of innocent policemen as sad and unfortunate, stressing that the security officials did no wrong but were killed doing their job of protecting the people.

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

According to Governor Wike, there is no amount of money that can be equated to life but as a state, the government will always identify with security personnel who lose their lives in course of doing their job.

He stated that no form of coercion would make Rivers become a part of any secessionist movement, saying the government was committed to giving the police the necessary support to overcome the challenges in the state.

Read the full text of the governor’s broadcast below:

My dear people of Rivers State

These are extraordinary times for our country and our State. Last week Friday, we witnessed yet another multiple armed ambush on police checkpoints along the East-West road which resulted in the cold-blooded murder of 7 police officers.

We again express our condolence to the families of the dead officers and the State’s Police Command for this irreparable loss and pray for the peaceful repose of their innocent souls.

We have reviewed the way and manner the recent attacks were executed and discovered that the perpetrators, who disguised themselves as security officers, moved in unhindered from Oyigbo to launch the attack.

The nation’s security agencies are on their trail and we are confident that they will all be arrested soon and brought to justice.

We wish to assure every resident that we are not intimidated by the sporadic and cowardly attacks on predetermined security targets by faceless criminals on our soil; neither will we be cowed into succumbing to a baseless and doomed secessionists agenda.

However, as a further step towards enhancing our collective safety, we have reviewed the existing night-time curfew across the 23 Local Government Areas, which will now start from 7pm and ends at 6am until further notice from tomorrow 11th May 2021.

The security agencies are hereby directed to note the new curfew time, ensure strict compliance and effectively deal with any person or group that violates or attempts to violate it.

We have reviewed, and for the moment, declined the pressure on the state government to activate our youth to defend the state from these terrorists because we don’t want to complicate our very delicate security situation by creating opportunities for some other monsters to emerge.

However, we are determined to deploy everything at our disposal to advance the safety and security of lives and property in our state and nothing will stop us from defeating the evil forces presently threatening our individual and collective security.

We continue to appeal to members of the public to understand with us in the midst of the economic troubles that our actions may inflict as our one and only aim is to achieve and sustain the maximum security of lives and property in our dear State.

We further appeal to the public to understand that security is everybody’s business and play their own roles, especially in passing intelligence information to the law enforcement agencies to process and take pre-emptive measures to counter and advance our collective security.

Once again, thank you for your cooperation as we continue to work with the nation’s security agencies to keep us safe and secure.

Thank you and may God bless Rivers State.

Eid-El-Fitr: FG Declares Wednesday, Thursday As Public Holidays

This file photo shows the aerial view of the central mosque of a town in Nigeria.

 

The Federal Government has declared Wednesday and Thursday as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

Mr Rauf Aregbesola, who is the Minister of Interior, made the declaration on Monday in Abuja on behalf of the government.

He congratulated the Muslim faithful on the occasion and called on all Nigerians – at home and abroad – to use the period of the celebration to pray for peace, stability, and economic transformation in the land.

The minister believes that development cannot thrive in a rancorous atmosphere and urged all Nigerians to be law-abiding and embrace the spirit of love, self-discipline, kindness, and tolerance, as taught by the Holy Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him).

He called on all security agencies in the country to be more courageous and patriotic to surmount the ongoing battle against resurging insecurity and activities of criminal elements in the country.

Aregbesola assured the people of the resolve of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to end the scourge of crime and criminality in the country, as well as restore peace to every nook and cranny of Nigeria.

“This administration will not be deterred in its efforts, until every Nigerian and resident of the country, is free to move around without fear of any threat to his/her life and property,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore.

The minister added, “We are, therefore, putting necessary measures and strategies in place to strengthen the stability of the country, as well as ensuring the economic prosperity of our dear nation.” he emphasised.

He wished all Muslims a happy and peaceful Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

There Was An Attempt To Burgle Buhari’s Chief Of Staff’s Residence – Presidency

A file photo of the Chief of Staff to President Muhammdu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

 

There was an attempt to burgle the residence of Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency has said.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed that the incident occurred very early on Monday morning.

His confirmation followed the report by an online news medium, Peoples Gazette, that gunmen suspected to be robbers invaded the residences of Gambari and another senior aide to the President, Abubakar Maikano – the Admin Officer, located close to the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Quoting administration officials and security sources at the villa, the news outfit said that the incident forced Gambari and Maikano to abandon their residences.

The burglars were said to have raided the two houses where they reportedly packed money and other valuable assets.

 

‘A Foolish Attempt’

While he was silent on the purported incident at Maikano’s residence, Shehu noted that Gambari confirmed what he described as a foolish attempt to burgle his house.

“The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this (Monday) morning, but it turned out to be unsuccessful,” the President’s spokesman said in a tweet.

He added, “Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa, has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident.”

According to Peoples Gazette, the residences of the two senior aides to the President were thoroughly ransacked and no one has yet to be arrested in connection with the incidents.

This comes amid the disturbing rate of insecurity in the country with several calls on the Federal Government to secure the lives of the people and their properties.

Read the tweets by Shehu below:

Paying Ransom To Bandits Is Ineffective – Senator Nnamani

A file photo of guns displayed on a table.

 

The lawmaker representing Enugu East senatorial district, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, has faulted the payment of ransom to bandits before releasing their victims in captivity.

Although he is a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the senator aligned himself with the position of some prominent members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), including Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, who have condemned the idea of paying money to bandits.

“Talking about ransom, paying ransom is ineffective because clearly, these different groups do not have the same goals.

“In addition, the leadership is different. So, ransom would not work; rather, it could incentivise internal terrorism also called bandits,” he said when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He added, “I believe there is a competition to win the souls of the young Nigerian who elects to be a bandit or a terrorist. The government has to compete.

“There is competition between government and the terrorists’/bandits’ leaders. I believe the government has to do something to keep them within their system.”

According to Nnamani who is also a former governor of Enugu State, the government should try to win the youths through adult literary education, improve their welfare, or engage them in skill acquisition programmes.

 

He also recommended aggressive tackling of unemployment and poverty in the country as means to discourage the young generation from engaging in criminal and violent activities.

On the call for the creation of state police to address the issue of insecurity, the lawmaker believes that is not an option.

He opined that adopting state police as a solution to the security challenges would be a wrong move because the factors (imbalance and injustice) that led to the abolition of regional police were still very much available.

The former governor, however, suggested a conference of ethnic nationalities to help address the imbalance said to have been created by the Constitution.

World Rugby, Unions Confirm Revised Programme For Test Matches

A picture of rugby balls taken in Sydney, New Zealand on November 5, 2020. Saeed KHAN / AFP

 

A strong revised programme of men’s test matches is set to take place in July after all unions and World Rugby agreed a modified schedule within the existing window.

The revisions have been made to recognise an ongoing and complex global COVID-19 picture with the aim to limit the further impact.

The British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa headlines a busy July programme that will see 25 of the top 30 ranked unions in action with several hosting or being hosted for the first time since the pandemic began, including world champions South Africa and Rugby World Cup 2019 hosts Japan.

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to cause disruption, the underpinning principle for the schedule was the fixtures agreed in San Francisco in 2017.

Where it was not possible or practical to honour that schedule, the hosting rights were reversed with key arrangements met.

Where this contingency has not been possible for COVID-19 reasons, World Rugby has facilitated discussions to confirm an alternative schedule for teams comprising a minimum of two matches for unions who sought replacement fixtures.

This means that Argentina, Japan, US, and Canada will now travel to the UK and Ireland, New Zealand will host tests against Fiji, and Georgia travel to South Africa.

The Samoa versus Tonga Rugby World Cup 2023 qualifier will also be hosted over two legs in New Zealand, creating a Pacific hub in the country across the July window. RWC 2023 qualifiers will also continue in Europe and get underway in Africa and South America.

Additionally, following the announcement of increased high-performance support funding for RWC 2021 qualified and qualifier tests, World Rugby continues to be in discussion with unions regarding confirmation of a women’s test programme that will boost preparation for next year’s tournament.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said, “This has taken a monumental effort from all concerned. While there is light at the end of the tunnel in respect to COVID-19 in many nations, the challenges continue to be present, dynamic and impactful and therefore, I would like to thank the unions, their respective governments, broadcast and commercial partners and players for their flexibility and full commitment to the process.

“Fans around the world can now look forward to an exciting bumper schedule of men’s test matches involving at least 25 teams, which will be a welcome sight for everyone. The road to Rugby World Cup 2023 also continues with key qualifiers for Samoa and Tonga and, of course, we are anticipating a fascinating British and Irish Lions series.”

World Rugby Vice-Chairman, Bernard Laporte, also said, “Fans from all over the world will rejoice with this window of international rugby.

“I am delighted that match-ups between northern and southern hemisphere teams can finally take place, this will act as a prelude to the exciting Rugby World Cup that we are all looking forward to in 2023.”

“World Rugby and unions will continue to monitor the dynamic COVID-19 situation closely and respond if necessary, while any revisions to the November international programme will be confirmed in due course. World Rugby will also maintain its high-performance support for emerging nations ahead of the July tests,” he added.

“Confirmation of the programme of July tests is the culmination of a considerable amount of detailed consultation and planning across the respective unions,” said World Rugby Chief Executive, Alan Gilpin.

“It is also a reflection of the strong collaboration across the game that characterises our drive to strengthen engagement with all stakeholders to deliver a more aligned, meaningful and effective men’s international calendar beyond Rugby World Cup 2023,” he added.

World Rugby continues to lead and facilitate focused and productive discussions with all stakeholders regarding the establishment of a globally integrated international calendar following Rugby World Cup 2023.

International Rugby Players and the respective national leagues are central contributors within the dedicated working groups.

Through these discussions, the sport is united in the mission to optimise the calendar for players, the international and club game.

Insecurity: Why State Police Will Not Work In Nigeria – Ex-Enugu Governor

 

As leaders and experts continue to propose how Nigeria can overcome the problem of insecurity, a former governor of Enugu State believes state police is not an option.

Senator Chimaroke Nnamani was of the opinion that adopting state police as a solution to the security challenges would be a wrong move because the factors that led to the abolition of regional police were still very much available.

“That is not the solution. State police will not work in Nigeria,” he said when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He added, “Remember that we had some form of state police – regional police, we had an ordinance of 1916 that formerly established regional police. There were factors that led to the abolition of state police.

“All those factors that led to the abolition of the regional police and formal entry into the central police have not changed. Nigeria is organic, it is one unit and what that means is that if the eye is having a problem, the brain could have a problem.”

 

An Unjust System?

The former governor, however, stated that having state police would only function effectively if it was made to be uniform in all 36 states of the federation.

He warned that should state police not be in uniform and standardised in all the state, it would amount to what he described as an inherent inequality.

According to the lawmaker, it is an imbalance to have state police in a state like Lagos where the poverty rate is very low compared to other states with a higher rate of poverty.

Senator Chimaroke Nnamani speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

On the way forward, he suggested a conference of ethnic nationalities to help address the imbalance said to have been created by the constitution.

“Nigeria is a country of multi-ethnic African nationalities – those ethnic nationalities are in Nigeria on basis of inequality.

“The constitutions that have been derived from all these fora are inefficient, unequal, and unjust because those constitutions are results of political machinations of people who got the people to make the constitutions together,” said Nnamani.

He added, “What we need is a conference of ethnic nationalities on equal basis. Multi-ethnic nationalities have to conference and produce a system that is equitable, fair, and just.

“The system, as it is – the National Assembly, State assemblies…, are inherently unjust because of the way they were derived.”

Miyetti Allah Chairman In Kogi Was Arrested, Not Kidnapped – Group

A file photo of MACBAN Chairman In Kogi State, Wakili Damina.

 

The Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Kogi State, Wakili Damina, was arrested and not kidnapped.

Adamu Abubakar, who is the secretary of the association, confirmed this to Channels Television on Sunday in Lokoja, the state capital.

Barely one week after the whereabouts of the group’s chairman became unknown, Abubakar disclosed that Damina returned on Friday last week.

He explained that said it was not a kidnap as earlier speculated, noting that Damina was picked up from his house by some men in military uniform without explanation to members of the association or the state government as to why he was arrested.

According to the secretary, the national body of the association has taken up the matter for a thorough investigation to ascertain why the branch chairman was whisked away in such a manner.

He stated that the action of the security operatives was in violation of Damina’s fundamental human right, adding that the manner he was taken away made members think it was an abduction.

Abubakar, however, expressed the gratitude of the association to the state government and the police, among others for their support concern during the period.

He had informed reporters in Lokoja on Tuesday last week that the group’s chairman was taken away from his house in a white bus by eight men dressed in military camouflage.

The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Ede Ayuba, also confirmed the release of the MACBAN state chairman to Channels Television.

Like Abubakar, Ayuba stated that Damina was arrested and not abducted as it was initially speculated.

The police commissioner said the group’s chairman told him during a telephone chat that some persons who wanted to set him up falsely reported him to some security operatives who came to his house and whisked him away.

He added that Damina was already receiving treatment and promised to visit him soon to explain what happened to him in detail.

Yahaya Bello Appoints Speech-Impaired Ex-Cleaner As Aide

A file photo of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has appointed a speech-impaired young man, Peter Aliyu, as his Special Assistant on Sanitation.

Aliyu, a former cleaner under the Geemoney Cleaning Scheme in Government House in Lokoja, continued his cleaning work without pay even when the company was said to have laid off all its staff.

He was among the 47 new appointees of the government whose appointments were announced on Wednesday last week in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade.

According to the government, Aliyu’s appointment was borne out of the governor’s observation of his consistency, diligence, and dedication to work on daily basis at the Government House in the state capital.

Governor Bello, on the other hand, was said to have considered the appointee’s impairment to serve in his government as a means to enlist him and prove that there was ability in disability.

Recently, the governor gave special considerations to people with disabilities by engaging them actively in his government and signed bills that would enhance their welfare in the state.

Governor Bello, Others Hold Special Prayer For Security In Niger

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, attends a special prayer session at the Central Mosque in Minna on May 9, 2021.

 

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, and some stakeholders in the state have held a special prayer for peace across the eight emirates in the state.

The prayer organised to seek God’s intervention to end insecurity in Niger held on Sunday at the Central Mosque in Minna, the state capital.

Shortly after the prayer, Governor Bello reiterated the need for the people not to relent in fervent prayers to God.

He, however, gave an assurance that the government at the federal and state levels would not leave any stone unturned towards ending the security challenges in the state.

The governor noted that significant progress has been made towards restoring normalcy to the troubled areas, stating that the prayer session would continue even after the Ramadan fast.

“We encourage everyone, every stakeholder, every person to support the effort of the state and Federal Government with prayers and with God, I believe anything is possible,” he said.

On his part, the Director-General of Religious Affairs in Niger, Umar Farouq, believes the insecurity in the state requires divine intervention.

He said it was time for people of the state to come together to ask God for mercy and be of good conduct.

Farouq, who is also the Secretary of Niger State Imam Forum, called on the criminals to repent from their act, surrender their weapons, and return to God.

He stressed that engaging in criminal activities was against the teachings of Islam, especially in a situation where innocent people were the ones being targeted.

The special prayer led by the Chief Imam of Minna Central Mosque, Ibrahim Fari, also featured recitation of some verses from the Holy Qur’an.

Some of the other dignitaries in attendance included top government officials, traditional leaders, Islamic clerics, and other Muslim faithful in the state.