Supreme Court Affirms Bello As Niger State Governor

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,The Supreme Court on Friday in Abuja upheld the election of Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello.

The court declared that the case by a governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mustapha Babangida, lacked merit.

In the judgement delivered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, the appellant did not participate in the election, even though he is an APC card-carrying member.

Mr Babangida had asked the apex court to nullify the election of Governor Bello and called for a fresh election.

He earlier dragged the APC to the Federal High Court in Minna, claiming among other reliefs that the party was biased and that the governor’s emergence as the APC flag bearer was null and void.

Ruling on the case with Suit No. FHC/Minna/255/2015 and dated February 3, 2016, Justice Onnoghen said after considering the issues, citing the case of Audu and Nyako and Section 87 sub-section 9 of the Electoral Act, 2010, the appellant did not participate, neither did he fail in the elections.

The CJN prepared the lead judgement and mandated the presiding judge, Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, to read the judgement, saying the appellant had no right to take the matter to court.

Counsel to the appellant, Mohammed Mohammed, called for an amendment of Section 87 of the Electoral Act which denied his client the right to sue, while counsel to the respondent, Yunus Usman, hailed the ruling of the apex court.

Briefing journalists on the judgement, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Nasara Danmallam, said the legal battle is over.

The commissioner further called on Mr Babangida to join Governor Bello in moving Niger State forward.

My Advice On Govt. Matters Will Be Confidential – Atiku

Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida, Niger, GovernmentA Former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday said his advice on government matters will now be confidential and not for public consumption.

Mr Abubakar made the declaration after a closed door meeting with former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), which lasted for two hours in Minna, the Niger State capital.

He noted that any advice that needs to be given to the government would be given confidentially, describing the use of media to advice the government as a great disservice.

“If I have to advise (the) government, I will advise them in confidence because I was in government before. My advice will not be on the pages of newspapers,” he said.

The former vice president, however, noted on the state of the nation that was not the duty of an individual to restructure Nigeria, adding that “It is up to Nigerians to decide on the restructuring of Nigeria”.

On his mission to Minna, he explained that the purpose of his visit was to greet the former president on his return from his medical vacation abroad.

“I came to visit General Babangida and to wish him well since he returned from medical vacation abroad,” he said.

Mr Abubakar, who arrived at the Minna Airport in his private aircraft, was received by the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello.

He then proceeded to the Uphill residence of the former military leader where the meeting took place.

Governor Bello Uncovers Plot To Cause Crisis In Niger State

Niger State, Fulani, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, says he has uncovered a well-planned attempt to use religion and tribal lines to create disaffection in the state by some individuals.

The governor, who made the assertion  on Wednesday in Minna, urged the people of the state to be at alert.

He also briefed reporters on his ‘on the spot’ assessment of the recent Fulani and Gbagy clash at Sabon Daga in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

“What happened at Sabon Daga was very unfortunate and avoidable (because) I can’t imagine how hips of yam can lead to loss of lives and property.

“Those behind this devilish act will soon be exposed. I urge you all to desist from using inciting statements that are capable of instigating crisis in our communities.

“I am aware of a well-planned attempt to use religion and tribal lines to cause disaffection in the state, we know them.

“They are the elites who are using illiterates to their advantage while their own children are busy watching television and laughing at home. They should have a rethink,” he warned.

Governor Bello assured the residents that we would leave no stone unturned in curbing the situation.

He said his administration would inject more funds into security in the next three months while confirming an external influence in the crisis.

The governor lamented that the monies meant for the development of the state were being spent on providing succour to affected victims of various clashes.

Governor Bello, Mourners Offer Prayers For Late Kure

Abdulkadir Kure, Governor Bello, Mourners Offer Prayers For Late KureNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Monday led a group of mourners in prayers at the residence of late Mr Abdulkadir Kure.

Mr Kure, who died on Sunday at a hospital in Germany, was a former governor of Niger State in north-central Nigeria.

Multitude of sympathisers stormed the deceased’s residence for series of prayers at the Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Minna, the state’s capital.

The prayers were kick started by a league of Islamic leaders led by the Chief Imam of Minna, Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Fari.

Governor Sani Bello led the entire State Executive Council while officers of the 31 Artillery Brigade and Training Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army in Minna were also there to pay tribute to the departed former governor.

The event was witnessed by former military president, General Abdulsalami Abubakar and Niger State Deputy Governor, Mr Ahmed Ketso, as well as some lawmakers including Senator Philip Aduda, Senator Bala Ibn Na Allah and Honourable Abdullahi Mahmud.

Members of the State Executive Council during the eight-year administration of late Kure were also in attendance.

Communal Clashes: Senator Umaru Claims Over 400 Killed In Niger State

Niger East, Senator David Umaru,, Communal ClashesA lawmaker from Niger East Senatorial district, Senator David Umaru, claims that over 400 people across various communities in the zone were murdered by cattle rustlers and armed bandits in 2016.

According to Senator Umaru, the purported killing excluded what he referred to as “unprovoked military invasion” of Kpadna, Legbe and other communities in Bosso Local Government Area that allegedly led to the death of 22 people in August 2016.

He told reporters in Minna that several livestock including cows were rustled, while women and girls were abducted and raped by the marauders who also burnt houses and other property.

The lawmaker, who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary and Human Rights, claimed that communities bordering the neighbouring Kaduna State were the most vulnerable with the bandits, capitalising on the adjoining forest as escape route and safe abode.

He listed some of the communities to include Kaure, Kusasun, Mwaignu, Sabon Gida, Kwaki, Ajata, Kushaka, Bagna, Bassa/Kukoki, Allawa in Shiroro and Rafi local government areas.

Senator Umaru alleged that in most of the attacks, security operatives always arrived the scene hours after the blood-letting with the bandits safely in their abodes, while calling for more proactive measures to halt the menace in 2017.

“It is my duty as a Senator representing the communities that were affected to call on the State Governor, Abubakar Bello, to, as a matter of urgent public importance, take immediate and more positive measures including directing the relocation of Police (and) SSS headquarters to the affected area to liberate our people,” he said.

The lawmaker also urged the state government to make public the outcome of the commission of inquiry which investigated the remote and immediate causes of the bloody clash between the military and some villagers in Bosso Local Government Area public, and to also set up white paper committee to implement the report.

Nasarawa Police Command Highlights Successes

Nasarawa Police Command Highlights SuccessesThe Nasarawa Police Command said it has achieved relative success in the months of November and December in its task of ridding the state of criminals.

This was disclosed during the parade of 39 suspects caught for various offences at different locations in the state, including five suspects who were involved in the killing of three staff members of Cedar-Bay Mining Company.

The incident happened on November 28, 2016 at Wugibi Hills in Alogani village of Nasarawa Eggon where the three, including a Chinese national and a Police sergeant, were ambushed in a commando-like operation while the staff were on their way back from the mining.

The Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Bello noted that “investigation is still ongoing as such further arrests are likely to be made”.

Another notable arrest, according to the Police boss, was that of two suspects that were involved in the kidnapping of a four-year-old girl in Nasarawa town on December 14, 2016.

He said that the two suspects have made confessional statements and a single barrel gun, a locally made pistol and 200,000 Naira cash which was the ransom collected from the father of the kidnapped little girl were recovered from them.

“Other cases of kidnapping are still under investigation and we are making progress on them. By the grace of God we will get the suspects all arrested and charged to court,” he said.

The Commissioner said that the command was able to record the successes because of strategies that were emplaced to counter activities of criminal elements.

“Such strategies include constant raids of black spots, deployment of more patrol teams on our highways, visibility policing within the cities and intelligence led policing,” he said.

In all, two AK47 riffles, five locally fabricated guns, two vehicles, one motorcycle and 205,660 Naira were recovered.

He concluded with gratitude: “I would like to conclude by thanking the government and all the good people of Nasarawa state for their support and cooperation which has contributed immensely to our success story in 2016.

“The command is looking forward to a robust collaboration and cooperation with stakeholders as we match forward in the fight against crime and criminality in 2017.”

Niger State Hosts First Ever Christmas Carol Festival In Minna

Niger State Hosts First Ever Christmas Carol Festival In MinnaThe Niger State Government in partnership with its Ministry of Information, has organized the first ever Christmas carol festival with the theme ‘The Dynamics of Praise and Worship’.

The festival witnessed presentations from different choir groups representing various tribes such as: Nupe, Gbagi, Hausa, Igbo, Tiv, Yoruba, Kamokun and Calabar.

The festival which was its maiden edition also witnessed a large turnout of Christians and surprisingly, Muslims in the state.

Asides signifying oneness amongst the two major religions in the state, top dignitaries were also in attendance and they were full of praise for the Governor, Abubakar Bello, who despite not being a Christian, chose to show concern to the Christian community in the state.

Speaking through his representative, the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Niger State, Nasara Danmallam, said that the Governor was full of praise to the Christian community and appreciated their level of understanding and peaceful coordination amongst the non-Christians in the state.

While promising the sustenance of the festival, he used the opportunity in wishing all Christians in the state and Nigeria in general a peaceful celebration.

The convener of the Christmas carol festival, Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Hon. Jonathan Vatsa could not hide his feelings as he was also full of praise to the Governor.

He also assured the Christian community that the best was yet to come and called on them to come together in unity.

He wished every Christian in the state a happy and peaceful celebration.

Niger Governor Reshuffles Cabinet

Niger, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Tuesday made a minor change in his cabinet.

The governor redeployed the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Haliru Jikantoro, as well as his counterparts in Agriculture and Rural Development, Aliyu Abdullahi and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kabiru Musa.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, after the last State Executive Council meeting for the year 2016 revealed that there would be more changes in 2017.

Governor Bello, who thanked the commissioners and council members for their cooperation and contributions, was not so impressed with their performances saying he could only give a pass mark of 60%.

“I commend every one of you but you must all sit up because 2017 will be a year of fulfilled promises. I can give you a pass mark of 60% but much is expected of you by next year.

“Everybody must sit up because we must deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates,” he said.

Governor Bello redeployed the Mr Jikantoro to Local Government Affairs while Mr Abdullahi is to take over from him.

He also directed Mr Musa to take over from the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Health, Dr. Umar Ibrahim Tiffin, that of Justice, Mr Ndagi Wali and the Director of Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makunsidi are to report to the Head of Service for new redeployment.

The Director of Planning and Statistics in the Ministry of Health would also resume at the Hospital Management Board.

While wishing all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, Governor Bello tasked them to show more commitment in carrying out their functions in accordance with his mandate.

He said that “more changes will come with the new year”.

Niger Governor Woos Indonesian Investors In Textile Manufacturing

Niger stateNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has urged Indonesian investors to cash on the abundant availability of high quality cotton in the state to establish textile manufacturing companies.

The governor made the call on Wednesday at a meeting with the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, at his office in Minna, the state’s capital.

He acknowledged the uniqueness of Indonesian fabrics and informed the envoy that Niger State was endowed with abundant and high quality cotton.

Governor Bello assured the Indonesian business community of conducive business environment that would guarantee profitable return on their investment.

He commended their Small Medium Enterprise (SME) sector and noted that his administration was eager to partner Indonesia with a view to developing and perfecting the SME sector in Niger State.

“We are impressed by the way your country handles her SMEs. We are ready to partner with you to develop our SMEs the way you have developed yours,” he told the visiting ambassador.

The governor also called for collaboration in the areas of agriculture, tourism and youth development, which he said were the priority areas of focus of his administration.

He further acceded to the request for allocation of land for an industrial park in Tegina, Rafi Local Government area of the state for the manufacturing of Indonesian products.

On his part, Mr Purwanto expressed the readiness of Indonesian investors to collaborate with the State government in developing Nigeria’s vast natural and economic potentials.

He said his country and Nigeria had a lot in common and stood to benefit from the over half a century diplomatic relationship.

The ambassador disclosed that a team of investors had earlier visited Nigeria, with the sole aim of establishing an industrial park.

He also commended the efforts of the Niger State Governor towards making the state conducive for its inhabitants.

Edo Governorship Election Tribunal Adjourns Till December 12

Edo Governorship Election Tribunal Adjourns Till December 12
Edo State Governor-elect, Godwin Obaseki

The Edo state 2016 governorship election tribunal sitting in Benin City, the state capital has again adjourned till December 12, to commence pre-trial.

The candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the governorship election, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and his party, challenged the election of Governor Godwin Obaseki.

Mr Ize-Iyamu had rejected the results declared by the electoral umpire, as he alleged that voters were induced and that the state government collaborated with INEC to doctor the results in favour of the APC.

Meanwhile, the tribunal had ordered the petitioners to file their application and serve the respondents by December 3, while the respondents were also expected to respond by December 5.

Before adjourning the case however, the tribunal insisted that its earlier order regarding the inspection of materials used for the election must be obeyed.

Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), had announced Godwin Obaseki as winner of the Edo state governorship election.

The APC supporters took to the major streets of Benin City, to celebrate their party’s victory, after what they described as free, fair and credible polls.


Niger State Govt. Promises To Support Impactful Projects

Niger stateThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has said that his administration will always support and partner with any lawmaker that executes projects that have direct positive impact on the lives of the people.

Mr Bello made the disclosure while he received in council, the National Assembly member representing, Suleja, Tafa and Gurara federal constituency, Mr Abubakar Lado Suleja, who had spent over 485 million Naira for various constituency projects since he assumed office.

He applauded the effort of the lawmaker, which he admitted have direct bearing on the lives of the ordinary people, especially the youths, while urging other legislatures in the state to emulate the kind gesture.

The Governor believes that if similar paths of development are being carried out by other lawmakers, “the problems associated with the present recession experienced would have been minimized tremendously”.

Mr Suleja, while presenting his scorecard to the Niger State Executive Council, said that he had spent a total of 485,797,000 million Naira, on various projects, and intervention programmes in his constituency.

The lawmaker reiterated his commitment to sustain the tempo throughout his tenure at the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

He mentioned that he would soon invite the state Governor and his team, when he would be distributing empowerment materials and equipment, worth over 100 million Naira, to the successful applicants.

Suleja stressed that he has systematically affected lives in the three local governments he represents, both in foreign and local scholarships, especially in the health sector, which according to him, they are presently lacking.

Furthermore, he said that his programme which includes infrastructural development of schools, roads water, rural electrification, subsidies to farmers, skills acquisition and vocational training of over 4,500 applicants was carried out regardless of faith or gender.

Be Governor To All, Abubakar Bello Tells Edo State’s Obaseki

godwin-obasekiNiger State’s Governor, Abubakar Bello, has urged the newly sworn-in Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, to operate an all-inclusive government that gives all Edo citizens a sense of belonging.

He believes such leadership ideal would fast-track development in the state.

A statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Jibrin Ndace, said the inauguration of Governor Godwin Obaseki and his deputy, Phillip Shuaibu, offered fresh hope for consolidation in the state.

The Governor advised Mr Obaseki to ensure that he would build on what he called ‘solid foundation’ already laid by former Governor Adams Oshoimhole.

Live Up To Your Vision

He pointed out that since the people of Edo state had opted for continuity, it was time to translate the confidence reposed in the APC-led government into improved social welfare and service delivery to the citizens.

The Governor, who expressed confidence in the capacity and ability of Mr Obaseki to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Edo people, enjoined him to live up to campaign promises of ‘EDO PEOPLE: Let’s GO Further, Together’, and APC Manifesto of Relief, Recovery and Reform, urging them to be magnanimous in victory.

“I urge you to live up to your vision of building ‘a modern and progressive Edo State where every citizen is empowered with opportunity to live life in its fullness.’ Above all, you must realise that you are now governor of all, irrespective of political, ideological, religious and ethnic differences,” the Governor said.

Governor Bello further commended the effort of former Comrade-Governor Oshiomhole and urged all stakeholders to rally round Governor Obaseki for the progress and development of the state.

Governor Obaseki, who was elected governor on the platform of the All Progressive Congress(APC) on September 29, was sworn on 12 November.

He is an alumni of the University of Ibadan (UI) and the Columbia University in the United states.