Niger Govt Bans Commercial Motorcycles In Minna After Students’ Abduction

Easter: Governor Bello Challenges Residents On Nation Building
A file photo of Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello


The Niger State Government has banned commercial motorcycles from operating in Minna, adding that the ban was proactive steps to protect the city and government seat from bandits.

Ahmed Ketso, the Deputy Governor disclosed on Wednesday while briefing Journalists, a week after gunmen abducted 136 pupils from an Islamic school in Tegina.

“The ban on commercial motorcyclists is a step to avoid an attack. However private motorcyclists are free to operate from 6 am to 9 pm every day,” he said.

“There is the need to protect Minna as the seat of government because as we all can see, the bandits are leaving around us.”

He also reiterated the state government’s commitment to rescuing the schoolchildren, noting that negotiations with the abductors were ongoing.

According to Ketso, the negotiation was not about the payment of ransom but on how to secure the release of the pupils unhurt.

“I want to assure you that we have intensified efforts towards the safe release of the abducted children. We are being careful to ensure that there is no collateral damage on the part of the pupil we are rescuing,” he added.

He said the government is also aware that the bandits are demanding ransom from parents of the pupils, adding that government is however not involved in such negotiation.

Kelso said that the state government has provided lots of logistics to security agencies in the state towards enhancing their performance in the fight against the bandits.

Niger Govt. Restates Commitment To Child Rights Protection

Child Rights The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello has reiterated the commitment of his administration to the promotion and protection of the rights of every citizen especially the children.

Governor Bello gave the assurance at the 1 2 3 parade ground in Minna to mark the 2016 Children’s Day celebration.

He said that it was the primary responsibility as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria and Child Right Act 2007 to protect and promote the rights of the children.

He warned parents and wards against violence against children which comes in many forms and usually causes physical and emotional harm to the growth and development of the child.

The Governor, represented by his deputy, Ahmed Ketso, directed the state’s Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to liaise with other relevant agencies to work out modalities so as to fight the scourge of child abuse, abduction and child labour in the state.

The Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Rose Sani, reminded the parents of their responsibilities towards the protection of the rights of the children.

She said that it is the duty of the parents to ensure that children are cared for, protected, free from fear so as to grow in peace.

Mrs Abara urged the children to rededicate themselves to be responsible citizens by respecting their parents, teachers, elders and constituted authorities.

She advised children to shun acts of violence, drugs and other forms of social vices just as they imbibe the spirit of hard work, honesty, patriotism and patience at all times.

Fire Guts Abdulkadir Kure Market In Minna

fireFire has gutted Abdulkadir Abdullahi Kure Ultra Modern Market in Minna, the capital of Niger State on Sunday.

Properties worth billions of Naira were destroyed including cash. 50 shops were completely burnt down.

The incident occurred at around 1AM on Sunday morning and was blamed on the use of generators because as at the time of the incident, there was no light from the normal electricity supply channel.

Some of the affected victims in an interview with Channels Television expressed shock over the incident describing it as very unfortunate.

Mr Babale Abubakar disclosed that the marketers had earlier complained about inability to access roads in case of incidents like this adding that the fire service men came, but they couldn’t do anything.

Investigation revealed that most of the victims lost millions of Naira in cash due to public holidays and weekend as they could not go to the bank for deposits within the period while expressing bitterness over lack of fire fighting equipment in the market for prompt response.

One of the affected victims, who lost about 40 million Naira cash in foreign currency (Dollars), Mr Salisu, was said to have collapsed on his arrival at the market and was rushed to an unidentified hospital for urgent attention.

But an eyewitness told Channels Television that Salisu had changed the currency so as to travel to Togo between Saturday and Sunday (January 2 and 3) to purchase goods.

The victims, however, appealed to the State Government and relevant agencies, to as a matter of urgency, come to their aid with the view of cushioning the effect.

They called on the state government to also help them renovate the building and assist them financially.

“We are appealing to government at every level and other relevant bodies to please assist us renovate the shops urgently before other assistance can be rendered, so that we can start afresh because we lost everything” one of the victims said.

The Niger State Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso, had earlier visited the market to sympathize with the affected victims, where he held a meeting with the Executive of the market, National Emergency Management Agency and Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA) to take inventory of what was lost in each of the shops with the view of coming to their aid.

Mr Ketso directed them to compile the list and access everything through Chanchaga Local Government Area to the NSEMA, which would be forwarded to the state government immediately for appropriate action.

He also urged them to take it with good faith praying that such will not happen again.

Governor Bello Tasks African Researchers On New Initiatives

Governor Bello Tasks African Researchers On New InitiativesNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has tasked African researchers to explore new initiatives that would foster the conversion of results and findings to solving problems and improving the lives of people on the continent.

Governor Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Ahmed Ketso, made the call during the opening ceremony of the 10th‎ Federation of African Societies of Bio-chemistry and Molecular Biology in Minna, the capital of Niger State in north-central Nigeria.

At the conference tagged “Bio-chemistry and Molecular Biology: Challenges and Prospects for Africa’s Sustainable Development in the 21st Century “, the governor called for a synergy between Private, State and Federal Universities for quality products and services.

“I challenge you to explore new initiatives towards advancing ways of converting research results and findings to solving problems in new ways, such that we can guarantee improvement of lives of our people on the continent.

“We need to encourage synergy between our Privates, States and Federal Universities in terms of focus, quality of the products and services. We could adopt the strategic development of universities along areas of specialisation, such that each institution can be identified with specific expertise while strengthening leakages with similar institutions either locally or internationally,” he said.

Governor Bello further told the gathering that the government was aware of scare resources ‎as research capacity was pricey.

He said: “The resources for scientific research are becoming extremely scarce, personnel training and equipment for institutional research capacity building is pricey.

“However, we will be able to properly deploy resources in establishing the best institutions that will serve specific needs of industry, so as to reduce the production of unemployable graduates”.

The Chairman of the event and pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Professor Jonathan Ndagi, urged participants to ensure that their researches were published.

The President of the Nigerian Society of Bio-chemistry and Molecular Biology (NSBMB), Professor Obi Njoku, said the theme of the conference was apt and came at a time where different professions in Africa were making impact on sustainable development.