No fewer than 252 Special Advisers and Special Assistants to the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, have resigned their positions.
The spokesman of the political appointees, Dasuki Haske, announced this on Sunday at a news conference in the state capital.
He said that their resignation followed the decision of the state governor to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He further explained that their continuous stay in Governor Tambuwal’s cabinet would be in conflict with their loyalty to the APC, hence it became imperative for them to quit.
Haske noted that the aides insisted on ensuring the success of the APC in the state ahead of the 2019 general election as well the re-election of President Muhammad Buhari.
Reacting to the development, the governor’s spokesperson, Abu Shekara, in a statement said that he had earlier directed the termination of the appointment of the affected Special Advisers and Assistants from their positions.
Shekara explained that the governor’s action was to enable the appointees engage in partisan politics without ethical or moral dilemma.
He noted that true democrats can’t find a place in APC, claiming that the party represents an undemocratic organisation.
“These defectors are making a bold statement for democracy and their sacrifices must not go unrecognised,” said the PDP national chairman. “More and more people will leave the APC because no true democrat would find a home in an undemocratic and dictatorial body.”
“APC has shown clearly through their actions and inactions since 2015, that it’s an organisation that is averse to the democratic ethos and, therefore, cannot accommodate lovers of true democracy, rule of law and civil liberty,” he alleged.
Secondus, who led leaders of the opposition party on a solidarity visit to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state in Makurdi, commended the governor for standing up for his people following his defection from the APC to the PDP.
He berated the APC administration for the alleged illegal attempt to impeach Governor Ortom after dumping the party on Wednesday last week, in response to the desires of his people.
The PDP national chairman also condemned the police siege on the Benue state House of Assembly and warned that any attempt to impeach the governor would be resisted by the people.
He, however, said that history has a huge space for all the defectors for their sacrifice to save the nation’s democracy.
Secondus claimed that the fact that the defectors were spread all over the country, irrespective of tribe and religion, showed that the ruling party has failed.
He noted that the political realignments across the country and the enthusiasm shown by Nigerians in the happenings in the country’s polity should be a signal to the APC that their time was up.
“I urge all good democrats and patriots still in APC to make haste to jump out from an obviously sinking ship,” the PDP national chairman added.
He assured those rejoining the PDP and other newcomers that the party has been rebranded and repositioned to regain power and deepen Nigeria’s democracy in 2019.
The announcement comes after weeks of speculation that the governor was planning to leave the ruling party and one day after he called on Nigerians to reject what he described as “prison-yard democracy”.
Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, is the third APC governor to exit the party after his Benue and Kwara state counterparts, Samuel Ortom and Abdulfatah Ahmed joined the PDP.
On July 25, Governor Ortom announced his exit from the APC on the day he was due to meet with the leadership of the ruling party in Abuja over the crisis in the Benue chapter of the party.
He consequently joined the PDP after some youths blocked the entrance of the Government House in Makurdi, preventing the governor from attending the APC reconciliatory meeting.
One week later, Governor Ahmed announced his defection to the opposition party via his official Twitter handle.
He said his decision to dump the APC followed consultations with major stakeholders in the state.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Wednesday dissolved the Sokoto State Executive Council with immediate effect.
The dissolution according to him is aimed at restructuring and strategising the cabinet for optimum efficiency and service delivery to the people of Sokoto State.
In a statement signed on Wednesday by the state Director General, Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Abubakar Shekara, the governor expressed appreciation to the people for cooperating with and supporting the outgoing members of the Council.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum has commiserated with the people of Akwa Ibom State on the recent collapse of Reigners Bible Church in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital which led to the death of some worshippers.
The incident occurred during the bishopric ordination of its General Overseer, Apostle Akan Weeks.
The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulazeez Yari delivered the message when he led the forum’s delegation on visit to Governor Udom Emmanuel at his country home, Onna.
Governor Yari was accompanied on the visit by Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto state and his Kebbi state counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu.
He said that they were in Onna to commiserate with the Governor, the government and people of Akwa Ibom state on the unfortunate collapse of the church building with the governor in attendance.
Yari thanked God for sparing the Governor’s life and commended him for personally supervising rescue operation at the scene of the incident.
The forum also acknowledged the contributions of Governor Emmanuel to efforts aimed at managing the current economic recession in the country.
Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked the delegation for the visit and commended its leadership for the existing bond of unity among the governors in spite of political differences.
He disclosed that his administration has done everything necessary to ensure that victims of the church building collapse receive the best treatment possible for quick recovery.
The Governor assured his colleagues that he remained focused and determined to make life better for the generality of the people in spite of the incident.
The visit was remarkable as the three visiting governors belong to APC while their host belongs to PDP.
Governors from the north-west zone of Nigeria have met in Kaduna to discuss issues affecting the region and the country in general.
The meeting was held behind closed door at the Kaduna State Government House and had in attendance the governors of Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto as well as the deputy governors of Kaduna and Kano states.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that the meeting focused on how to revive agriculture as a way of boosting the revenue profile of the states especially during this present economic recession.
“We discussed the issue of taking advantage of the policies of the federal government in the area of agriculture in particular and the states are mobilised towards taking full advantage of the programmes by the federal government,” he said.
He further explained that the governors appraised the ongoing war against cattle rustlers and armed bandits in the region.
“I think cattle rustling has been really reduced to the barest minimum now and we are working together with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the issue of cattle rustling is addressed once and for all,” he promised.
Besides the plans to enhance the security in the region, the governors have also came up with a plan on youth empowerment and job creation that will be implemented by various states.
This, according to him, is to encourage the youths to go back to agriculture which the north is known for.
The Sokoto state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States government to support primary education in the state.
Under the programme, which will run till 2020, not less than 500,000 school children will be reached.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal signed the agreement alongside the Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mr Michael Harvey.
He said that his government is committed to the full implementation of the project, passed to him from the previous administration.
“This development is clearly a further demonstration of your commitment and our commitment to the future of our children.
“You have clearly been a very good friend, and USAID and indeed the American government have been helpful in so many ways but this particular one which is supporting us in the area of promoting access to quality education in the state is really very key and dear to our hearts.
“I am sure several other states will follow suit and benefit from this benevolence of the US government,” he said.
Governor Tambuwal added that whatever commitment they are supposed to meet as a government they are “ready to meet and ensure that whatever comes to us is judiciously applied as enshrined in the content and letters of this MoU”.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has asked members of his party in Ondo State to mobilise for the governorship candidate of the party, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, in the November 26, election in Ondo State.
Mr Oyegun told members of the party on Thursday that wrestling power out of the hands of an incumbent government was not an easy task.
“For the APC to win the poll, dedication and hard work are major requirements needed from its members,” he said.
The Chairman of the APC spoke at the flag-off campaign of Mr Akeredolu held on Thursday in Akure, the State’s Capital, which was attended by prominent chieftains of the party from across Nigeria.
Mr Oyegun explained how important the state was to the Federal Government which it is in control of, emphasising that the state must join the mainstream politics.
The APC chairman said they would not allow the state to continue to remain in the hands of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, urging the electorates to give 90 per cent votes to his party.
“Are you happy with the present government in Ondo state? Do you want change? It is not easy to change. It is very easy to change and remove the present government but it requires hard work and dedication. I am convinced that the 26th of this month November is a day for us.
“I assure you that we in Abuja will support you to ensure that the APC takes over power in Ondo. Just as we will not let you down, please, pick your PVC and let it be ready. Tell your friends, family and other relatives, you need to vote for the APC, as this is the only party that can give you the desired change you are yearning for,” he told the crowd of supporters.
On his part, Mr Akeredolu boasted that the APC in the state would not miss the opportunity of joining the mainstream politics.
“We are committed to fighting this course. We should work together to ensure victory at the polls come November 26. We have promised that we will create jobs for the youths, through agriculture, entrepreneurship and Industrialisation.
“Our workers have not received their salaries in a long while but we will ensure that that becomes a thing of the past if we are elected into power.
“We will not frustrate the people but will bring smile to their faces.
“Twice this party has called me and twice I have answered the call. It is a call to serve the people and liberate the people of Ondo State and I believe that together we will triumph, with your support.
“Look at the calibre of governors, ministers and party members here. Let us vote right and vote for the APC, the winning party,” the APC candidate appealed.
He noted that as long as the APC was ruling in Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ogun and other states in the south-west, the party must take over Ondo State.
Some of the top party members at the rally were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal, who represented the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, Senator Isiaka Adeleke, who represented the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun Governors, Plateau, Simon Lalong, Borno, Kashim Shettima, Ogun, Ibikunle Amosun, Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal and Bauchi, Muhammed Abubakar.
Others were, Ministers of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan Ali, Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, Communication, Adebayo Shittu, Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru, Niger Delta (state), and Professor Cladius Daramola.
Also at the rally were Senator Joshua Dariye, Senator Olorumbe Mamora, Sola Iji, Pauline Tallen, and Chief Ayo Akinyelure, Segun Oni, Adeniyi Adebayo, Isaac Kekemeke, Ali Olanusi, Tayo Alasoadura and Ade Adetimehin, Osita Izunaso among others.
A human rights organisation, Voice for the Girl Child Foundation, has called on the Inspector General of Police to arrest and prosecute the abductors of 14 year old Patience Paul, who was allegedly abducted in Sokoto State and converted to Islam in August 2015.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Ezekiel Dyagas, alleges that the girl was violated and raped severally by her abductor while in captivity at the palace of one of the District Heads in Sokoto State.
According to him, the planned forceful conversion of Patience to another religion without the consent of her family, violates her constitutional rights. He called on security operatives to, as a matter of urgency, bring the perpetrators of such in-human act to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
Narrating her ordeal to Channels Television, little miss Patience, said she was abducted by two men from her family house situated at Gidan Kukah, Runji Sambo area of Sokoto state on August 12, 2015 and taken to the house of one Mallam Ibrahim, who calls himself Sarkin Baki.
She further explained how she was taken to an Imam in Runjin Sambo area of Sokoto to be converted to Islam, adding that the Imam instructed Hisbah officials to let her go due to her age.
Patience’s parents had reported her missing since August 12, 2015. Her elder brother, lamented the frustration the family went through on the inability of the police to rescue his sister and arrest her abductors.
He explained that his sister’s release couldn’t have been possible if not the intervention of the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal.
Reacting to the allegation by the family that the Police did not do enough to rescue her from her abductors, Spokesman for the Sokoto State Police Command, debunked the claim made by Patience’s family that she was abducted from their home, maintain that the girl willing parked her belongings and left her parent’s home.
Patience Paul, says she was 14 and in Primary six when she was abducted. Presently, she has been taken to her home state, Benue by her parents where she will continue her education.
The House of Representatives is set to re-open investigations into a 17 billion Naira tax invasion saga of the Stallion Group on Import Duty under the National Rice Development Policy of 2014.
This is following the adoption of a motion brought to the House by Abdullahi Faruk on Wednesday.
Mr Faruk said that the Policy review made on rice importation last year made it possible for the company to import rice in excess of 385,061 metric tonnes while refusing to pay taxes to the Nigeria Customs Service till date.
The 7th Assembly, under the leadership of Mr Aminu Tambuwal, had launched an investigation into Stallion Group’s tax invasion alongside two other companies but without result’
Mr Faruk argued that allowing such practice to go unchecked would set a wrong precedence that would jeopardise the import sector and frustrate the revenue generation mandate of the customs service.