Gov El-Rufai Reshuffles Cabinet, Drops Four Commissioners

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna, Commissioners, CabinetKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday, sacked four commissioners from his cabinet.

In a minor change of cabinet, Governor El-Rufai nominated replacements for the sacked commissioner for confirmation by the Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA).

The Clerk of the House of Assembly, Umma Hikima, was appointed as the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of the state, while Professor Kabiru Mato was nominated as the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry.

Hafsat Baba was also appointed as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and Jafaru Sani as the Commissioner for Local Government.

The governor also redeployed the Commissioner of Justice to environment, the Commissioner for Agriculture to Commerce and the Commissioner for Environment to the newly created Ministry of Stakeholders Relations.

“The commissioners swapping portfolios include Amina Sijuwade, moved from Ministry of Justice to Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, while Maigari Manzo moved from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

“Shehu Balarabe moves from Ministry of Environment to become Commissioner, Stakeholder Relations, while Mohammed Bashir Saidu who is now Chief of Staff, relinquishes the office of Commissioner for Local Government.

“Rabi Abdulsalam, former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, becomes Special Adviser on Social Development, while Shehu Adamu, former Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, returns to academia,” said a statement released by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.

Governor El-Rufai also reassigned three special advisers namely: Uba Sani as Special Adviser, Political Matters and Intergovernmental Relations; Chris Umar, Deputy Chief of Staff is to become Solicitor-General, while Murtala Dabo, Special Adviser, Economic Matters, is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport.

He further announced the appointment of eight new permanent secretaries.

They include Mohammed Shuaibu, Ministry of Health and Human Services; Chris Umar, Ministry of Justice; Rabilu Ibrahim, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; and Joseph Steven, Ministry of Local Government.

Also appointed as permanent secretaries were Habiba Shekarau, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Lawrence Shemang, Ministry of Water Resources, Murtala Dabo, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport; and Abdullahi Sani, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services, Office of the SSG.

Mr El-Rufai stated that five permanent secretaries have been redeployed as follows: Hauwa Umar, Ministry of Women and Social Development; Ibrahim Jere, Bureau of Establishments, Management and Training; Ibrahim Sambo, Ministry of Rural and Community Development; Nuhu Buzun, Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service; and Aishatu Mohammed, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

However, five other permanent secretaries have retired.

The governor thanked all members of the team for the successes the State Government has recorded so far and wished them good luck in their future endeavours.

Soldiers/Shiites Clash: Army To Testify Before Commission On Wednesday

ShiitesThe judicial commission of inquiry into the December 12, 2015 violent clash between the Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also called the Shiites, has again been adjourned.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 has been fixed for commencement of hearing into the incident.

Chairman of the commission, Justice Mohammed Garba, said that the Army will appear on Wednesday to state its own account of the incident that claimed several lives.

Justice Garba explained that the adjournment was as a result of an oral pleading by counsel to the Shiites movement requesting for a short time to enable them have access to the leader of the movement, Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky who is currently under detention in Abuja.

He explained that feelers he got from the counsels indicate that there were concrete plans for them to meet with El-Zakzaky on Monday at the DSS facility in Abuja in order to get a brief from him.

Justice Garba, while noting that no other adjournment would be entertained again by the commission having wasted five out of the six weeks given to it to conclude its report, announced that the Army would appear on Wednesday to give its own account of the incident.

He also said that other groups and individuals that submitted memorandum will also appear before the commission to give their own testimonies.

Counsel to the commission, Yunus Utaz, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and that of the Army, Anthony Adeniyi, did not oppose the adjournment.

The General Officer Commanding, One Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman and some other senior Army officers attended the sitting.

However, counsels to the Islamic Movement were absent as they were said to be in Abuja where they are expected to meet with Sheik El-Zakzaky at the DSS office.

Shiites Lament Inability To Access El-Zakzaky

ShiitesMembers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites, have raised alarm that they are being frustrated by the DSS and Police to have access to their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

This they said has prevented them from submitting their memorandum to the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the bloody clash between them and the Nigerian Army in Zaria on December 12, 2015.

At the resumed sitting of the commission on Monday, counsel to the movement, Festus Okoye, told the commission that all efforts by the Shiites’ legal team or its members to have access to El-Zakzaky were unsuccessful in spite of several meetings they had with the DSS and Police authorities in Abuja.

He attributed the delay by the group to submit its memorandum to the commission to inability of the members to meet with their leader who is believed to be in custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) in the Federal Capital Territory.

On his part, counsel to the Commission, Yusuf Ali (SAN), ‎asked the commission to order the Attorney General of Kaduna State and the Attorney General of the Federation to liaise with him to see how they can have access to El-Zakzaky and get briefings from him.

Ruling on the two submissions, the Chairman of the commission, Justice Muhammadu Garba, granted Mr Ali’s request and directed both Attorney Generals to fast track the meeting to enable the Shiite members have access to their leader.

Justice Garba subsequently adjourned the sitting till March 14.

Since the commencement of sitting on February 22, the Commission of Inquiry had adjourned sitting four times.

Although it has so far received 105 memoranda from individuals and groups, the failure of the commission to commence hearing has been attributed to the inability of the Shiites to make their submissions.