Education Gets Lion Share Of Borno State’s 2017 Budget

Kashim Shettima, Borno, Budget, Education, Boko HaramGovernor Kashim Shettima has announced the highest allocation of 33 billion naira for the reconstruction of schools destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State.

The allocation also covers fresh construction works across educational institutions as the Borno State government budgets a total of 183,840,489,081 naira for the 2017 fiscal year.

The appropriation bill, tagged “Budget of Consolidation, Restoration and Rebirth”, allocated 124 billion naira, representing more than 60% to capital expenditure while 59 billion naira was allocated for recurrent expenditure.

‎The health sector followed education with 19 billion naira, while reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement got 13 billion naira with agriculture trailing them with the allocation of seven billion naira.

Worst Onslaught Of Insurgency

Speaking at the chambers of the Borno State House of Assembly in Maiduguri on Wednesday, the Governor said education was worst hit by the attacks of Boko Haram terrorists, noting that his administration was taking a major step to fix the sector.

“Education is the sector which captures our attention the most. It is the area that has suffered the worst onslaught of the insurgency. Our experiences have shown that its inadequacy could be risky and its neglect could also be a recipe for insecurity even in the future.

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“It is for this reason that the education sector alone excluding the primary level is allocated the sum of 33 billion naira for primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary schools.

“The amount allocated is to enable us continue with the reconstruction, rehabilitation of the educational infrastructure and facilities at the secondary and tertiary levels.

“Furthermore, the huge budgetary provision is also to enable the full take-off of our newly recognised State University in 2017 and ensure that more facilities and structures are put in place to obtain accreditation of all courses in faculties billed to take-off during the year.

“Most primary schools in the local government areas hitherto occupied by Boko Haram were completely destroyed (while) the Universal Basic Education Board is to undertake reconstruction of all primary schools, renovate existing schools, supply most needed educational materials and of course feed the primary school pupils across the state and provide more furniture to enhance teaching and learning at the primary school level,” Shettima said.

The Governor restated his administration’s determination to take full advantage of emerging peace to change the fortunes of the state in northeast Nigeria.

Yobe Government Reaches Out To Displaced Christians At Christmas

Yobe, christian, christmasThe Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Yobe state chapter, has taken delivery of some food and non-food items presented to its displaced members by the state Government.

The materials are to be shared to its members located in four Local Government Areas of the state, considered worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgents.

Presenting the materials to the Christian community, the Commissioner of Home Affairs, Aji Bularafa, said Governor Gaidam’s administration is demonstrating the spirit of togetherness by extending hands of friendship to the Christians community “at this festive period”.

He said the materials should only go to the displaced Christians living in Damaturu, the state capital as well as those in Gujba, Gulani and Potiskum Local Government Areas, believed to be worst affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The Christians in these Local Government Areas lost their valuables such as; foods stuff, cloths, churches among several other materials, and like their Muslim counterparts, government thought it wise to assist them particularly at this festive period so that they will celebrate without any hitch.

“This symbolizes spirit of oneness irrespective of any difference and the governor expect CAN leadership to share these items to the traumatized Christians to enable them celebrate the birth of Christ like any other Christian” Aji Bularafa said.

The commissioner prayed for harmonious coexistence among the diverse cultures, religions and tribes in the state, the country and the world as a whole.

The CAN secretary Mr Emmanuel Yilar Apagu, also expressed his appreciation to the Yobe state Government for the gesture describing it as “very timely by putting a smile in the faces of Christians at this festive period”.

While assuring to share the items truthfully, the reverend said the materials would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the Christian community, who he believes have been traumatized for a very long time.

“We are seriously surprised by these gifts of food and non-food items because it’s the first of its kind in the history of the state and none of us expected it.

“We wish the government more strength, wisdom and good leadership in piloting the affairs of the state believing that with this, government will continue to carry everyone along regardless of any difference. We quite appreciate” Mr Apagu said.

Presidential Committee Distributes Relief Items To Borno IDPs

Humanitarian committee, IDP'sThe Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative has flagged off distribution of relief items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in the host community in Maiduguri, the Borno state Capital.

Available statistics indicate that out of over two million people displaced by insurgency in Nigeria’s northeast, only 350 from Borno live in conventional makeshift camps.

The state government said others live within the host community either with relatives or alternative arrangements.

The PCNI sub Committee led by the Director General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garbai Abari, observed that these group of survivors required humanitarian support.

“The very fact that they are not in their respective communities, the very fact that they are not in their homes these are internally displaced persons that have been housed by the state government led by respective households.

“What we are addressing here are people who are living with families. There are others that we are going to address that are in IDP camps, this one is not a conventional IDP camp but it is actually an IDP camp only that they are living with their families,” he said.

The first beneficiaries are residents of the Yerwa Peace Estate, built by the Borno State government for residents who lost their homes to insurgency in Ngarnam area of Maiduguri.

Community leader, Lawan Gana-Abba, explained that the Peace Estate now houses more IDPs than the original occupants of the estate.

“Everyone here is accommodating relatives. When the villages were spoilt, everyone came to stay with family members until this place got filled up – there are a lot of them here.

“Today they have brought relief items for them and we thank our governor and president,” he told reporters.

According to a resident, “all 432 houses of the estate accommodate IDPs, with some living with their relatives while others got allocations.

A beneficiary, Modu Umar, explained that “since the government built these houses, nobody has ever come here with help for us so we are really grateful that this committee considers us and has made food available to every household here”.

The IDPs forced out of their original homes are made to live in the capital city of Borno, until their homes, mostly destroyed by insurgents, are liberated and rebuilt for civilian habitation.

NCFRMI Flags Off Humanitarian Support Programme For IDP’s

NCFRMI Flags Off Humanitarian Support Programme For IDP'sThe National Commission For Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), has flagged off a humanitarian support Programme to the IDP’s in Yobe state, north east Nigeria.

The Federal Commissioner for the NCFRMI, Mrs Sadiya Umar-Farouck, while flagging off the programme in Damaturu the state capital, said the first phase would include supply of both food and non-food items to the IDP’s in the affected area.

The commission according to her, would in the second phase take on durable solutions that would make the return of the IDP’s a memorable one.

“We are here to flag off the first phase humanitarian support program for the Internally Displaced Persons and subsequently we are going to focus on the durable solutions to those displaced persons, who are ready to go home because their communities have been declared safe by security agents.

“We are going to do that with your support and partnership, considering the fact that you have done so much to bring succor to these our brothers and sisters and we commend you very much for the good work you are doing to ensure normalcy returns to our trouble areas.

“We look forward to a very fruitful working relationship” the commissioner told the state government.

The state Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, represented by his Deputy and chairman of the rehabilitation, reconstruction and relocation of IDPs in the state, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, called for more assistance to the remaining IDP’s still taking refuge at the Pompomari camp in Damaturu the state capital.

NCFRMI Flags Off Humanitarian Support Programme For IDP's

He revealed that at the moment, 2,500 IDP’s are taking refuge at the Damaturu official camp, as many more have returned to their ancestral homes, sequel to the return of peace in some affected areas.

According to him, the need for more assistance to the IDP’s has become necessary as all those at the camp as well as returnees, have not engaged themselves in meaningful means of livelihood for several years.

Mr Aliyu, however said that the Yobe state Government had carried out lots of reconstruction and rehabilitation works to improve the lives of the IDP’s.

He expressed appreciation to some
philanthropists, NGO’s and other spirited individuals for the untiring support to the displaced.

“While expressing our appreciation for the support received from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, the flagging off of the distribution of the relief materials to the IDP’s by the commission should therefore be viewed as part of another giant stride in our multi-dimensional approach to providing succor to the teaming IDP’s.

“I wish to inform the federal commissioner that though various forms of assistance was received in favour of the IDPs in the state, considering the seriousness of the humanitarian crisis which is the second most hit after Borno state, we still need intervention in the form of additional food and essential non-food items, provision of building materials and cash support, to enable our traumatized people reconstruct and rehabilitate their house.

“The state government will also require support in the great and monumental task of reconstructing the destroyed public and private structures” the governor said.

Security Consultant Says Army Will Neutralise Insurgents

olusegun-ajanoSecurity Consultant, Brigadier General Olusegun Ajano, believes that regardless of the resources that were lost during military operations, and those in possession of the Boko Haram, the Nigerian Army will be re-inforced with equipment that would help them neutralize insurgents.

He said this in reaction to comments that the troops have run short of equipment, following the recent increase in Boko Haram attacks which has also led to the death of some officers.

He also attempted to allay the fears of some Nigerians who believe that the death of Lt. Col Abu-Ali, who was one of the foremost military officers, by the insurgents, will lead to a general loss of morale for the force.

Mr Ajano said, “in the theatre of war, you cannot have it all your way, nobody will take a line of action that will lead to the killing of its own troops”.

“Equipment are the live wire of military operations, and I believe that whatever equipment that we might have lost, the government is making efforts to replace them,” he added.

Furthermore he stated that “the average training of an officer is that you have to give purposeful leadership and I am sure that young man (late Col. Abu Ali), did it all the way.

Chibok Girls

He also sees the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls as “a welcome development to most Nigerians at a time when everyone was almost thinking there was no hope of getting the girls back.

“Nigerians’ hopes have been triggered with expectation that more of the girls will be recovered.

“From the way the government has handled it so far, if what they require is all the secrecy and the cooperation of the international bodies to be able to get the insurgents to discuss and probably reach some terms to secure the release, everyone would want to support them.

On the unexpected release of the girls, he said “nobody has been able to predict who did what, although a lot of local media have stated that a ransom was paid and some members of the detained insurgents, who may have been released, may be responsible for the recent attacks.

“Its an issue where the government has to be consistent in putting their points across and I think the government has already gone someway in meeting their own side of the bargain.

“(If) some of the detained insurgents were released, albeit, it could be the very deadly ones among them that were caught before.

“If these ones have gone back into action, I also believe that we could have done some things to prevent them from going back into action.”

With the recent increase in insurgent attacks, many Nigerians believe that the agreement reached with the Boko Haram may have led to strengthening them and Gen. Ajano agreed that “the soldiers that were killed, are probably victims of some of the complexities involved in the negotiations and efforts to get certain things done.

“Whatever exchange arrangement that was done and probably as a result, some form of resources, got to the hands of Boko Haram, definitely they will use it. They cannot use it in support of Nigeria, they will use it against Nigeria.”

However, he maintained that the Nigerian military has not run out on tricks to play in winning the fight against insurgents.

“If there are proven indications that whatever might have gotten into their clutches is now being deployed against our own troops, we certainly believe that we have not run out on tricks that we can play to ensure that whatever they might have acquired, we still have the capacity to neutralize them,” Mr Ajano said.

Niger Governor’s Wife Urges Support For Orphans

Orphans, Niger Governor, Amina Bello, Orphanage HomesWife of Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Bello, has appealed to Nigerians to assist in re-integrating orphaned and displaced children through the establishment of orphanage homes that will provide quality care for them.

The call comes as part of efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children and child beggars in Nigeria.

Dr. Bello made the appeal on Sunday during the foundation laying ceremony of a children’s home in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

She said many children in various Internally Displaced Persons’ camps in the northeast were orphans that needed to be catered for.

The governor’s wife noted that the children’s condition was a fall-out of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.

“There are thousands, hundreds of thousands of infant orphans that have been affected by this Boko Haram insurgency.

“Apart from that even without the Boko Haram insurgency, you have orphans in the society even though we have an extended family system but there are those unfortunate ones that do not have that system.

“So we really need to contribute to helping these children, nurture them to become great citizens of Nigeria that can also give back to others when they all grow,” Mrs Bello said.

On her part, the founder of the home, Khadijat Fashina, stressed the need for wealthy Nigerians to provide for the less-privileged ones in the country.

She added that taking displaced and orphaned children off the streets would help entrench peace and security in the country.

”For us sisters, it was just a group of sisters that looked into the society and saw the need for it.

“Especially for the Boko Haram scourge, there were so many orphan children around and we felt this was the best time to come into it as it has been a dream for a very long time,” Fashina said.

Troops Rescue 85 Boko Haram Captives In Chukungudu

Troops, Boko Haram, Chukungudu, Army, Operation Lafiya DoleTroops of Operation Lafiya Dole have rescued 85 persons comprising of mostly women and children held hostage by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The feat was achieved during a decisive clearance operation into the remnants of the terrorists’ strategic hub town of Chukungudu on the southern fringes of the Lake Chad region.

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Troops of 7 Division Nigerian Army, led by the General Officer Commanding of the division, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, wiped out the terrorists’ camps in the northern parts of Borno State between Friday and Saturday.

The manoeuvring brigade, led by 3 Battalion of 22 Brigade, successfully cleared Geram, Bulankassa and Chukungudu believed to be the Boko Haram terrorists’ strongholds in the area in northeast Nigeria.

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Some of the rescued captives

A statement by Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, however, said they lost a soldier during the encounter.

“The troops neutralised five Boko Haram terrorist fighters in a fierce encounter that made several of the terrorists running into the Lake Chad waters.

“The troops recovered four rounds of Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bombs, one double barrel gun, 349 packets containing various rounds of ammunition, three magazines, a link belt of machine gun ammunition and one AK-47 rifle magazine.

“During the clearance operations, the troops made spectacular discovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) making factory at Geram.

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“In the factory, they found several already primed suicide bombers’ vests (while) they also discovered a well-equipped motor vehicles and motorcycles’ workshop (as well as) spare parts warehouse at Chukungudu village,” Colonel Usman said.

The Army spokesman added that they recovered three vehicles and several newly acquired motorcycles.

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Colonel Usman said that the IED factory, vehicles and motorcycles were destroyed in line with the Rules of Engagement.

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Twin Explosion Leaves At Least Five Dead In Maiduguri

maiduguri blastsAt least nine people have died and 24 others injured after two loud explosions rocked Maiduguri around 7:10am on Saturday.

A blast occurred at the Bakassi camp for Internally Displaced Persons while the second went off at the NNPC station along Damboa road in Borno State, northeast Nigeria.

Unconfirmed sources say two female suicide bombers detonated the explosives in a gathering of women who were going to the farm.

The injured have been evacuated to hospitals for treatment.

Explosion At Muna Garage

The blasts came barely three weeks after an explosion killed eight with 15 persons injured in Muna garage, Borno State capital, where a suicide bomber was said to have joined a cab before detonating the IED, killing herself and other occupants.

The Police said the ill-fated cab was about joining the convoy of hundreds of vehicles to be escorted by security operatives to the border town of Gamboru Ngala when the explosion occurred.

A witness, Adamu Garbam, said the vehicle had already made moves to join the convoy when the explosion occurred.

The number of casualties was confirmed by the spokesman, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Sani Datti.

No group has claimed responsibility for the Saturday morning twin explosion yet.

 

 

President Buhari Meets With Gowon

Buhari GowonPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office for about 30 minutes.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. The first was in August, just before the former head of state travelled abroad.

Among other matters, the August meeting focused on the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption campaign, which the former leader expressed support for.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, he encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation which he said had created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon said at the time that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted in April 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

It was the same month that President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls and just as Gowon predicted, the government went on to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.

The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.

 “About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”

Chibok Girls Rescue: Buhari Commends Red Cross’ Role

muhammadu-buhari-commends-red-cross-chibok-girlsPresident Muhammadu Buhari has commended the role played by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the release of the 21 abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

The President, however, urged the group to sustain its humanitarian interest in Nigeria.

He made the remarks on Monday at a meeting with the ICRC President, Mr Peter Maurer, at the State House in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Nigeria’s Biggest Problem

Buhari said his administration was prepared to continue talks with the Boko Haram insurgents,” as long as they agree to involve international agencies like ICRC.

“We’ve seen the result of recent talks, 21 of the Chibok girls are back,” the President said, referring to the role played by ICRC in providing immediate humanitarian assistance to the girls who had spent over 900 days in the hands of their abductors.

He pointed out that Nigeria’s biggest problem was perhaps, the issue of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

President Buhari also noted that there were over two million of them, “made up of over 60% women and children.

“About 60% of the children don’t know their parents, or where they come from.

“It is weighing heavily on government,” he stated.

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Difficult Time For Nigeria

President Buhari said rebuilding destroyed infrastructure was a priority of the government, adding that the G7 had equally indicated support, which Nigeria heartily welcomed.

“We appreciate all your efforts.

“I am pleased you recognised that our military is cooperating with civil authorities and respecting humanitarian issues.

“It is a difficult time for Nigeria.

“About 27 of our 36 states couldn’t pay salaries when we came last year and we are still struggling with that.

“But we will get out of it,” the optimistic President said.

In his remarks, Mr Maurer said the ICRC’s operation in the Lake Chad region was the second largest in the world, after Syria.

He identified the nutritional, health, water and sanitation issues in the Northeast region, in addition to rebuilding of infrastructure.

“We are ready to engage and play supportive role in responding to crisis in Nigeria.

“Security is a lot better than it was a year ago, but humanitarian problems are serious and don’t disappear so quickly,” Maurer pointed out.

The ICRC President commended Nigeria for granting increased access to detainees and exchanges with the Armed Forces.

He said the detention facilities had improved, citing the cases of better health conditions and fewer deaths recorded.

Post-insurgency: Yobe Private Schools Seek Revival

education, Private schools,Proprietors of private schools in Yobe State have sought the partnership of governments at all level to re-position education in the state.

The appeal comes as part of the post-insurgency activities to revive the state after facing serious threat during the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria.

Chairman of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools in Yobe State, Mr John Onyeama, made the call in a chat with Channels Television.

He was speaking on Thursday after a forum of schools represented by pupils of nursery and primary schools as well as secondary school students organised by the association in Damaturu, the state’s capital.

The forum is aimed at bringing the pupils and students together with a view to inculcating the usual academic interactions among school age children.

Mr Onyeama observed with admiration, the return of peace across the state and the northeast region and stated that the association would work assiduously towards revamping the education sector.

He recalled that four public schools were attacked with at least 100 lives lost, while eight other private schools in the state were burnt by the Boko Haram insurgents.

The proprietor pointed out that insurgency had caused major setback for educational development in Yobe State and the region.

In his response, the Director of Schools at the State Primary Education Board, Mr Bukar Dapchi, commended the roles of private schools in the development of education in the state.

He said that modern education is above the scope of government and called on private bodies and other stakeholders to compliment the efforts of government in revamping the sector.

NEMA Confirms Eight Killed In Maiduguri Blast

Maiduguri, NEMA, Military escort
Remains of Burnt Vehicle At Gambarou, Maiduguri

The National Emergency Management Agency, (NEMA) has confirmed that eight people were killed in Wednesday morning’s bomb blast in Muna garage, Maiduguri.

The Public Relations Officer for NEMA, Sani Datti said in a statement that “Eight persons lost their lives, while 15 others who sustained injuries have been taken to specialist and teaching hospitals”.

The suicide bomber reportedly joined a cab before detonating the IED killing herself and other occupants.

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Remains of Burnt Vehicle At Gambarou, Maiduguri

According to the Police Public Relations Officer in Borno State, Victor Isuku, the ill-fated cab was about joining the convoy of hundreds of vehicles to be escorted by security operatives to the border town of Gamboru Ngala when the explosion occurred.

A witness at the Muna garage area, Adamu Garba said the vehicle had already made moves to join the convoy when the explosion occurred.

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eye-witness

“The car appeared to be coming from custom area towards the garage,” he said

Describing the scene, he said he was trying to park his vehicle when he heard a loud bang.

“We all went flat on the ground. When we got up, we just saw pieces of human parts everywhere and a newborn baby whose mother had obviously died so we picked the child and sought help for the injured”.

Gamboru is an economically strategic town as it borders Central and North Africa from the northeast region of the country.

Previous Attacks

In 2015, the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, had killed at least 10 people in a town in northeast Nigeria, two security sources confirmed to Reuters.

The sources said Boko Haram attacked a settlement on the way into the centre of Gamboru, on the border with Cameroon.

The nearby village of Ngala was also attacked.

However, later in the year 2015, the Nigerian Army appeared to have gained substantial victory in the fight against insurgents in Gamboru-Ngala, Borno state

A statement by the spokesman for the military, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the troops had reclaimed and started clearing and mopping up patrols in the town.

Fresh Attacks

The attack is coming shortly after the Maiduguri/ Gamboru road was re-opened for civilian passage in July 2016, after nearly three years of closure due to the activities of the insurgents in the area.

The Nigerian Army marked the successful counter insurgency operations by reopening the Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru road in Borno State.

During this occasion, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, declared the road safe for civilian passage.