Army Acquires 500 Hectares Of Land For University In Borno

Army Acquires 500 Hectares Of Land For University In BornoThe Nigerian Army has been allocated 500 hectares of land by the Borno State Government, for the establishment of a military university.

The university would be an upgraded version of the Army’s already existing Institute of Technology and Environmental study in Borno State, north-east Nigeria.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, said this at the opening ceremony of the Quarterly Chief of Army Staff Workshop in Maiduguri, the state’s capital.

General Buratai noted that year 2017 in perspective, is lined up with activities tailored towards capacity building of personnel and implementation of the Nigerian Army’s reviewed Order of Battle 2016.

He added that the Army intends to invest in research and development, in order to encourage personnel to come up with indigenous ideas and innovations.

“The NA Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies is being upgraded to NA University. The university is being conceived as a unique university that would be different from other conventional universities in Nigeria.

“The concept is to make it a solution provider and a centre of excellence for a variety of technical related ventures, such as power generation and armament production.

“Pursuant to this, the Borno State Government has approved 500 hectares of land located at Biu for this,” the Army Chief said.

The workshop centres on the activities carried out in the first quarter, and further briefing for the second quarter in the Nigerian Army forecast for the year 2017.

The event, which took place at the newly constructed Command Guest House along Baga road in Maiduguri, had in attendance Brigade Commanders and General Officers Commanding.

Borno Govt. Confirms First Case Of Lassa Fever

Lassa Fever, Plateau State, Kamshak KundenThe Borno State Government has confirmed the diagnosis of Lassa fever in a 32-year-old woman in Zabarmari, a village located on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolis.

The Commissioner of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, who said this noted that incident was the first to be recorded in the state in northeast Nigeria.

Dr. Mshelia said the survivor fell sick last week and was admitted at a government hospital in Maiduguri, while a sample of her blood was taken to Lagos for test and returned positive.

He said though the situation was under control as the victim was responding to treatment, the ministry had to summon all stakeholders, including traditional rulers to sensitise the public on the need to ensure proper sanitation and avoid eating rodents, especially rats.

The commissioner noted that officials from the ministry had visited Zabarmari where they identified 23 people who had contact with the victim.

“So far we are in contact with 23 of her relations and we are following them up; all of them are healthy.

“But this disease takes between two to 21 days to develop; so we will not stop following them up until this period elapses,” he said.

Dr. Mshelia stressed further that those suspected to have personal contact have been quarantined.

He hinted that the ministry would soon embark on house-to-house fumigation, assuring the people of the state that there was no cause for alarm.

“We have formed teams that are to follow the relations, teams that are to go to the hospital and ensure that single case is treated properly and nobody catches the disease, and we have enlightened teams among others,” he said.

The incident management team, according to the commissioner, comprises “the state ministry of health, the Federal Government’s Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), and our partners chiefly the World Health Organisation and the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA)”.

Mshelia explained that “the role of BOSEPA is to move to Zabarmari and we will try to see if we can catch few of the rats for examination.

“Then the whole town will be fumigated house-to-house, to get rid of the rats that are there that could be infected”.

A report published in January 2017 by the NCDC had warned on the increased number of Lassa fever cases, even as it advised increased focus on prevention and preparedness.

The report indicated that from December 2016, Nigeria has recorded 19 cases of Lassa fever and six deaths in seven states.

Ndume Advocates Improved Allocation For Northeast Intervention

Ali Ndume, Northeast Intervention, Budget AllocationThe Senate Committee Chairman on Finance, Ali Ndume, says the Federal Government’s 45 billion naira allocation in the 2017 budget for intervention in Nigeria’s Northeast is not adequate.

Senator Ndume, a member of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI), made the observation after the PCNI visited the Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa.

The group’s visit was to declare its donation of food items which were offloaded at the warehouse of the National Emergency Management Agency in Maiduguri.

“I want to use this opportunity to thank the international community; and I have said this even on the floor of the National Assembly that the contribution of the international community and its commitment to the humanitarian crisis we have in the northeast is more than that of the government.

“We are now calling on the government using this medium to at least take the lead or match what the international communities do,” Ndume said.

The senator noted further that foreign aid and commitment to the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have continued to dwarf government’s effort over the years.

“So far the humanitarian response plan under what we call UNOCHA is budgeting $1.05 billion for 2017 (and) if you turn that into Naira, it translates into over 300 billion Naira.

“As at December last year, $449 million was donated by the international community; that also represents about 130 billion Naira.

“Unfortunately last year, the Nigerian Government budgeted only 12 billion Naira. In this year’s budget, it budgeted only 45 billion Naira (and) that also is grossly inadequate.

“So we ask the Borno State government to join us and other members of the National Assembly that are crying out to the government and to the leadership of the National Assembly to increase the budget for the intervention in the northeast from a paltry 45 billion Naira to at least 108; that is our call.” Senator Ndume stated.

Mr Durkwa, on his part, thanked the PCNI for the food donations which he said would go a long way in complementing the feeding of the IDPs.

He, however, urged donors to consider providing building materials in subsequent interventions to speed up the resettling process of the displaced persons.

“We say we are grateful and we ask for more. Now that we are in the post-insurgency stage, it’s time to now carry out constructions and resettle our people back to their base.

“That means we expect more apart from the food security. We are still asking for building materials to complement the effort of the state government,” the deputy governor stated.

The Borno State government is presently carrying out rebuilding of homes destroyed by the Boko Haram terrorists in Bama, Gwoza, Konduga and Kaga local government area of the state.

Borno State To Employ 5,000 Teachers

Teachers in Borno StateBorno State government on Tuesday, said it will employ about 5,000 teachers to address shortage of teaching professionals and boost quality education in the state.

The Commissioner of Education, Inuwa Kubo, told reporters in Maiduguri on Tuesday that the plan was to boost the quality of education with a view to resuscitating the lost glory of the sector in the state.

Mr Kubau explained that the new intake would teach core subjects like Mathematics, Physics, English Language, Hausa, Arabic Language and History.

According to the Commissioner, newly introduced subjects such as Civic Education, Computer Studies, and Trade Entrepreneurship would also require specialised teachers.

“While the sector had suffered a great setback following attack on school by Boko Haram insurgents across the state, the government had remained resilient and determined to revolutionise the it,” he stated.

The Commissioner claims that the state government has introduced free feeding in all public schools, as an incentive for enrolment, adding that education has also been made free.

“The government has also introduced 120 shuttle buses that would be transporting pupils to school. Twenty of the buses are already operating within the Maiduguri Metropolis and Jere council while the rest of the 100 will be deployed to the remaining 25 local government areas as soon as normalcy is restored.

The Commissioner, however, bemoaned the reluctance of parents to take advantage of the free education and other incentives to enrol their school age children in school.

FG Committee Donates Seized Bags Of Rice To Borno IDPs

female-idp-cookingThe National Logistics Committee on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), has donated seized bags of rice to the Borno state government, for onward distribution to victims of insurgency.

The exercise was carried out by the Nigerian Customs, as part of government’s plan to cushion the effect of the insurgency on citizens.

The donation consisted of 11,517 bags of rice, seized and declared contraband by law.

The Assistant Comptroller General, Umar Sanusi, explaining the source of the donation said: “This rice did not come from heaven – actually these were seized at the border and any other place where there was infraction against the federal government.

“So these are products caught by the Nigerian Customs and condemned by the court of law and forfeited to the government for distribution to people affected by insurgency.”

Mr Umar furthermore said that more items including clothing, should be expected in the coming weeks as the harmattan and yuletide approaches.

In his acceptance remarks, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, explained that the state is overwhelmed by the alarming number of IDPs, especially those living in the host communities.

“IDP camps in Maiduguri consists only 158,000 people. In the satellite camps across the state in Pulka, Dikwa, Gamboru Ngala, Bama, Banki, Biu and Monguno the total number of people may not exceed 300,000.

“But within the host community here in Maiduguri we have over a million people on the verge of extinction.

“The food security challenge being faced by the IDPs living within the host community is more precarious than those living in camps.

“To me, they are the VIPs, at least they are getting two meals per day but those living in the host community are in far worse shape than we could imagine,” Shettima stated.

He called for more support to make life easier for the displaced.

EFCC Moves Against Looting Of IDPs’ Funds

EFCC, The EFCC has warned against the diversion of funds and other resources donated by international humanitarian organisations for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Borno State and other parts of the country.

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, handed down the warning during a visit to the re-opened zonal office of the commission in Maiduguri.

Mr Magu said that anyone caught tampering with funds meant for the IDPs would be treated as a criminal.

The EFCC boss added that the commission would ensure that there is transparency and accountability in the use of the resources meant for IDPs.

The EFCC is worried about complaints of corruption in IDP camps, coming from international humanitarian organizations and other civil society organizations that are helping the distressed victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in the city and beyond.

 

Borno Govt. Seeks Partnership With UN, Netherlands To Resettle IDPs

BornoThe Borno State government is seeking partnership with humanitarian organisations in the post-war phase of the counter insurgency operations.

Governor Kashim Shettima had talks with officials of the United Nations Humanitarian Affairs as well as the Netherlands Embassy who were both interested in supporting Nigeria.

The recovery of many communities hitherto captured by insurgents in Borno State has turned the focus of the government and donor agencies from merely provision of relief materials to rehabilitation and resettlement.

The Borno State government had already commenced rehabilitation of towns looted and destroyed by the rampaging outlaws.

The victims are thousands of boys and girls, either orphaned or with their parents living in makeshift camps, with relatives or just on the streets of Maiduguri begging for alms.

Steven O’brien, the United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and the coordinator of the UN emergency response, believes that the region has always had chronic humanitarian needs.

He said that the needs had been worsened by the Boko Haram conflict, further making it necessary to employ a coordinated approach towards empowering local people.

Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, is equally overwhelmed by the level of destruction and the unhabitable condition of some of the former enclaves of the militants.

The Borno State government has commended the help being offered while maintaining that poverty is indeed one of the underlying cause of the insurgency.

Nearly two million persons have been sacked by the insurgents from 20 local governments areas of the state, with many women and girls kidnapped.

The state government is conducting repairs in accessible areas to enable the displaced vacate camps and return home.

Borno State Government Rebuilds Dalori Village

Borno State - Dalori villageThe Borno State government has commenced rebuilding of 825 houses destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in Dalori village late January.

The Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, disclosed that a state government committee responsible for the rebuilding of Dalori, chaired by him, was already making progress on the development.

The terrorists in an evening attack in Dalori, killed at least 65 villagers who were mostly women and children, as well as set the whole village on fire as they retreated to their hideouts.

More than 10,000 people were displaced as an aftermath of the attack, even as the Borno State government committed 100 million Naira for the rebuilding of homes.

The Dalori District Head, Tijjani Lawan, said that the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) were dislodged from their hometowns across 20 local councils in the state, in a similar circumstances under which Dalori was attacked.

He added that the villagers opted to stay back in what was left of their town against the tradition of migrating to Maiduguri which is considered a safer ground.

One of the beneficiaries, Chiroma Modu, said they are happy with the turn of events, stressing that they are preparing to move on as the next farming season approaches.

“We thank God and we thank the government for giving us food and rebuilding our houses. We now have a place for our children and we are glad we did not have to migrate and be homeless,” she said.

Borno Govt. To Construct 36Km Road, 70Km Drainage

BornoThe Borno State government is constructing roads and drainages in the capital city in Nigeria’s disturbed region, as the rainy season sets in.

The State Governor, Kashim Shettima, made the disclosure during a visit to one of the areas affected by flood in the wet season in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

He said that the plan of the Borno State government was to construct drainages across flood prone areas in the capital city before it starts raining.

According to Governor Shettima, 36 kilometers of roads and 70 kilometers of drainage would be covered in the first phase of the project.

Some residents of Maiduguri have been confronted with flooding issues each season while many have been sacked from their homes for weeks until the water recedes.

They lamented the lack of proper drainage systems and access roads to be responsible for the plight they encounter yearly.

Residents of Bulumkutu-Tsallake area and Ajilari Cross already have their problem of many years solved and they have no worries for this year’s rainy season.

A Bulumkutu resident, Ali Ibrahim, said: “Before now, our area is always waterlogged; we couldn’t move (and) even vehicles couldn’t access this place. When the rain starts, we are always suffering but we thank our governor for the access roads.

“Each time it rains, the water flows back and fills everywhere. Unless they open up drainages from across our area to the waterway in Gadabul, our flooding problem would not end,” he said.

In their remark, the contractors of the project assured the residents that the water would be redirected to the appropriate waterways as a permanent solution to the plight of dwellers.

Borno Blasts: Govt. Condemns Attack, Advocates Community Policing

BornoThe Borno State Government has condemned Wednesday morning’s attack on worshippers in a village near Maiduguri, the capital city.

The early morning explosion left 26 persons dead including the two female suicide bombers that carried out the attack.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, urged the people of the state to imbibe community policing as the only accurate solution to fishing criminals infiltrating towns.

Wednesday morning’s attack has put Umarari Mulai in the news for the third time over suicide bombing attacks.

Umarari, a village barely six kilometres away from Maiduguri, is mostly occupied by residents dislodged by Boko Haram insurgents from adjourning villages.

The last attack carried out in December 2015, had involved several women and children fleeing from the outlawed terrorists in their original towns.

The latest attack was reportedly carried out by two female suicide bombers as a resident in the village, Bako Mustafa, recounts.

“Exactly 5 O’clock in the morning, two women came from the bush. One of them detonated her explosive in the mosque while worshippers were praying (and) the other one positioned herself at the Liman’s house and detonated when sympathisers had gathered,” Mustafa said.

The Chairman of State Emergency Management Agency in Borno State, Ahmed Satomi, blamed the repeated attacks on Umarari to its proximity to the notorious Sambisa forest, calling for deployment of more security operatives to comb the area.

President Buhari Condemns Terrorist Attacks In Umarari

terrorist attacksPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the terrorist attacks that left at least 26 dead and 18 others injured in Umarari-Mulai, in the outskirts of Maiduguri in Borno State.

President Buhari stated this on Wednesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital while commiserating with families of the victims of the twin blasts.

He assured that with the current renewed determination of the Nigerian security agencies, coupled with the regional and international attention, which is now constantly focused on the eradication of terrorism, the final end of Boko Haram is in sight.

The President noted that the condemnable and reprehensible attack on a place of worship by perpetrators, who pretended to be worshippers, has once again exposed them as mere criminals, who have no place among civilized people.

He expressed his deepest sympathy and condolence to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Borno State over the incident.

Resolve To Defeat The Enemy
The President, who wished speedy recovery to those injured also commended the security agencies and care givers for their prompt deployment to the area.

He reaffirmed that those who perpetrate, finance, organise and sponsor these reprehensible acts of terrorism would not escape punishment.

President Buhari implored Nigerians to continue to remain vigilant to the antics of these lawless individuals and cooperate with the relevant government agencies in Nigeria’s unshaken resolve to defeat the enemy.

The President prayed that Almighty Allah would receive the souls of the departed.

Meanwhile, Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, has also condemned the blasts, urging the locals to imbibe community policing as the only accurate solution to fishing criminals infiltrating towns.

Wednesday morning’s attack has put Umarari Mulai in the news for the third time over suicide bombing attacks.bomb

Umarari, a village barely six kilometres away from Maiduguri, is mostly occupied by residents dislodged by Boko Haram insurgents from adjourning villages.

The last attack carried out in December 2015, had involved several women and children fleeing from the outlawed terrorists in their original towns.

Borno Youth Volunteers’ Fate Worries Government

BornoThe Borno State government has expressed worry about the fate of youth volunteers serving as civilians in the Joint Task Force in the fight against terror.

This was disclosed by the Deputy Governor of Borno State, Usman Durkwa, on Thursday while receiving the Chairman of the Defence Committee of the lower chamber, Honourable Jonathan Gaza.

Making a passionate appeal to the National Assembly on the challenge, Mr Durkwa urged the federal lawmakers to facilitate job opportunities to absorb the volunteers when the Boko Haram insurgency has been finally overcome.

In his response, Honourable Gaza said that the committee was carrying out an assessment tour in the state to set the pace for guided legislation.

“We assure you of the commitment of the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives, to put together legislative frameworks that will expedite a quick return to normalcy,” he said.

He commended the government’s effort towards restoring the lost glory of Borno State, urging them to remain steadfast amidst the surmountable challenges.