As the new year begins, Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has enjoined the people of the state to look to the future with optimism and renew their commitment to peace and unity.
In a message to usher-in the year 2020, Governor Yahaya said the new year offers the citizenry a new opportunity to renew their faith in God, the state and the country, calling on them to draw on the lessons learnt in 2019 in all aspects of human endeavours.
While commending the people of the state for their resilience, commitment, and support, Governor Yahaya urged them to maintain the spirit and continue to work assiduously for the peace, progress, and development of the state.
He expressed optimism that the year 2020 will be a bright and prosperous one for Gombe state and Nigeria, saying with his recent signing of the 2020 budget of change, the public procurement, contributory healthcare, and hospitals services management board laws, his administration is well on course to deliver on its far-reaching agenda of good governance.
Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has signed the 2020 budget passed by the Gombe State House of Assembly into law.
He assented to the bill during a brief ceremony on Friday at the Government House in Gombe, north-east Nigeria.
The N130.83 billion Appropriation Act tagged ‘Budget of Change’ has N71.04 billion for capital expenditure while N59.78 billion is for recurrent expenditure.
Governor Yahaya was confident that the budget would bring the desired change to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people, in line with the government’s next level agenda.
He commended members of the State House of Assembly for the expeditious consideration and passage of the budget.
The governor also assured residents of logical implementation to ensure that the people enjoy the dividends of democracy through good governance.
“With the passage and signing into law of the 2020 budget, the onus now lies on us to live up to expectation and justify the confidence reposed in us by the people,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Ismaila Misilli.
Governor Yahaya added, “This time around, no excuse will be tolerated because the budget so passed and assented to belongs to us.”
He noted that it was the first time the state involved the public in the budget process through a town hall engagement with stakeholders, before presenting it to the State Executive Council and laying it before the House for legislative scrutiny and eventual passage.
The governor commended the state Ministry of Finance, as well as the office of the Special Adviser on Budget, Planning, and Development Partners Coordination for playing vital roles throughout the budget process.
Earlier, the Speaker of Gombe State House of Assembly, Abubakar Kurba, said the House was delighted and proud of the performance of the governor.
He gave the assurance that they would continue to cooperate with the present administration to bequeath a Gombe which the up-coming generation would be proud of.
Governor Inuwa explained that some of the key areas the government would focus on included agriculture, education, water, youth and women development.
He disclosed that education gulped the highest allocation followed by infrastructure, as well as health making the central focus on capital expenditure.
In his response, the Speaker of the House, Sadiq Abubakar, assured the governor that the lawmakers would pass the appropriation bill as soon as possible to ensure the people of Gombe enjoy the dividends of democracy.
The Nigerian Army says it is committed to restoring total peace to Nigeria’s north-east region ravaged by Boko Haram fighters.
This is according to the Coordinator of Operation Safe Corridor, Major General Bamidele Shafa, on Friday who insisted that the military has recorded steady progress in the war against insurgency, although the fight seemed to have lingered.
He revealed that over a thousand of Boko Haram fighters have willingly laid down their arms and embraced the amnesty programme of the Federal Government.
Shafa’s remarks came shortly after hundreds of repentant insurgents numbering 586 were brought to the Gombe International Airport, the largest since the operation started in 2015.
The former Boko Haram fighters were later taken to the Operations Safe Corridor camp in the Malam Sidi area of the state.
At the camp, the repentant insurgents are to undergo de-radicalisation and re-orientation processes, as well as various vocational training and psycho-social support programmes before being re-integration into the society.
Some of the former Boko Haram members, Musa Ibrahim and Alkali Kukawa, told Channels Television why and how they found themselves in the group.
Ibrahim narrated that some terrorists invaded his village and threatened to kill his parents should he refuse to join them.
“That how I joined but after spending years with them, we notice serious divisions among the leaders which kept us wondering if this is of God and finally when we got a window, we surrendered to the Nigerian military,” he explained.
On his part, Kukawa who disclosed that he was captured with his son said he never participated in any terrorist attack and has been praying to be reunited with his family.
He said, “They conquered our village and forced us away.
“Since they took us away, I have been praying for deliverance and finally it came when we got the window of escape, I and my son trekked for 11 days before we could board a car that brought us to Yobe State where we surrendered to the security forces.”
According to FAAN, the Gombe state-owned airport owes N607. 9 million, while Kebbi airport is owing N124. 5 million.
The authority noted that it had earlier in April threatened to withdraw services from the airports and others indebted to the agency and had given them a deadline of April 30 to clear their outstanding debts.
FAAN said the withdrawal of its services from both airports, which had technically grounded flight operations took effect from midnight of May 1, 2019.
The Gombe State Government has reviewed the imposed curfew in the state capital from 6pm to 6am.
The review followed the tension experienced in the state on Sunday night.
A statement signed by the Acting Secretary to the state government, James Pisajih, says “Some hoodlums are taking advantage of government good intention in relapsing the curfew to intimidate innocent citizens and destroy property” hence the review of the time of the curfew.
“The curfew will remain enforced until normalcy returns to the state”.
Mr Pisajih urged security operatives to ensure strict compliance, and effective surveillance on flash points. It also call on traditional, community and religious leaders to enlightened their followers on the need to allow peace to reign in the state.
However, the Police Commissioner Bello Makwashi, has assured residents that the police are on top of the matter.
The state government had on April 27, 2019, imposed a curfew within the state capital.
Mr Pisajih who announced the curfew said the government ordered the restriction of movement in the state capital after consultations with the heads of security agencies in Gombe.
President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with families and friends of slain members of the Boys and Girls Brigade in Gombe who were buried earlier today.
The nine youths were killed following a dispute between members of the brigade and a security operative while on a procession to celebrate the Easter in the state.
In a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu on Saturday, Mr Buhari said his heart is filled with pain that the families had to face the pain of burying their promising youngsters.
He consoled them with the fact that the entire nation is in mourning.
“My heart is filled with the pain that the families of the victims were facing as they buried these promising youngsters. The entire nation is with you as experience this sad, indescribable loss. May the Almighty God comfort you at this difficult time.”
The President also expressed shock over reports of tensions which led the state government to impose a curfew.
He directed security agencies in the state to ensure that vigilance is maintained.
Pisajih said the government ordered the restriction of movement in the state capital after consultations with the heads of security agencies in Gombe.
According to him, the curfew will last from 3 pm on Saturday to 6 am on Sunday while the situation will be reviewed thereafter.
The Secretary to the State Government, however, noted that only those on essential duties with proof would be allowed any form of movement.
Violence broke out in the state capital as the bodies of the slain nine members of the Boys and Girls Brigade in the state were to be buried.
Some members of the brigade and other youths had staged a procession in the metropolis to honour their slain colleagues.
In the process, another group of people intercepted the demonstrators and prevented them from continuing with the procession.
The incident turned violent but was later brought to calm following the intervention of security operatives.
Read the full statement by the government below:
After due consultations with the Heads of Security Agencies in the state in response to the prevailing security situation in the state, especially Gombe metropolis, His Excellency, Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo OON (Talban Gombe), the Governor, has approved the imposition of curfew in Gombe metro with immediate effect (3pm) today 27th April 2019 to 6am tomorrow 28th April 2019. The situation will be reviewed after the restoration of normalcy.
By my Paragraph I above, therefore, only officials on essential services are allowed any form of movement, and must produce evidence of such.