Northern Governors To Meet Buhari Over Insecurity In Region

 

Governors of the 19 northern states have agreed to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the security challenges in the region.

The chairman of the forum and Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, disclosed this on Friday when the governors met in Kaduna state.

At the meeting which is the first this year, the governors agreed to set up a joint financial institution that will galvanize rapid socio-economic development of the region and enable it attain some degree of financial independence.

Governor Shettima in his address, said the northern governors will soon meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in order to exchange ideas on how best to tackle the various security challenges that are ravaging the region.

The northern region has faced tremendous security and other socio-economic challenges in the past years which include Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, incessant kidnapping and rural armed banditry in the north west, herders/farmers clashes and communal clashes in the north central as well as high poverty and illiteracy level.

READ ALSO: Simon Lalong Emerges Chairman Of Northern Governors Forum

In what appears to be his valedictory speech , the chairman of the northern governors forum, Kashim Shettima reeled out the achievements of the forum since 2015.

He said the forum has been able to review the criminal justice system of the north that will ensure that those that get involved in crimes are adequately prosecuted, as well as initiating programmes that will impact on the economic and social well-being of the region that has been ravaged by poverty, under development and conflict over the years.

The meeting of the northern governors which later went into closed door, is expected to receive briefing on the security situation across states as well as submissions from officials of the northern Nigerian development company on the successes made in the areas of oil exploration in the lake chad basin , as well as reviving the collapsed Kaduna textile factory owned by the 19 northern states.

Meantime, a group known as Da Kawar Bara movement took their protest to the venue of the northern governors meeting to draw their attention to the menace of almajiri and street begging that have become rampant in the region.

The aim of the protest according to the leader of the group, was a call on the governors to take decisive actions against street begging especially the almajiri syndrome which involves mostly vulnerable children between the ages of four to ten.

The group wants the governors to enact implementable laws that will criminalize street begging.

However, the protesters were barred by the police from gaining access into the kaduna state government house where the meeting is taking place.

Boko Haram Reportedly Attacks Governor Shettima’s Convoy

 

Shettima Presents N170b ‘Budget Of Resettlement and Empowerment'
FIle photo

 

Boko Haram fighters reportedly opened fire on Governor Kashim Shettima’s convoy, killing at least three persons.

The Borno state governor was on his way to a rally ahead of the presidential election, official sources said.

The identity of the gunmen was not immediately clear, but the sources said they suspected it must have been the Islamist group that carried out the attack.

READ ALSO: NAF Aircraft Destroys Boko Haram Training Camp In Borno

They said the gunmen opened fire at the motorcade transporting the governor on Tuesday on his way from state capital Maiduguri to the market town of Gamboru for a rally.

Two security sources who spoke to Reuters said at least three people died in the attack.

A government and a separate security source said as many as 10 people were killed during the attack.

At the time of filing this report, the governor’s spokesman could not be reached for comments.

FG Assures To End Terrorism, Farmers And Herdsmen Clashes

Buhari Hosts ECOWAS To Discuss GambiaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has assured that terrorism, farmers and herdsmen clashes in some parts of the country would soon be a thing of the past as the Federal Government is making frantic efforts to bring such security challenges to an end.

The President made the promise in Kaduna at a security and development summit organised by Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation.

President Buhari represented by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Dambazau, said that the security agencies have been given the mandate to restore peace and security to parts of the country.

The gathering of the submit was to discuss about the Security and Development of Northern Nigeria.

Stakeholders at the conference fashioned out ways of addressing some of the security and economic challenges facing the northern region.

Speaking on behalf of the Governors, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state says his administration would resolve and rebuild the state ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency for the past eight years, noting that Borno would be looking different in the next six months to one year.

He added that the recent suicide bombings by the insurgents is nothing but a sign of weakness and cowardice, having been largely degraded by the Military and their stronghold captured completely.

Extolling the virtues of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the President’s representative commends the effort of the Nigerian Security Agencies in conflict resolution and mitigation which he notes is the key to economic prosperity.

Observers are of the opinion that the summit would not be a mere talk-shop, but one that would be able to come up with specific ideas to solve the various socio economic problems that are hindering the development of the region.

Borno IDPs Begin Mass Production Of Household Products

Borno IDP's Begin Mass Production Household ProductsSome Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Gwoza local government area of Borno state, have begun large scale production and packaging of various household products.

The products include solid and liquid soap, detergents, pomade, hand bags courtesy of a loan allocated to them by the Borno Renaissance Micro Finance Bank, set up by Governor Kashim Shettima to promote entrepreneurship in the state.

In 2016, Governor Shettima had after examining their proposal, directed the Micro Finance Bank to release the sum of N5m to a group of 91 male and female citizens displaced from Gwoza LGA, who were living within some camps in Maiduguri.

The group had registered with the state as Gwoza Soap Makers Association, a cooperative desiring to go into mass production of household items.

In fulfillment of their pledge, after days of hard work, representatives of the IDPs marched to the Government House, Maiduguri, with samples of household products produced and packaged by them.

They named all their products, ‘G.Z. Hijira’. The ‘G.Z’ represents Gwoza, their town, while Hijira refers to a ‘temporary relocation’ which in their case, represents their Internal displacement.

The IDPs told Governor Shettima that they want their locally produced items to capture the memory of their displacement and relocation to Maiduguri as a result of attacks on their communities in Gwoza by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

“For a start, we have used part of the funds and produced 118 cartons of solid laundry soap; 86 cartons of small size pomades, 96 cartons of large size of pomade; 200 jerrycans of large and small packs of liquid soap; 1,972 kitchen sized packs of liquid soap, disinfectants and 127 numbers of women and unisex hand bags.

“We will be going into bigger scale production but we came to show you what we have started doing since you created this opportunity for us by encouraging us and getting us the money” leader of the IDPs, Musa Ali Gwoza, told Shettima.

Impressed by what he saw, the governor ‎immediately said that after their products are certified by control agencies, they would become major features in public hospitals, schools and other Government establishments so as to increase their capacity and the economy of the state and to encourage other IDPs and residents to become productive.

“You have just made my day. This is the kind of progress I love to see. You are all internally displaced persons but rather than fold your arms and wait for aide, you chose to be productive using your talents.

“I encouraged you because you deserve it. I don’t know if you have gotten products certificates but I can see you are already packaging. By the grace of God, after agencies like NAFDAC and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), certify your products, we will arrange for a public presentation of your products.

“I will lead the launching and the Borno State Government will make you primary suppliers of soap, detergents and disinfectants in most of our hospitals, schools and other Government establishment including this Government House so that you create jobs for others that will market and sell your products.

“I will take some of your products like these detergents and test for sanitation purpose in my office. We will try to get you some machinery that will make you produce faster and in higher numbers. I believe you are using crude methods now.

“You deserve encouragement. I want to mainly make you serve as role models to other citizens whether displaced or not,” Shettima said.

Rann Bombing: 54 Victims In Stable Condition, Government Official Says

Rann bombing, accidental bombing
Photo Credit: Reuters

Fifty-four victims of the Nigerian Air Force accidental bombing in Rann, Kala-Balge Local Council of Borno State are in stable conditions at different hospitals where they are receiving treatment, a government official said on Wednesday.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, told reporters that the victims were receiving treatment at three hospitals located in Maiduguri.

Giving a breakdown of the locations of the 54 victims, Dr. Mshelia said ‎32 persons were receiving treatment at the State Specialist Hospital; 16 were being treated at Seven Division Military Hospital in Maimalari Barracks while six persons are hospitalised at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

The Commissioner said all the 54 hospitalised victims were in stable conditions, with medical experts from the State, humanitarian partners and the military attending to their health needs.

“It is still too early to give an accurate number of deaths because as at the time of issuing the update, evacuation of survivors is still ongoing with four helicopters provided by the United Nations and the Nigerian Air Force airlifting the victims,” he said.

Dr. Mshelia also told reporters that bodies were still being recovered.

The Commissioner said humanitarian partners like the MSF, International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the United Nations and different stakeholders have been extremely dedicated to the emergency evacuation and medical response.

Meanwhile Governor Kashim Shettima has since morning deployed his Deputy, Usman Mamman Durkwa and the House of Representatives member, representing Kala-Balge, Bama, Dikwa and Ngala Federal Constituency of Borno State, Mamman Nur Sheriff among other officials to the scene of the incident at Rann, Headquarters of Kala-Balge Local Government Area in order to assess the situation and supervise evacuation of victims to Maiduguri.

The State Ministry of Health has already put in place an emergency medical response team to coordinate rehabilitation of victims, the statement said.

After the bombing, the military said it was a regrettable mistake.

The spokesman for the military Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He explained that that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

The military spokesman said the incident did not occur in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp, as being reported by in some quarters but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

Brigadier General Abubakar explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members in the Kala-balge area and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists.

According to him, it was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb.

UNFPA Promises More Humanitarian Support In Borno

UNFPA Promises More Humanitarian Support In BornoGovernor Kashim Shettima on Wednesday commended the United Nations Fund for Population for sustaining its humanitarian support towards rehabilitating Internally Displaced Persons in the Northeast.

Shettima made the commendation when the Executive Director of the UNFPA, Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin, visited him in Maiduguri.

The Governor said: “We want to thank you for your support on health care, reproductive health, population growth and your humanitarian concern for the people of Borno state.”

Professor Oshotimehin, in his remark, said: “A recent World Bank peace building assessment showed that about 9 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of properties was destroyed by Boko Haram and Borno suffered about 6.7 billion dollars’ worth of destruction.UNFPA Promises More Humanitarian Support In Borno

“About 201 primary and secondary healthcare facilities were completely destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents, while about 665 municipal buildings, including police stations and offices across the 17 local government areas were also destroyed by Boko Haram.

“Your Excellency, I am sure one of your concerns is the girl child education; the girl child education is one area of great concern to us too.

“We are passionate about the girl child education because presently about 62 million girls are out of school.

“So we want you to assist us in the area of girl child empowerment.”

He had earlier pledged to sustain the humanitarian support to the government of Nigeria in order to restore normalcy and security to the North East.

“We are the only agency, UNFPA that is actively taking deliveries in the IDPs; we are taking care of women already and we are going to continue doing what we are supposed to do.

“Of course, now that we are building resilience for the communities, we have to ensure that indigenes have facilities like the antenatal care.

“On the issue of empowerment, we will ensure that we work with the state government to ensure that the people get back to their livelihood.

“One thing that is very critical is the issue of girl child education; it is so critical because that is when we can actually achieve the needed change,” Oshotimehin said.

However, he advised the governor to intensify efforts to educate the girl child in order to build societies and communities.

The UNFPA boss pledged that the organisation would work with the Borno government to assist women to space their births.

“We must work with governments and we must respect governments; we as the United Nations must have that synergy and work with other colleagues so that we can achieve effective response in Borno State.

“We will stand solidly by you and we will support you in every possible way because we are determined to give optimal services to the IDPs,” Oshotimehin emphasized.

 

Alleged Boko Haram Affiliation: Ministry Says Borno LG Chairman Not Arrested

Military-Militants-ArepoThe Ministry for Local Government and Emirate Affairs in Borno ‎State has debunked reports that the Chairman of Mafa Local Government Area, Shettima Lawan, was arrested by the military in Maiduguri.

Reports on Saturday indicated that Lawan was arrested over alleged connection with Boko Haram including housing one of its most wanted commanders.

But the Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Usman Zanna, who oversees the 27 local governments in Borno State, said in a statement that the chairman reported himself to military authorities, contrary to reporters that he was arrested.

The statement also said “the chairman was known as someone who for years, worked closely with hunters and military commanders in Mafa to lead community fight against Boko Haram”.

Zanna, however, said his Ministry neither questions the judgment and authority of the military nor exonerates the chairman of any wrongdoing in order not to preempt the outcome of ongoing investigation.

“‎If not because of media reports on this matter, the Ministry for Local Government and Emirate Affairs, which oversees the affairs of the 27 local government areas in Borno State, would have preferred not to make public comment over a matter that is still being investigated by our competent and patriotic military establishment involved in the fight against Boko Haram.

“Contrary to media reports, the caretaker chairman in question was not arrested. He actually reported himself to the military command in Maiduguri after he got information that he was needed and was detained pending the outcome of ongoing investigations being conducted by the military,” the statement read.

It further explained that “from information available to the military, the Chairman recently got involved in assisting some citizens trapped in a village within his local government area and he is believed to have Internally Displaced Persons living in his residence at 505 estate like most adults in Maiduguri, Jere and parts of Konduga do have fleeing relatives and friends living with them.

“There is an information that a certain suspected member of the Boko Haram might have joined some of the citizens he helped last week “but whether he knew the identity of the suspect and deliberately hid him and for whatever purpose is what we look forward to being determined by the military.

“This investigation is particularly important to us because it affects the safety and integrity of the Ministry. As we acknowledge, it would amount to seating on a keg of gunpowder if anyone dealing with the Ministry, harbours any criminal, especially insurgents that have killed our parents, wives, sons and daughters in addition to sending our families out of their communities to now live with us in pains”.

The Ministry also assured citizens of the 27 local government areas; other concerned Nigerians and the International community that it was usually very thorough in identifying those appointed either as local government chairmen, ward councillors, traditional rulers, vigilantes and members of the Civilian JTF deployed to the 27 local government areas of Borno State.

“We anxiously look forward to the outcome of the investigation while we abide by the public known position of Governor Kashim Shettima that anyone found having any connection with insurgents is an enemy of Borno State and it’s people” Zanna, the Commissioner for Local Government and Emirate Affairs said in the statement.

General Electric, Northern Governors Sign MoU On Power Generation

General Electric, Governors Forum, MoUThe Northern States Governors Forum and the General Electric ‎International, on Monday, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction of five solar plants, aimed at generating 500 megawatts of electricity in some parts of Northern Nigeria.

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, signed the agreement on behalf of the ‎governors while General Electric’s Senior Executive, Western Europe and Africa, Mr Armand Pineda and the President, Dr Lazarus Angbazo, signed on behalf of their company, in a brief ceremony which took place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.

Based on the MoU, General Electric which has 120 years of experience in power generation, is expected to build five solar power plants to be located in Borno, Kebbi, Nassarawa, Niger and Taraba States.

Each of the plants is expected to generate 100 megawatts of electricity, totaling 500 megawatts across the five states.

The electricity, according to them would stimulate economic activities and social services in the affected states through boosting agricultural food processing and small scale businesses, in addition to supplying electricity to schools and hospitals.

General Electric, Governors Forum, MoU
Governor Kashim Shettima

The project which is in its pilot phase, is being coordinated by the Northern Nigeria Global Economic Re-integration Programme, newly created by the northern governors, to serve as vehicle for the economic recovery of northern states.

This is to be achieved through international relations on infrastructure, manufacturing, stimulating the agricultural value chain and trade, so as to make the region a global player in agricultural exports, which would be in line with the vision of late premier of the region.

The governors’ forum led by Mr Shettima, engaged the services of Malam Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi as Cheif Executive Officer of the Programme.

Kurfi was Chief Economic Adviser to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua and has wide contact with leading development companies and financial institutions across the world.

“The 19 Governors of the north jointly created this approach – we want to go beyond lamentation, to provide solutions and we all know that power is key to industrial development.

“With power, we can create jobs, stimulate our economies and make life better for our people.

“The General Electric has over 120 years of experience in energy solutions and they have been operating in Nigeria for over 50 years, we cannot have a better partner than GE.

“We shall do our part as governors, this I will assure you. We are deeply committed to this agreement” the governor said at the MoU signing ceremony.

The Northern Governors’ Forum Chairman enumerated challenges of poverty, unemployment, poor access to education, poor healthcare, among other under-development indicators threatening the north, while concluding that power can provide a vehicle for the north to reposition itself for a better future.

Kurfi on the other hand, said he took up the challenge ‎put forward by the northern governors, as a result of strong passion and commitment to aggressive development of the north, so far shown by the governors since Shettima became the forum’s chairman in 2015.

Re-affirming their commitment to the MoU, General Electric’s Pineda and Angbazo, both pledged that they would work round the clock to realize the project for the benefits of citizens of the five States.

Air Force Establishes New Hospital For IDPs In Bama

Sadique Abubakar, Bello Abubakar, Niger, Military
Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar,

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has established a hospital in Bama, a town in Borno State, formerly occupied by Boko Haram insurgents, as part of its medical outreach.

Bama is home to 25, 000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), consisting mostly women and kids.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, gave the state governor, Mr Kashim Shettima, a tour of the hospital, equipped to meet the health needs of the residents.

The Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the coordinating agency for humanitarian services in the state, believe that collaboration between sister agencies and support from the Nigerian Air Force medical team is responsible for the seamless defeat of malnutrition in the camp.

“The government of Borno State in conjunction with NEMA and the 31 NGOS working together were able to work together. So many tents have been built, water supply has improved and we now have two health facilities and food system has improved to meet the needs of this IDP camp.”

The health facility, initiated by the Nigerian Air Force in Bama, is an extension of the Dalori IDP camp in Maiduguri, which has been conducting surgeries for sick IDPS, at no cost, where necessary.

Explaining the vision behind the Air Force Medical Outreach, Air Chief Abubakar, said he believes that gaining the confidence of locals in the area of operations is key to winning the counter insurgency war.

Bama and Gwoza local councils of Borno State have the highest number of IDPS living in camps and the host communities.

Governor Kashim Shettima has assured that the state government is engaging in fruitful partnerships with the Presidential Initiative for rebuilding North East (PINE) and others, to facilitate the quick return of IDPS and closure of camps.

The Nigerian Air Force is a beneficiary of a N20 million grant from PINE, in support of its medical outreach.

Malnutrition among IDPs in Borno State was first reported in the unofficial camp in Bama Local Council Area.

A large part of the population of the IDPs in the Bama camp are former captives of the insurgents, who regained their freedom following intensive military operations.

At least 3, 000 malnourished persons, mostly kids, had to be evacuated to Maiduguri, the capital city for treatment and proper nutrition.

Nine weeks on, the narrative of the IDPS has changed, as they speak of changes in their diets and improved medicare.

Gohna Alkali, an IDP in the Bama camp said “we are no longer hungry, we now have food. We have doctors here taking care of us, and food and clothes we do not have any problems. They give us spaghetti for breakfast, rice and beans for lunch and semovita for dinner we are grateful to God”, he said.

Extremism: Borno Govt Inaugurates Islamic Preaching Censorship Board

IDP Rice, Shettima,The Borno State government on Thursday inaugurated the Islamic Religion Preachers Board (IRPB) at the Government House EXCO Chamber to monitor and censor public preaching.

This is aimed towards looking inwards for solutions to the insurgency problem bedevilling northeast Nigeria.

Governor Kashim Shettima noted that after previous defeats the outlawed extremist group, Boko Haram, regrouped and flourished using religious guise.

Governor Shettima mandated the Board to ensure they interface with community sources within Maiduguri and other local governments in the state with a view to ridding the state of preachers who spread dangerous ideologies.

“In all instances of their regrouping the Boko Haram sect recruited new members mostly through open preaching to spread their misguided ideologies targeting teenagers.

“They have leaders who openly preach in mosques and residential gatherings without showing violence at initial levels. We must take firm, consistent and knowledge based steps to continously separate those clerics who preach in the name of Allah and those who kill innocent souls in the name of Allah”, Kashim stated.

He admonished the Islamic Religious Preaching Board to set preaching standards and be alert in spotting suspicious preaching among clerics, especially newcomers into the existing group of preachers in all parts of the state.

Buhari To Attend Chadian President’s Inauguration

Muhammadu-Buhari to attend Idriss Deby Itno inaugurationPresident Muhammadu Buhari will on Monday, August 8, join other Heads of State and Government for the inauguration ceremony of President Idriss Deby of Chad.

President Deby was elected president in the April presidential election.

The ceremony will hold in in N’Djamena.

A statement by a spokesman for President Buhari, Mr Femi Adesina, said that the Nigerian President would be accompanied on the one-day trip by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State.

The President’s delegation will also include Senator Baba Kaka Garba, Honourable Mohammed TahirMonguno, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd).

The President will return to Abuja after the inauguration.

Victims Support Fund Rebuilds 39 Government Infrastructure In Dikwa

Dalori-attack-Boko-Haram3
Streets of Maiduguri during an attack on Dalori.

The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has rebuilt 39 government buildings destroyed by insurgents in Dikwa Local Government of Borno State.

Chairman, Presidential Victims Support Funds, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) commissioned the 39 projects worth N250 million.

This according to the Chairman is to enable Internally Displaced Persons presently living in camps, resettle in their home town.

He noted that the VSF has for the last one year been providing support for displaced persons, who are victims of the northeast Nigeria insurgency.

The projects include four bore holes, a general hospital, local government secretariat, police barracks and houses for resettling IDPs from camps to Dikwa Township.

Gen. Danjuma was received by Governor Kashim Shettima at the Maiduguri International Airport from where they drove to the ancient town of Dikwa where the projects were commissioned.

He said insufficient funds has been slowing down the rebuilding programmes of the committee as many pledges made are yet to be redeemed.

Governor Shettima thanked the VSF for its unique style of intervention, calling for more of such gestures from well-meaning organizations and individuals.

The Victims Support Fund was set up to raise funds for victims of Boko haram insurgents in north East Nigeria.

Plans are underway to commence rebuilding of Bama, another Borno town destroyed by the insurgents.

The Victim Support Fund, according to Danjuma, is also interested in empowering women and children as well as resettling displaced victims of insurgency.