Senate Will Ensure Upgrade Of Minna Airport – Saraki

Minna Airport, Senate, Bukola SarakiThe Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, says the Upper Chamber will ensure that the Minna Airport is upgraded to serve its primary function as alternative to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Dr. Saraki explained that the proximity of the Minna airport to the Federal Capital Territory and its standard runway made it an alternative to the Abuja airport.

He noted that with the level of renovation work at the airport and its unique features, the Senate would not allow the facility to remain dormant.

“We have seen the airport and we have discussed it. With its standard and conducive runway and its closeness to Abuja, I don’t believe it should be in its present state; we cannot allow it to remain in this sorry state.

“The Senators from this state will table it on the floor of the Senate and we shall look into it. We shall ensure that we bring the airport to international standard,” Dr. Saraki said.

The Senate President made the remarks before departing Minna for Abuja through the airport, after paying condolence visits to Governor Abubakar Bello and the family of late Abdulkadir Kure, a former Governor of Niger State.

The Minna airport has been serving the airlifting of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for annual pilgrimage for over 10 years.

The renovation work on both the arrival and departure wings of the airport, which was initially built to serve as alternative port to the Abuja airport, was stopped by the previous administration due to lack of funds.

Police Boss Seeks More Collaboration With Nigerians

Ibrahim Idris, Police, CriminalsThe Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibarahim Idris, has reiterated the need for Nigerians to support security agencies, as they vehemently pursue their responsibility of tackling all crimes.

He said that the police would achieve more with the right approach, equipment and collaborative efforts of Nigerians.

Mr Idris gave the assurance on Thursday in Minna while inaugurating the Niger State ‘Eminent People’s Forum’ (EPF), as directed to all the 36 Commissioners of Police in the country.

He said that the forum would foster partnership with the Police in crime prevention and control.

It will also help in ensuring that there is peace and security in the various communities, the police boss stressed.

According to him, the forum would help to bridge the gap between the public and the police in Nigeria.

Represented by the Assistant Inspector General AIG, Zone 7, Alikali Usman, who stated that the NPF would be guided by international core values of policing with integrity, and compliance with the principles of democratic policing and rule of law.

He noted that the present AG inherited a daunting task of restoring civil authority to the northeast, cattle rustling in the north-central, kidnapping among others in the south-south and south-east, which are also facing the problems of economic sabotage (militancy) and kidnapping which are, according to him , surmountable.

The Niger State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, also said that the inauguration was in compliance with the IG’s directive so as to partner with the eminent people in the communities to ensure security of lives and property in the state.

Mr Muazu disclosed that the partnership would go a long way in enhancing the safety of people and sustaining peace in Nigeria.

He urged every criminals in the state to leave or face arrest and prosecution.

The Commissioner of Police has established a Joint Operation Centre at the State Police Headquarters, comprising all uniform security outfits to have a synergy in operations for better results during their operation, hence it will go a long way for smooth operations as resources would be pulled together.

The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, who was represented by his Special Adviser, General Imam Ibrahim, urged residents of different communities to immediately report strange movements to security agencies in their areas.

At the event attended by eminent people in Niger State which includes traditional rulers, retired security men, community leaders and politicians the need for better welfare packages, adequate funding and insurance cover for the police officers was emphasised.

Niger State Governor Wades Into Pandogari Crisis

Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Beji ElectrificationThe Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, has asked the people of Pandogori in Rafi Local government Area of Niger State to exercise restrain over the crisis that erupted in the community.

This call was contained in a statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Jibrin Baba Ndace.

The Governor advised residents of the community, the state and indeed the country to abstain from giving the incidence a religious or tribal coloration.

“It will be a disservice and an attempt to overheat the polity if the incidence in Pandogari is given religious or tribal colouration. We must exercise restraint in our actions as well as comments on traditional and online media. It is neither a religious or tribal crisis,” he stressed.

The Governor also expressed displeasure over the outcome of the incident, insisting that it was always better for various stakeholders to pursue the path of dialogue, consultation and peaceful resolution of any conflict, than resulting to violence.

“Pursuing the path of peace, dialogue is cheaper and safer than violence. Violence is a distraction and costly path in any society. That is why I always sue for peace in our communities across the state,” he stated.

Mr Bello emphasised that the State was known for peace and that the incidence in Pandogari was an isolated case of breakdown of law and order which security agencies had been directed to maintain law and order and to ensure protection of lives and property in line with their constitutional role.

“I have directed the security agencies to ensure that law and order is maintained within Pandogari and its environs. Any one person or group of persons found to be involved in any act capable of causing further crisis will be dealt with according to law,” he told reporters.

He said that the Niger State government had set up an investigative panel to establish immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

The Governor also directed top government officials to visit Pandogari for on the spot assessment of the crisis.

“I have directed Deputy Governor, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Ketso, Secretary to State Government, SSG, Alhaji Umar Shehu Danyaya, Commissioner of Finance, Mr Ibrahim Balarabe, Commissioner for Local Government, Mr Kabir Abbas, member , Niger State House of Assembly, representing the area, Danlami Bako to visit Pandogari today (Wednesday).

“Also to be part of the visit are Special Adviser Security, Brigadier General Imam rtd, Director General Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, Mr Ibrahim Inga, Chairman Rafi Local government, Mr Gambo Abubakar Bojo, representative of Emir of Kagara, Galadima Kagara, Mr Abubakar Katako, representative of Brigade Commander, representative of Police Commissioner and other security agencies.

Governor Bello then assured Niger residents of his determination to ensure peace and security in the state and urged all stakeholders to support government’s resolve in that direction.

Governor Bello Asks Judiciary To Embrace Zero Tolerance For Corruption

Niger-governor bello on JudiciaryThe Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, has emphasised the need for the judiciary to embrace the change philosophy and zero tolerance for corruption mantra endorsed by the present administration.

Governor Bello made the call on Wednesday in Minna, the capital of Niger State, during a dinner and launch of a book entitled “Triennium of Chief Judgeship: Policies, Milestones and Legacies of Honourable Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, CON” and written in honour of the eminent Jurist on her retirement as the Chief Judge of Niger State.

Governor Bello maintained that the “judiciary cannot afford to be in the back seat in this new partnership for good governance”.

“It is essential at this point to re-emphasise the dire need for our Judges and all accompaniments of the judiciary to embrace the change philosophy and the zero tolerance for corruption drive that this administration endorsed.

“As custodians of judicial system, you all have the most moral obligation to steer the state from a society bedevilled by the incessant injustice,” he stressed.

The Governor then urged officers in the temple of justice to strive to bridge the gap between accusations and corresponding prosecution.

He also counselled the judiciary to consciously do everything possible to continuously gain the confidence for members of the public.

Governor Bello commended the retiring Chief Judge for her achievements and described her as a peculiar person with high sense of passion for human development; one who has a story with good ending and has lived an exemplary life in service.

A former Chief Justice of the country, Hon Justice Alfa Belgore, who chaired the occasion, recalled the landmark achievements of Justice Abubakar both in the bar and bench.

He said: “She is a role model, a faithful wife, compassionate mother and an exemplary public servant”.

Justice Fai Lami Abubakar, who was so elated by the volume of encomium showered on her, attributed her achievements to God and to the implicit confidence people had in her.

Also at the occasion were a former military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, the husband of the honouree and a former military head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former governor of Kaduna State, Mr Abbah Rimi, former Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu and Senator Zaynab Kure.

Pilgrims Urged To Seek Spiritual Solution To Nigeria’s Challenges

Niger-governor belloThe Governor of Niger State, Mr Abubakar Bello, has urged intending pilgrims to the Holy Land of Jerusalem to ask God for spiritual theory that will help the country out of its present challenges.

Governor Bello while addressing the 218 pilgrims on Tuesday at the State Pilgrims Board asked them to intercede for Niger State and the country at large.

Mr Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, told the pilgrims before their departure that Nigeria was economically, politically and socially sick.

“You are not going there for site-seeing. All the theories to revamp the economy have failed, but the spiritual theory will not fail us. That is why you are going there to pray for God’s intervention especially this time that the country is going through a lot of challenges.

“The land we are standing is economically, politically and socially sick.

“Go to the holy land and intercede for Nigeria. Be good Ambassadors and pray for stability in the nation’s economy and pray against insecurity,” he said.

Also, the Chairman of the Niger State Pilgrims Board Commission, Justice Ndatsu Ndagi, asked intending pilgrims to remain good ambassadors and shun any idea of absconding.

“You are going there to pray for the State and the country. Always do the right thing so that whatever money spent will not go in vein.

“To abscond is not the charter establishing pilgrim. Follow and obey the laws of the land,” he said.

Niger Governor Sani Bello Wants To Be Addressed As “Mr Governor”

Sani BelloThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has directed that as from January 2016, he should be addressed simply as “Mr Governor”.

Governor Bello said he has decided to drop the title of “Executive Governor”.

He made public his new designation on Monday during the swearing in ceremony of five new Niger State High Court Judges at the Government House, Minna.

The Governor also directed that all “insignia, seal, emblem, letter heads and complementary cards” should drop the designation of “Executive Governor”, while he is simply addressed as “Governor of Niger State”.

“At this point, I find it necessary to inform everyone that henceforth, starting from 1st of January 2016, the Governor shall be addressed as simply ‘the Governor of Niger State and not as the Executive Governor’,” he said

The Governor’s directive was received with wide ovation from dignitaries at the ceremony.

Eid el-Fitri: Northern Governors Say Nigeria’s Continued Existence Not Negotiable

Gov Babangida-Aliyu-480x300The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has urged Nigerians to work towards the continuous existence of Nigeria adding that this is not negotiable.

The Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, in an Eid-el-Fitri message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Israel Ebije, prayed that the celebration would usher the country into a peaceful era where all Nigerians are safe.

He urged Nigerians not to be worried about the security challenges in the country, intimating that it was an ugly phase and like all artificial trends, would soon be a thing of the past. He added that the prevailing security challenges in Nigeria calls for patriotic citizenship.

“Nigeria is a great country and we must ensure that it continues on the path of greatness by making sure that we all believe in ourselves again. I urge every well-meaning Nigerian to be security vigilant. We must put an end to the malaise, we must say no to violence. Violence is never part of our culture.

“We have seen the direction security challenges has plunged Nigeria to. It is therefore important that we join hands towards removing the very few evil minded Nigerians who are responsible for terrorism. We must sustain the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

The Chairman of the NSGF, while calling on Nigerians to use the festive period to reflect on Nigeria’s missed opportunities and project into a better future, prayed Allah grants those who have lost their lives on account of terrorism Aljana Firdaus.

He also urged Nigerians to continue praying for the return of the abducted Chibok girls.

Northern Governors Condemn Abuja Explosion

Northern governors' forumThe Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has condemned the bomb blast that killed many people and injured several others at a bus station in Nyanya, Abuja on Monday.

They said that there was no basis for what the perpetrators did, adding that the loss of innocent lives due to the explosion was regrettable.

Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Niger State, Muazu Aliyu, in a statement, expressed the forum’s deepest condolences to the families of the victims, saying no grievance could justify such a dastardly act against defenceless citizens.

“The issue of security should not be left to Government alone. All hands must be on deck to stop the activities of terrorists which have left hundreds of innocent Nigerians either dead or wounded”, the statement read.

The statement urged security agencies not to be discouraged by the activities of terrorists, emphasizing that the nation would forever remain grateful to the military and other security agencies for the successes recorded so far in the war against terror.

The Governors also prayed God to grant the souls of the deceased eternal rest and members of their families the fortitude to bear the loss.

Gov Aliyu Distributes Vehicles To Unemployed Youths

The Governor of Niger State, Mu’azu Aliyu has re-affirmed his administration’s commitment to eradicate youth unemployment in the state.

The governor did this at the distribution of 100 vehicles to unemployed graduates in the community.

Speaking at the distribution ceremony, the governor said: “We are doing this to all communities, irrespective of political affiliations…that effective governance is not only in the efforts put into any venture but by the final results and the impact it has on the majority of the population.”

He pointed out that unemployment is one of the causes of youth restiveness, for which reason the State Government is determined to give priority to engaging them in gainful employment.

The governor also appealed to the beneficiaries to make good use of the cars which will be operated on a higher purchase basis.

The Chairman, SURE-P Niger State, Bawa Mu’azu, added that the vehicles are meant to serve a dual purpose of reducing unemployment and easing transportation challenges in the state.

Youth Idleness Must Be Blamed For Crisis In Northern Nigeria – Gov Aliyu

The governor of Niger state, Muazu Aliyu has identified youth idleness across the northern part of the country as the major cause of the recent security challenges in the region.

Governor Aliyu made this observation during the official flag off of the training of 300 youths in modern livestock and fish farming in Minna, Niger state.

He lamented the rising level of unemployment in the north which according to him has made youths in the region to be a ready tool for mischief makers.

This is coming at a time when fundamentalist insurgency is staged across cities in north by Islamist youths.

The youths from the 25 local government areas of Niger state converged on Minna to commence a two months training in livestock and fish farming production.

The Niger state Commissioner of Livestock and fisheries development, Mr Isah Vatsa noted that the training which is aimed at empowering youths across the state as part of the state government’s youth empowerment programme.

He appealed to the youths to make effective use of the opportunity of the training to empower themselves.

The Governor also expressed the hope that participants at the end of the training will join in the development of the agricultural sector of the country.

Some of the participants, who spoke to Channels TV, expressed their expectations at the end of the empowerment programme.

Aliyu Denies Planned Decamping Of Northern Governors From PDP

The Governor of Niger State, Muazu Aliyu, has declared that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is a political party that cannot be defeated by any merger of opposition parties.

The governor made the remark when he received some members of the PDP’s Board of Trustee (BoT), who paid him a visit in Minna.

The guests were led by the chairman of the party’s BoT, Chief Tony Anenih.

On the newly formed African Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Aliyu noted that the merger of four opposition parties to form the APC is an acceptance that the merger parties are ‘second fiddle’.

He claimed that the ruling PDP is not perturbed by the coalition which he also described as a “bed of strange bed fellows”.

Mr. Aliyu who is also the chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum promised Chief Anenih that no PDP governor in the North will dump the party for any other party as it is widely reported.

Chief Anenih noted that they were in Niger State to have a “private heart-to-heart discussion” with the governor, adding that every issue that concerns the country will be discussed.

Asked about the contentious issue of the party’s presidential candidate for the 2015 general election, Mr. Anenih said: “When the time is ripe the leaders of the party will make the decision and it will not be discussed in the market place.”

The meeting later went into a closed-door session.

Nigeria Lost N75trillion To Corruption Since 1960 – Professor Akinyemi

About $500 billion had been lost to corruption in the country from 1960 till date. This was the submission of former Minister of External Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi during the one day Minna National Discourse on corruption.

According to the former envoy, the raising insecurity in some parts of the north, the militancy in the south- south and the kidnapping for ransom in the south-east are all the consequences of the high level of corruption that has rocked the nation for many years.

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido, who chaired the event, told the gathering that contrary to the wide held belief, corruption is not the greatest problem confronting the country but the lack of general framework for accountability in all sphere of our national life.

Also speaking at the event the Minister and deputy chairman National Planning Commission, Shamsudeen Usman noted that until the issue of corruption is tackled headlong the nation’s Vision 202020 would just be a mirage.

He however gave some suggestions on how corruption can be eradicated in the country

Also speaking the Governor of Rivers state and chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Chibuke Amaechi blamed the high level of insecurity in the country to the corruption of the ruling class.

While for the Governor of Niger state, Muazu Aliyu, corruption arises because there is surplus money available to politicians.

The inaugural Minna National Discourse on Corruption has as its theme; Confronting Trends Of Indiscipline, Corruption and Disregard For Rules and Regulations in Nigeria.

The discourse held in Minna, the Niger state capital.