Shettima Holds Emergency Meeting With Security Heads

Shettima Holds Emergency Meeting With Security Heads In BornoFollowing resurgence of attacks by remnants of the ‎Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima, has held an emergency security meeting with security operatives.

The meeting was attended by heads of the Nigerian Army, Air Force, Police and the Department of State Services (DSS), with proactive measures taken on how to increase surveillance and forestall unanticipated security breach.

Governor Shettima began with a three-hour closed door meeting with the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Leo Irabor, on Friday at the Government House in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

‎During the meeting, he was briefed on recent attacks and ongoing military operations while discussions were held with assurances that the remnants of the insurgents were on suicidal mission, given their displacement from their former headquarters at the Sambisa forest.

Spokesman to the governor, Mr Isa Gusau, said in a statement issued on Sunday that after meeting with the Theater Commander who is not a member of the State Security Council, Governor Shettima presided over an emergency meeting of the State Security Council that involved core armed forces.

At the end of meeting, new guard locations were established in some routes across the state to curtail the movement of the Boko Haram fighters.

The number of security personnel deployed to various locations were also increased with more members of the Civilian JTF (youth volunteers) involved.

Governor Shettima also gave approval for the release of additional patrol vehicles to security agencies for increased surveillance in the state.

He also approved logistics to compliment efforts of the Federal Government in strengthening the armed forces, while measures were adopted to strengthen the Civilian JTF and hunters.

The Council also reviewed the synergy between formal armed forces and volunteers, with steps adopted to increase collaboration and clamp down on cattle rustling used by insurgents to raise funds.

The meeting, which lasted for over three hours at the council chambers of the Government House, had in attendance ‎the General Officer Commanding, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu; the Commander, 79 Composite group of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Charles Ohwo; the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, and the Garrison Commander, Seven Division of the Army, Brigadier General Jibrin Mohammed.

Others at the meeting are the State Director of the DSS, Suleiman Kankia, Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ibrahim Abdullahi, the Secretary to the State Government, Usman Shuwa, the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Lawan and the Permanent Secretary in charge of Security.

Governor Shettima Demands Probe Of N500m Chibok School Contract

Governor Shettima Demands Probe Of N500m Chibok School ContractGovernor Kashim Shettima has blown the whistle on the unaccounted 500 million naira set aside by the federal government for rebuilding of the Government Girls School in Chibok under the Safe School Initiative programme.

Governor Shettima, addressing villagers in Chibok town on Monday lamented how the misfortune of the people has become a money making venture for some group of people.

He called out the contractor handling the project, demanding for an investigation of the money released, particularly because the school has remained in a state of disrepair since the abduction of the girls.

The safe school initiative programme initiated by the immediate past Goodluck Jonathan administration was introduced after the abduction of school girls in Chibok.

Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had flown to Chibok to commission the 500 million naira rebuilding and Safe School Project in a foundation laying ceremony in the school where the girls were taken.

Two years on, the project has suffered a stillbirth and students of the school have remained at home.

ECOWAS Gives $1.4m To Borno State To Tackle Humanitarian Crisis

ECOWAS-courtThe Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has donated $1.4 million to the Borno State government, as part of its contribution towards assisting the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel De Souza, led other top officials of the Western Africa umbrella body handed over two separate cheques to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.

According to Mr Souza, one million dollars came from ECOWAS reserves while the second cheque of $400, 000 was from the Federation of the International Red Cross Community.

He said they were in Borno State to share the feelings and concerns of the Internally Displaced Persons and refugees in Nigeria.

The ECOWAS Commission President further explained that ECOWAS was concerned about happenings in northeast Nigeria, even as he said he was impressed with the manner the state government was able to carry on with developmental programmes despite the huge security challenges facing the state.

“We have heard reports of how the markets, the schools and public infrastructures were burnt and we are here seeing how you have been tackling the challenges in phases, which is quite commendable and we are congratulating you for that exemplary steps,” Mr Souza stated

Support And Solidarity

He had earlier met with some officials of the United Nations, as well as the officers of the National Emergency Management Agencies who had given him some insights and data of the humanitarian situation in the state.

“It was on that note that we have come to contribute our own support and solidarity and we are fully backing you in all your programmes going forward. And we may not be able to reach the entire four million people of the state, but we will support you in such significant manner to see that you touch the lives of the people positively,” he told reporters.

He was accompanied by the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammad Sidi, who handed over food items and building materials including to complement the rebuilding effort of the Borno State government in the ongoing reconstruction of affected towns.

Governor Shettima expressed his personal appreciation and that of the state government to ECOWAS for the cash and food support presented to the state.

He also thanked NEMA for its generosity to the state.

“We thank you most sincerely for your kind gesture for assisting our communities that are in distress. The large quantum of food items donated would go a long way in alleviating the food security problems facing the state.

“As for the one million dollars you have contributed, I do not want the money to pass through our hands. I will rather give it to NEMA to help us buy food stuff. We have the Maiduguri flour mill here which can process maize into flour for proper human consumption.

“The one million dollars would go a long way in feeding our people especially those living within the host communities,” Governor Shettima told ECOWAS representatives.

The building materials donated by NEMA include 2,600 bundles of Roofing sheet, 2,500 piece ceiling boards, 350 bags of 3″nails and 350 packets of zinc nails to be dispatched to Bama, Hawul and Gamboru Ngala for rebuilding.

Other items include 3,600 bags of rice, 1,400 bags of bean, 1,000 bags of millet.Over two million persons have been displaced in the northeast region of  Nigeria, with over six million devastated in the region.

A United Nation’s agency, UNICEF has called for aid to come in form of nutritious food to save over 75,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers that it said may die before the end of the year if no aid came.

Borno Budgets 155 Billion Naira For 2016

BornoGovernor Kashim Shettima of Borno State has presented the 2016 appropriation bill before state legislators amounting to N155,7,345,180.

The bill is tagged “Budget of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement” in line with the reconstruction programme the state government has embarked upon.

This budget is less than the 2015 budget that stood at N175,968,75,525:59 with a supplementary budget of N36,798,322,482.

The deficit, according to Governor Shettima, was due to the unstable global oil price and security challenges in the state.

The Governor gave the assurance that the return of Internally Displaced Persons to their homes would be government’s priority in 2016.

The Speaker of the Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, extolled the courage of the Governor in the face of the challenges of insurgency, saying the House identifies with the rebuilding project.

75% Southern Borno Residents Flee To Cameroon – MIRP

A civil society organization has alleged that 75 per cent of indigenes of Southern Borno have fled to Cameroon, following the recent attack launched on them by the Boko Haram sect.

The Coordinator of the Minority Interests Rights Project, MIRP, Mr. Mark Lipdo, made this claim on Saturday during a workshop for leaders of ethnic minorities in the North, jointly organised by Gatestone Institute, New York and Stefanos Foundation Nigeria.

While speaking about the security situation in Northern Nigeria, Mr. Lipdo said, “These stories were not taken serious because it involves the minority groups. So we are trying to bring the minorities together to tell their stories, especially now that Nigerians are anticipating a new nation through the national conference. So our aim is to bring cohesion among the minority groups, enable them to tell their stories and find a way forward.”

The group is also dissatisfied with slots given to the ethnic minorities in the National Conference being packaged by the Federal Government.

In one of the latest assaults, the Boko Haram group left the people of Konduga town in grief after an attack on a police station, houses and mosques left scores dead.

The sect members also took hostage 20 young women from a local college.

The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, who visited Konduga village, told reporters that up to 70 percent of the town was destroyed.

Governor Shettima also pledged that his government wills about 100 million naira on emergency materials.

518 Corps Members Pass Out In Yobe And Borno States

A total of 518 corps members have successfully completed their 2012 batch B service year in the troubled Borno and Yobe States north-east of Nigeria.

At a low key passing out in the two states, Borno recorded 308 corps members while Yobe had 138 members.

At the ceremony in Maiduguri the Borno State capital,Governor Kashim Shettima  commended the “courage and dexterity” of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for their desire to serve in the state despite the security challenges that forced most corps members to redeployed to other states of the country.

For the exhibition of such courage by the 380 corps members that passed out in Maiduguri, N2.35 million was doled out to the corps members as each of them got N10, 000.

Governor Shettima was represented at the ceremony by the chairman of NYSC governing board in the state, Hajiya Maryam Bukar Abba Ibrahim.

The Borno State coordinator of NYSC, Alhaji Suleiman Shiitu Morai reveals that there was a sharp drop in the total number of corps members to have served in the state from 1, 516 to only 380 passing out, indicating a decrease of 74.7 per cent in NYSC participation and Orientation.

The statistic according to him further reveals that number of females corps members have also surpassed their male counterparts, as a total of 253 of them served, as against only 127 male corps members.

In Yobe state, the NYSC discharge certificates were presented to corps members at the five major towns of the state an event that was supposed to take place in Damaturu the state capital while in Maiduguri, the low-key ceremony was performed at the federal secretariat instead of the usual Kano Road Orientation Camp that can accommodate up to 2, 000corps members at a time.

Corps members were given the option of either serving in the two states or seek redeployment because of the incessant attacks by the dreaded Islamists; the Boko Haram.