What PDP Governors Discussed In Bauchi (Full Text)

A file photo of some PDP governors at an event in Ibadan, Oyo State on May 16, 2021.

 

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday met in Bauchi State.

At the meeting, the PDP governors deliberated on the state of the nation and reviewed the state of the nation’s democracy, economy, and security.

Read the full text of the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 11TH MEETING OF THE PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON MONDAY, 26TH JULY, 2021 AT BAUCHI.

Governors elected on the platform of the PDP met in Bauchi, Bauchi State on 26th July 2021. The meeting deliberated once again on the state of the nation, reviewed the deteriorating state of our democracy, the economic and security situation in the country, the state of the PDP as the main opposition platform in Nigeria, and arrived at the following decisions.

o) On the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, the Governors identified with the need for free, fair and credible elections in the country and called on the National Assembly to entrench electronic transmission of results of elections in the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.

o) The meeting requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the only body empowered by the Constitution to conduct elections, to deploy appropriate technologies necessary to ensure that the vote of every Nigerian is counted and made to count.

The meeting further called on the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), especially, the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Telephone Companies (Telcos) and all relevant stakeholders to ensure that universal access and service of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are provided especially in rural, un-served and under-served areas of the country before the 2023 General elections.

o) The meeting condemned the attempt to foist on all political parties, one method of conducting primaries, that is, by DIRECT METHOD ONLY, through the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. The Governors noted that the method is prone to massive rigging, as evidenced by a situation where President Buhari scored about 15 million votes in the 2018 APC Direct Primaries only 1 score 15 million votes from the entire country in the 2019 General Election.

The Governors advised that political parties should be allowed to decide whether to use the direct or indirect methods of conducting primaries as part of internal democracy in political parties.

o) The Governors reiterated, once again, the need for the NNPC and other revenue-generating agencies of Government to strictly abide by the Constitution by remitting all their Revenue less cost of Production into the Federation Account as provided for by 5.162 of the Constitution.

o) The meeting condemned, once again, the use of underhand tactics to arm-twist some PDP Governors and other stakeholders to join the APC, a political party that has wrecked Nigeria’s economy, turned Nigeria into a killing field, and has nothing to offer Nigerians but misery and bad governance.

o) The Governors condemned Mr President and APC for turning the Presidential Villa, which belongs to all Nigerians, into the new APC headquarters, where coerced PDP members are being paraded at intervals.

o) On the economy, the meeting admonished the APC Federal Government to collaborate more with State Governments to stem the unemployment scourge affecting the youths of Nigeria, through technology and increased production in all fields of endeavour, reiterating that Government should stop paying lip service on the Ease of Doing Business, as foreign direct investments have continued to fall partly due to obstacles placed on foreign companies wishing to invest in Nigeria.

A glaring example is that of FACEBOOK who insisted on investing in Nigeria rather than Ghana and is being frustrated by regulatory authorities.

o) On the security of lives and properties, in addition to our earlier recommendations, it is time to bring the activities of bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists to an end, through increased use of military equipment.

Traditional means of conflict resolution and technology for surveillance and the development of the political will to flush them out. Kidnapping, banditry, and terrorism ARE NOT BUSINESS VENTURES as claimed by APC but heinous STATE CRIMES, that is destroying the Nigerian economy, the educational and social future of our children and causing significant social upheavals in society, the PDP Governors admonished.

o) The PDP Governors enjoined all Nigerians of goodwill to take advantage of the ongoing registration of Voters by INEC to register to vote, thereby arming themselves with the necessary tools in the struggle to RESCUE NIGERIA from the APC maladministration.

Furthermore, the general public, especially our Youths and Women are implored to use the opportunity of the PDP E-REGISTRATION exercise which will kick off soon, to register as PDP members, while PDP members should update their membership electronically.

o) The Governors thanked the Chief Host, His Excellency, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohamed, CON, of Bauchi State for providing a conducive atmosphere for the meeting and for the huge difference he has made in the provision of infrastructure and general welfare of citizens. of Bauchi State, the Pearl of Tourism.

Governors To Meet Over Judiciary Workers’ Strike, Others

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum will meet on Wednesday to further discuss the implementation of the contentious Order 10 which grants financial autonomy to the judiciary and legislature in various states.

In a statement on Monday, the NGF Head of Media and Publicity, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, noted that the meeting would also consider updates on states fiscal transparency and accountability report, as well as concerns about the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stated that the meeting would cover lessons for states and actions for governors on sustainability, as well as the adoption of SaaS E-procurement.

The NGF PTF Committee led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, charged with the responsibility of liaising between the committee and the forum, would brief the meeting on health matters arising from the third wave of COVID-19.

There would also be presentations from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, on the second Phase of Farmers’ Enumeration, as well as the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, Alexander Okoh, on unlocking liquidity through sale/optimization of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets.

According to Bello-Barkindo, the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, will give feedback on the series of Executive Order 10 meetings with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on the ongoing industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.

The chairman of the forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, had stated that governors were willing to implement the Order 10.

He had also given the assurance that the implementation process would commence in the states by the end of May.

Insecurity: ‘Governors Are Not In Charge,’ Adegboruwa Backs Call For Dialogue

A file photo of Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has supported the call for a national dialogue to address the insecurity and other problems in the country.

Speaking on Friday when he featured as a guest on Sunrise Daily, he believes state governors are handicapped to address the challenges in their various domains.

“Look at what is going on in the land – insecurity. Farmers cannot go to work, you cannot even travel within your local entity, and the governors are not in charge because they don’t have control over security,” the senior lawyer said during an interview on the Channels Television breakfast programme.

He added, “The governors are not in charge because they cannot harness the resources in their states for the benefit of their people; the governors are not in charge because they go to Abuja every month to go and beg for money, in a federation.

“The governors are not in charge because even universities that they established and they call state universities, it is the Federal Government that will determine who can get admission into the university that is being funded by a state; the governors are not in charge because they cannot even generate electricity for their own people even though they have the resources.”

 

A Federation Called Nigeria

State governors in the South met on Tuesday in Asaba, the Delta State capital where they resolved to ban open grazing and movement of cattle by foot and called for a national dialogue to address the agitations by various groups in the region.

They put aside their political differences to demand a restructuring of the country along with fiscal federalism, devolution of powers, and state police, among other demands.

 

Supporting the position of the governors, Adegboruwa stated that the action of the leaders was a reflection of the will and desire of Nigerians.

According to him, there seems to be so much confusion in the land and there is a need for a cohesive discussion that will provide a meaning of what the Nigerian Federation is all about.

The senior advocate noted that the All Progressives Congress hinted at the devolution of powers and amending the Constitution in its manifesto while seeking to take over power at the centre in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.

He explained that it was important to ensure sub-nationals and the people have a say in how they were governed and in how their resources were being utilised.

“That has not happened since 2015 up till now,” Adegboruwa said, adding, “It is important that at the stage we are now, we should not be pretending that there is a federation called Nigeria; we should determine the terms of that federation.”

“We should dismantle the constitution and get us a new document that will define what indeed should be the terms of our togetherness, I think that’s what the governors mean by there is a need for a national conference,” he affirmed.

Governors Not Paying Minimum Wage Are Breaching The Law – Ngige

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has faulted governors yet to pay the new minimum wage to workers in their states.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, he stated that any employer paying its employee below N30,000 was doing so in contravention of the law.

“If you read the Act well, you will see the applicability of the Act. The applicability is that all parts of the Federation (Section II); Section III also says N30,000 shall be paid, the operating word is shall.

“It does not give room for picking and choosing, it is a must. The state governors that are not paying are breaching the law of the land,” the minister said.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019 into law on April 18, 2019.

The Act makes it compulsory for all employers of labour in the country to pay a minimum of N30,000 to their workers and gives workers compelled to accept salary less than the amount the right to sue their employer to recover the balance.

It also authorises the Minister of Labour and any person nominated or designated by the minister to take action against such an employer on behalf of the worker to recover the balance of the wages.

Buhari Signs N30,000 Minimum Wage Bill Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari assents to the Minimum Wage Repeal and Re-Enactment Act, 2019 at the Aso Villa in Abuja on April 18, 2019.

 

‘Take Them To Court’

The law, however, excludes persons employing less than 25 workers, persons who work in a ship that sails out of jurisdiction, and others in other kinds of regulated employment that are accepted by the Act.

Two years after the President assented to the Act, some states have begun to pay civil servants the new minimum wage while others still struggle to do so as a result of inadequate funds.

In his reaction, Ngige faulted governors negotiating with the labour unions in their states over the payment of the minimum wage to workers.

According to him, they are getting the issues mixed up as the minimum wage is different from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

 

“This is a national law that states what you will pay to the lowest-paid employee (worker) in your establishment; state governments are employers… they are caught in the web of this law until repealed.

“Any state government or employer that negotiates minimum wage like some of them are doing with their unions, they are running afoul of the law,” the minister stated.

Asked what the next action would be for erring governors, he said, “I am negotiating with the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF); the law permits me to take them to court.

“I can take any employer to court. If governors have immunity, I can start from the secretary to the government, to the head of service, and go down to the State Executive Council; take them all to court and I do not need any permission.”

Governors Seek Special Review Of Nigeria’s Security Challenges

In this file photo, a man is seen holding a rifle. AFP

 

Members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have called for a special review of the nation’s security challenges for an in-depth understanding of the enormity of the situation.

They made the call on Wednesday at a meeting presided by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the State House in Abuja.

Briefing reporters after the meeting which lasted till about midnight, Governor Fayemi explained that a special review of the security crisis was necessary to further engage the federal authorities at the political and security levels and find a solution to insecurity in the land.

He noted the rising concerns by the forum, following incidents of attack on correctional and police facilities in Imo State, the killing of soldiers in Benue, and successive acts of violence across the country, among others.

Nigeria witnessed increased insecurity recently as a result of the alarming rate of attacks by bandits and insurgents in the North, and attacks on security facilities in the South.

At least three police facilities, including the State Command Headquarters, came under attack in Imo in April, while no fewer than 1,800 inmates were released by gunmen at the Owerri Custodial Centre in the state capital.

Pockets of violence were also recorded in other southern states, including Oyo, Ogun, and Rivers, while dozens of villages were attacked by bandits in Kaduna, Zamfara, and Benue among others.

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

Financial Autonomy

Apart from security, Governor Fayemi also briefed reporters on what his colleagues discussed about the nationwide strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) demanding financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

He stated that the NGF committee responsible for engaging with representatives of the legislative and judiciary would convey the position of the governors on the Executive Order 10.

The governor, however, declined to state specifically what positions have been adopted by the forum.

President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the Executive Order 10, which deals with the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

Although the governors said they were not against the implementation of the law on financial autonomy, they insisted that they would not be stampeded by the executive order.

Following the refusal to implement the executive order, members of JUSUN commenced an industrial action on April 6.

The decision of the judiciary workers has paralysed activities in courts across the country, with various individuals and groups such as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) urging the union to end the strike.

PHOTOS: PDP Governors Meet In Benue After Communal Clash

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom receives some PDP governors in Makurdi on April 9, 2021.

 

The governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have met in Makurdi, with the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, on hand to receive them

Although the detail of the meeting is still sketchy, a statement signed by the Director-General of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Cyril Maduabum, said the governors will discuss a number of issues and would come up with an implementable blueprint for tackling insecurity and sundry criminality facing the nation.

Maduabum noted that the meeting would also afford the governors an opportunity to review the state of the party.

The visit might not be unconnected with recent communal clashes between communities in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas leading to the death of at least two soldiers and other civilians.

Following the crisis, a military operation is ongoing in the two communities, with Governor Samuel Ortom calling for restraints on all sides, including the military.

Ortom had in a statement he personally signed on Friday said: “I have already directed leaders of the affected areas to ensure that the weapons the bandits took away from the military personnel deployed to bring peace between the warring communities are returned without delay.”

The governor asked members of those communities to expose perpetrators of the unprovoked attacks on the military.

While condemning the attacks, Ortom said “such an act is condemnable and also capable of jeopardizing the efforts Government has made to guarantee the return of peace to the area.”

He added, “Our administration is determined to see the end of the crisis and will support security agencies to fish out those fomenting trouble.

“I however urge the military to avoid civilian casualties and protect law-abiding people while efforts are on to recover their missing weapons.”

See photos below:

 

Governors Back Continuous Use Of AstraZeneca Vaccine, Ask Nigerians To Remain Calm

A screenshot taken on March 17, 2021 shows members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at a virtual meeting. Photo: [email protected]

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have supported the continued rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine across the country.

They insisted that the vaccine was safe for use, stressing that no side effects had been reported by those who have so far received the jabs in Nigeria.

Concerns about the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which had been suspended in some countries, formed part of the discussions at the meeting of the NGF held on Wednesday.

The meeting which was presided over by the NFG Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, received a brief on the status of the vaccine roll out from its COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) led by renowned virologist, Professor Oyewale Tomori.

In its briefing, CTAG recommended that Nigeria should continue to vaccinate all eligible persons with the AstraZeneca vaccine, in line with the latest recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The governors, in their response, reiterated their belief in the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine and agreed to continuously encourage uptake of the vaccines by all eligible persons in their states.

They, however, called on the people to report any adverse events noticed after taking the vaccine jabs.

READ ALSO: FBI Received 443 Internet Crime Complaints From Nigeria In 2020 – Report

In this file photo, a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table. AFP
In this file photo, a vial containing the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca and a syringe are seen on a table. AFP

 

In his remarks, Governor Fayemi congratulated his colleagues for accepting to be vaccinated and declared that so far, the vaccines have not shown any signs of side effects as reported.

Away from the pandemic, he urged the governors to step up their support for the Forum of Governors’ Wives, who he said was driving the campaign against gender-based violence in the country.

The governors also deliberated on illicit drugs and related crimes and pledge their support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) by providing logistics support among others, to enable the agency to deliver on its mandate.

Read the communique issued at the end of the NGF meeting below:

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on issues affecting the country, particularly on the roll-out of the Covid19 vaccines and the attendant issues that have arisen since the rollout.

The chairman congratulated his colleagues for accepting to be vaccinated and declared that so far, the vaccines have not shown any signs of side-effects as is widely rumoured.

The Chairman also briefed his colleagues on the visit of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of States’ Universities, the activities of the governors’ spouses around Gender-Based Violence and the VAP Act, calling on his colleagues to step up to the plate in support of the activities of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum nationwide and the progress made with the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) project.

After the briefing by the Chairman:

The Forum received a presentation from the British Deputy High Commissioner (DHC) in Lagos, Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, on the Accelerated C-19 Economic Support (ACES) programme which is aimed at supporting Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The current focus of the ACES programme in Nigeria is trade facilitation through e-customs and digital jobs booster to activate the digital economy and accelerate the creation of local tech jobs in the country.

Following the presentation, the Forum committed to supporting a Federal Government-led cross-agency trade facilitation as a critical objective of the e-customs programme coordinated through the National Trade Facilitation Roadmap.

Nigeria will be able to achieve the objectives of the e-customs programme (i.e. enhanced user experience, and approximately 10% growth in customs revenue to hit the US$176 billion revenue target) with a broader cross-agency scope of reform, including fulfilling its Word Trade Organisation (WTO) trade facilitation agreement.

Members also committed to encouraging digital infrastructure expansion, accelerator programmes, and investment promotion to facilitate job creation in highly potential digital areas such as IT and business processing outsourcing, digital media, e-commerce, start-up innovation and smart manufacturing based on the comparative advantage of each State.

In the light of this, state governments are encouraged to set up one-stop shops to accelerate approvals and harmonise fees for priority broadband infrastructure across the country.

Furthermore, the NGF Secretariat will partner with the British High Commission, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as well as partners at the federal level on the workability of the ACES programme and the role of state governments to maximise its opportunities.

The Forum’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) led by Professor Oyewale Tomori briefed members on the status of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out across the States including the increasing concerns of the public on the safety of AstraZeneca vaccines. CTAG recommended that Nigeria should continue to vaccinate all eligible persons with the AstraZeneca vaccine in line with the latest WHO recommendations as available evidence, including findings from research in which some CTAG members are involved showing that the Astra Zeneca vaccine is safe.

Governors reiterated their belief in the safety of the Astra Zeneca vaccines and commit to continuously encourage uptake of the vaccines by all eligible persons in their States, Governors also encourage the public to report any adverse events noticed following COVID-19 vaccination.

Following a briefing from the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Rtd. Gen. Muhammad Buba Marwa on Managing the Drug Crisis in the country, state governors committed to supporting the logistics and operational activities of NDLEA officials in their states, as well as programmes that will promote drug use prevention in the country.

Given the high correlation between drug use and insecurity in the country, the Forum will push for a greater role for NDLEA in Nigeria’s security fight especially as it relates to combating drug abuse and the illicit trafficking of drugs.

H.E Emmanuel A. Akabe Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State briefed the Forum on the inception activities of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) which was set up to accelerate economic growth and lift at least 100 million people out of poverty by 2030.

The PEAC has recommended the development of a poverty and growth strategy for the country focusing among others, on macroeconomic stabilisation, redistribution, structural transformation, and industrialisation.

The strategy will be overseen by the National Economic Council (NEC) through a Steering Committee which should include at least one governor from the six (6) geopolitical zones in the country.

On the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) PforR, the NGF Help Desk and SFTAS Programme Manager, Mr Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, reported that the Independent Verification Agency has begun preparatory activities for the validation of the 2020 SFTAS Annual Performance Assessment (APA).

He also presented highlights of upcoming technical assistance activities coordinated by the NGF Secretariat for states, including support on preparing Budget Implementation Reports in line with the National Chart of Accounts (NCoA); preparing a State Audit Law for the Offices of the State and Local Government Auditor-Generals; preparing State and Local Governments’ Audited Financial Statements for FY 2020; developing a Domestic Arrears Clearance Framework and Guide on the Online Publicly-Accessible Domestic Expenditure Arrears Database and the reconciliation of State Governments’ Outstanding Debt Obligations (Foreign and Domestic Debt) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Debt Management Office (DMO) and State Ministries of Finance.

The latest SFTAS results show that 28 States – (Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara State) achieved the disbursement linked indicator (DLI 12.1) to strengthen their procurement function for COVID-19 or emergency situations and facilitate the participation of SMEs in public procurement in the resilient recovery phase. These States will be eligible for SFTAS disbursements under the DLI.

Lastly, the Forum received a presentation on the 2018 audited accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform (FOSTER) led by its team lead, Mr Henry Adigun.

The Forum welcomed the fiduciary risk assessment of the corporation. The additional information will support the work of state governments in engaging with the Federal Government to improve the governance arrangement of the oil industry.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

17th March 2021

Governors Back Financial Autonomy For State Lawmakers

File photo of NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

 

Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal on Friday assured that the 36 state governors have given their backing to financial autonomy for state legislators and judiciary.

Governor Tambuwal gave the assurance after leading the Chairman of the States Legislators Conference to meet with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the state capital.

The Sokoto Governor accompanied by Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong who was a former speaker of the state and his counterpart, the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, disclosed that the governors would be meeting next week to finalise modalities for the implementation of the financial autonomy.

Speaking to State House correspondents, Governor Tambuwal said the meeting was at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari.

COVID-19 Vaccination: Buhari Asks Governors, Others To Take The Lead

President Muhammadu Buhari displays his electronic card after taking the COVID-19 vaccine jab at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 6, 2021.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged all state governments, as well as traditional and religious leaders to take the lead in the mobilisation effort within their environment and spheres of influence, as Nigeria launches the COVID-19 vaccination exercise.

He made the plea on Saturday shortly after he took the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine jab along with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The President described his decision to take the vaccine in public as a demonstration of leadership and faith in the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

“I have received my first jab and I wish to recommend it to all eligible Nigerians, to do the same so that we can be protected from the virus,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

He added, “The vaccine offers hope for a safe country, free of coronavirus.

“I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorised designated centres only.”

 

President Buhari and his vice received the first shots of the vaccine in the presence of members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, and senior government officials, among others.

The personal physician to the President, Dr Sanusi Raafindadi, administered the vaccine to him while that of the Vice President was done by his personal physician, Dr Nicholas Audifferen.

 

– Unseen, But Potent Enemy –

President Buhari congratulated the PTF on the successful multi-sectoral approach to the management of the pandemic.

He also acknowledged and commended the support of governments, donors, development partners, the private sector, traditional and religious leaders, as well as critical stakeholders who have supported Nigeria’s response to the pandemic.

President Muhammadu Buhari takes the COVID-19 vaccine jab at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 6, 2021.

 

The President who assured them that all the resources would be equitably administered noted that since the beginning of the year 2020, humanity had remained under the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic – an unseen but very potent enemy around the world.

 

He said, “Infection from the virus has resulted in over two million and five hundred thousand fatalities and destroyed several global and national systems.

“The response in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region has been robust, collaborative, and united. It was driven by a collective knowledge of the fact that no country is safe until every country is safe.”

“The speedy development of the COVID-19 vaccines is quite significant and underscores the collective resolve of humanity to overcome the pandemic.

“Similarly, the collaborative effort to ensure equal access has brought relief to poor and developing countries,” President Buhari added.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, takes the COVID-19 vaccine jab at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on March 6, 2021.

 

He echoed the assurance by the PTF that the AstraZeneca vaccine which Nigeria has accessed would arrive in batches, beginning with the almost four million doses already received.

The President was hopeful that the rollout and administration plan of the government would cater to over 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population in 2021 and 2022.

We Are A Peaceful Democratic Group, Miyetti Allah Tells Governors

Leaders of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in a meeting with governors on Monday, January 25, 2021.

 

The National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) Muhammadu Kirowa on Monday told governors during a meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital that they are a peaceful and democratic group.

Represented by the National Secretary of the Association, Baba Uthman Ngelzama, the Miyetti Allah leader sued for peace and stressed that dialogue is key to ensuring peaceful coexistence.

According to him, poor management of the relationship between herders and farmers led to clashes recently recorded.

READ ALSO: Forest Reserves Order: Governors, Miyetti Allah Meet In Akure

He, however, pointed out that members of MACBAN are worse affected by insecurity in the country where 10,000 have been killed and over 5000 cows rustled.

MACBAN said they are open to working with the government to combat all forms of criminality because they are a peaceful democratic association.

“All our state excos are to work with security outfits within the ambit of the law. We condemn all forms of criminality and will not condone such,” the Miyetti Allah leader said.

He also supported that night grazing must stop all over the country noting that it is the major cause of conflicts between farmers and herders.

 

Governors Meet With Miyetti Allah, Condemn Criminality

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi speaking at the event.

 

Some governors on Monday met with the national leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) in Akure, Ondo State capital, and condemned criminal activities by bandits, kidnappers, rapists among others who hide in forests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.  

The governors include Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State; Muhammadu Badru Abubakar of Jigawa State; Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State and the NGF Chairman who is also the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi.

The governors also vowed to protect citizens of their state from the incessant attacks and promote good neighborliness through collaborative efforts.

 

We’ll not use criminality to solve criminality – Gov Makinde

Governor Seyi Makinde in his address said the meeting is not about politics but a meeting about “a serious challenge we are faced with.”

Makinde vowed that “We will not use criminality to solve criminality as nobody can predict what will end such. We will continue to work with our people to face the kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers who are our common enemies. We have to deal with the issue of fake news.”

He added that he will continue to promote good neigbourliness and support the security agencies for them to do their work.

The governor also promised that “we will continue to expand the economy and provide job opportunities for our people. We will continue to provide the leadership that the country needs at this time.”

 

I recommend MACBAN – Gov Oyetola

Osun state governor Adegboyega Oyetola said criminality has no ethnic coloration and that some criminals are masquerading as herdsmen and must be identified.

“In Osun State we have a committee made up of Farmers-Herdsmen represented by MACBAN and government representatives, standing Committee will help.

“I recommend this for other states. Sometimes it’s a question of communication. Every Nigerian has a right to stay anywhere in the country.”

 

There is so much instigation in the South, Says Gov Abubakar

Jigawa State governor, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar said he is delighted to be at the meeting and appreciates the position of his colleagues.

He however stressed that “There’s so much instigation in the south and in the north by those who don’t wish the country well to cause the crisis.”

The governor added that they won’t tolerate criminality in any form and fight criminals  – ethnic or religious inclination notwithstanding.

“In Jigawa, criminality is very low, everyone is engaged in fighting crime, even MACBAN do arrest criminals. The Ondo Governor did not order Fulani herdsmen out of Ondo State he only said he wants to identify and profile those who will operate in the forests. Commend the collaboration among the security agencies in securing the country,” Abubakar said.

 

We need to invest in modernisation of pastoral farming – Gov Bagudu

On his part, the Kebbi State governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu in his address said insecurity is the same across the country.

“We need to invest in modernisation of pastoral farming to reduce crisis. Security agencies should work together to identify and apprehend criminally minded individuals in the society, whether they are Fulanis or not.”

 

Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu

Similarly, Governor Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu of Ondo State appreciated his Ekiti State counterpart for initiating the meeting.

He said kidnappers are using forest reserves as an area of operation for kidnapping.

“Even our Farmers are registered, we all agreed no night grazing, no underaged grazing. We will ban grazing in cities. I assure you we can all work together to chase all criminals from the state. We must be able to identify and move them out of the forest reserves. We must protect everyone living in Ondo State,” Akeredolu said.

Forest Reserves Order: Governors, Miyetti Allah Meet In Akure

Governors, Miyetti Allah leaders meet In Akure, Ondo State capital

 

Governors of Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Oyo, Kebbi, and Jigawa States on Monday held a meeting with the national leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) at the International Culture and Events Centre in Akure, Ondo State capital.

The NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi in his welcome remarks highlighted some issues expected to be resolved at the meeting:

These include addressing issues of crimes and criminality, the framework of engagement with MACBAN on security; and creating alternative security network like Amotekun.

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He added that the meeting is at the instance of the NGF and is not planned but necessitated by the exigencies of the present challenges of insecurity in the country.

He also pointed out that no eviction order to Fulani herdsmen in Ondo or any other state in the southwest.

According to Fayemi, the Ondo Governor only directed that all herdsmen should register for them to operate in the state forest reserves.

The NGF Chairman said ethnic profiling has to stop and all tribes in Nigeria are faced by the insecurity challenge. Fulanis too are victims of crime such as cattle rustling.

Former Deputy Governor of Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, and police authorities are also at the meeting.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu last week ordered herdsmen to vacate all forest reserves in the state within the next seven days.

The Governor, who made the proclamation via Twitter, said the order had become imperative due to the increasing incidents of kidnap cases in the state.

“These unfortunate incidents are traceable to the activities of some bad elements masquerading as herdsmen. These felons have turned our forest reserves into hideouts for keeping victims of kidnapping, negotiating for ransom, and carrying out other criminal activities,” Akeredolu said.

This order generated controversies with the Federal Government in a statement by the presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu saying Akeredolu being a senior lawyer would be the least expected to unilaterally expel thousands of herders who have lived all their lives in the state on account of the infiltration of the forests by criminals.