Police, Yobe SIEC Ready For Local Govt. Election

Wike Says Illegal Printing of INEC Materials Must Be Investigated, Election Materials, Election MaterialsThe Yobe State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) and the state Police command, have stressed their readiness for the conduct of the Local Government election slated for Saturday February 11, 2017.

Addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Damaturu, the state capital, the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Jauro Abdu, said the state electoral body is set for the exercise.

He also stated that both the sensitive and non-sensitive materials are on ground and ready for distribution to the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.

“The Yobe SIEC is fully ready for the exercise and I want to inform you that all our materials have been on ground for the past four weeks.”

The chairman also revealed that seven political parties are participating in the election.

Speaking on the security prone Local Government Areas, Mr Abdu disclosed that the election in Gujba and Gulani council areas would be conducted within the LG headquarters so as to give security operatives the opportunity to concentrate within the location instead of dividing their minds across the whole Local Government.

“The election will be conducted across all the wards except that we have agreed that for security reasons, the people of Gujba and Gulani will all concentrate in the Local Government headquarters for the exercise.

“This is to give our security the opportunity to concentrate in one location instead of having a divided mind.”

He called on the people of the state to accord SIEC officials as well as security personnel the desired cooperation towards a hitch free election.

Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdulmaliki Sumonu, assured residents that his men have long been mobilised for the exercise.

He then called for the cooperation of the well-meaning people of the state towards a successful exercise.

“The relevant stakeholders have recently met and have fine tuned ways of ensuring a hitch free exercise and by God’s grace, there will be no bridge of law before, during and after the election.

“I have long mobilised our officers and men for this exercise as they have been detailed at strategic locations to ensure law abiding people participate actively in the poll”.

The last time Yobe conducted LG elections, was in 2013 which ushered in chairmen and councilors who served in their elected capacities for a period of two years.

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Sasawa Town In Yobe State

Boko Haram Terrorists Attack Sasawa Town In Yobe StateSuspected members of the Boko Haram terror group have launched attack at a military base in Sasawa town of Yobe state in northeast Nigeria.

Sasawa is an agrarian community in Damaturu Local Government Area and is located 27 kilometers north of Damaturu the Yobe state capital.

Witnesses told Channels Television that the terrorists came to the town in five pickup vans around 6:00PM on Sunday and launched an attack on the military base before carrying out a coordinated attack on the town.

The source informed that after over powering the security operatives in the town, the insurgents went on burning houses and destroying facilities in the town.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Sumonu Abdulmaliki, who confirmed the incident, could not give further details as he said “the town has no any means of communication at the moment and I don’t have any details of the current situation.

“All I can confirm to you is that Sasawa came under attack yesterday by the insurgents but there is no further details for now”.

This incident came barely four weeks after the insurgents attacked a military formation in Buniyadi the headquarters of Gujba Local Government Area of the state.

A Sasawa resident who pleaded anonymity informed Channels Television that security forces have since mobilized and were after the insurgents who are well known to be operating in the suburb of Sasawa community.

“We have been seeing these people in our bushes as we go out to farm and we have been informing security forces located in our community but to our greatest dismay, they could not go after them.

“Since securities (agents) are aware of their whereabouts, it is expected that the insurgents should be confronted in their hideouts rather than allowing them to attack our community any time they so wish,” the source said.

The source claimed that a security personnel and a civilian JTF were killed during the attack which lasted for over four hours.

Sunday’s attack has brought a renewed fear into the minds of Damaturu residents as well as other nearby communities like Babbangida, Mafa, Damakasu, Ngamdu, Benisheikh, Biriri among others.

FG Delivers 5,136 Bags Of Rice To IDPs In Yobe State

IDPs, Yobe State, RiceThe Federal Government has made available 5,136 bags of rice and some other items to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Yobe State.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadija Abba, delivered the items to the state government.

She applauded the resilience of the state government for the unique partnership with security agencies towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

The Minister specifically described as “worthy of emulation”, the commitment of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam’s administration to supporting the war against insurgency.

She similarly commended the Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, who is the Chairman of the Resettlement Committee of IDPs in the state, for implementing all the resettlement policies of the government.

Mr Aliyu, who received the items on Monday on behalf of Governor Gaidam, extolled the Federal Government for remembering the insurgency victims.

According to him, the gesture “will go a long way in addressing food scarcity among the returnees who have not been engaged in any gainful ventures for several years”.

The Deputy Governor also described the action of the Federal Government as “very compassionate that should be emulated by non-governmental organisations and other spirited individuals.

The items received will be shared to some returning communities in Gujba, Damaturu, Gulani, Yunusari, Nguru, Geidam and Karasuwa,” local government areas of Yobe State.

Apart from the bags of rice, other items supplied include: vegetable oil, soap, cloths, foot wears and mosquito coils among several others.

Bill Gates, Dangote Appraise Progress In Polio Eradication

Polio Eradication, Bill gates, DangoteThe Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Dangote Foundation have met with the Yobe State government to appraise progress of routine immunization in the state.

Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr Bill Gates, the Chairman of the Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote and Yobe State Government met on Wednesday to appraise the progress made in the fight against polio and other eight child killer diseases in Yobe State.

The meeting was joined through video feed by Mr Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote both in the United States and Yobe State government in Damaturu, the state capital.

The video feed meeting had in attendance various developmental partners who pledged to give their all in the fight against the nine child killer diseases.

The meeting observed that 15 local governments out of the 17 in Yobe State were effectively covered during the period under review.

It was stated that the remaining local governments; Gujba and Gulani had suffered insurgency greatly and needed to be covered.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dangote and Yobe State had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in January on strengthening routine immunisation in the security threatened North East state of Nigeria.

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, informed the meeting that his administration was committed to the MoU to ensure that the nine child killer diseases are eradicated from the state and Nigeria in general.

He said that the state would ensure full coverage of the ongoing support for the routine immunisation programme through community engagement, particularly the use of traditional rulers.

Mr Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote commended the Yobe State government for the remarkable progress made despite insurgency.

They urged the state government to work towards meeting the 2017 targets of countering all the nine child killer diseases.

Dangote pledged to partner the Yobe State government in the reconstruction of the 22 health facilities destroyed in Gujba and Gulani LGAs of the state by the Boko Haram militants.

Army Reopens Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru Road

Nigerian ArmyThe Nigerian Army is celebrating successful counter insurgency operations by reopening the Dikwa-Mafa-Gamboru road in Borno State.

Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, in a ceremony marking the end of the 2016 Army Day celebration with the State Governor, Kashim Shettima in attendance has declared the road safe for civilian passage.

The 138km road was unceremoniously shut down over two years ago following terror acts by the outlawed Boko Haram sect in the area.

The newly reopened Maiduguri-Mafa-Dikwa-Gamboru/Ngala road connects Nigeria to Central and North Africa from the North-eastern region.

The road is considered strategic as it leads to towns believed to be the economic life wire of Borno State.

On assumption of office in 2015, the Chief of Army Staff, on his way to an operational visit to troops in Gamboru had been ambushed by Boko Haram elements operating in the axis.

Re-opening of the road for civilian use follows successful mop up operations in the area since then.

Government officials say closure of the road had almost crippled the commercial prowess of Borno State.

Theatre Commander of the counter insurgency war tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Major General Lucky Irabor, believes that reopening of the road for commercial activities amidst security presence would encourage people to return home.

Medical outreach for sick Internally Displaced Persons in the Dikwa camp, home to over 58,000 people as well as the launch of a solar powered borehole was part of the Army Day celebrations.

The Army Chief also hosted the displaced to a lunch to celebrate the Eid El Fitri and the achievements of troops on the frontlines.

Governor Kashim Shettima commended the gallantry of the Nigerian armed forces and the civilian joint task force for their contributions towards peace building.

Damboa-Biu road linking Adamawa and Gombe states had earlier been reopened while troubled Buni Yadi in Gujba area of Yobe State had also been reopened all within the last four months.

Teachers In Yobe To Undergo Psychosocial Counselling

Nigerian teachersThe Yobe State government says it will give psychosocial counselling to teachers working in the areas initially taken over by the Boko Haram insurgents.

Announcing the plan on Saturday, the Commissioner for Education, Mohammed Lamin, said the counselling become necessary, as teachers in the said areas had passed through series of trauma complications which would negatively affect their productivity.

The commissioner spoke to Channels Television on the state of schools in the affected areas, as people continue to return to their homes after the military had restored peace to the northeast.

Sharing the current state of schools in Yobe State, Mr Lamin said insurgency had greatly caused devastating effects on education in the state.

He pointed out that the counselling had become necessary since teachers in some communities were finding it difficult to return to their duties due to the bad experiences they had gone through at the time of the senseless killings by Boko Haram insurgents.

On the structural setbacks suffered in the sector, the commissioner said several schools were destroyed by the insurgents in six council areas of Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu, Tarmuwa, Yunusari and Geidam with Gujba and Gulani facing a demoralising effect.

In Gujba and Gulani, according to him, schools were completely closed down as, laboratories, classrooms and hostels among others were not functioning because of the activities of the militants.

Mr Lamin also stated that rebuilding the destroyed schools was beyond the capacity of state government and appealed to the Federal Government as well as donor agencies and spirited individuals to contribute towards the reconstruction.

With the provision of food, water among other basic needs to affected communities, their schools need to be fully reconstructed and reequipped so as to encourage learning among the children as well as refreshed the minds of the traumatised teachers.

Boko Haram: VSF Takes Stock Of Destroyed Buildings For Immediate Reconstruction

Dalori-attack-Boko-Haram3The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has commenced assessment of destruction caused to public buildings in the North East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents.

While on an assessment visit to Yobe State, the Executive Director of the Trust Fund, Prof Sunday Ochoche, says the aim of the assessment tour is to support the process of normalcy with a view to making the stay of the returnees a comfortable one.

While in the state, the Victim Support Fund visited Gujba and Gulani Local Government Areas worst hit by the Boko Haram insurgency in the state where the team took stock of the destruction done to hospitals, schools, Local Government Secretariats among other structures and infrastructures that will help as efforts are been made towards the full restoration of civil authority in the affected areas.

Briefing the press shortly after the tour, Prof Ochoche said upon return to Abuja, they will take appropriate measures that will enhance stabilisation for the people to return to their ancestral home.

Prof Ochoche commended the security forces for the restoration of peace in the affected areas and called on the Internally Displaced Persons to start thinking of returning to their homes.

He added that the current administration is doing everything possible to make their return home a historic one.

On the extent of destruction caused to various buildings in the areas visited, the Executive Director expressed sadness on the huge damage done in the two council areas, saying the Trust Fund will work quickly to reconstruct the destroyed buildings with a view to supporting the process of normalcy in the affected areas.

One area Government will consider seriously for possible rebuilding is destruction done to private buildings.

Though he said government will first consider the public structures in the rebuilding process, efforts should also be made in considering the urgent rebuilding of private houses as the inhabitants must be effectively accommodated for any meaningful governance.

Boko Haram Landmine Claims Seven Lives On Yobe Farmland

LandminesA landmine allegedly planted by fleeing Boko Haram insurgents have reportedly killed seven returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Goniri town of Gujba Local Government Area, Yobe State.

The victims had returned to their places of abode sequel to relative peace in their area after it was recaptured by security forces.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Home Affairs Information and Culture, Aji Bularafa, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, said that the returnees were clearing their farmlands in preparation for the cropping season, when they met their untimely death due to the explosive devices buried in the farmland, killing seven of them.

The Yobe State government, through its Ministry of Home Affairs Information and Culture, is embarking on a sensitisation campaign to educate inhabitants of Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu, Geidam and Yunusari Local Government Areas worse hit by the insurgency to be careful while farming as the insurgents might have planted explosives across several farmlands in their previously controlled territory.

The Commissioner said that security report has it that the explosive devices may have been  buried in the farmland by the terrorists group, since the Boko Haram had lived in the area over the years.

Apart from farmlands, the Commissioner caution residents to be careful with their houses as similar explosive devices might have been buried by the fleeing militants during their sojourn in the areas.

Aji Bularafa cautioned the inhabitants of Gujba, Gulani, Geidam, Yunusari and parts of Damaturu Local Government Areas to be careful while embarking on farming activities and to contact security agents to deploy bomb detectives to areas or spots suspected of  accommodating such explosive devices for confirmation and subsequent diffusion.

The Yobe State government carried out the enlightenment campaign across the Boko Haram infested areas of the state to save lives of innocent citizens as there are high indications that similar landmines could have been embedded in other areas previously under the control of insurgents.

APC Wins Yobe National Assembly Bye Election

APCThe All Progressive Congress (APC) has emerged winner of the Yobe National Assembly bye election held on Saturday across four council areas of the state.

The National Assembly bye election was conducted to fill the vacant seat left by the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Hon. Khadija Bukar Ibrahim, who vacated the seat to serve in the Buhari-led administration.

Declaring the results, the returning officer of the election, Prof Sunday Alao, said the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr Abdullahi Usman Kukuwa scored a total of 23, 745 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr Nasiru Hassan Yusuf of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 6990 votes.

Other candidates, Mr Adamu Mohammed Dina of the Advance Congress for Democracy (ACD) scored a total of 163 votes to emerge third, while the candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Mr Jibrin Ladan scored 139 votes.

Agents of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) at the collation centre, Mr Hassan Abba and his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Dr Zaji Bunu accepted the outcome of the election and commended INEC, security personnel, observers, and monitors among others for the hitch free exercise.

The four party agents, who all signed the result sheet of the election congratulated Mr Abdullahi Usman Kukuwa of the APC for the victory and wished him a productive representation at the National Assembly.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Mr Zannah Ibrahim, while speaking at the collation centre said the exercise recorded no incident of violence in any of the participating Local Governments and praised the participating political parties for the maturity exhibited before and during the election.

With the emergence of Abdullahi Usman Kukuwa as elected member of the House of Representatives, the state is set for yet another bye election to fill the vacant position left by the lawmaker representing Gulani Constituency in the State House of Assembly.

The seat contested for was the Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani, Tarmuwa Federal Constituency located within the Yobe East Senatorial zone of the state.

With the victory of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the bye election, the state currently has two of the three senatorial seats and five out of the six seats in the House of Representatives.

Yobe Holds National Assembly By-Election

Yobe National Assembly Election The National Assembly by-election is currently holding in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.

The election is taking place in order to fill the vacant seat left by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Ibrahim.

Mrs Ibrahim represented the Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency before her nomination to serve in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.

The election is holding in Damaturu, the state capital, as well as Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa Local Government Areas, constituting the federal constituency.

The streets of Damaturu, like other affected council areas remain deserted, as security operatives continue to search for vehicles and people using the road.

Reports say that electoral officials arrived most venues on Saturday morning in good time for the polls.

The Minister for State Foreign Affairs Khadija Bukar Ibrahim while casting her votes at the Emir of Damaturu polling station commended INEC and electoral officers for the conduct of the exercise.

She also praised the conduct of the electorate whom she said conducted themselves in orderly manner.

Four political parties: National Conscience Party (NCP), Advance Congress for Democracy (ACD), All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are participating in the by-election.

INEC Gears Up For National Assembly Bye Election In Yobe

inecThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has concluded plans for the National Assembly bye election in Yobe State slated for Saturday the 23rd of April 2016.

The election will be held in Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency.

INEC Spokesman in Yobe State, Bagudu Mma, while briefing journalists on the level of preparation ahead of the election said the non-sensitive materials have been distributed to all the affected Local Governments, while the sensitive materials will be distributed on Friday.

He said all logistics and security arrangements have been concluded and assured of a hitch-free exercise.

The INEC spokesman also said corps members among other adhoc staff have been recruited and trained for the exercise.

He further revealed that the people of Gujba Local Government Area will cast their votes in Damaturu, considering the security threat in the area, while the people in the other three council areas will hold the exercise within their jurisdiction.

The National Assembly bye election will be conducted to fill the vacant seat left by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadija Bukar Ibrahim, before her appointment to serve in President Buhari’s cabinet.

INEC Reconsiders Yobe By-Election Timetable

INEC-Materials-Bayelsa-electionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria, is taking a second look at the by-election timetable earlier released for the Damaturu, Gujba, Gulani, and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency.

The Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Yobe State had last week disagree with the timetable released by the electoral body for the propose by-election.

The seat at the lower chamber of the National Assembly became vacant sequel to the vacuum created by the appointment of Hon Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim of the House of Representatives as ministerial nominee from the state.

INEC had fixed the February 27, 2016, as the date for the by-election to fill the vacuum created by the exit of Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim who is now the Minister of State Foreign Affairs.

IPAC in Yobe state had unanimously rejected the propose date saying “the three weeks given to political parties for the conduct of the exercise was inadequate”.

Making the decision of the INEC known to reporter, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of INEC in Yobe state said that Yobe IPAC had contacted INEC headquarters on the need to extend the election timetable.

“INEC is now deciding on the complaint forwarded to it.

“The decision will be made known by tomorrow God willing,” he said, appealing to the people to exercise patients, as the election umpire will take a suitable decision for the conduct of the exercise.

The by-election will be conducted in Gujba, Gulani, Damaturu and Tarmuwa Federal Constituency of Yobe East Senatorial zone.