Southern Kaduna Pushes For Creation Of Gurara State

The people of Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State have called on the Federal Government to give them their own state, Gurara, with its capital to be in Kafanchan.

They made this call during a town hall meeting held in Kaduna, the state capital while supporting the call also for Nigeria’s restructuring.

According to them, considering their population of over three million people, they are fit to be carved out for autonomy.

In his address at the meeting, a former Commissioner for Economic Planning in the state, Mr Timothy Gandu, said some people or ethnic groups in the country do not have the population and land mass compared to that of southern Kaduna before states were created for them.

The former commissioner questioned the criteria used in the creation of local governments, with large landmark and human population having less local councils, while smaller states with less population were given more local governments.

He added, “So, who wants to tell me that Nigeria should not be restructured? Nigeria must be restructured because the political and economic imbalance across the country is alarming.

“The unity of Nigeria is negotiable because there is no justice and equity. We from southern Kaduna are not northerners, we are middle-belters. And on restructuring we stand.

“The Hausa and Fulani in Southern Kaduna are our brothers, but if we quarrel and fight, they should not run to Niger Republic, Mali or Chad to import Fulani to attack us. If we are brothers, we must stay together and resolve our differences rather than to run away to bring strangers to attack us.”

The Deputy-Governor of the state, Mr. Bala Bantex, however, asked his kinsmen to forget about state creation and focus attention on good governance.

Bantex, who is also from southern Kaduna, blamed traditional rulers and retired generals from the area for misusing the opportunity.

He accused them of insisting that Jaji village, along Zaria highway must be part of the new Gurara State, which the then Head of State, late General Sani Abacha did not grant them.

“Let us not be like South and North Sudan where one agitated for and got a nation, but since then no peace in the area. You should not be enemies to yourself because of this idea of we versus them,” he added.

The persistent agitation for the creation of an additional state for the people of southern Kaduna has been growing over the years, with the people believing that they have what it takes to get it.

Perhaps, the major opposition to this demand is whether such agitation will get the support of the National Assembly, which has the constitution to attend to matters of state creation.

Police Arrest 195 Rustlers, Recover 612 Cattle In Niger

Police Arrest 195 Rustlers, Recover 612 Cattle In NigerThe Niger State Police Command has arrested 195 suspects in various areas of the state that have been attacked by kidnappers and herdsmen criminalities.

The State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Mu’azu, while parading the suspects at the Police headquarter in Minna, said that most of them were herdsmen and kidnappers who have terrorized several communities on the Niger East senatorial districts in the last one month.

According to him, “aerial and land operations” carried out by men of the command led to the arrest of not less than 194 suspects from various locations in January alone.

“The Police in collaboration with sister security agencies took the battle to the dens of armed bandits in Allawa, Kukoki, Pandogari, Isau, Kaffinkoro, Sarkin- pawa, Shiroro, Mangoro, Lapai and Gurara.

“The aerial surveillance and ground raids culminated into the harvest of arrests and recovery of assorted weapons”.

CP Zubairu Muazu said among those arrested were “24 most wanted kidnappers and cattle rustlers” adding that 612 cattle recovered from the suspects had “been handed over to their owners”.

According to him, weapons recovered from the suspects were five AK47 riffles, 648 rounds of live ammunition, 21 single barrel guns with 248 cartridges, one revolver riffle and five revolver short guns.

Others, he said were six Ghana made pistols, one locally made pistol, nine Dane guns and other dangerous such as axe, bow, arrows and knives.

The Police Commissioner said a man suspected to be giving treatment to injured herdsman and a box containing some drugs and other medical equipment was also recovered.

He further said 21 victims were rescued from the criminals hail hearty while some were rescued injured.

The Police Commissioner advised the public “to remain calm and stop peddling rumour” saying the Police would always track down any criminal in the state.

Fashola Inspects Gurara, Kashimbila Hydro Power Projects

Babtunde-FasholaNigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has promised the completion of the 30 megawatts Gurara Hydropower plant in Kaduna, in 2017.

Speaking to journalists during an inspection tour of the project, Mr Fashola stated that the additional power from the hydro-power plant would boost efforts to stabilize power supply in the country.

The Minister told the reporters, “all the lines are already built as you can see.

“We are waiting to complete the substation where energy passes through and can be redistributed from.”

Hinting that an approval came after a Federal Executive Council meeting, he said “we should finish early next year at the latest.”

“The place is supposed to evacuate power from here through to Kaduna and Mando substations and also to Kudenda substation, to connect this to the Kaduna Power Plant”, he said.

Furthermore, he praised the efforts of the Federal Government in increasing power generation, saying that with wind power being developed in Katsina as well as the Gurara, Shiroro and Kashimbila Hydro-power projects, the nation’s energy mix would “slowly come together”.

Niger State PDP Rejects Local Government Election Results

pdpThe Niger State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has rejected the entire results of the just concluded local government elections.

The part claimed that the election was marred by intimidation, violence and unlawful actions that contravene the Electoral Act.

The State Chairman of the party, Umar Ma’ali, made the disclosure at the party’s secretariat in Minna, Niger State capital on Wednesday.

Mr Ma’ali briefed reporters on the party’s stand on the councils polls generally.

He stated that there was no elections in the state, but allocation of votes to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Niger State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC), while making an instance of Agwara, Rijau, Mariga, Borgu and parts of Shiroro Local Government Areas.

Checkmate Impunity

The further alleged that Gurara and Tafa area where the PDP won, was turned by the APC in conjunction with the State Electoral Commission hence the Army were used to snatch ballot boxes, papers and thump printed to the benefit of the ruling party which he described as very embarrassing and unfortunate.

Mr Ma’ali further accused the NSIEC, for recruiting APC card carrying members as ad-hoc staff for the conduct of the local government elections, claiming that it was a deliberate effort by the Commission to rig the election in favour of the government.

The Chairman revealed that the party was articulating all the complaints from various local government areas by its legal team before taking legal action against the APC, NSIEC and the State Government for their inability to conduct free, fair, credible and acceptable election in the state.

The Deputy Chairman of the party, Mr Tanko Beji, in his remarks, said that PDP would surely checkmate the impunity of the APC in the state.

Mr Benji explained that the role of the military during the election was an arbitration of the system just as his party kept calm before, during and after the elections.

Federal Lawmaker Awards Foreign Scholarship To Indigent Students

 Abubakar SulejaA Member representing Suleja, Gurara, Tafa, Federal Constituency, Representative Abubakar Suleja, has awarded foreign scholarships to 12  undergraduates from different parts of his constituency to study various degree programmes at Noida International University, India.

Representative Suleja, who was the pioneer National Youth Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), added that his decision to sponsor the students abroad for the scholarship programme in General Nursing and Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Biotechnology and Civil Engineering was part of his contributions to improve on medical personnel and healthcare facilities at Suleja, Taffa and Gurara Federal Constituency of the State.

He further explained that the undergraduates, who would be travelling to India for further studies, were selected based on merit from the communities under his Constituency, stressing that most of them are from very poor backgrounds while some have lost their parents.

Infants Fatality Rates

“Actually, my intention to improve on healthcare personnel and healthcare facilities in my Constituency, is not limited to these 12 indigent undergraduate students. What motivated me to embark on this initiative was that during my campaign, it was discovered that in my Constituency, most of the communities were lacking medical personnel and health care facilities which led to the deaths of mostly women and their infants during pregnancy and delivery periods.

“In addition to that, a woman could be in labour and before she was conveyed to the hospital, it could be observed that she could not even get first aid treatment and she would lose her life in the process.

“I felt I should pick some of these students from these communities to go and study medical courses abroad in order for them to return to the country and help their communities at the completion of their respective courses”, he said.

He noted further that with the initiative, he was sure that infant mortality rates would soon be reduced to the barest minimum to guarantee a conducive living environment especially for the people at the grassroots.

He disclosed further that his intervention programme was not limited to sponsoring students to embark on degree programmes at the universities abroad, saying that “locally, we are training 40 additional students in their educational pursuits and five of them would be going to the Federal Medical Centre in Birnin Kebbi to study Dispensary, Technology and Optical Sciences”.

He added that others would be going to School of Health Technology to study Health and Community related courses in various Schools of Health Technology in parts of the northern Nigeria, emphasizing further that other empowerment programmes would be coming up between now to end of the year.

He, however,  said that, “we are going to train additional 1,000 youths in various capacities which include: soap making, hair dressing, solar energy and computer training, electrical and electronics installation and repairs among other vocations after which we would give the trainees empowerment kits and the capital to start up their businesses so that they can be self- reliant and contribute their quota to both their families and the society at the completion of their training programme”.

Meanwhile, a Ministerial nominee from Kogi State and former Deputy National Legal Adviser of the APC, Mr James Ocholi, had described the Scholarship programme as not “only a remarkable achievement but as a wise investment in the future of the teenagers within his Constituency despite his very slim purse”.

Mr Ocholi made the statement in an interaction with reporters at the occasion, highlighting that many of the state governors in parts of the country should learn from what Representative Suleja had done because of the inabilities of many of the state governors in parts of the country to pay their civil servants and overheads, especially following paucity of funds.

Beneficiaries of the international scholarship programme are Abdullahi Musa and Musa Abdulmuminu, Aisha Abdullahi, Aisha Ismail, Fatima Abubakar, Garba Maryam, Maryam Abdulhamid, Maryam Yusuf Talatu, Maryam Isha, Rashida Abubakar and Zinatu Ibrahim.

Aisha Ismail, one of the beneficiaries, commended the efforts of Representative Suleja on behalf of her colleagues, for choosing them to be among those that would travel to study in India.

“If not because of him, I don’t think most of us would have this kind of opportunity to study abroad, most of us are from poor background that cannot even afford to pay the school fees talk less of going to India to study”, she said.