The death toll from the attack on Godogodo village in Kaduna state, northwest Nigeria has risen from 20 to 44.
Gunmen invaded Godogodo village on Saturday night, shooting sporadically and setting buildings ablaze.
At least 20 people were killed and property destroyed during the attack. This led to the imposition of a dusk to dawn curfew in the village in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
But during a visit to the area by the state government officials, led by the Deputy Governor, Mr Bala Bantex, the residents revealed that the armed men unleashed violence again on the community early on Monday.
They accused security agents of not responding quickly to the numerous calls for help by the residents while the violence lasted.
Meanwhile the state government has promised to alleviate the suffering of the victims, through the intervention of the National and State Emergency Management Agencies.
The state’s Deputy Governor, Bala Bantex, advised residents to remain calm, just as government officials began an assessment of the extent of damage done.
At least 20 persons have been killed and property destroyed in an attack by unknown armed bandits on Godogodo village in Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna State in northern Nigeria.
An indigene of the local government told Channels Television, that the gunmen invaded Godogodo village On Saturday night shooting sporadically and setting buildings ablaze.
“In the process they killed 20 persons while several others were injured,” the indigene said.
“The entire community has been deserted. Residents have fled from their homes for fear of being attacked by the armed bandits,” he added.
The gunmen were said to have also ambushed a police patrol team in the area on Friday evening, opened fire on them and in the process killed two policemen and injured one.
The spokesman for the police in the state, Aliyu Usman, confirmed the attack to Channels Television’s correspondent, Chimezie Enyiocha.
He says the State Police Command is assessing the situation to ascertain the number of casualties.
More mobile and conventional policemen have been deployed to Godogodo, Kafanchan and other neighbouring communities to restore order and prevent further escalation of the crisis.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
In the meantime, a dusk to dawn curfew has been imposed in the affected areas by the interim Chairman of Jemaa Local Government Area, Mr Humble Katuka, until normalcy returns to the area.
In his reaction to the attack, the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, described the incident as barbaric, inhumane and unwarranted.
Speaking through his Deputy, Mr Bala Bantex, the governor appealed to residents of the community to remain calm and law abiding, assuring them that the government would do everything within its powers to restore peace in the area.
He also cautioned them not to embark in any form of reprisal attacks.
Communities in Jemaa Local Government and Sanga Local Government Areas in Kaduna State have witnessed series of attacks that have left scores of people dead.
In August this year, gunmen attacked three villages, Godogodo, Akwa’a and Anguwan Anjo.
Eleven persons were killed in that attack, with several houses and farmlands destroyed.
The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State on Wednesday met with the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over the proposed Religious Preaching Regulatory Bill that is presently before the State House of Assembly for passage.
The clergymen, led by their Chairman, Bishop George Dodo, met with the Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Bala Bantex, on Wednesday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.
The Deputy Governor explained that the Religious Preaching Bill was only aimed to curb religious extremism and hate speeches that could trigger religious violence in the state.
He informed the Christian delegation that government has a duty to ensure that religious violence no longer threatens the relative peace being enjoyed by citizens of the state.
Mr Bantex added that the Kaduna State Government is committed to ensure that religious activities are practiced in a safe and secure climate.
He said that was the first time that the law is passing through a democratic process, stressing that the proposed amendment was a deliberate decision by the government to subject the law to public scrutiny, rather than to just enforce the provisions of the edict as passed since 1984.
The Deputy Governor also explained that there was nothing in the Bill that suggests any effort to abolish, stop or derogate the freedom of religion in the state.
Rather, he clarified that the Bill merely seeks to ensure that religious preaching and activities in Kaduna State were conducted in ways that do not threaten public order, public safety, and to protect the rights and freedom of other persons.
In his remark, Bishop Dodo commended Governor El-Rufai for conveying the meeting, saying that CAN would submit its position to the House of Assembly and the State Executive Council during the public hearing on the Bill.
A member of the delegation and Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Reverend Femi Ehimidu, raised an alarm that some people who parade themselves as government officials were already seeing out religious practice licence forms to some clergymen at the cost of N4,000.
He also identified some grey areas in the Bill, which he said infringed on the right of the people such as obtaining licence from government before preaching.
The meeting followed speculations from some sections of the public that the bill, if passed into law, would gauge the freedom of worship and association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanishakin, says the Nigerian military will no longer depend solely on foreign technology in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east and other security challenges confronting the nation.
Instead, he said the military would partner with research institutions in Nigeria to develop locally-made military equipment that would assist in tackling some of the challenges.
General Olanishakin stated this during a seminar on Research and Development and launching of a 15-year Strategic Plan by the Nigerian Air Force in Kaduna State.
The strategic plan will last between 2015 to 2030.
He identified lack of synergy among the stakeholders as largely responsible for the technological backwardness of Nigeria over the years.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, was of the view that developing local technologies would enable the nation acquire some degree of independence from external politics.
He also stressed that with an enabling environment and proper synergy between the military and civilian populace, home-based technological independence is achievable.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented at the event by his Deputy, Bala Bantex, highlighted that the Nigerian Air Force deserved better attention in the areas of manpower development and equipment.
He commended the efforts of the Air Force in curbing terrorism in the north-east and cattle rustling in some parts of the northern region.
The seminar affords the military the opportunity to interact with distinguished scholars towards accomplishing technological milestones and legacies that would be beneficial to the Nigerian Air Force and the nation at large.
It is expected that at end of the event, participants would come up with critical ideas towards forging a better relationship in the areas of research and innovation.
The Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.
The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.
He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.
Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.
Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.
They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.
The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.
However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.
The Kaduna State Government has launched an Infectious Disease Control Centre (IDCC) as part of efforts to tackle the challenges of emerging and re-emerging diseases in the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, representing the Governor at the commissioning ceremony, said that Kaduna state is fully prepared and well positioned to tackle any disease outbreak in the state.
Mr Bajoga said the aim of setting up the centre is to ensure that those suffering from any communicable disease are isolated for proper treatment, in order not to transmit such ailments to the rest of the society as well as protecting the susceptible ones through routine immunization.
The Deputy Governor, while calling on the health personnel at the centre to treat their patients with dignity and compassion, assured the patients of best treatment and attention.
He also guaranteed those living very close to the Disease Control Centre of adequate safety, stating that the centre had been equipped in line with best international standard.
The Centre is expected to focus on communicable diseases such as meningitis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, Tuberculosis, other neglected tropical diseases, emerging diseases, epidemics, and potential pandemics.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Thot Dogo, said the Disease Control Centre would contain the spread of the infectious diseases.
He stated further that adequate safety measures had been put in place at the centre to ensure the safety of the health care providers.
A representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mrs Charity Warigon, present at the event commended the State Government for setting up the centre.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 60 per cent of deaths in West Africa are as a result of communicable diseases, blamed on lack of trained laboratory technicians and facilities that hamper diagnosis.
Residents of Sanga local government of Kaduna State have once again called on both the Federal and State Governments to urgently beef up security in their area and stop further attacks on them by Fulani herdsmen.
They made the demand when the state Deputy Governor, Ambassador Audu Bajoga, visited Tattauru village, where gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen killed 10 people during the Christmas celebration.
The indigenes pointed out that the frequent attacks on their people had rendered so many families homeless, with many children turned to orphans.
They also warned that they were running out of patience and therefore called on relevant authorities to come to their aid.
During his visit to commiserate with the victims, the Ambassador Bajoga condemned the attack and appealed to the people of the area to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands.
He expressed dismay that another community could be attacked so soon despite the recent agreement signed by various ethnic groups, such as women, youths, community leaders and stakeholders to halt further attacks.
The Deputy Governor assured the people of Sanga of the government’s commitment to protecting their communities, adding that security had been beefed up in the area.
At least 3,000 people, mostly women and children, have died since the attacks started last two years. Only recently, both Fulani herdsmen and local farmer signed a peace accord towards end of the hostilities. Sadly, despite the peace agreement, the attacks have continued.
Although the state government has assured the people of Sanga of its commitment to providing adequate security, residents say it is not the first time that they are getting such assurance.
They want more to be done in protecting their lives from those they term as enemies.
Not less than 5,000 members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during a rally in Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria.
The defection, a major setback to the APC in the state, is coming barely two days after the 23 de-registered political parties in the state joined the ruling party.
The Friday’s event, attended by the state Governor, Mukhtar Yero, his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga and top party officials, took place at the Umaru Yar’adua indoor sports hall in Kaduna, the state capital.
Receiving the new members, the chairman of PDP in the State, Abubakar Haruna, urged the defectors to go back to their wards and register, and not to involve themselves in any obnoxious act that could tarnish their image before and after elections.
The decamped members of the APC pleaded that they should be accepted as prodigal sons having discovered that they took a wrong decision by leaving the party in the first instance. They said that no other party is concerned with the peaceful coexistence and development in Kaduna than the PDP.
But the state APC has refuted the purported defection of its members to the PDP, saying those who defected were never card carrying members of the party.
Inter- Party defections have continued to unfold in Kaduna State, as the 2015 elections fever sets in.
Part of the struggle among the political gladiators is the battle for who occupies ‘Sir Kashim Ibrahim House’, the state’s official seat of power.
Ever since the successful emergence of the APC, there has been an upsurge in defection, with the new party bountifully harvesting a deluge of defectors mainly from the ruling PDP.
In December 2013, over 1,000 PDP members, including a former state PDP chairman, Yaro Makama, join the APC.
Indications are rife that the PDP was severely pinched by losing a good number of its strong members to the APC and is doing everything possible to bring its aggrieved members back to the party.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Governor Yero said: “The people can only enjoy the dividends of democracy if they participate in the affairs of the government and support the present administration in the state”.
A pressure group known as Kaduna Salvation Movement (KASMO) has faulted the absence of Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero and his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga out of the state, describing it as a sign of ignorance of the ethics of governance.
In a statement signed by the Chairman of the group, Mohammed Soba, the group condemned the attitude of the two principal officers of the state, saying while the deputy governor is attending the holy pilgrimage in Israel, Governor Yero decided to embark on a jamboree tour to Germany, leaving the state without any form of leadership against the stipulated laws of the constitution.
While describing the governor’s action as a sign of ineptitude and incompetence, the group called on the State House of Assembly to probe the absence of both the governor and his deputy with a view to finding out the circumstances surrounding their absence from the state at the same time.
Debunking the claims by the group that the governor went on tour of Germany, the governor’s spokesman, Ahmed Miyaki, through a statement said the governor was out of the country to attend an exhibition on NOK Culture to woo investors, as part of the administration’s commitment to developing the tourism and economic potentials that abound in all parts of the state and to draw attention of the global community to the significance of NOK culture to the history of human development.