The Kaduna State Government says it is working with the Nasarawa State Government and security agencies from the two states to rescue the paramount Ruler of Jaba Jaba Chiefdom, Gyet Muade, who was kidnapped by gunmen in Nasarawa on Monday.
The 83-year-old monarch was abducted by bandits suspected to be kidnappers while on his farm located at Gitata community of Nasarawa state, which shares a boundary with Jaba in Kaduna state.
Speaking when he led some government and security officials to the palace of the Kpop Ham in Jaba Chiefdom, Governor El-Rufai who was represented by his Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, assured the people of the chiefdom that the government of the two states will do everything possible to ensure the speedy rescue of the first class traditional ruler, especially considering his age and fragile health.
On his part, a leader in the community and a former senator, Zico Azeez, appealed to both the government and security agencies to intensify efforts to ensure the safe return of their chief whose abduction has created a big vacuum in the palace and the entire Jaba local government area.
The Kaduna State Government has alerted citizens on the emergence and danger of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, and the implication of the Delta variant of the virus is already in the country.
The state Deputy Governor who is also the chairman of the COVID-19 taskforce, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe says in a statement, that the Delta variant, which is associated with rising numbers of infection, hospitalization, and deaths, is spreading in some parts of Africa and Nigeria.
She notes that the situation has put Kaduna, FCT, Kano, Oyo, Rivers, and the Plateau States on RED ALERT, thereby emphasizing the need for residents to make concerted efforts at adhering strictly to Infection Prevention Protocols that have been laid down.
Stating that it has become crucial that all citizens do not relent in efforts targeting prevention and containment of the Delta Variant of the Corona Virus, the Deputy Governor calls on Traditional and Religious leaders as well as all residents of the State to be more proactive in safeguarding their own health, that of their families and by extension, the overall health of the public.
“As Kaduna State puts in safeguards to prevent/contain the Delta strain, residents of Kaduna State are enjoined to prioritize strict adherence to all the protocols in places of religious and social gatherings.
“It is important and critical for Residents to realize that the Delta variant is highly infective with a worsened outcome for morbidity and mortality (illness and death). The Kaduna State Government has a responsibility to put in place and enforce measures that will minimize the risk of importation of the variant in the State through strengthened surveillance at all points of entry, putting suspected cases in quarantine while also ensuring that the confirmed cases are put in isolation and managed till they no longer pose a threat to Public Health. We will not relent on this”.
“At this critical time, it has become expedient that Religious and Traditional Leaders lead this campaign to keep our residents safe. Remember, Mass gatherings provide ample opportunity for transmission of this virus thus can pose great danger for the residents, ” the deputy governor stated.
The Kaduna State government has declared the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba wanted.
The state Governor, Nasir Elrufai announced this on his verified Twitter handle @elrufai on Tuesday morning.
He said the NLC president and others labour leaders are declared wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure in Kaduna State under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
KADUNA UPDATE: Ayuba Wabba & others of @NLCHeadquarters declared wanted for economic sabotage & attacks on public infrastructure under Miscellaneous Offences Act. Anyone that knows where he is hiding should send a message to @MOJKaduna. KDSG. There will be a handsome reward!
He called on anyone that knows the whereabouts of the NLC President to contact the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice promising to reward the person handsomely.
Wabba had earlier on Monday led workers in the state on a warning strike following the recent disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the state government.
The protest resulted in a power outage, shut down of the airport, and fuel queues in various parts of the state as aviation workers shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) in solidarity.
Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria also joined the protest.
The Kaduna State government on Monday condemned the protest.
“What is happening now in Kaduna is not an industrial action but a campaign of social and economic sabotage. Kaduna State government is functioning despite illegal attempts to lock our offices, hospitals, and schools. The schools are opened, our offices and hospitals are opened.
“NLC is aware that inflicting pain on citizens, locking hospitals and public institutions, shutting down electricity will not change or affect the decision of Kaduna State government,” Mohammed said on Monday.
The Kaduna State government also in a tweet on Monday described the action of the NLC workers as “unlawful.”
“Some unlawful actions by the NLC: shutting down electricity, coercion and restraints of personal freedom, trespass into public facilities and denial of access to healthcare for several of our citizens. They closed several hospitals and chased away the patients.
“General hospitals in Kawo, Tudun-Wada, Kafanchan, Giwa, Rigasa, Kakuri and Sabon Tasha were illegally locked. They also shut rural hospitals and primary health centres in Kwoi, Turunku and other locations across the state,” Kaduna state governor tweeted.
The Kaduna State Government has insisted that no negotiation with bandits has been entered despite persistent attacks.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan told Channels Television in an interview that the bandits behind the attacks are from neighbouring states, hence there is no justification to negotiate with criminals who have nothing on the table.
He also explained that the state government in collaboration with the Federal Government is working assiduously to put more boots on the ground especially in the rural communities where most of the attacks occur.
The Task Force on COVID-19 in Kaduna has expressed concern that the risk assessment of the pandemic is troubling as there could be as high as 57,000 new cases in the state if there is no effective enforcement and implementation of the lockdown order.
This concern follows the sixth confirmed COVID-19 case involving a male patient who returned from Lagos state to Kaduna with a commercial vehicle after he tested positive for the deadly disease.
The state government has therefore embarked on massive enforcement of the lockdown especially to stop inter state travels till further notice as part of measures to avoid community transmission of the disease.
Kaduna State Commissioner For Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan who is leading the operation noted in an interview that it is important for people to observe the lockdown for as long as it is in effect for their own safety.
With the pandemic gradually spreading to neighboring states coupled with the sixth imported case from far away Lagos into Kaduna, the state government says it is not happy that the safe corridor provided for travelers has been serially abused since the lockdown was imposed, as people from elsewhere have been coming into Kaduna in droves in violation of the quarantine order.
Security agencies have therefore been issued an executive order to turn back any unauthorised vehicles into the state.
Vehicles without approvals have been intercepted along Kachia road and Sabon Tasha area, with some commercial drivers abandoning their buses and fleeing in a bid to escape arrest.
The Kaduna State Government has condoled with the people of Birnin Gwari following latest attacks on the area by bandits noting that the state government is committed to overcoming criminality.
El-Rufai in a statement signed by his media aide, Samuel Aruwan, said the state government is making efforts to establish a permanent base in the area in order contain the incessant attacks on residents of the communities.
“The Kaduna State Government has received with sadness reports of the murder of our citizens by armed bandits in Birnin Gwari. Kaduna State Government is deeply committed to overcoming the unfortunate criminality and banditry being carried out against innocent citizens in Birnin Gwari local government,” the statement read in part.
At least 27 persons were feared killed and several others injured in a Saturday night attack by bandits in Gwaska village in Birnin Gwari local government area of Kaduna State.
The latest attack occurred barely a week after 14 local miners were massacred by gunmen at Janruwa community also in Birnin-Gwari local government area of the State.
El-Rufai, however, added that the state government is working with the Federal Government to tackle criminality and banditry. he added that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of a permanent battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari general area
“The engagements between the state and federal governments have yielded results. The new security arrangements also involve policing. The Inspector General of Police has already announced the creation of the Birnin Gwari Police Area Command and two new Divisional Police Headquarters,” he said.
The governor also directed the State Emergency Management Agency, to provide relief materials to the affected communities.
Domestic flights have resumed operations into the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, following the re-opening of the runway to traffic.
Passengers aboard a domestic flight expressed delight at being able to fly directly into the capital city, and applauded the timely rehabilitation of the facility.
They, however, appealed to the Federal Government to urgently consider the construction of a second runway for the airport, in addition to regular maintenance of the newly rehabilitated one.
Speaking to Channels Television, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, lauded the prompt decision of the government to rehabilitate the airport.
“We must thank the agencies: The Ministries of Transport, Aviation, Works, and other Nigerians who gave the support. The greatest thing is we thank God that we didn’t wait for a disaster to happen in Abuja before we took that decision,” he said.
The spokesman for the All Progressives Congress, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi, also said: “The last couple of weeks have been quite challenging for some of us who fly quite frequently, the logistics of having to go to Kaduna and all that; but I think it has been managed quite effectively”.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commended the re-opening of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, 24 hours ahead of the deadline.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, the President lauded the efforts of the contractor, security agencies, Kaduna State Government, as well as the Ministries of Transport, Power, Works and Housing, on the successful completion of work on the runway of the airport.
He said that he looked forward to such display of inter-agency cooperation and efficiency in the operation of the entire Federal Government machinery.
President Buhari also thanked foreign airlines for their cooperation with the Nigerian Government during the period of the closure of the airport.
The Kaduna State Government has placed a ban on street hawking and begging, as well as commercial motorcycle activities in the state capital and environs.
This is the outcome of resolutions reached at the State Security Council meeting held on Tuesday at the Government House.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Samuel Aruwan, said the decision was reached so as to maintain law and order in the state, based on credible intelligence report of security threat to lives and properties.
He explained that the ban was with immediate effect and will remain in force till further notice, while asking the citizens to be law abiding, that is abide by this and other government directives.
“Kaduna State Security Council has announced the enforcement of subsisting restrictions on begging, street hawking and usage of motorcycles for commercial transport in Kaduna metropolis and other urban centres in the state.
“Credible reports at the disposal of security agencies have made it necessary to begin vigorous enforcement of the laws against street begging, hawking and the illegal business of motorcycle taxis, as well as safeguard lives and property.
“Law enforcement agencies have been directed to begin enforcement of the restrictions against begging, street hawking and Okadas/Achabas in Kaduna town and other cities in the state.
“The directive is with immediate effect and is based on cogent security concerns and the need to uphold law and order in the state.
“Citizens are urged to cooperate with the security agencies as they enforce the relevant laws; the directive is clear.
“No motorcycle is allowed to carry any passenger. Beggars and hawkers are also reminded by this notice to leave the streets, please,” the Governor’s spokesman urged.
The State Security Council meeting, which is usually chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, and attended by his deputy, Heads of Security Agencies and traditional rulers in the state, is to appraise the security situation in Kaduna State.
The meeting deliberated on the situation report on Southern Kaduna where many attacks occurred in several communities which took a toll on lives and properties.
The Nigerian Air Force said it has increased air surveillance in Southern Kaduna and has also deployed 60 Special Forces to compliment the ongoing military operations aimed at restoring peace and security in the area.
The Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, on his part said security operatives have taken the war against armed bandits into the forest where they are hiding, and some suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks.
“Prior to our relocation to the place, you are already aware that the Commanders were directed to move to Kafanchan to ensure that peace returns to the area and today, we are happy to tell you that we have been able to restore peace to Kafanchan and environs.
“We are going to sustain this effort and we are appealing to members of the community too to assist us in achieving this objective.
“However, in recent time, we have been confronted with other problems regarding the crisis in Southern Kaduna, like I earlier said in the previous briefing that some people are actually fueling these crises.
“We have made arrest of people who write letters that are intended to incite people against one another. To say that, it has been written that an attack will be carried out in communities.
“We investigated some of these letters and we made arrest of persons, which in due time, we will parade before you so that you will see that some of these inciting speeches and letters are actually not even done by the perpetrators of the acts.
“We assure that we are going to continue to bring about law and order in that part of the state, with the efforts of the communities.
“As long as they want peace to reign, they must contribute their quota to try as much as possible to speak to the youths who are the principal actors in this violence, because the only way to peace is for the people themselves to be prepared to embrace peace, accommodate themselves and live together,” the Police Commissioner said.
Also, the Commander One Division Garrison, Brigadier General Samaila Isah, revealed that as part of the efforts in sustaining the peace in Southern Kaduna, the Nigerian Army would embark on a major exercise called ‘Exercise Harbin Kunama’ in the area.
On his part, the State Director of the Department of State Services, Mohammed Wakili, urged the public to ignore inciting messages from the social and traditional media, aimed at fueling the crisis in Southern Kaduna.
The Kaduna State Government said it was working with Federal Security Agencies that are taking proactive measures to flush out armed bandits and other criminal elements from every part of the state, especially now that the state is going to witness influx of people through the Kaduna Airport.
The Kaduna State Government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have signed an agreement that will strengthen Primary Health Care service delivery and polio eradication drive in the state.
At a meeting between the parties, Vice President of the Foundation, Mrs Melinda Gates, said the partnership was aimed at ensuring the total eradication of polio and other child killer diseases in Africa.
She assured Governor Nasir El-Rufai that the foundation was committed to helping Nigeria address the problems of maternal and child mortality through funding and technical support.
“This new strategic partnership on health and governance, will advance the implementation and transformation of primary health care system in Kaduna State and build upon ongoing support by the foundation for polio eradication, routine immunisation, family planning as well as maternal and child health services,” Mrs Gates said.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Paul Dogo, told the Foundation that the state government was optimistic that the partnership would strengthen Primary Health Care in rural areas, to address the constant increase in mortality rates especially of mothers and children.
“The agreement underscores the present administration’s commitment to improving access to affordable and qualitative healthcare services to the people as well as reducing maternal and infant mortality rates in the state.
Kaduna, just like other states in Nigeria is faced with the challenges of lack of adequate healthcare facilities coupled with high rate if maternal and child deaths.
“With this partnership between the state government and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is expected that Primary Health Care Systems’ service delivery would be strengthened.
In another meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Zhou Pingjian, the state government established partnership with China in the area of agriculture.
The Chinese Ambassador assured the governor of his country’s determination to invest in the areas of Agriculture and manufacturing in Kaduna State.
He explained that his visit to the governor was to explore areas of collaboration between Kaduna State and the Republic of China.
The Ambassador told Channels Television that the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is committed in strengthening the longstanding bilateral relationship and cooperation between the two countries through huge investment in the manufacturing industry such as textile production and mechanised agriculture.
The Kaduna State government has described the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), as an insurgent group.
The government’s position was contained in a white paper released on Monday, on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 2015 clash, between soldiers and members of the IMN in Zaria.
The white paper also blamed the group for the clash and recommended the investigation and prosecution of any of its members found to have been involved in any form of human rights abuse, since their existence in Zaria over 30 years ago.
The government’s white paper however absolved the Nigerian army from any act of human right violation in the Zaria clash, insisting that the army abides by the rules of engagement.
This is not the first in the series of statements and orders made against the Islamic group.
In October, the Kaduna State Government had issued an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful association.
Also in November, the Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had expressed concern that the group, also known as the Shiites Islamic sect, if allowed to exist, is capable of threatening the corporate existence of the country.
According to him, the group has an agenda to cause a religious conflict in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the group in a swift reaction by its spokesman Ibrahim Musa, rejected the white paper describing it as an exercise in futility by the Kaduna state governor, who according to him is trying to justify what they describe as the massacre by the army in 2015.
The Shiites have continued to protest against the detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in custody since December 13, 2015.
A federal high court in Abuja has however ordered the Department of State Services (DSS), to release the leader of the outlawed Islamic movement in Nigeria, within 45 days.
As part of efforts to give the ancient city a face lift, the Kaduna state government, has embarked on construction of township roads across the state capital and other surrounding local government councils.
The state Commissioner for Works, Usman Hassan, who inspected the ongoing projects and some completed ones in Igabi, Kaduna South, Kaduna North and Chikun local government areas, gave the assurance that the projects would be completed in good time while new ones would be awarded by next year.
Mr Hassan, who toured the project sites, made his first stop over at the 8km Zaria road in Rigasa where he inspected an ongoing road construction.
Over the years, residents of the area experienced heavy traffic on daily basis, due to the narrow nature of the road.
The commissioner then explained that “the dualized road when completed, would reduce the heavy traffic experienced morning and evening by those making use of the road”.
Other roads inspected by the team included the dualization of the Aliyu Makama road and other roads at Barnawa in Kaduna South local government, ongoing dualisation of Ali Akilu road which were designed with standard drainage systems, and another 20 roads within the state capital.
The works commissioner said the construction of the inner roads, which is an initiative of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai administration, and a fulfillment of his campaign promise, was geared towards massive intervention on access and link roads, as well as boosting security and increasing the socio-economic well-being of residents of the state.
“Next week we are also going to start the location of services, it will involve removing or relocating electric poles.
“This road is supposed to be dualized because of its high traffic. It is 5.7km as we have seen in Rigasa, and this is where it ends, starting from station roundabout and cutting across Barnawa, down to this junction at Sabon Tasha.
He then explained that the delay was as a result of some challenges experienced by the commission.
“Quite frankly, out of the four dualized road, this was the only one we had issues with the contractor.
Explaining that the issue has however been resolved, he said: “frankly, it reached a point that we were almost thinking of sacking him, but now we have resolved our issue and he is cooperating effectively.
“Asides that, he has even started work. So we will look at those areas we will pay compensation and by the time they finish the computation, we will pay the affected individuals like we did in Rigasa, Ungwa Dosa, Sabon Birni roads.”
The commissioner told newsmen that so far, property owners that were affected by the projects would be compensated in line with relevant laws.
Meanwhile, some residents commended the state government for initiating the projects which they believe would impact positively in their socio-economic well-being.