We Are Committed To Overcoming Criminality, El-Rufai Reacts To Birnin Gwari Attack

Kaduna Govt Increases Teachers' Salaries by 32.5%

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.

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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.

Passengers Applaud Timely Rehabilitation Of Abuja Airport

Passengers Applaud Timely Rehabilitation Of Abuja AirportDomestic 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”.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, said the Abuja Airport had been certified to accommodate international and local flights, ahead of the date scheduled for its re-opening, April 19.

The Ethiopian Airline Airbus 8350 was the first major airline to land at the airport.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, President Muhammadu Buhari lauded the efforts of key agencies on the successful completion of work on the runway of the airport.

He also thanked foreign airlines for their cooperation with the Nigerian Government during the period of the closure of the airport.

President Buhari Commends Re-opening Of Abuja Airport

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.

Ahead of the date scheduled for the re-opening, April 19, the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, said the Abuja Airport has been certified to accommodate international and local flights.

The Minister said this when he landed at the airport at about 11.15am on board a Caverton helicopter from Kaduna State.

The Ethiopian Airline Airbus 8350 was the first major airline to land at the airport.

Kaduna Bans Street Hawking, Begging And Motorcycle

Kaduna Bans Street Hawking, Begging And MotorcycleThe 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.

Kaduna Partners With Bill Gates, China On Primary Healthcare, Agriculture

NPHCDA Decries Poor Primary Healthcare FundingThe 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.

 

Kaduna Government Labels IMN Insurgent Group

Kaduna Govt. Begins Construction Of Township RoadsThe 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.

 

Kaduna Govt. Begins Construction Of Township Roads

Kaduna Govt. Begins Construction Of Township RoadsAs 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.

 

Shiites Accuse Police, FG Of Killing Members

Shiites Accuse Police, FG Of Killing MembersMembers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria known as Shiites have been speaking on the disruption of their protest march on Monday in Kano which left at least eight people dead.

A member of the group, Mr Maiwada Inuwa, who was a guest on our breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, accused the federal government as well as the Police of killing several members of the movement in what could have been a peaceful march.

At least eight people were confirmed dead and many others injured following the clash which broke out around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, when Police reportedly tried to stop the Shiite members who had embarked on the annual Arbaeen trek from Kano to Zaria.

According to the Kano State Police Command, security operatives only intervened as the Shiite members began attacking motorists and passersby.

The Shiites representative, however, argued that since the procession by the Shiites was not a protest it did not warrant any show of force by the security agencies.

“If you are talking of protest, it’s a different thing but for the trekking we know that we were using the highway and other citizens have equal rights of access, so we did not block the highway.

“Our people branched at one village and the Police still followed them. They have burnt most of our assets. What we use even in cooking food were being destroyed.

“They opened fire on us indiscriminately, killed women, children and people of all ages.

“The painful thing is that they kill and take away the corpses,” he lamented.

According to Mr Inuwa the constitution of Nigeria protects all citizens, including the Shiites by guaranteeing religious freedom.

“Particularly section 38 subsection 1, it gives an unfettered right to all Nigerian citizens to practice their religion, thoughts without restriction or harassment.

“In the practice of this religion, you can do that as an individual or as a community.

“So you only seek to apply or request for the protection of the security where you’re envisaging a threat but in our own case, the security are our own threat. They are the ones threatening our lives.

“We have been on air severally with series of press release, telling the intellectual community that this is the arrangement the Nigerian government is having.

“They have long planned to attack the trekking and what happened yesterday was an indication of their plan. It was not a provoked attack, they attacked us,” he maintained.

Shiites, Police Clash In Kano

Shiites, Police Clash In KanoAt least eight people have been confirmed dead and many others injured following a clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, and the Police in Kano city.

Eyewitness accounts say trouble broke out around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, after the Police tried to stop the Shiite members who had embarked on the annual Arbaeen trek from Kano to Zaria.

But according to the Kano State Police Command, security operatives including anti-robbery squad units only intervened as the Shiite members began attacking motorists and passersby.

The Police Commissioner in the state, Rabiu Yusuf told journalists that one Police officer was also killed and four others injured in the incident

The incident is coming about a month after a mob confronted the members of the group while they were holding a rally also in Kano, leaving many of them with machete wounds.

The Kaduna State Government has formally declared the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky as an unlawful society.

The government stated that the group is never a registered organisation in the state and members of the group have refused to conduct themselves with full adherence to the laws of the state.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria came to prominence when its members clashed with the Nigerian Army in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna state, in December 2015.

A judicial inquiry in August concluded that the army killed 348 of the sect’s members, a figure that the army has disputed.

The Shiite sect’s leader has been held in custody, without charge, by Nigeria’s security agency since his December arrest following the clashes. His supporters have called for his release.

Members of the group have also held several protests demanding the release of their leader.

One of such protests the group tried to launch after their ban was announced was scuttled by security operatives in Kaduna state.

The protest showed members of the group have ignored the order banning the group and embarked on a procession to commemorate the annual Ashura festival in remembrance of Rhe Matrydon of the grand-son of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein.

Kaduna Govt. Drags 725 Loan Defaulters To EFCC

Mob attack, Kaduna Govt., Shiites, Prison Inmates, Kaduna,The Kaduna State Government say it has reported a total of 725 persons to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for failing to repay the loan they took from the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) in March 2015.

A statement by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, says the government has officially written a petition to the EFCC, requesting for investigation and recovery of the funds.

Mr Aruwan said BOA, in partnership with Kaduna State government in March 2015, disbursed agriculture loan to 1,859 beneficiaries.

However, 725 of them have failed to liquidate their loans to the tune of over 205 million Naira, contrary to the terms and conditions of the loan.

“The agriculture loan scheme is an intervention of the state government in partnership with BOA meant to assist farmers in the state to have access to financial assistance, in order to improve agricultural activities and ensure better harvest.

“It is revolving loan that enables farmers to access funds and repay after a farming year to enable other beneficiaries enjoy similar interventions.

“BOA has therefore forwarded names and details of the defaulting beneficiaries to EFCC for investigation to commence.

“You may also wish to know, that the BOA had on October 21, 2016 reached out to the government with details of the defaulters and the outstanding loans,” he said.

The Governor’s spokesman concluded that the state’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry as well as BOA have been directed to furnish the EFCC with any additional information and/or documents that it may require.

Kaduna State Releases Gazette Outlawing Shiites

Shiites-protestThe Kaduna State Government has formally released a Gazette declaring the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky as an unlawful society.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, spokesman for the state Governor, Samuel Aruwan, says the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is never a registered organisation in the state.

According to him, members of the group have refused to conduct themselves with full adherence to the laws of the state.

He explained that the state government had no intention to ban any duly registered religious group, but except for those that were illegal and a threat to peace and security in the society.

Mr Aruwan added that the government would continue to uphold religious freedom and constitutional rights of every citizen in the state to practice the religion of their choice.

Earlier in the year, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clash between soldiers and members of the movement in Zaria last year, recommended the proscription of the IMN.

The state government had on October 7 issued an Order declaring the Shiites group an unlawful association.

A statement issued by Mr Aruwan said the government secured an order from the State Executive Council to ban the group from either existing or operating in the state with immediate effect.

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, Shiites
The leader of Shiites, Ibraheem Zakzaky, has been in detention since December 2015

In proscribing the group, the government invoked Section 45 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the state Governor to take such measures and actions for the promotion and protection of public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or the rights and freedom of all persons in the State.

The statement further explained that the action was to ensure that all persons and organisations were guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Constitution.

With the ban, the statement warns that any citizen of the state, who under any appellation or mutation with the propensity of causing the breakdown of law and order, or operates in a manner dangerous to the good governance of the State, shall be prosecuted in accordance with the Laws of Kaduna State.

After the government made the announcement, a spokesman for the sect, Ibraheem Musa, said its members were not going to be intimidated into resorting to violence.

“Very soon, we shall challenge this ban through legal and peaceful means,” he said.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria came to prominence when its members clashed with the Nigerian Army in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna state, in December 2015.

A judicial inquiry in August concluded that the army killed 348 of the sect’s members, a figure that the army has disputed.

The Shiite sect’s leader has been held in custody, without charge, by Nigeria’s security agency since his December arrest following the clashes. His supporters have called for his release.

Members of the group have also held several protests demanding the release of their leader.

One of such protests the group tried to launch after their ban was announced was scuttled by security operatives in Kaduna state.

The protest showed members of the group have ignored the order banning the group and embarked on a procession to commemorate the annual Ashura festival in remembrance of Rhe Matrydon of the grand-son of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein .

Kaduna Govt. Launches New Public Service Policy

zariaThe Kaduna State government has launched the State Public Service revitalization and renewal programme aimed at respositioning the state civil service and creating more jobs for the youths.

The programme will also  upgrade the professional  skills of public servants in line with the global best practice.

Speaking during the launching  of the programme, the state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai said  his administration recognizes the central role of the public service in service delivery and promoting good governance to the citizenry.

He explained that it has become important  now  to reform the public service and restore it to the high standards, to enable it live up to its responsibilities.

He said this could only be achieved by injecting young and vibrant youths into the public service.

According to a government report, the embargo on civil service recruitment that was imposed in 2008 by the then administration, has resulted in lack of young people in the State Civil Service.

The governor disclosed that Kaduna State Public Service is afflicted with many challenges which is skills gap,  age-distribution as well as challenges with discipline and accountability.

The governor further stated that his administration is determined to break such barriers by ensuring that more young, well-educated persons are recruited into the public service .

One of the key goals of the Public Service Reform programme is to transform it into an efficient and effective organ of government that will deliver the government’s developmental agenda.