Communal Clash: Kaduna Govt Deploys Troops, Extends Curfew

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Government has deployed troops to Zango Kataf Local Government Area of the state as part of measures to find a permanent solution to the perennial crises that keep erupting in the area.

Violent clashes broke out in the local council on June the 11 between Kataf, Hausa and Fulani communities that were reportedly having a dispute over ownership of farmlands, a situation which led to the loss of lives.

Following the renewed conflict, the state government on June 12 imposed an indefinite curfew in Kauru and Zango Kataf Local Governments.

The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan who visited the area to assess the situation, said extending the curfew is part of steps to manage the tension and restore calm.

Buhari Flags Off Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally flagged off the construction of the $2.8 billion Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project, said to be the largest of its kind in the nation.

The President who performed the ceremony virtually from the State House on Tuesday, called on governors of states on the path of the pipeline route to create an enabling environment for the success of the project.

The AKK project is a section of the trans-Nigeria gas pipeline with a capacity to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet of gas per day and will be fed from the existing domestic gas infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai also flagged off the Kaduna end of the pipeline with a proclamation that the project will bring about rapid economic development in the northwest zone and the entire country.

El-Rufai was accompanied at the flag-off ceremony by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.

Speaking during the ceremony at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, the governor said the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano project, will add 3,600MW of electricity to the grid when completed and also supply industrial clusters with constant power.

COVID-19: El-Rufai Commissions Mobile Testing Laboratory

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has commissioned a mobile testing laboratory as part of measures to enhance community testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Gen Expert Laboratory, which was donated by the USAID, is fully equipped with vital testing equipment and has a capacity of about 400 tests daily.

In his remarks on Thursday at the Government House in Kaduna, the governor was worried about the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.

He, therefore, warned that the government may reinforce a total lockdown of the state should the infections overwhelm the health system and medical personnel that have been put in place to fight the pandemic.

Governor El-Rufai also asked the people to shun care-free attitudes about the dangers of the pandemic which he said could worsen the situation.

He, however, noted that the mobile testing laboratory would boost community test and early detection of COVID-19 cases across the 23 local government areas of the state.

The governor explained that he decided to reopen Kaduna after weeks of total lockdown for economic activities to resume, adding that the state was better prepared to handle COVID-19 infections.

He also noted that the state government reopened the borders when it realised that closing them initially only created a business for security agencies who compromised their mandate by collecting bribes from unauthorised persons to pass.

Banditry: Northern Youths Warn Against Politicization Of Killings

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.

 

Some northern youths under the umbrella of Coalition of Northern Organizations(CNO), have warned elders and other pressure groups from the region against politicizing the killings and raiding of communities in the north by Boko Haram and bandits.

The group notes that doing so will consequently worsen such security challenges in the region.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, Spokesman of the group, Adamu Matazu said rather than engaging in the blame game, Nigerians should applaud the sacrifices being made by the security agencies in protecting both the internal and external territorial integrity of the country.

READ ALSO: Banditry: NSA, IGP, DSS Boss Visit Katsina

Matazu also accused the organizers (Coalition Against Killings in Northern Nigeria) of the protest in Katsina of having “foreign backings” to destabilize the country.

Although the group admits that there has been an upsurge in killings in the northwest and northeast in recent times, they, however, expressed optimism that despite the temporary setbacks, the security forces will soon overcome challenges.

Kaduna Banditry: NSCDC Deploys Agro Rangers To Protect Farmers

File photo of a tractor working on a farm.

 

As Federal and State governments encourage investments in agriculture, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Kaduna State command has deployed Agro Rangers to farms and ranches in order to protect farmers and their investments from being attacked by criminals especially kidnappers.

The state Commandant of the Corps, Babangida Dutsinma who inspected some Agro-allied industries and farms located in Kaduna State where his men were deployed, noted that the command at the moment provides security to no fewer than 12 agricultural beats made-up of government and private ownership.

The Commandant, therefore, assured stakeholders in the agro-allied business including the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN) and the Farmers’ Association of Nigeria of a conducive environment in terms of security, in order for agric business to thrive in the state.

The Agro Rangers unit was launched in 2016 following the Federal Government’s desire to provide security in all agro-allied ventures which included grazing areas, silos, farmlands and ranches.

COVID-19: Mosques In Kaduna Resume Jummat Prayers

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.

 

Mosques in Kaduna have resumed Jumaat prayers as the state government begins the gradual easing measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This move comes 78 days after the state placed an embargo on worship centres as precautionary measures against the spread of the virus.

But Friday congregational prayers were performed by Muslims throughout the state in mosques with adequate courtyard or open areas, which have been singled out with the cooperation of the local worshippers.

The cleaning of the mosques on Friday morning is an indication that the praying grounds are coming back to life after about 13 weeks.

Channels Television observed that some security officials were putting all the necessary measures in place to avert any spread of the virus during prayers.

Other Muslim faithful expressed their happiness for observing the prayers after about 13 weeks of not praying in the mosques.

It will be recalled that Governor Nasiru El-Rufai relaxed the lockdown in the state on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Kaduna Lawmakers Exchange Blows As Deputy Speaker Is Impeached

 

There was a fracas in the Kaduna State House of Assembly on Thursday as members exchanged blows over the impeachment of the Deputy Speaker, Mr Mukhtar Hazo.

Following Hazo’s impeachment during plenary, the lawmakers elected the member representing Kauru Constituency, Mr Isaac Auta, as the new deputy speaker.

His impeachment notice was signed by 24 members of the assembly.

Before he was removed from office, there were speculations of an alleged plot by seven members of the House led by the former deputy speaker to impeach the Speak, Yusuf Zailani.

However, lawmakers in support of the former deputy speaker exchanged blows with other members in the process of trying to remove the mace of House after the impeachment.

In his reaction, the Speaker told Channels Television that the impeached deputy was the architect of his own misfortune.

Zailani accused Hazo of conniving with other lawmakers to remove him as the speaker, claiming that the former deputy speaker also committed other infractions that were against the rule of the House.

Earlier, some policemen and other security operatives stormed the Assembly Complex over the plot to impeach the speaker who was elected into office on February 25.

Some lawmakers who were not happy with his style of leadership were said to have perfected plans to impeach him during plenary.

In order to forestall any breakdown of law and order, all entrances leading in and out of the complex were barricaded by the security operatives.

Tight Security At Kaduna Assembly Over Alleged Plot To Impeach Speaker

Some security officials at the Kaduna State House of Assembly on June 11, 2020.

 

 

Some policemen and other security operatives have taken over the Kaduna State House of Assembly Complex over an alleged plot to impeach the Speaker, Mr Yusuf Zailani.

This comes barely four months after Zailani was elected as the speaker of the House on February 25.

There have been speculations that some lawmakers who are not happy with the speaker’s style of leadership have perfected plans to impeach him during plenary on Thursday.

In order to forestall any breakdown of law and order, the security agents barricaded all entrances leading in and out of the complex in the Kaduna metropolis.

 

Only the lawmakers and Assembly workers were allowed into the complex, but journalists and other visitors were turned back.

In his reaction, Zailani told Channels Television that those plotting his removal would not succeed.

“Nobody can remove the lion,” the speaker said in a telephone chat on Thursday.

El-Rufai Orders Reopening Of Churches, Mosques In Kaduna

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has ordered the reopening of worship centres across the state.

He, however, directed that churches should conduct services only on Sundays and Mosques would hold Ju’mat prayers only Fridays for the time being.

The governor gave the directives on Tuesday in a state-wide broadcast, saying the reopening of worship centres would be subjected to compliance with safety guidelines and stipulations.

He also approved the reopening of public transport operations under the conditions that the operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50% of capacity.

Governor El-Rufai announced that the amended Quarantine Order would take effect from Wednesday, June 10.

He approved that supermarkets and providers of personal services such as hairdressing and barbers’ shops should reopen, while hotels can open fully but their restaurants and bars must offer only room services.

Under the conditions, the governor lifted the restriction of intra-state movement but subject to a night-time curfew of 8pm-5am, adding that businesses can reopen but should provide thermometers for temperature checks, sanitisers or handwashing equipment, and physical distancing measures within their facilities.

He noted that the working hours would be 9am-3pm daily, stressing that public servants would resume work in phases which would be announced by the Head of Service.

Governor El-Rufai insisted that with the present stage of COVID-19 containment, it was still considered unsafe for markets and schools to reopen.

He said the government would keep engaging with the relevant stakeholders on the matter to determine the appropriate timing and conditions precedent.

The governor, therefore, urged the residents to take responsibility and comply with the safety measures.

He warned that the relaxation of the quarantine order would be reversed in the event of a spike in COVID-19 infections or unsatisfactory compliance level with the conditions, and total quarantine would be re-imposed to preserve health and protect lives.

On border closure, Governor El-Rufai explained that government officials would continue to visit state boundaries to reduce unauthorised interstate travel.

He added that within the state, security checkpoints would be allowed only to enforce compliance with the night-time curfew.

The governor said the government would continue to implement the policy of repatriating almajirai back to their parents to afford them due care and the right to free education.

Military Operation Kills 70 Bandits, Cattle Rustlers In Kaduna Forest

A file photo of Nigerian soldiers sitting on a military pick-up truck at a military base.
A file photo of Nigerian soldiers sitting on a military pick-up truck at a military base.

 

The military on Saturday said at least 70 bandits and cattle rustlers have been eliminated in Kachia forest, Kaduna state after an operation it conducted on Friday.

Military spokesman, Major General John Enenche, said the operation, which combined ground and air offensives, was carried out by troops of Operation Thunderstrike in conjunction with troops of 312 Artillery Regiment and Local Vigilantes.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill 9 In Fresh Kaduna Village Attack

According to Enenche, military operatives “pursued the bandits through Gidan Maikeri village in Chikun LGA into the forest” and “their location was identified and consequently engaged by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships.”

Troops are still canvassing the forest, scouting for the remaining bandits.

“As a matter of security concern, people in this general area should report those with sudden and suspicious injuries to the security forces,” the military statement signed by Enenche said. “This is to ensure that the escapees are mopped up.”

Kaduna, the same as much of northern Nigeria, is currently battling an infestation of armed bandits.

In one of the latest attacks by the bandits, at least nine people were killed and many others injured following an attack on Avong Doka village in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna on Wednesday.

 

Read the full statement:

PRESS RELEASE

TROOPS OF OPERATION ACCORD KILLS SEVENTY BANDITS IN KACHIA FOREST KADUNA STATE

1. In a combined ground and air offensive on 5 June 2020, troops of Operation THUNDER STRIKE under Operation ACCORD in conjunction with troops of 312 Artillery Regiment and Local Vigilantes conducted a clearance patrol to Kachia Forest and neutralized some armed bandits/cattle rustlers. This followed a timely and credible information on the bandits movement within the area. Troops pursued the bandits through Gidan Maikeri village in Chikun LGA into the forest. Their location was identified and consequently engaged by Nigerian Air Force helicopter gunships. After the air interdiction, seventy (70) bandits were confirmed killed by human intelligence while others escaped with injuries. The troops are exploitating the forest. Details to follow as they unfold.

2. As a matter of security concern, people in this general area should report those with sudden and suspicious injuries to the security forces. This is to ensure that the escapees are mopped up.

3. Relatedly, troops of Operation YAKI in blocking positions for Operation ACCORD at outskirts of Kankomi village apprehended 2 bandits’ logistics suppliers. Items recovered include: recharge cards, cigarettes, soft drinks and groceries.

4. The Military High Command congratulates Operation THUNDER STRIKE, Operation YAKI and Air Component of Operation ACCORD, for their dexterity. While the general public is requested to continue to provide timely and credible information that would assist in eliminating bandits and other criminal elements in the Country.

5. You are please requested to disseminate this information through your medium. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

JOHN ENENCHE
Major General
Coordinator
Defence Media Operations
Defence Headquarters
6 June 2020

Bandits Kill 9 In Fresh Kaduna Village Attack

A map showing Kaduna, a state in Nigeria's North-Central region.

 

At least nine people have been killed and many others injured following an attack on Avong Doka village in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna by suspected bandits.

The latest incident comes barely one week after gunmen burnt down several houses at a Rural Grazing Area settlement in Agwala Dutse village also in Kajuru local government area.

READ ALSO: #JusticeForUwa: Today I Rise In Solidarity With Women – Tinubu

Although the police authorities in Kaduna are yet to confirm the attack, the Chairman of Kajuru local government area, Mister Cafra Caino told Channels television that the gunmen invaded the village in the early hours of today, and started shooting sporadically, thereby forcing residents to scamper for safety.

He said that nine people died on the spot as a result of gunshot wounds, while many others sustained injuries and have been taken to the hospital for treatment.

The council chairman also said that the casualty figures would have been higher if not the prompt arrival of soldiers to the village, which made the bandits flee into the bush.

He further disclosed that soldiers have been stationed in the village to avert any further attack.

Ex-Kaduna Military Governor Accuses Buhari Of Making Lopsided Appointments

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

 

A former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Retired Colonel Dangiwar Umar, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged nepotism.

Colonel Umar also accused the President of making lopsided appointments that favour a particular section of the country over others.

In an open letter to the President entitled ‘Mr President; Please Belong to All of Us’, he warned that such actions, including the appointment of the service chiefs, could slide the country into crisis.

The former governor also alleged that the country has already become “dangerously polarised” under the present administration.

According to him, the lopsidedness in the President’s appointments is more glaring in the leadership of the nation’s security forces.

Colonel Umar insisted that the practice of favouring a section of the country than another should be discouraged and called on the President to have a rethink and balance his appointments.

He also noted the case of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, and faulted his replacement by a “Muslim Northerner”.

Read the full letter from the former governor to the President below:

 

Muhammadu Buhari,                                                                                Sunday 30th May 2020

President,

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces,

Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Dear Mr President,

MR PRESIDENT; PLEASE BELONG TO ALL OF US.

“One of the swiftest ways of destroying a Kingdom is to give preference of one particular tribe over another or show favour to one group of people rather than another. And to draw near those who should be kept away and keep away those who should be drawn near” Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio.

I have been prompted to write you this open letter, Mr. President, by the loud sounds of drums, singing and dancing that erupted within many groups in the last few days on the grounds that you attained the 5th year in office as President of Nigeria.

It comes as no surprise that enthusiasm for the celebration is not shared equally by segments of the public. While your admirers and supporters believe you have performed well, many others believe the five years you have been in office as our President has not met the yearnings, expectations and change promised Nigerians.

Mr. President, you know me well enough and my position on issues to realize that I can be neither a rabid supporter nor a fanatical opponent of yours. I believe being a responsible citizen is enough reason to wish you well and to work for your success. As we have seen all too clearly these past few years, your success is ours as is your failure. We swim or sink with you!

You might wish to recall that after the results of the 23rd of February 2019 presidential elections were announced, giving you victory, I addressed a press conference during which I urged the runner-up, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, to concede defeat.

The reason was clear: tensions were running high and little missteps by the leaders might ignite violence, as often happened after major elections. Some supporters of Abubakar Atiku disagreed with me and told me off.

As it happened, Alhaji Atiku went ahead to mount a legal challenge to the outcome of the elections up to the Supreme Court. Mercifully, his actions did not result in an outbreak of violence as we feared.

On the same occasion, I counselled the declared winner, your good self, to use the opportunity of your second term to redeem your pledge of being a leader and president of all Nigerians.

On the occasion of the first-year anniversary into your second four-year term, I feel there is an urgent need to revisit this subject matter.

Mr President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.

And truth be told, Mr President, there are quite a lot of things that speak to your remarkable accomplishments, not least of which is that for the first time in our democratic history, a sitting President was defeated. That feat was achieved by Muhammadu Buhari. The reason was the public belief of you as a man of integrity.

The corollary to this is that at the expiration of your 8-year tenure in 2023, your achievements will not be measured solely by the physical infrastructure your administration built. An enduring legacy would be based on those intangible things like how much you uplifted the spirit and moral tone of the nation. How well have you secured the nation from ourselves and from external enemies?

At this time and in the light of all that has happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration.

All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others.

Nowhere is this more glaring than in the leadership cadre of our security services.

Mr President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favoring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.

I need not remind you, Mr. President, that our political history is replete with great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.

A few examples will demonstrate this:

In February 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun, and Maimalari.

The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be more qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army. His being a Muslim Northerner like the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu, and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa granted him added advantage by today’s standards.

But to the surprise of even the Igbos, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The Prime Minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army.

When on 13 February 1976, the Commander-in-Chief, General Murtala Muhammed, was assassinated in a failed Coup de tat, General Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy, and the most senior officer at the time, was sworn in as his successor.

The Chief of Army Staff, General T.Y Danjuma, a Northern Christian, was next in line to succeed Obasanjo as the Chief of Staff, SHQ, and Deputy Commander in Chief. General Danjuma however waived his right and recommended a much junior officer, Lt. Col. Shehu Musa Yar’adua, for the post.

Shehu was promoted two steps up to the rank of Brigadier and appointed Chief of Staff SHQ and Deputy Commander-in-Chief. Lt. Col. Muhammadu Buhari was appointed Minister of Petroleum. This was done to placate Muslim North which was deemed to have lost one of its own, Murtala Muhammed.

Both the chief of staff, Mr. Sunday Awoniyi, and the personal physician Dr Ishaya Audu to the Premier of Northern Nigeria, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, a direct descendant of Sheikh Usman Dan Fodio, were Christians.

Barely nine years after the civil war in 1979, the NPN Presidential candidate, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, picked an Igbo, Dr Alex Ekwueme, as his running mate. They enjoyed a truly brotherly relationship as President and Vice President. President Shagari’s political advisor, Dr Chuba Okadigbo and National Assembly Liaison, assistant, Dr K.O Mbadiwe, were both Igbos.

His economic advisor, Prof. Emmanuel Edozien and his Chief of Personnel Staff Dr Michael Prest, were of Niger Delta extraction. Remarkably, all his military service chiefs were Christians with the exception of his last Chief Army Staff, General Inuwa Wushishi under whose tenure he was removed in a military coup de tat.

Mr President, as a witness and beneficiary, it is our expectation that you would emulate these great acts of statesmanship. Which is why we have continued to engage with you.

You may wish to recall that I had cause to appeal to you, to confirm Justice Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria a few days before the expiration of his three months tenure of acting appointment to be replaced by a Muslim Northerner.

We were saved that embarrassment when his nomination was sent to the senate by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo. When he was finally confirmed a few days to the end of his tenure, he was removed after a few months and replaced by Justice Muhammed, a Muslim from the North.

May I also invite the attention of Mr. President to the pending matter of appointment of a Chief Judge of the Nigerian Court Appeal which appears to be generating public interest. As it is, the most senior Judge, Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, a northern Christian, is serving out her second three-month term as acting Chief Judge without firm prospects that she will be confirmed substantive head.

I do not know Justice Mensem but those who do attest to her competence, honesty and humility. She appears eminently qualified for appointment as the substantive Chief Judge of the Court of Appeal as she is also said to be highly recommended by the National Judicial Council. If she is not and is bypassed in favor of the next in line who happens to be another northern Muslim, that would be truly odd.

In which case, even the largest contingent of PR gurus would struggle to rebut the charges that you, Mr. President, is either unwilling or incapable of acting on your pledge to belong to everyone — and to no one. I hope you would see your way into pausing and reflecting on the very grave consequences of such failure not just to your legacy but to the future of our great country.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President.

COL. ABUBAKAR DANGIWA UMAR (RTD)