No fewer than two people were killed and others sustained various degrees of injuries in a fresh attack on Friday night by gunmen in Gora Dan village of Zango-Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Eyewitnesses said the gunmen invaded the village market and opened fire on the residents who were still transacting their businesses for the day.
Although the Kaduna state police command is yet to confirm the incident, the local government chairman, Elias Manza told Channels Television that the gunmen invaded the village market square from the bush, shooting sporadically and in the process, shot two people to death and also wounded several others.
He explained that no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but disclosed that an emergency security meeting was held on Saturday with all the relevant stakeholders in order to unravel the perpetrators of the attack and also forestall any form of reprisal.
The fresh attack comes almost a year relative peace returned to communities in the southern part of Kaduna state that were engulfed with incessant conflicts between herders and farmers.
The Kaduna State government has flagged off the construction of cattle grazing settlements and milk farm project at Damau in Kubau Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai announced this on Saturday at the ground-breaking ceremony of the proposed milk farm in Damau, saying the settlement has a capacity to accommodate 1,000 cattle farmers.
He explained that the project, being executed in collaboration with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and a Danish dairy firm, Arla, was aimed at mitigating the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers in the state.
The governor believes the project, apart from being a pragmatic and sustainable solution to security challenges that accompany nomadic livestock production, will help expand Nigeria’s capacity in the production of high-quality milk and reduce overdependence on the importation of dairy products.
He added that the goal was to develop a world-class grazing reserve that would aid in centralising the activities of herders in the community.
Governor El-Rufai also gave an assurance that the reserve would help to ensure maximum economic benefits were derived from the cows through the use of their many products to boost revenue generation.
Over the years, the incessant conflicts between herders and farmers across the country have continued to pose a major security concern to citizens and the government at various levels.
In Kaduna, the competition over scarce natural resources such as land, water, and pasture, as well as the conflicts that follow informed the government’s decision to settle the herders in one community.
A memorandum of understanding for the project was signed on September 9, 2019, with Arlan expected to provide the commercial services while the state government would provide the land to use.
This is in addition to other basic amenities such as primary healthcare facility, veterinary clinic, police post, and a market place to make life comfortable for the pastoralists.
As part of its responsibilities, the government has developed about 89km of road in Kubau LGA to help farmers transport their farm produce easily.
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have abducted four seminarians of Good Shepard Catholic Major Seminary at Kakau village along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television in an interview, the spokesman of Kaduna state police command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, says the gunmen invaded the school through a porous point and started shooting sporadically and thereafter abducted four students from their hostels.
He explains that the timely response of police personnel to the school prevented the gunmen from taking away more students, adding that the police have launched a manhunt of the kidnappers with the view to arresting them and rescuing the victims.
The death toll from Saturday’s gas plant explosion in Sabon Tasha area of Chikun local government area of Kaduna state has risen to six.
The state deputy governor, Hadiza Balarabe confirmed this when she visited the scene of the incident on Sunday.
The deputy governor, who was accompanied by some top government officials, also visited some of the injured victims at the hospital as well as the deceased families, where she sympathized with them over the unfortunate incident.
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed 10 petrol stations and four Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) plants in Kaduna State for various offences.
DPR’s Zonal Operations Controller in the state, Isa Tafida, told reporters on Tuesday during a monitoring exercise that the facilities were sealed for pump under-delivery, products diversion, operating without licence and noncompliance to safety regulations.
Other offences he listed include non-conformity to standard operations, construction and operation without DPR licence, and installation of facilities without approval.
Tafida revealed that the agency inspected no fewer than 768 petrol stations and 38 gas stations within the last quarter of 2019.
He explained that the aim was to ensure compliance and to also make sure residents were not short-changed by unscrupulous marketers, especially during festive period.
The zonal operations controller who led other officials on the inspection tour said the DPR has intensified its operations within the state, in furtherance of its constitutional responsibilities.
He added that 38 LPG plants and 50 retailers were licensed in an effort to discourage desert encroachment and felling of trees, as well as reducing the associated risk of decanting LPG by unlicensed retailers.
Tafida insisted that the operation of illegal gas plants without licence and under unsafe condition was illegal and would not be allowed.
Goldson attributed the alarming figure to the ineffectiveness of the Nigerian health systems to provide universal access to emergency obstetric care for women and girls who develop complications during labour.
She noted that this is compounded by cultural preferences and community ignorance of risks in-home deliveries and called for more investment in the prevention of new cases and treatment of existing ones.
The UNFPA deputy representative revealed that Nigeria accounts for about 7.5 per cent of the global fistula burden, a figure she said was totally unacceptable.
According to the global body, obstetric fistula is preventable and can largely be avoided by delaying pregnancy, ensuring skilled birth attendants during child delivery, and providing timely access to obstetric care for all women who develop complications during childbirth.
It is estimated that between 400,000 and 800,000 women live with VVF in Nigeria, a medical condition that allows for the continuous and involuntary discharge of urine and faeces by the victim.
In addition, there are thousands of new cases recorded each year, with Kaduna State alone accounting for 12,000 existing cases in the country.
Wife of the state governor, Mrs Aisha El-Rufai, who was also at the conference advocated for strong legislation that would protect VVF victims from discrimination by their families and the society.
On her part, the Commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hafsat Baba, spoke about the purpose of the conference.
She explained that it was organised to raise awareness about the tragic childbirth injuries that incapacitates thousands of mainly poor and uneducated young adolescents who live in rural areas with poor access to quality maternal healthcare.
Other speakers at the event highlighted various ways of ending the pain, healing wounds, and restoring the dignity of VVF victims and called for concerted action.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former staff of the Judiciary, Mr Joseph Udoh, and his wife over allegations of money laundering.
Udoh, a former registrar with the Kaduna Division of the Federal High Court and his wife, Mrs Grace, were arraigned before Justice Mallong Hoommuck on 12 counts.
In a statement on Sunday, ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Udoh was alleged to have misappropriated an amount exceeding N80 million from the money that had been deposited in the court by a litigant.
He reportedly issued cheques in the name of his wife who was also a staff of the court but in Abuja, and used the money to acquire properties in some major cities across the country.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Their counsel, S. M. Essienakak, informed the court that they had served the prosecution with a bail application and prayed the court to grant his clients bail on non-stringent conditions.
Essienakak gave assurance that the couple would not evade bail.
But counsel to ICPC, Shehu Yahaya, strongly opposed to the bail application on the grounds that the attitude of the defendants suggested that if they were granted bail, they might interfere with the processes.
He informed the court that four of the witnesses to be called by the prosecution were members of staff of the Kaduna Division of the court, where one of the defendants had served as a registrar.
After listening to arguments of counsel on both sides Justice Hoommuck granted the defendants bail in the sum of N10 million.
He also asked them to provide two sureties in like sum who must be members of the legal profession and must own properties in a Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Kaduna.
The judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter until January 28, 29, and 30, 2020, for the continuation of hearing.
President Muhammadu Buhari says the Federal Government will soon commence the construction of the 600-kilometre Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
Addressing the 5th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit on Friday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, he noted that the project would ease the movement of gas from the Southern part of the country to the North.
The President disclosed that the viability of extending the gas pipeline to North Africa was also under consideration.
He described the theme of the Summit, ‘Natural Gas – Energy for Sustainable Development’ as most appropriate, saying the one-day meeting was “taking place at a critical juncture as global energy supply is transitioning from hydrocarbons to renewables.”
“The Paris Accord of 2015 signalled the first major global commitment to a deliberate effort on this inevitable transition,” President Buhari said, stressing that “Nigeria is proud to be one of the first signatories” to the historic agreement.
He further explained why Nigeria and GECF members were focusing on gas development.
“We are mindful of the energy deficit in the developing world especially, here in Africa where we have nearly 600 million people without access to modern energy,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
He added, “As responsible leaders, it is our duty to preserve the environment not only for the present but for future generations.
“We can achieve this balance between our energy deficit and environmental preservation needs by developing and deploying new technologies. Although classified as fossil fuel, natural gas is a viable solution to both our energy and environmental challenges.”
President Buhari noted further that “natural gas has the added advantage of availability and affordability,” stressing that, “to fully leverage this potential, nations need to pool resources to put up trans-border and trans-regional energy infrastructure.”
According to him, Nigeria has led the way by the construction of the West Africa Gas Pipeline which runs through four West African countries.
The President commended the foresight of the founding fathers of the GECF in promoting natural gas in the global energy mix.
The summit was declared open by the host and Equatorial Guinea’s President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
President Mbasogo, in his remarks, called on members of the GECF to continue to work in harmony towards the realisation of the objectives of the multinational organisation.
The Police in Kaduna state have arrested thirty-nine suspected criminals for allegedly committing various offences ranging from kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, internet fraud and other related crimes in various parts of the state.
Addressing journalists during the parade of the suspects at the Kaduna state police command headquarters, spokesman of the command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, says their arrest was successfully carried out through coordinated raiding of criminal hideouts by Operatives of the IGP’s Special Tactical Squad (STS) and the Command’s Intelligence Response Team as well as active Community Engagement Initiative in line with the Inspector General of Police mandate on Community Policing.
He says that some of the suspects escaped from Taraba state to hide in Kaduna state after carrying out several kidnappings in the northeastern state.
He further discloses that several dangerous weapons including 10 AK47 Rifles, four Pump Action, two Locally Made Pistols, one Locally Made Gun, 154 live Ammunitions, seventeen Cartridges, four stolen vehicles, and other exhibits were recovered from the suspects during the operations.
Sabo also explains that some of the suspects have confessed to series of kidnappings within and outside the State including the killing of Police Personnel and two other victims at Kangimi village after collecting millions of naira as ransom.
While he admits that the Kaduna State Police Command like other Commands across the country has some peculiar security challenges amongst which are; armed banditry, Cattle rustling, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery and other violent crimes against law-abiding citizens of the state, the spokesman, however, states that the command has succeeded in reducing such crimes on major highways, urban areas and villages to a large extent..
Track up- Yakubu Sabo, Spokesman of Kaduna state police command..