How Sacking Kaduna Teachers Nearly Cost Me Re-Election – El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai speaks during a summit in Ado Ekiti on October 14, 2021.
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai speaks during a summit in Ado Ekiti on October 14, 2021.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has explained how he was willing to sacrifice his second term ambition in order to give children from his state quality education.

The governor sought re-election for a second term in office in the 2019 general elections and has two more years to complete his tenure.

Speaking during the Ekiti State’s Fountain Summit 2021 with the theme ‘Investment Attractiveness and Economic Development in Ekiti State’ which held in Ado-Ekiti, El-Rufai said he was threatened with an election loss.

El-Rufai said he insisted and eventually carried out the test on teachers in Kaduna notwithstanding the threat.

READ ALSO: We Have Increased Ekiti IGR From N450m To N800m Monthly – Fayemi

“My brother here was said to have lost his second term bid the first time because he threatened to test teachers,” he said.

“I tested them and fired them before our election. When I was asked that I would lose the second term, I said if losing second term in office will give Kaduna State children a future with better primary education, I am ready to let it go.”

El-Rufai also listed two factors that enabled him retain his position as Kaduna governor, noting that he timed the mandatory test for teachers within his first two years in office and that the exercise was carried out honestly without partisan politics.

While noting that he attended government schools in his life until he went for his second degree, El-Rufai noted that his administration sent a clear message that the poor man’s child in Kaduna was eligible to emerge as governor.

He recalled that while sacking teachers, two of his colleagues backed his decision but expressed fear in implementing the policy in their respective states.

According to him, the two governors who wanted to conduct teachers’ tests after their re-elections however lost their second term bids.

Three Kidnapped Catholic Seminarians Regain Freedom

The freed seminarians flanked by two priests.

 

The three kidnapped students of Christ the King Major Seminary in Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna State have been released. 

The chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan, Reverend Father Emmanuel  Okolo, said the three seminarians were released by their abductors on Wednesday.

But there is no indication that any ransom was paid for their release and the police are yet to issue a statement on the development.

While thanking God for the  quick release of the  seminarians, Father Okolo also prayed for the release of other kidnap victims who are still in the hands of their captors.

The three seminarians were abducted by bandits suspected to be kidnappers on Monday October.

They were, however, released barely 48 hours after their abduction.

Read Also: Six Women, Nine Children Escape From Boko Haram Captivity

Gunmen Attack Catholic Seminary In Kaduna, Kidnap Students

Difficult Times, Difficult Decisions

A combination photo of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and a network mast. The Kaduna State Government has announced the shutdown of telecoms services in the state on Wednesday, September 29, 2021.

 

The abduction and release of the seminarians is one of the many kidnap cases in Kaduna and other northwestern states where banditry has become rife.

Following the series of attacks, several states in the region had introduced a string of measures to tackle the growing wave of insecurity.

In Kaduna State, for instance, the state government had shut telecoms services in some local governments, banned the possession of dangerous weapons and restricted the operations of tricycles among others.

“These difficult times demand that difficult decisions be made. The measures have been adopted purely in the interest of our collective safety and security and to aid our brave forces in their fight against these mindless criminals,” Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, explained while announcing the measures late September.

“Too many lives have been lost and too many families have been shattered. Small groups of wicked persons cannot continue to hold us to ransom and force us to live in perpetual fear.”

 

Gunmen Abduct Three Students From Catholic Seminary In Kaduna

 

Gunmen have abducted three students from Saint Albert the Great Institute of Philosophy, a Catholic church-owned seminary in Fayit community in Kagoma Chiefdom of Jama’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The gunmen were said to have invaded the school on Monday night and started shooting sporadically before they whisked the students away.

Spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige, confirmed this to Channels Television adding that some other students were injured in the process.

The gunmen were said to have taken them to an unknown destination before the arrival of local vigilantes who were able to prevent them from taking more students.

According to Jalige, a combined team of police tactical and anti-kidnapping squad of the command have now launched a manhunt of the gunmen with a view to arresting them and rescuing the victims.

El-Rufai Reshuffles Cabinet, Appoints Chief Of Staff As Commissioner

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

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday assigned new portfolios to some commissioners and senior officials of the state government.

He explained that the reshuffle was designed to help harness fresh energy for the government’s final lap, bring new insights, and enable the commissioners to have a more rounded experience of the government, said a statement by the governor’s spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye.

Eight of the 14 commissioners swapped portfolios, although there were no changes in the Ministries of Finance, Justice, Health, Housing and Urban Development, Internal Security and Home Affairs, as well as Human Services and Social Development.

The Chief of Staff to the Governor, Muhammad Abdullahi, was redeployed to the Ministry of Planning and Budget Commission as commissioner – a position he held during the governor’s first term.

Other commissioners redeployed include Jaafaru Sani (Environment), Thomas Gyang (Public Works and Infrastructure), Halima Lawal (Education), Ibrahim Hussaini (Agriculture), Shehu Muhammad (Local Government), Kabir Mato (Business, Innovation, and Technology), and Idris Nyam (Sports Development).

Governor El-Rufai also appointed Balaraba Aliyu-Inuwa, Muhammad Bayero, and Phoebe Yayi as administrators of the Zaria Metropolitan Authority, Kaduna Capital Territory, and Kafanchan Municipal Authority respectively.

This follows the passage of the law creating metropolitan authorities to manage the areas as organic cities.

Similarly, the governor approved the deployment of Umma Aboki as Permanent Secretary, Planning and Budget Commission; Murtala Dabo as Executive Chairman, Fiscal Responsibility Commission; and Abubakar Hassan as Director-General, Kaduna State Contributory Health Management Authority (KADCHMA).

Others are Tamar Nandul as Managing Director, Kaduna Markets Development and Management Company; Khalil Khalil as Executive Secretary, Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA); and Maimunatu Abubakar as General Manager, Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA).

“Amina Ladan will oversee the Kaduna State Roads Agency (KADRA) following the redeployment of Engineer Muhammad Lawal Magaji to the Ministry of Public Works and Infrastructure,” the statement said.

“The government has also announced the appointments of Professor Mohammed Sani Bello as Chairman of the Local Government Service Board; Muhammed Muazu Muqaddas as Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Authority (SEMA); and Dr Shuaibu Shehu Aliyu as Permanent Secretary.

“The governor has nominated Dr Ishaya Sarki Habu (Chairman), Aminu Yusuf Musa, Engineer Rabiu Tanko, and Rebecca Nnawo Barde as the new members of the Legislative Service Commission. Malam Nasir El-Rufai has conveyed the state government’s gratitude for the service of Aliyu Saidu, former DG-KADCHMA and Lawal Jibrin, former GM of KEPA who are leaving the government.”

Five More Bethel School Students Regain Freedom

Bandits attacked the school on July 5, 2021.

 

Five more abducted students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kaduna State have been released by bandits.

Also released is the Matron of the school.

The victims regained their freedom on Friday, after spending about 95 days in the custody of their abductors.

They were kidnapped on July 5 when a group of armed men invaded the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Police authorities in Kaduna have yet to make any comment on the release of the students.

But the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, Reverend Israel Akanji confirmed their release on Friday, adding that four remaining students were expected to be released soon.

A total of 121 students had been forcefully taken away from their hostels when the school came under attack by the assailants in July.

The bandits later released 28 of them on July 25, after a ransom was reportedly paid.

Thereafter, 15 additional students regained freedom from the captivity of their abductors on August 22.

Ten more students regained their freedom on September 18, and an additional 10 students on September 26.

READ ALSO: Ten More Kidnapped Bethel Baptist School Students Regain Freedom

The spate of kidnapping for ransom payment spiked recently in Kaduna, with schoolchildren as targets for bandits.

Although authorities in the state have insisted that they will neither negotiate nor pay any money to the criminals, those whose families are victims have had a contrary view.

For such people, they are ready to consider all options that can lead to the release of their loved ones, not ruling out the payment of ransom.

Kaduna is not the only state battling banditry. The criminals have also attacked schools in other parts of the North West and North Central, with Zamfara among the worst-hit states.

Banditry: Kaduna To Shut Down Telecoms Services In Some LGAs For Military Operations

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

 

 

The Kaduna State government has informed residents of the state of plans to shut down telecommunication services in some parts of the state due to insecurity. 

The state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai,  who made the announcement during a media chat with some local radio stations in the state, said the planned shutdown of telecommunication services is because of the plan by security agencies to launch a massive attack on bandits taking refuge in some parts of the state.

El-Rufai explained that the shutdown would not cover the entire state. He, however, did not mentions the LGAs that would be affected, saying it would only affect local government areas bordering the troubled Zamfara and Katsina states.

He said, “We have been advised by the military and other security agencies to shut down telecommunication services in certain LGAs but we are waiting for the security agencies to tell us which specific areas and when.

“But I want the people of Kaduna State to know that if they give us the go-ahead tomorrow, we will shut down tomorrow.

“There is no doubt that bandits and other criminals rely on telecommunication to communicate with their informants as well as with relatives of kidnapped victims so as to demand ransom.”

The governor said he had already written to the Federal Government on the shutdown which he said had been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I will not mention the LGAs to be affected but the local governments that are constantly being tormented by bandits know themselves,” he said.

Kaduna, like most states in the North-West zone, has been affected by banditry and kidnapping, especially in  Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi, Kajuru, Kachia, and Zaria local government areas.

According to Governor El-Rufai, due to the shutdown of telecommunication services in Zamfara and Katsina states, some bandits crossed over to neighbouring local government areas in Kaduna to make phone calls and demand ransoms.

He also disclosed that Kaduna State Government has established a task force that will go round the hinterlands to monitor compliance with some of the security measures adopted by the state to tackle banditry and kidnappings. These measures include the closure of some fuel stations and markets to strangulate bandits in the forest.

While advising residents on the need to identify and report informants or accomplices of bandits, El-Rufai urged residents to report anyone who comes to buy between 20 to 100 loaves of bread to security agents.

Eight Killed, Six Injured In Another Reprisal In Zangon Kataf

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

At least eight people have been killed in a reprisal in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Six other persons were also injured, and several houses razed by the attackers during the incident which occurred on Sunday.

The attack, according to the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, was carried out by unidentified persons in Kacecere village of Zangon Kataf.

Arunwa explained that the attack was in reprisal to earlier attacks in Jankasa village, also in Zangon Kataf where one Yakubu Danjuma was killed, and another assault in Madamai in Kaura LGA where 34 persons were killed.

The attacks in these two locations, security agencies say, led to the reprisal by unidentified assailants on Kacecere community which has left eight dead, six persons injured and several houses razed.

Two suspects arrested

Earlier, Channels Television reported that no fewer than 34 people were killed following a fresh attack by gunmen on Madami village in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Seven other persons are said to have sustained injuries in the attack while some houses were set ablaze during the operation which occurred on Sunday night.

Aruwan, who also confirmed the incident, said troops mobilised to the location and engaged the bandits in a gun battle before the assailants withdrew after intense pressure.

The commissioner disclosed that two suspects are being questioned in connection with the attack, adding that security agencies are already conducting operations in the general area.

He also said that the troops were able to put out the fire at three of the burning houses, while six locals were rescued from the inferno.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has condemned the attack, describing it as an unspeakable display of wickedness, meriting the severest form of punishment.

El-Rufai, who promised that the Kaduna State Government would bear the full cost of the injured victims’ treatment, also ordered an urgent assessment of the area by the State Emergency Management Agency, towards the provision of succor to the affected households.

The governor, however, appealed for calm and charged security agencies to intensify their efforts in the campaign against the gratuitous killing of innocent citizens.

El-Rufai Commissions Tomato Processing Plant In Kaduna

A photo released by the Kaduna State government on September 24, 2021, shows a section of the tomato processing plant commissioned by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has commissioned a tomato processing plant, with a promise to make the state an industrial hub in the country.

The inauguration by the governor was part of the activities lined up for the 6th Kaduna Investment Summit.

In his remarks at the commissioning ceremony on Friday, he described the plant as evidence that investors have responded to the government’s consistent pitch about the economic potentials in Kaduna.

“The commissioning today (Friday) of the processing plant of Tomato Jos is a fitting conclusion to KADInvest 2.0,” Governor El-Rufai wrote on his Facebook page. “I am honoured to commission this factory.

“When we performed the ground-breaking for this project on 27 January 2020, we welcomed it as a vital investment in the agricultural potentials of Kaduna State. We are grateful to Tomato Jos for choosing to make Kaduna home. We wish Tomato Jos every success in this transition from growing tomato to also processing it.”

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, cuts the tape as he commissions a tomato processing plant on September 24, 2021.

 

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, was represented at the event by the bank’s Head of Retail Agricultural Credit, Chika Nwanjah.

He commended the state government for attracting more investors into the state, saying the success story of the processing plant has proven the priority that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has placed on diversifying the nation’s economy, which solely depends on crude oil to earn revenue.

The ground-breaking for the tomato processing factory was performed in January 2020, as a vital investment in the agricultural potentials in the state.

More than a year after, the factory which costs about N10.25 billion has been completed.

The Tomato Jos Paste Processing Plant is located at Kangimi Village in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

It is expected to process between 80 – 100 metric tons of tomato daily and provide over 3,000 direct jobs to residents and others.

While the investment summit was ongoing, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, visited the newly reconstructed Kasuwan Magani Market in Kajuru Local Government Area.

The Vice President commended Governor El-Rufai for his vision towards making Kaduna great again and attracting investors to the state.

The Kasuwan Magani market was razed during the ethno-religious crisis in 2018 – a crisis that led to the destruction of goods worth millions of naira.

Police Arrest Three Suspects Over Abduction Of 121 Kaduna Schoolchildren

 

The police have arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the abduction of the 121 students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kaduna State.

Those apprehended by the security operatives are Adamu Bello, Isiaku Lawal, and Muazu Abubakar.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, paraded the trio on Thursday at the office of the Special Tactical Squad (STS) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Clad in military uniform, Adamu, Lawal, and Abubakar were among the 50 suspects paraded for kidnapping, drugs use and distribution, and arms dealing, among other offences.

Adamu Bello, Isiaku Lawal, and Muazu Abubakar were paraded at the Special Tactical Squad office in Abuja on September 23, 2021. Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Mba, in his remarks, explained that the suspects paraded were part of the successes recorded from the STS of the Nigeria Police.

According to him, investigations are ongoing to bring more collaborators of the crimes mentioned at the parade to justice.

In their confession, they narrated the role they played in the kidnap of dozens of students from their school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

The suspects said they were part of a 25-man gang that carried out the attack on the school in July, claiming that they received the sum of N100,000 naira each for their roles.

They added that the sole aim of the kidnap was to collect ransom.

The trio were paraded more than three months after the gunmen forcefully took away the schoolchildren from their hostels on July 5.

A photo taken on September 23, 2021, shows some of the items recovered from suspects paraded at the Special Tactical Squad office in Abuja. Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

They were later released in batches – as 28 of them were freed on July 25 after a ransom was reportedly paid to their abductors.

More students were later freed, and the latest set of students to be released were 10 (on Saturday) brings the total number of students who have regained freedom so far to 100.

However, 21 other students of the school are held back in the custody of the bandits.

See more photos below:

Kaduna Needs ₦140bn For Ranching, Says El-Rufai

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

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has said that Kaduna State needs ₦140 billion for 14 ranches to fully settle herders and their families in the state.

He stated this on Tuesday while addressing journalists at the All Progressives Congress (APC) secretariat in Abuja, arguing that the measure is the most sustainable means to boost livestock production.

“It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying that tomorrow this or that;  it is not the solution. We have taken a position as northern states governors and we are implementing that,” he said.

“We cannot do it overnight. We need billions of naira. This is just one ranch that is costing N10 billion. I have 14 grazing reserves in Kaduna State and I would like to convince them into ranching. Do I have 14 times N10 billion? I don’t have.”

“In my state for instance, we are developing a huge ranch at Damao to centralise the herders and that is the solution (on the) long term. But can it be done overnight? No. This project that we are doing will cost us about ₦10 billion. The CBN is supporting us with about ₦7.5 billion and [it] will take about two years to do.”

While El-Rufai maintained that ranching remains the recipe for the recurring farmer-herder conflict in the country, he described the anti-grazing law enacted by some of his colleagues as unrealistic.

According to him, although ranching is the ideal solution to the problem, it cannot be done overnight. He urged those pushing for the immediate ban on open grazing to exercise patience as time and resources are required to have ranches across the country.

“We will be settling about 1,500 Fulani herders’ families and [I] hope they will see that there are alternative ways of producing livestock instead of running up and down with cattle and going to people’s farms and causing all kinds of problems,” Governor El-Rufai added.

RELATED: [Open Grazing Ban] Our Decision Is Irreversible And Will Be Enforced, Akeredolu Fires Back At Malami

Malami Slams Southern Governors Over Open Grazing Ban

An Unconstitutional Move? 

File photo: Governors from the southern region and their representatives pose for a photograph at the end of the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in Enugu State on September 16, 2021.

 

El-Rufai is among the latest high-profile personalities to have voiced concerns over the ban on open-grazing by governors – mostly those from the southern region.

The governors had met earlier in the year and banned the open grazing of livestock, giving a September 1 deadline for members to enact the anti-open grazing law.

While a good number of the states have enacted the law and others still in the process, the move has caused ripples across the nation. It has also been criticised by several government officials.

One of such persons who has faulted the Southern Governors’ Forum’s move is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) who said the development is unconstitutional.

“For example, it is as good as saying, perhaps, maybe, the northern governors coming together to say they prohibit spare parts trading in the north,” he said.

“Does it hold water? Does it hold water for a northern governor to come and state expressly that he now prohibits spare parts trading in the north?”

According to him, the governors should first amend the Constitution to prohibit open grazing before going ahead with their decision.

“If you are talking of constitutionally guaranteed rights, the better approach to it is to, perhaps, go back to ensure the Constitution is amended,” he added.

Despite Malami’s stance, the governors maintain that there is no going back on the ban, insisting it will be enforced to the fullest extent in the region.

“Mr Malami is advised to approach the court to challenge the legality of the laws of the respective states banning open grazing and the decision of the Southern Governors’ Forum taken in the interest of their people. We shall be most willing to meet him in court,” the Chairman of the forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said. “The decision to ban open grazing stays. It will be enforced with vigour.”

 

Kaduna Security: 50 Killed, 254 Houses Razed In Atyap In One Month – Monarch

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

No fewer than 50 people have been killed and about 254 houses were razed during attacks on Atyap chiefdom in one month in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

The paramount ruler of Atyap chiefdom, Dominic Yahaya, who disclosed this on Monday while briefing reporters, said the killings were recorded between August and September.

“Saturday, 11 September was another black day, yet again in Atyap chiefdom when gunmen struck, killing Reverend Silas Ali within the vicinity of Zango Urban settlement in Atyap Chiefdom of Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State,” he said of one of the sad incidents.

“And the following day, suspected herdsmen invaded the community of Apyiah Ajiim – about a hundred metres from the spot of Saturday’s attack, killing 12 people in another round of recurring attacks on the Atyap community. The victims included six women (two heavily pregnant), three men, and three children.

“This occurred after the communities of Gora Gida, Wawa Rafi, Warkan, Manyie-Aywie, Ahtak- Kanai, Magata, Magauri, Matyei, Abuyab, Magamia, Makarau, Mayayit, Manchong, Ma’door and a host of other communities were serially attacked, where no fewer than 50 villagers were massacred, 254 homes and seven churches burned in an unrestrained violence unleashed on poor, defenceless, innocent farmers of Atyap land.”

The state government and security agencies in Kaduna have previously confirmed most of the attacks during the period under review.

In reaction, the monarch lamented that the sustained terror attack by bandits have reached “an extreme height of provocation” and getting beyond control.

He also said the constant attacks by the militia group have forced the indigenes of the community – who are predominantly farmers – out of their lands as they can no longer go to the farm.

“It has reached a sorry state that no farmer can venture out to the farmland, as the chances of returning home alive are very slim. This, no doubt, gives cause for alarm as the resultant effect of these actions will give rise to hunger in the land, since there would be no crops to harvest.

“At this juncture, it bears no exaggeration to say here that the Atyap land is under siege by armed bandits/herdsmen militias. These killings are condemnable, to say the least,” said Yahaya.

According to him, about 15,000 residents have been displaced from their homes and as such, are now in Internally Displaced Camps (IDPs) in the area.

The traditional ruler called on both the state and federal governments to come to the rescue of the displaced villagers.

“I, therefore, call for a complete cessation of these dastardly acts in Atyap chiefdom and anywhere else in the country,” he added.

“I have kept faith with the peace efforts embarked on by all the communities in the chiefdom, aimed at enthroning sustainable peace in the land by consistently restraining the youth from taking the laws into their hands in any form of reaction or reprisal, else, the situation could have escalated beyond control.”

UPDATED: 10 More Bethel Baptist Students Regain Freedom

Bandits attacked the school on July 5, 2021.

 

Ten more students abducted by bandits from the Bethel Baptist Secondary School in Kaduna State have been released.

The students regained their freedom on Saturday, after spending about 75 days in the custody of their abductors.

They were kidnapped on July 5 when a group of armed men invaded the school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

Police authorities in Kaduna have yet to make any comment on the release of the students.

But a senior official of the school told Channels Television that the students were released after an undisclosed amount of money was paid to the bandits.

He explained that following their release, the students were reunited with their parents and taken to the hospital for treatment.

 

21 Students In Captivity

A total of 121 students were forcefully taken away from their hostels when the school came under attack by the assailants.

The bandits later released 28 of them on July 25, after a ransom was reportedly paid to them.

Thereafter, 15 additional students regained freedom from the captivity of their abductors on August 22.

A file photo of a man holding a gun.

 

More students were later freed, and the release of the new batch of students on Saturday brings the total number of students who have regained freedom so far to 100.

However, 21 other students of the school are held back in the custody of the bandits.

The spate of kidnapping for ransom payment spiked recently in Kaduna, with schoolchildren as targets for bandits.

Although authorities in the state have insisted that they will neither negotiate nor pay any money to the criminals, those whose families are victims have had a contrary view.

For such people, they are ready to consider all options that can lead to the release of their loved ones, not ruling out the payment of ransom.

Kaduna is not the only state battling banditry. These criminals have also attacked schools in other parts of the North West and North Central, with Zamfara among the worst-hit states.