At least two people were killed and hundreds of villagers displaced as gunmen suspected to be cattle rustlers attacked nine villages in Wasagu-Danko local government area of Kebbi state.
The suspected bandits were said to have invaded the villages which are remotely located, and share border with neighboring Zamfara state, at about 7pm on Tuesday night, opened fire on the residents, and later carted away their animals, money and other valuables.
An indigene of the area, Usman Mohammed gave the names of the affected villages to include Shengel, Duru, Wadako, Kawo, Auda, Dadin kowa, Mashigi, Zaggai, and Yar Kuka.
He told our correspondent that most of the villagers have fled with their animals to Waje and Chonoko communities for fear of being caught in the attack that has lasted for two days.
Confirming the incident to our correspondent, the Spokesman of Kebbi state police command, DSP Nafiu Abubakar, says the bandits came into the communities from Zamfara state and rustled many cows, and later shot two people to death before disappearing into the forest before the arrival of security operatives.
He also explains that the bandits were able to carry out their dastardly act due to the remote nature of the villages, adding that security has been beefed up in the affected villages to forestall any fresh attack.
According to FAAN, the Gombe state-owned airport owes N607. 9 million, while Kebbi airport is owing N124. 5 million.
The authority noted that it had earlier in April threatened to withdraw services from the airports and others indebted to the agency and had given them a deadline of April 30 to clear their outstanding debts.
FAAN said the withdrawal of its services from both airports, which had technically grounded flight operations took effect from midnight of May 1, 2019.
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to arraign the former governor of Kebbi State, Saidu Dakingari, for allegedly misappropriating N664.3 million belonging to the state.
A statement the ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Wednesday said the commission would arraign the former governor at the High Court of Kebbi State in Birnin Kebbi, the state capital.
Mr Dakingari was said to have conspired with the then Commissioner of Finance, Mohammed Tunga, and the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Garba Kamba, to misappropriate funds that were meant for certain provisions for the successful conduct of the 2015 general election.
According to the ICPC spokesperson, Tunga and Kamba are already facing prosecution by the Commission at the Kebbi State High Court.
She, however, said ICPC’s efforts to effect service of the court processes on the former governor have been without success since he was granted bail on self-recognition by the commission.
“The contact address in Asokoro, Abuja, that he gave the Commission turned out to be a vacant plot but when his house in Abuja was eventually found by investigators, he had left a standing order with the security men not to receive any mails or documents on his behalf.
“In addition, his phone contact has remained permanently switched off so calls and text messages cannot be delivered,” the statement said.
Okoduwa noted that ICPC remains confident that Dakingari’s arraignment would hold through the instrumentality of a bench warrant that would ensure he is brought to court.
The Nasarawa state government says plans are underway to vaccinate residents against cerebral spinal meningitis.
The Director of Public Health of the Ministry of Health, Doc. Ibrahim Adamu, revealed this in an interview in Lafia, the state capital.
Meningitis, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a bacterial infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord which has swept across 26 countries in sub-Sahara Africa, killing and disabling young people annually or cause severe cerebral brain damage before hours.
In Nigeria, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has reported that the disease has claimed more than 300 lives in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina and Niger states.
During a visit to the Ministry of Health to ascertain level of preparedness towards curtailing eventual outbreak of the disease in the state, Dr. Adamu said, “We are making contact with the CDC to be able to procure vaccines that will immunise citizens of Nasarawa state”
He noted that the Ministry in the last three years had embarked on awareness campaigns and immunisation exercise as precautionary measures against an outbreak of the disease, stating that there is no case of cerebral spinal meningitis recorded so far in the state.
He then used the medium to appeal to the people of the state to avoid overcrowded spots, sleep in ventilated rooms and seek medical attention whenever they feel unusual.
“It affects usually young adults and people that leave in a very poor ventilated environment”, he noted.
On the part of residents, they urged the government to create more awareness on the dangers of the disease.
They also called on Abuja Electricity Distribution Company to make it available in order to control the hot weather being experienced.
“We need light, because in Lafia we have problem of that especially this our school environment.
“We hardly see light and that is causing a lot of sicknesses to the students.
“My appeal to the government, is to try to ensure stable electricity supply to all especially in Lafia where the heat is really intense”
The Federal Government has commenced the verification of its monthly Budget Support Facility to the states.
The importance of the exercise is to ensure that benefiting state governments comply with the mutually agreed Fiscal Sustainability Plan prescribed by the National Economic Council (NEC).
The resolution was reached at the first NEC meeting in 2017, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said that eight accounting firms have been appointed and had already begun the audit process.
She also told the council that the balance in excess crude account stands at $2,458,382,844.03 as at February 15, 2017.
The minister hinted that the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) plans to increase domestic infrastructure investment in 2017, as there are compelling opportunities in the environment.
She explained that the focus would be on social infrastructure, including affordable housing and healthcare through the development of specialist hospitals and to this end, the council has decided to inject a fresh $250 million into the Sovereign Wealth Fund sourced from the excess crude account.
On agriculture, the council was informed of the massive wheat production in Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi and Zamfara states among others.
The State Governors at the meeting, however, appealed to the Federal Government to make plans for the purchase of excess wheat to ensure price stability and sustainable production.
The council subsequently agreed to discuss and make adequate buy-back arrangements in order to support price stability.
After a brief presentation on foreign exchange policy options by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, members of the council generally expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate.
They called for an urgent review of the current policy, especially the gap between interbank and the parallel market rates.
In his response, Mr Emefiele sued for patience and understanding, assuring the council that the situation was being closely managed.
Governors of Nigeria’s 19 northern States are meeting with traditional rulers from the region to discuss problems of insecurity and other socio-economic challenges confronting.
The two-day meeting is to deliberate and find lasting solutions to the myriad of socio-economic and political problems besetting the region and which have direct bearing on the well-being and welfare of their people.
Declaring the meeting open, the Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Kashim Shettima, said the meeting with traditional rulers had become crucial because of the fundamental debate bordering on the educational backwardness, pervasive poverty and underdevelopment as well as persistent insecurity of northern Nigeria.
Lack Of Education
He expressed regrets that the north, despite being blessed with promising geographical space, huge solid minerals and rich in GDP, the region had remained poor and reduced to the laughing stock of the world.
While he identified poverty, illiteracy and severed limited economic opportunities as some of the underlying causes of insurgency, rural armed banditry, cattle rustling, ethnic and religious conflicts in the region, Governor Shettima expressed optimism that the meeting would come out with practicable recommendations that would help the respective states to solve their peculiar problems.
One major issue the governors identified as a factor militating against development of the region was lack of education for the girl child and the need for all leaders to join hands to ensure that education is given much attention in the region.
The host governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, also briefed the meeting about the security challenges in the southern part of the state and sought the collaboration and support of his colleagues and traditional rulers to address the problem.
The Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council, Alhaji Abubakar Saad, expressed worries with the rate of violence in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the north, which he alleged were fuelled by religious leaders.
At the meeting were governors of Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Niger, Taraba, Plateau and Sokoto. Also present were elder statesmen and chairman of Northern Elders Forum, Mr Maitama Sule, Paul Unongo and President of Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima.
The President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Yerima Shettima, also expects the meeting to address the issue of indigene and settler dichotomy which he says has been a major cause of conflict in Southern Kaduna and some other parts of the northern region.
Stakeholders expect that a gathering of some of these key leaders of the North is more than able to provide solutions to their problems.
As the meeting enters into closed door session, they want the governors to march their talk with action at the end of the day.
Governors from the north-west zone of Nigeria have met in Kaduna to discuss issues affecting the region and the country in general.
The meeting was held behind closed door at the Kaduna State Government House and had in attendance the governors of Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto as well as the deputy governors of Kaduna and Kano states.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina state who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that the meeting focused on how to revive agriculture as a way of boosting the revenue profile of the states especially during this present economic recession.
“We discussed the issue of taking advantage of the policies of the federal government in the area of agriculture in particular and the states are mobilised towards taking full advantage of the programmes by the federal government,” he said.
He further explained that the governors appraised the ongoing war against cattle rustlers and armed bandits in the region.
“I think cattle rustling has been really reduced to the barest minimum now and we are working together with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the issue of cattle rustling is addressed once and for all,” he promised.
Besides the plans to enhance the security in the region, the governors have also came up with a plan on youth empowerment and job creation that will be implemented by various states.
This, according to him, is to encourage the youths to go back to agriculture which the north is known for.
The Nigerian Army has dismissed reports claiming that it has uncovered plans by the terrorist group, Boko Haram to launch attacks in parts of the country.
A source was reported to have said that an intelligence document it obtained indicates that Lagos, Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, Katsina, Imo, Yobe and Borno States as well as the Federal Capital Territory will be targeted by the terrorists.
But the spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Col. Sani Usman, told Channels Television that the report has no basis, neither did the purported document emanate from the Office of the Chief of Army Staff.
Meanwhile, Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has called for the investigation of the purported recruitment of Boko Haram terrorist in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the northeast.
Dr. Saraki asked various security agencies not to treat the rumours with levity but to urgently investigate the issue and unravel those behind the menace.
Nigeria’s North Western Governors Forum has resolved to prioritise industrial agriculture as the major vehicle for social and economic development of the region.
The resolution was reached on Friday at the end of a meeting of governors from the region.
Briefing reporters shortly after the forum’s meeting in Kano State, the Chairman of forum and the Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said the governors had agreed to work together in moving the region and the country forward.
Seven governors of the Nigeria’s North Western region were at the meeting.
They collectively believe that “Agriculture is the only saviour of the Nation’s economy that will not only provide food, but also increase the chances of stopping importation of food”.
The members, therefore, agreed to execute the report and recommendations of the Arewa Research and Development Project anchored on providing a way out from the dwindling economy in the North West Zone through commercial Agriculture and industrialisation of the region.
They also said they had already keyed into President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural programme which also sought a ban on importation of food and other necessities that could adequately be provided by the country’s farmers.
The governors also expressed concerns over the recent fire incidents in markets in Kano and Kebbi States, stressing that “it is time to ensure political synergy and unity among member state for a meaningful growth and development of the region and Nigeria in general”.
The meeting of the forum, which lasted for almost seven hours, had in attendance, the Governors of Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa and Kano States.