Niger State Mourns As Ex-Governor Abdulkadir Kure Dies

Niger State Mourns As Ex-Governor Abdulkadir Kure DiesThe Niger State government has announced the death of the former governor of the State, Abdulkadir Kure.

He died after a brief illness in a hospital in Germany at the age of 61.

The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, in a statement, says state government has declared a 3-day state-wide mourning.

It further stated that all flags should be at half-mast throughout the state during the period of mourning.

According to the Commissioner, the State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has also declared a work-free day on the day of the burial of the former governor to enable residents accord the departed leader a befitting burial.

The statement expressed that the government would miss the wise counsel of the former governor, who despite political differences never failed to offer meaningful advice to the government.

“The intervention of the former governor during the recent labour crisis in the state was not only legendary but showed him as an elder statesman, whose main concern was for the good, progress and unity of the state.

“Engineer Abdulkadir Abdullahi Kure remain a leader who out of office showed concern for the development of the state.

“His statesmanship saw him jettisoning party affiliation when he personally intervened in the recent labour crisis in the state,” the statement concluded.

Niger State Govt. Urges FG To Repair Federal Roads

roads, Niger State,The Niger state government has called on the Federal Government to urgently revisit all dilapidated federal roads across the State, especially the Agaie, Katcha Baro road whose repair contract was re-awarded in 2015.

Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, made the call after a tour of federal roads across the state.

He said that “the over 30km road which cost the Federal Government about N17.5 billion was expected to be completed by January 16, 2016 as the contract was awarded in January, 2015.

According to Vatsa “The road has been abandoned and neglected; we want the Federal Government to visit Niger state because presently, no federal road is motorable.

“We cannot allow further delay in putting this facility (Baro port) into use.

“The Government’s idea is to open up the economy of the north through the Port.”

The road, if completed, will be the gateway from Baro Inland Port and would open the economy of the north to other parts of the country.

The 17.5 billion Naira the Commissioner referred to was part of the sum of 470 billion Naira approved in December, 2014 by the Federal Executive Council, for different contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 17 roads and bridges across the country.

The Indian firm handling the contract has, however, said that the government should be blamed for the halt in the construction, adding that if it was mobilised upfront with 30 percent, the project would have gone beyond 50 percent completion.

The site engineer of the construction company, GR Building and Construction Nigeria Ltd, Mohammed Kamil, while lamenting the paucity of funds, said “ever since we came to site, we have not been able to get the 30 percent mobilisation fee. If they (FG) had paid us up to 30 percent, we would have constructed bridges and gone very far with work.

“Funding is our major problem, we have been here since last year, what they gave us is nothing to write home about. When we get money, we will finish the job. Complete mobilisation fee has not been made”.

He also lamented the deplorable state of the roads saying that “our trucks find it difficult now to bring construction rocks from our quarry sites before Lambata along the Suleja-Minna road because there are no good roads in Niger state anymore and there are no rocks nearby.”

The traditional head and Sheshi of Katcha, Alhaji Baba Adamu Umaru, also called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, hasten the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Baro road because of its economic importance.

“We are begging the Federal Government, we are suffering.

“Bring this road back alive. I remember during the time of Nigeria’s founding fathers, produce like cotton, groundnut and cattle skin were transported from Kano to Baro port and thereby exported overseas and we enjoyed this road.

“The Federal Government needs to act fast because the road has become a death trap.

“The nearest hospital to us is in Agaie and we have lost so many persons who were sick because before they were rushed to the hospital they died. To transport pregnant women who are about to deliver is very devastating because of the bad road”.

Niger Govt. Sets Up Committee To Investigate Military Invasion

Sani Bello, Niger State, MilitaryA three-man committee has been constituted by the Security Council headed by the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG) to look into the military invasion of some communities in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

This comes after the military in Niger State invaded Lunko, Kopa and environ villages in Bosso Local Government Area of the state at about 1:00am local time on Thursday.

The Government has requested for feedback on the incident within 24 hours.

According to a statement by the State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the government, after an emergency State Security Council meeting on Friday, directed an extensive investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the unfortunate incident, with the aim of having a permanent solution and forestalling future occurrence of such act.

The council also directed that residents of the affected villages, community leaders, party chieftains, religious leaders and political office holders in the area should embrace peace and assist the committee by proffering suggestions that would bring lasting solution and guarantee an enduring peace in the area and the state at large.

The council, while commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives, appealed to the military to ensure strict adherence to rules of engagement while assuring them of government’s resolve to recover the missing arms during the unfortunate incident.

As normalcy returns to the affected area, the council appealed to members of the public to go after their lawful duties, avoid engaging in any act capable of breaching peace of the state and report any suspicious person or movement to appropriate authorities.

The armed soldiers drawn from the 31 Artillery Brigade in Minna and the Air Force base in Bosso, allegedly stormed the villages in a brutal commando style, waking the sleeping villagers, causing distress and inflicting pains on them.

Governor Bello Sacks Niger State SSG, Appoints Isah Ladan

Abubakar Bello, Umar Danyaya, Niger State, Isah LadanNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has sacked the Secretary to the State Government, Umar Danyaya, as a result of non-performance.

The Governor made the disclosure on Monday through his Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa.

The former SSG, who hails from Kontagora Local Government, has been replaced by a chieftain of the APC in Niger State, Mr Isah Ladan.

Mr Ladan, has worked with the Federal Character Commission, was inaugurated immediately and has resumed office as directed by Governor Bello.

Niger State Government Commits To Press Freedom

sani bello
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello

It is World Press Freedom Day and the Niger State government has reaffirmed its commitment to upholding and promoting press freedom.

The government says such freedom will enable it engage the people for open and transparent governance.

The Commissioner of Information, Tourism and Culture in the State, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, made the position of the government known in a statement issued on Tuesday to mark the World Press Freedom Day.

Mr Vatsa assured the media that the present administration in the state viewed press as the fourth estate of the realm, partner in lubricating participatory governance as well as ensuring accountability and fight against corruption to achieve development.

He stated that, the government was desirous to always promote freedom of expression as a way of allowing the people to contribute to the process of governance and leveraging on such expression to make correction when necessary for the overall development of the state.

The Commissioner said: “At this auspicious time of the World Press Freedom Day, the government of Niger State under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is assuring all practicing journalists in Niger State the commitment of the government to providing the right avenue legally and genuinely possible to continue in discharge their duties”.

According to him, “just as Governor Bello has always said, our doors are always open to constructive criticism that will help to move our dear state forward. We will always advise our dear friends in the media to practice within the confines of the ethical codes that guide their profession”.

“Once again I congratulate the entire media practitioners in the state, Nigeria and world over on this World Press Freedom Day that is a General Assembly of United Nation declaration to promote freedom of expression”.

Pilgrims Urged To Seek Spiritual Solution To Nigeria’s Challenges

Niger-governor belloThe Governor of Niger State, Mr Abubakar Bello, has urged intending pilgrims to the Holy Land of Jerusalem to ask God for spiritual theory that will help the country out of its present challenges.

Governor Bello while addressing the 218 pilgrims on Tuesday at the State Pilgrims Board asked them to intercede for Niger State and the country at large.

Mr Bello, who was represented by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, told the pilgrims before their departure that Nigeria was economically, politically and socially sick.

“You are not going there for site-seeing. All the theories to revamp the economy have failed, but the spiritual theory will not fail us. That is why you are going there to pray for God’s intervention especially this time that the country is going through a lot of challenges.

“The land we are standing is economically, politically and socially sick.

“Go to the holy land and intercede for Nigeria. Be good Ambassadors and pray for stability in the nation’s economy and pray against insecurity,” he said.

Also, the Chairman of the Niger State Pilgrims Board Commission, Justice Ndatsu Ndagi, asked intending pilgrims to remain good ambassadors and shun any idea of absconding.

“You are going there to pray for the State and the country. Always do the right thing so that whatever money spent will not go in vein.

“To abscond is not the charter establishing pilgrim. Follow and obey the laws of the land,” he said.

Niger State Govt. Urges Residents To Be Vigilant During Yuletide

niger-state-yuletideNiger State Government has urged all the people of the state to strengthen their vigilance during this Christmas season and provide security agencies with information on any suspicious act, in order to have incident free celebrations in the state.

According to a statement from the Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the government was always ready to leverage on the already established synergy with security organizations in the state to provide security, but the people have a role to play.

Mr Vatsa noted that though the state has always been peaceful, the people should not take any unusual occurrences and people around them for granted because those who want to breach the security of the state may want to hide under the Yuletide to commit crimes.

He stated that for the security agencies to effectively carry out their duties, the people must be ready to co-operate with them by providing the necessary information on undesirable elements and their acts in the state.

According to the Commissioner, apart from various development programmes, like boosting education, health care delivery, Agriculture, as well as women and youth empowerment and providing infrastructures, the administration of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello in the state takes the security of lives and property very seriously.

He added that “it is within the framework of the change agenda that the needed peaceful environment should be provided for development to thrive and we emphasized here that nothing will derail the present administration from ensuring that the people enjoy the outcome of the change they massively voted for”.

“We must expose the mischief makers and those who will want to deny us of the peace we all cherish by giving the security agencies the appropriate information. We should do that in good fate not by raising unnecessary alarms” Vatsa admonished the people of the state particularly and Nigerians in general.