Former Emir Of Kano, Sanusi Leads Prayers In Kaduna

Muhammadu Sanusi leading prayers at Murtala Mohammed prayer ground in Kaduna on Tuesday, June 20, 2021.

 

Former Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi on Tuesday led the Eid prayer at the Murtala Mohammed prayer ground in Kaduna metropolis.

The state Governor Nasir El-Rufai and Senator representing Kaduna central, Uba Sani, and other dignitaries were also at the prayers.

In his message, the former Emir of Kano called on Nigerians to continue to live in peace irrespective of their religious or ethnic differences so as to foster peace and unity in the country.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai in his address spoke on the importance of peaceful coexistence. He announced that more troops have been deployed to Kaduna State to help flush out bandits and other criminals in a bid to restore peace and security in the state.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai observes prayers at the Murtala Mohammed prayer ground on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

 

He, however, solicited prayers from the citizens to help tackle the myriads of challenges confronting the state.

The governor also in a press statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye urged Muslims to emulate the example of faith and sacrifice that Sallah symbolises.

The governor commended the resilience of citizens in these tough times and prayed for the blessings of Allah for the immense sacrifices that are being made.

He urged the Muslim community to keep hope alive and to celebrate Eid el-Kabir in compliance with public health guidelines prescribed to protect everyone from the very infectious Delta variant Covid-19 that is already circulating in some states in the country.

Kaduna Govt Orders Immediate Closure Of 13 Schools Over Insecurity

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

 

The Kaduna State Government has ordered the immediate closure of 13 schools located in areas that have been identified as vulnerable to attacks by bandits.

This followed Monday’s bandits’ attack on Bethel Baptist school in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, where an unspecified number of students were kidnapped.

The directive which was issued by the Director-General of Quality Assurance Authority in the state Ministry of Education, Umma Ahmed to proprietors of private schools, said the closure is with immediate effect.

“You are hereby advised to adhere to the contents of this letter as appropriate sanctions shall be meted out to schools that are found wanting for non-compliance, please,” she said.

Ahmed listed the names of the affected schools to include Faith Academy, along Kachia Road adjacent to Jakaranda, Deeper Life Academy, Maraban Rido, ECWA Secondary school, Ungwar Maje and Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi.

Others are, St. Peters Minor Seminary, Katari, Prelude Secondary School, Kujama, Ibiso Secondary School, Tashar Iche, Tulip International (Boys) School and Tulip international (Girls) School.

Also on the list are, Goodnews Secondary School, St. Augustine, Kujama, Comprehensive Development Institution (CDI), Tudun Mare and Adventist College, Kujama.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kidnap Students From Another Kaduna School, Kill Two

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

Kaduna has been experiencing series of attacks by bandits, with educational institutions considered as soft targets.

Monday’s attack was the fourth mass school kidnap in Kaduna state since December.

Bethel Baptist High School is a co-education college established by Baptist church in 1991 at Maramara village in Chikun district outside the state capital Kaduna.

Around 1,000 students and pupils have been abducted in different Nigerian states since December last year. Most have been released after negotiations with local officials, although some are still being held.

Bandits Plotting To Attack Kaduna School, Kidnap My Son – El-Rufai

File photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has withdrawn his children from a public school in Kaduna after getting wind of a plot to kidnap his son.

The governor had in September 2019, enrolled his six-year-old son,  Abubakar-Sadiq into Kaduna Capital School,  a public school located in the Kaduna state capital,  in order to show leadership to revamp public education in the state and make it more competitive.

But in an interview with the BBC on Friday, El-Rufai noted that available security reports revealed that three bandits groups were planning to abduct his son from the school, a situation which he also notes will expose other children to grave danger.

The Governor also disclosed that he had enrolled Sadiq’s younger sister, Nasrine in the same school after turning six years, before the security development, thereby forcing the family to withdraw the two children from the public school temporarily.

“My son is registered in the school because his sister also became six years of age and we registered her in the school but we’ve had to temporarily withdraw them for the security of the school because we got intercept from at least two groups that are planning to attack the school to kidnap my son,” he said.

“I don’t think they will succeed because there will be enough security there to prevent it but other children may be placed in danger. We have no idea what weapons they will come with.”

READ ALSO: Bandits Attacking Kaduna Because We Refused To Give Them Money – El-Rufai

He however said that his two children are currently homeschooling, and are only going to Capital School to write exams, with the hope of returning to Kaduna Capital School when security improves.

The Governor further explained that his family took the decision to withdraw his son and daughter based on the advice of security agents, and in order not to put the school at risk of being attacked by bandits.

 

Ransom For Bandits?

As Kaduna State and other parts of the north-western region continue to experience the scourge of banditry, El-Rufai has been one of those few governors that have repeatedly kicked against the payment of ransom to kidnappers.

He also reiterated his administration’s stance, explaining that three groups intercepted had vowed to abduct his children to see if he would make a U-turn on the payment of ransom.

The Kaduna Governor has insisted that the state government has no money to pay bandits amid the renewed attacks by armed groups in the state.

He stated that the recent bandits’ attacks on communities in the state were a result of the government’s decision that it would not negotiate with them.

“We have a feeling that the renewed attacks in Kaduna are not unconnected to the position that we have taken as a government that we will not negotiate with criminals,” said the governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.

He added, “We will not give them any money and they will not make any profit from Kaduna; anyone that comes to Kaduna will not get a penny from the state government, except he will get a bullet instead.”

According to Governor El-Rufai, the security challenges being witnessed in the northwest region of the country have been existing for some years and gradually evolving and getting worse with time.

He was confident that while the state government does not have any reason to change his position, the military would wipe out the bandits from the region.

The governor stressed that the government would continue to protect the people of the state and their properties, no matter the antics of the armed men.

El-Rufai Sacks 99 Political Appointees

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

 

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State says the government has begun to implement its rightsizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees.

He, however, stated that the state government had yet to disengage any civil servant as only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff.

The governor who briefed reporters on Thursday listed those affected to include the 23 local government councils, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and the Primary Health Care Board.

He explained that the disengaged political appointees constituted 30 per cent of the total number of political office holders in the state.

‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs, but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” said Governor El-Rufai.

He added, “We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees, and we have done that.”

The governor stated that the rightsizing of civil servants would still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that were accruing to the state government from the federation account.

He added that rightsizing commenced with political appointees because their details were clearly known, making it more straightforward to disengage them.

Governor El-Rufai clarified that civil servants whose veracity of data had raised questions have been given a chance to clear the doubts before any action would be taken.

He disclosed that the government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University, as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.

The governor also faulted the claims that the salaries of political appointees accounted for the bloated personnel cost of the state government.

‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights, and other personnel costs.

“So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,” he stated.

Governor El-Rufai added, “Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84 per to 96 per cent of our revenues to pay salaries of less than one per cent of the population.

“The rest of our people – all 99 per cent of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets, and support for agriculture to make a living outside the government.”

He also promised that the state government would not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.

El-Rufai Seeks Support In Kaduna By-Election

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, is optimistic that the All Progressive Congress (APC) will be victorious in the by-election for the vacant seat in the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had fixed Saturday to conduct the bye-election for the Sabon Gari Constituency seat.

Addressing the people of Sabon Gari ahead of the poll, Governor El-Rufai led some top APC members in the state to the final campaign rally to canvass support for the party’s candidate, Musa Musa, on Thursday.

He stated that the APC has done well for the state in delivering its campaign promises to deserve the mandate of the people in the election.

The governor called on all registered voters to come out and vote on Saturday for the continued progress and stability of the constituency.

The seat which was initially occupied by the former Speaker of the House, Aminu Shagali, was declared vacant in April.

This followed an allegation the former speaker absconded from all legislative activities for more than a year without any reason.

In declaring the seat vacant, the members of the Assembly based their action on Section 109(1) (f) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

Governor El-Rufai Sacks 19 Political Appointees 

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 fired 19 political appointees in the state as part of his administration’s move to “rightsize” the public service in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communications Muyiwa Adekeye announced the development in a statement on Wednesday.

Two special advisers, one deputy chief of staff and several special assistants are among those affected by the decision, which followed the recent controversial layoffs in the state that led to the now-suspended industrial action by organised labour in the state last week.

The Deputy Chief of Legislative Staff, Bala Yunusa Mohammed; and two of his special assistants – Halima Musa Nagogo and Umar Abubakar – were among those fired.

Also sacked were Ben Kure (Special Adviser on Politics) and his special assistants – Mustapha Lynda Nyusha and Jamilu Gwarzala Dan Mutum, as well as Umar Haruna, a Special Assistant on Politics.

READ ALSO: Buhari Calls On International Community To Support Peaceful Transition In Chad

Others are the Special Adviser (Social Development), Zainab Shehu; Special Assistant to the Special Adviser, Stephen Hezron; Senior Special Assistant (Stakeholders Relations), Mohammed Bello Shuaibu; and the Senior Special Assistant on Youth, Aliyu Haruna.

The Special Assistant Creative Arts, Halima Idris; the Director-General of Public Procurement Authority, Engr Aliyu Alhaji Salihu; Special Assistant Community Relations; Ashiru Zuntu, and a Senior Special Assistant, Saida Sa’ad, were affected as well.

Also on the list are the Special Assistant Programmes, Elias Yahaya; Special Assistant to the Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Tasiu Suleiman Yakaii; the Special Assistant on Economic Matters, Samuel Hadwayah; and the Senior Special Assistant Environment, Ahmed Mohammed Gero.

The governor thanked the departing officials for their services to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.

 

 

 

Despite NLC Calling Off Strike, Power Yet To Be Restored – Kaduna Govt

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

 

The Kaduna State Government has said that despite the suspension of strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), power is yet to be restored in the state, thereby inflicting pain on residents of the state.

NLC had embarked on a five-day industrial to protest the recent disengagement of civil servants by the state government.

In solidarity with the protest by the NLC, aviation workers shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) effective Sunday midnight.

Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria are also participating in the protest.

READ ALSO: NLC Suspends Strike In Kaduna

The striking workers suspended the strike on Wednesday to honour a meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to resolve the rift it has with the Kaduna State Government.

But Muyiwa Adekeye, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, seem not to be pleased with the decision, accusing the workers of resorting to blackmail.

“Electric power is yet to be restored after it was shut down at dawn on Sunday, 16th May 2021, in brazen violation of the laws protecting essential services and infrastructure,” he said via a statement.

“That action removed any basis for state government officials to meet the NLC last Sunday. Denying our people electricity about 18 hours to the advertised commencement of their organised sabotage was akin to putting a gun on the government’s head. Government has a lawful duty not to indulge in blackmail.

“The Kaduna State Government is yet to see evidence that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State.

“Restoring electricity is vital to relieving some of the pain that needless acts of lawlessness have inflicted on our people. The unimpeded provision of essential services is vital to civilised order.

“Those who have disrupted it should promptly reverse themselves, not expect that it will be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition. KDSG will not participate in such a negotiation or countenance one whilst our people are still being denied their right to electricity.”

Kaduna Airport Shut, Fuel Queues Surface As NLC Protests Sack Of Members

 

Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday morning gathered in Kaduna to protest the recent disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the state government.

In solidarity with the protest by the NLC, aviation workers have shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) effective Sunday midnight.

The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), said the airport would remain shut for the period of the warning strike.

National NLC Chairman, Ayuba Wabba, during the protest, said due process was not observed in the recent disengagement of the workers from the Local Government Service, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and Primary Health Care Agency.

Workers protest in Kaduna State

 

He said further that all the unions including Student Unions and pensioners are part of the protest as they are all directly affected by the disengagement of workers.

“All those that are here today are those that are directly affected. The students are here. The children of those workers that have been thrown out of their job and were not been paid, they are here with us.

“The pensioners that were not being paid are here with us. They claim that local government employees were consulted. The Local Government Employees are here today, they have issued a statement to say that statement was false.

“All leadership of public sector unions are here.

“It is only Kaduna State of all the 36 states of the Federation that threw workers out of their jobs without,” the NLC Chairman said.

Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria are also participating in the protest.

Meanwhile, earlier on Sunday long queues surfaces at petrol stations in various parts of Kaduna State, especially in the metropolis and other surrounding towns.

Motorists besieged filling stations in what can be described as panic buying of fuel ahead of the planned industrial action by the NLC and its affiliate unions in the state.

Bandits Killed 323 People, Abducted 949 In Three Months – Kaduna Govt

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, presides over a Security Council meeting at the Government House on April 30, 2021.

 

A total number of 323 people were killed by bandits in Kaduna State between January and March 2021, the government has said.

The figure was contained in a security report presented by the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs in Kaduna, Samuel Aruwan, at the State Security Council meeting.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai presided over the meeting held on Friday at the Government House in Kaduna, the state capital.

Presenting the first quarter security report to the council, Aruwan explained that of the 323 people killed by bandits during the period under review, 292 were males and 20 were females.

He added that a total of 949 people were kidnapped by bandits during the period, while Kaduna Central senatorial district accounted for 236 deaths within Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Igabi, and Kajuru Local Government Areas.

The commissioner, however, informed the council that some successes were recorded on the part of the security forces, including the killing of hundreds of bandits and recovery of many weapons.

In his opening remark, Governor El-Rufai decried the spate of kidnapping and banditry in Kaduna which he said was taking an alarming proportion.

He was worried that the situation was already getting out of hand and called for urgent measures to stem the tide of insecurity in the state.

Some heads of security agencies in Kaduna attend a Security Council meeting at the Government House on April 30, 2021.

 

The governor also raised an alarm that the bandits operating in the state were inching closer from rural communities to the cities, where they have attacked innocent citizens in recent times with utmost boldness.

According to him, there is a need to allay the sense of fear and lack of confidence in security agencies through prompt operations to restore security in Kaduna.

The Commissioner of Police in Kaduna, Umar Muri, and Commandant of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Uche Iyke, also briefed the council.

Both men stressed the need to secure schools from further attacks and tackle the menace of drug addiction and trafficking which were identified as factors contributing to banditry.

 

Tension And Anxiety

The meeting afforded members the opportunity to review the security situation in the state and make inputs that would help in reviewing the government’s operational strategies.

Those in attendance were heads of various security agencies in the states, the commissioners of education and local governments, as well as traditional rulers, among others.

Kaduna, like other states in the country, is still grappling with the challenges of banditry and kidnapping which have claimed many lives with socioeconomic activities threatened.

A recent wave of deadly attacks in some parts of the state has created tension and anxiety among the citizens and even the government.

Some traditional rulers in Kaduna attend a Security Council meeting at the Government House on April 30, 2021.

 

This fear has been further compounded by the focus on schools as targets of attacks by the bandits in recent times, a trend that has been condemned by many individuals and groups in Kaduna and other states.

Among the recent attacks were the abduction of 23 students of Greenfield University – a private tertiary institution in Chikun Local Government Area, and the subsequent killing of five of the students.

This was preceded by the kidnapping of 39 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

While 10 of the abducted students have regained their freedom, the fate of the remaining 29 others is still not known.

Despite the recent attacks, Governor El-Rufai is optimistic that there will be light at the end of the tunnel, with strong collaboration of all stakeholders in defeating the common enemies of the state.

NLC Threatens To Embark On Nationwide Strike Over Sacked Kaduna Workers

Photo combination of the NLC President, Ayuba Wabba and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike over what it describes as unlawful dismissal of civil servants by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, after a meeting of the Central Working Committee.

He said all members of the NLC will down tools nationwide for five days in the first instance and when nothing is done by relevant government agencies, the workers union will think of the next line of action.

Wabba explained that the union’s plan for a nationwide strike over El-Rufai’s action is predicated on the assumption that the governor is having support from other states and the Federal Government.

“CWC has decided and has also recommended to the National Executive Council that labour will withdraw all services from either public or private from all sectors of the economy for five days in the first instance,” he said.

“And where there is no remorse, there is going to be a total action because we believe that El-Rufai is not alone in this action that neoliberal forces and also some government are also part of it.

“This action is going to be total and unconditional and therefore, all unions will be issuing statements and directives to their members to take this directive seriously and that the action will go ahead.”

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Administration Stands Behind Pantami – Presidency

Speaking further, the NLC President said the action was taken as a last resort due to all the communications that were written on the issue to the Kaduna State Government and were yet to receive any attention.

According to him, the CWC, therefore, thought that workers should not be allowed to die in silence as thousands of workers who had been sacked were yet to be paid in line with the provisions of the law.

The move by NLC comes a week after Governor El-Rufai announced the plan to disengage civil servants in the state, citing fiscal reasons.

El-Rufai said a significant amount of the statutory federal allocations to the state is being spent on the wages of public servants.

According to the governor, the decision was one of the necessary moves to salvage the state’s finances.

“Therefore, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and reduce the size of the public service. It is a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state,” the governor was quoted in a statement.

“The public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees and their families cannot be consuming more than 90% of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants.

“It is gross injustice for such a micro minority to consume the majority of the resources of the State,” El-Rufai said.

El-Rufai, Adeboye Meet In Kaduna After Release Of Kidnapped RCCG Members

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye meets with Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna on April 13, 2021. Credit: Kaduna State Government

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai has met with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The meeting held on Tuesday at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House in Kaduna, days after some RCCG members were abducted in the state.

In attendance were some top officials of the Kaduna State Government and those of the church.

Although it is unclear what transpired at the meeting, both leaders confirmed the talks via their Twitter handles.

“Earlier today, I decided to go out of my schedule to see my Children who God delivered from the den of the kidnappers while they were on their way to the venue of the Lets Go Fishing Exercise. To the Glory of God, they are Hale and Hearty,” Adeboye tweeted.

The revered cleric disclosed that Governor El-Rufai “appealed to me to visit the State House in Kaduna to pray for the state, its people and its leadership for peace and protection after laying hands on my Children who were sick. It is my prayer that the peace of and kingdom of God will be established in Kaduna State.”

READ ALSO: Eight RCCG Members Abducted In Kaduna Regain Freedom

Pastor Adeboye had on April 8 announced that eight of his church members kidnapped by bandits on March 26 in Kaduna State have regained freedom.

Shortly after their release, all the abducted persons were taken to a hospital for medical check-up.

It hasn’t been confirmed if any ransom was paid, sources close to the freed victims told Channels Television that they were released in batches.

See photos below:

Kaduna Abduction: Students Still In Captivity To Regain Freedom Soon, Says El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.                                                    Photo: [email protected]

 

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has said that the state government will soon secure the freedom of the abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka in the Igabi Local Government Area.

He stated this on Wednesday while receiving five of the 39 students abducted by bandits who invaded the school on March 11.

The students were reunited with their parents after the troops rescued them on Monday.

Immediately after their release, they were taken to a military hospital for treatment and were freed to go home with their parents.

READ ALSO: Five Of 39 Abducted Kaduna Students Regain Freedom

El-Rufai, who was represented by the Commissioner for internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, assured that the remaining students and others still in captivity will be rescued in no distant time.

Earlier, El-Rufai featured on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics where he warned that anyone caught negotiating with bandits on behalf of the state government would be prosecuted.

Five of the 39 abducted students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka arrive at the Kaduna State Government House on April 7, 2021.

 

He also reiterated the warning on April 4, noting that the government has not appointed an intermediary to negotiate with bandits on its behalf.

But the parents, in their reaction, vowed to do everything possible to get their children out of captivity, including negotiating with the bandits no matter the consequences.

The assailants stormed the school very early in the morning with the intention to abduct many students in what can be described as a silent attack.

Their operation was, however, thwarted by soldiers who promptly responded to a distress call and engaged the bandits in a fierce gunfight.