Fire Wreaks Havoc In Yobe Market

yobe-market-fireProperty worth millions of naira is said to have been destroyed by fire at the popular Makera market in Nguru town of Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.

The market associations and witnesses said the cause of the inferno was not yet established.

The Chairman of Nguru Market Association, Mr Hassan Ali, told Channels Television crew that they woke up to see the devastation as the incident occurred on Sunday night.

“The cause of the inferno can only be revealed by the Almighty as all of us closed our shops peacefully and went home that fateful day, only to see this devastation the next day.

“The good thing is that no life was lost. With God and determination as well as support of government and spirited groups or individuals, we can still succeed,” he said.

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Mr Ali appreciated the visit by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other spirited individuals, saying it has further given them a sense of belonging.

After adequate briefing by the traders and independent assessment, the representative of NEMA in Yobe State, Mr Nafuta Mahmoud, said the message would be communicated to the head office for prompt intervention.

He disclosed that 177 shops were affected while food and cloths materials worth millions of naira were destroyed.

Mr Mahmoud also took time off to educate the people on how best to handle fire disaster in a windy and Sahel environment such as Yobe State, particularly during the harmattan season across Nigeria’s northern region.

Foreign Scouts To Witness Yobe Football Competition

Yobe Football CompetitionForeign scouts are expected to witness the 2016 Governor’s Cup football competition in Yobe State, northeast Nigeria.

The Director of Sports in the state, Abubakar Ago, who disclosed this at the draws of the competition, said it would kick off throughout the state on Monday, December 19.

The draws brought together football lovers and administrators within and outside Yobe State, including members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) and club owners among others.

Mr Ago said that the 2016 competition has been expanded to give room for participation from private and individual teams, contrary to that of the previous years where only local government teams were allowed to participate.

He said that the aim of the competition was to uncover the hidden talents that abound in the state.

The sports director said five centers have been selected for the competition, adding that Potiskum, Gashua, Nguru and Geidam township stadia would all be occupied from December 20.

He further urged participating footballers to display their best performances as the competition would be witnessed by foreign scouts.

The opening match of the competition would be between Damaturu Local Government FC and a Damaturu metropolitan club, Ajari United.

FG Delivers 5,136 Bags Of Rice To IDPs In Yobe State

IDPs, Yobe State, RiceThe Federal Government has made available 5,136 bags of rice and some other items to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Yobe State.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadija Abba, delivered the items to the state government.

She applauded the resilience of the state government for the unique partnership with security agencies towards ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the region.

The Minister specifically described as “worthy of emulation”, the commitment of Governor Ibrahim Gaidam’s administration to supporting the war against insurgency.

She similarly commended the Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, who is the Chairman of the Resettlement Committee of IDPs in the state, for implementing all the resettlement policies of the government.

Mr Aliyu, who received the items on Monday on behalf of Governor Gaidam, extolled the Federal Government for remembering the insurgency victims.

According to him, the gesture “will go a long way in addressing food scarcity among the returnees who have not been engaged in any gainful ventures for several years”.

The Deputy Governor also described the action of the Federal Government as “very compassionate that should be emulated by non-governmental organisations and other spirited individuals.

The items received will be shared to some returning communities in Gujba, Damaturu, Gulani, Yunusari, Nguru, Geidam and Karasuwa,” local government areas of Yobe State.

Apart from the bags of rice, other items supplied include: vegetable oil, soap, cloths, foot wears and mosquito coils among several others.

Joint Operation To Wipe Out Boko Haram Is Ongoing – Buratai

Boko Haram, Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army StaffThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, says that a joint operation to wipe out remnant of the Boko Haram terrorist group is currently going on at strategic borders of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

General Buratai was speaking on Friday in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, during a visit to the recently established Army Special Forces School in Buniyadi, aimed at addressing insurgency issues in northeast Nigeria.

He said that an operation by the Multinational Joint Task Force was currently going on to clear the remainder of the Boko Haram militants as well as consolidating the gains by opening up more roads that were hitherto taken over during the ceaseless attack.

According to the Army Chief, such opening of roads would further give people the opportunity to move about freely, hoping that it would further boost economic activities within the areas initially under the control of the terrorists.

He thanked the Yobe State government for all the support to security forces towards curbing the insurgency and pledged their resolve to be committed to wiping out the militants.

The Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, commended the establishment of the school.

He said that improved peace machinery has been set in motion to relocate the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes.

The Governor also pointed out that the greatest task ahead of the government and other stakeholders was the resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of war devastated areas to make those places more habitable.

General Buratai is also expected to visit the 241 Racce Battalion in Nguru, Yobe State to boost the morale of the troops who are located close to the Nigeria-Niger boarder.

Yobe To Secure 10 Billion Naira Loan From FG Bailout Funds

yobe-government on bailout fundThe Yobe State Government is to secure 10 billion Naira loan from the Federal Government’s bailout funds to complete the ongoing projects in the state.

The State Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Aji Bularafa, disclosed the plan to reporters at the end of a Council Meeting held in Damaturu, Yobe State capital on Friday.

The amount, according to Mr Bularafa, would be used for the proposed Damaturu Airport, renovation of hospitals and medical centres across the state among other projects in the area of education, water supply and agriculture.

The Yobe State Government, according to the Commissioner, had also approved the establishment of over 1,000 hectares of land for Pivotal Sprinkler Irrigation farming, as part of efforts to tackle unemployment in the state.

Mr Bularafa said that the contract was awarded to Rainfine Irrigation Company at the cost of $847,642.23.

He also mentioned that the irrigation farms would be sited at different locations in the state, which include Mugura, Nguru, Boloram and Jumbam.

The Commissioner also said that the council had approved the rectifications of over 825 million Naira and over 318 million Naira as well as 86 million Naira for National Mathematical Centre and tuition fees for Yobe students studying in Tuskish colleges across the country as well as settlement of WAEC/NECO, WASSCE/SSCE Examinations for the 2015/16 academic sessions.

Gov. Gaidam Welcomes New Army Commander To Yobe

ArmyThe Governor of Yobe State has tasked the new Commander of the 27 Task Force Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Damaturu on exemplary record of committed fight against the Boko Haram sect.

Governor Ibrahim Gaidam gave the charge on Monday while receiving the new Army Commander, Brigadier General C.A. Apere, at the Government House in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, northeast Nigeria.

He asked the Army boss to build on the record that his predecessor, Colonel Dahiru Bako, had built while serving as the Army Commander in the state.

The Governor described Colonel Bako as a professional and committed officer who worked assiduously fighting insurgents in Yobe State and the northeast in general.

Observing that the Islamist group was on the path of defeat, he attributed the successes recorded so far to the hard work of officers and men of the Nigerian Army deployed to the state.

“Across Yobe State, people are very excited with the work that Colonel Bako has done. Many people here associate the successes recorded against Boko Haram to the hard work of Colonel Bako and other army commanders.

“I am confident you will build and expand on this excellent record that Colonel Bako has achieved so that together, we will bring the Boko Haram insurgency to an end,” Governor Gaidam said.

He assured the new Commander of his determination to continue to support the military and other security agencies to ensure the complete restoration of peace and security in the state.

In his response, Brigadier General Apere expressed appreciation for the warm reception he received since he reported in Yobe State.

He assured the Governor that under his command, the 27 Task Force Brigade would consolidate on the successes recorded by his predecessor.

The Commander said that Yobe was second home to him because he began his military career in the state at Nguru back in 1991.

He expressed gratitude to the Yobe State Government for the frequent support often given to the Army and expressed optimism that the spirit of support and partnership would continue.

Nigerian Army Honours Officers In Yobe

armyThe 27 Task Force Brigade of the Nigeria Army in Yobe State, north-east Nigeria, has honoured its officers and men for their gallantry in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.

At a ‘Medal Parade’ in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, all the officers and men involved in the operation “Zaman Lafiya” for a period of six months, were honoured with the medals.

Another category of the awards is the Nigerian Army Purple Heart Medal Award meant for those killed or injured while in active service.

At the ceremony in Damaturu, the State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, applauded the officers and men for giving their all, for the restoration of peace and stability in the troubled state.

‘Never Be Forgotten’

The Governor said the awards symbolise the expression of government’s gratitude and assurances that the sacrifices and services rendered to their fatherland shall ‘never be forgotten’.

Ibrahim Gaidam also said that apart from the proactive role his administration had been playing since the beginning of the insurgency, the provision of logistic support and giving wrap attention to welfare of officers and men would continue to receive the needed priority.

He said: “In addition to providing logistic support, we have been according priority attention to the welfare of the officers and men who prosecute the insurgency campaign through the provision of drugs to the brigade clinic, payment of allowances, payment of medical bills of those who sustained injuries and assistance to the families of our heroes who lost their lives while combating insurgency in the state”.

He paid glorious tribute to those killed in the various operations saying “they have not died in vain as their patriotic act will forever remain green in the memories of well-meaning Nigerians”.

The Army Spokesman of the 27 Brigade, Captain Eli Lazarus, while reading out the citation of “Operation Zaman Lafiya” and the Purple Heart Medals Awards, said the awards were approved by the Chief of Army Staff for the gallantry exhibited by the officers and men of the brigade in the various operation against the insurgency which has of recent liberated Gulani and Gujba from the terrorists.

He said the brigade had deployed personnel in Nguru, Damaturu, Geidam, Gashua, Katarko, Goneri/Buni Yadi and would continue to work assiduously towards restoration of peace in the affected areas.

Death Toll Rises To 10 In Damaturu Blast

DamaturuThree more victims of the Damaturu bomb blast have died on Sunday, raising the death toll to 10.

Seven people were killed in a blast carried out by a female suicide bomber on Saturday, who attacked the northern entrance of the Damaturu motor park in the Yobe State capital, North-east Nigeria, detonating an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that killed people who were entering or exiting the park.

The Medical Director of the Damaturu Specialists Hospital, Dr Garba M. Fika, said three more victims of the blast died while receiving medical attention at the hospital, bringing the death toll from the blast to 10.

He also noted that three of the victims have been referred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Nguru and one had further being referred to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano.

The Medical Director further revealed that twelve more victims of the blast are currently being treated at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Damaturu Hospital, stressing that all of them would be given free treatment in line with the free drug exercise of the Yobe State Government.

An eyewitness, Bala Mainasara, confirmed that most of those killed in the blast were children selling sachet water or groundnut cake, calling on parents and guardians to restrict their children from wandering about. He also warned that such children could be used for carrying out suicide missions.

The Chairman of the Damaturu Harmonised Traders Association, Mr Usman Mu’azu, in an interview with Channels Television, called on security agents and the State Government to deploy security officials to man the entrance of the park and urged them to re-open the blocked gates.

He noted that much people were affected in the explosion as a result of the only gate currently opened, for both entrance and of the park.

However, business activities have picked up at the market, as most shops were opened for business, while few others were closed probably in observance of Sunday, being a worship day for Christians.

Female Suicide Bomber Kills 7 In Damaturu, Injures Several

suicide bomberSeven people have been confirmed dead after a female suicide bomber detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the entrance of the Damaturu Central Motor Park in Yobe State Capital, north-east Nigeria.

A witnesses, who spoke off-camera, told Channels Television that the female suicide bomber came to the gate of the park at about 11:45am and detonated the IED close to the security checks, injuring several people at the scene.

Several residents besieged the Damaturu Specialists’ Hospital to sympathise and also find out the whereabouts of loved ones who might have been affected by the blast.

The Medical Director of the Hospital, Dr. Garba Fika, told reporters that 37 injured persons were brought in from the scene of the blast for treatment.

He confirmed that out of the 37 persons brought to the hospital, seven have been confirmed dead while 27 were being treated.

Dr. Fika also said seven persons out of the of the 27 being treated were critically injured and may be referred to either the Federal Medical Centre, Nguru or Azare in neighbouring Bauchi State.

The State’s Governor, Mr Ibrahim Gaidam, who also visited the hospital, sympathised with victims. He said those injured would be treated with the free drug procured by the state government.

Governor Gaidam condemned the act and stressed that his administration would foot the medical bills of all the victims.

He also directed the authorities in the hospital to speed up the treatments and work out modalities for the referral cases for urgent medical attention

The Governor condoled the families of those killed in the blast and called on residents to be more vigilant in assisting security agents in the fight against terrorism.

FG, Yobe, 10 Other States Collaborate To Fight Desertification

desert_EncrochmentThe Federal Government is collaborating with Yobe State and 10 other front-line states across Nigeria to fight desert encroachment.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Environment, Mr Idi Barde Gubana, told Channels Television in Damaturu, a week after the launching of the year’s tree planting campaign, organised by the Yobe State government, that the encroaching desert was speedily evading the state.

Mr Idi Barde Gubana said the federal Ministry of Environment was currently collaborating with 11 front-line states in the country worst hit by desertification to implement a programme call “Great Green Wall” and involve Sub-Saharan African countries stretching from Senegal in the west down to Njibouti to the east with Nigeria as a party.

Gubana stressed that the programme was intended to establish a wall of trees inform of shelter-belts covering a distance of 8,000 kilometre, cutting across the West African sub-region.

He said: “In Nigeria the programme cuts across eleven front-line states that are seriously affected by desertification and which share common boundary with the Republic of Niger covering a distance of 1,500 km with Yobe State having the larger share of about 323 km.

“Under the Great Green Wall programme, the Federal Ministry of Environment is currently collaborating with Yobe State’s Ministry of Environment in the area of shelter-belt and orchard development, sand dunes fixation and grazing resources development”.

According to Gubana, the affected Local Government Areas in the state are; Machina, Nguru, Karasuwa, Yusufari, Yunusari.

Twenty-eight kilometre of shelter-belt has been established in some selected locations along the trans-Saharan route starting from Kanamma in Yunusari Local Government up to Falimaram in Machina Local Government Area.

He also said 12 boreholes had been drilled in 12 communities with two in each of the six local government catchment areas.

He added that installation of solar panel and wind driven facilities were near completion while 36 out of 52 forest guards identified and drawn from the six participating Local Government Areas had been trained and gainfully employed under the Great Green Wall programme.

The Commissioner of Environment, Mr Idi Barde Gubana stated that the present administration had approved the additional fencing materials, tube walls and the engagement of casual labourers to ensure effective post planting management of the shelter-belt with a view to enhancing forestation.

He praised the Federal Government-States initiative, saying it will go a long way in conserving the environment thereby controlling desert encroachment.

Yobe government relaxes curfew

The Yobe state Government has approved the relaxation of the curfew earlier imposed across the state.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the governor on Press Affairs and Information, Abdullahi Bego Indicates that restriction of movement now starts from 10: PM to 7: AM.

The statement further said ban on the use of motorcycle earlier imposed on Damaturu, Gujba, Geidam, Potiskum, Bade and Nguru remains in place.

The measures according to the statement were taken following a meeting between the state governor and the heads of security and law enforcement agencies in the state.

While calling on the people to go about their legitimate businesses within the hours allowed.

The Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam called on people in the state to remain vigilant and to assist the security agents in their efforts in ensuring the safety of lives and property across the state.

He urged members of the public to approach the forth coming Ramadan with a renewed sense of determination and to fervently pray for the security and safety in the state and the nation at large.

Earlier on Monday, some suspected members of the radical Islamic sect, Boko Haram attacked three police formations in Damaturu the Yobe state capital and killed a police recruit.