The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello has announced the appointment of the Acting Chairman of the Niger state revenue board, Ahmad Garba Gunna (Dan Majen Kagara) as the new Emir of Kagara.
The appointment of the new Emir follows the death of the former Emir Alhaji Salihu Tanko Kagara on March 1st, 2021 after a protracted illness in Minna, the state capital.
The Governor, through the Commissioner for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs, Abdulmalik Sarkin Daji made the announcement in Minna today after receiving the reports of the 14 kingmakers, headed by Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad (Madakin Gunna).
The Governor said the appointment of the new Emir was in accordance with section 3 subsection (1) of the Chiefs (Appointment and Deposition) law, Chapter 19, the law of the Niger state.
According to him, “having received the advice of the Niger State Council of Chiefs as required under section 7, of Cap 19, I hereby appoint you, Ahmad Garba Gunna as the 2nd Emir of Kagara”.
Until his appointment as the 46 years old 2nd Emir of Kagara, Ahmad Garba Gunna was the Acting Chairman of the Niger State Board of Internal Revenue.
The Village Head of Yakila in Gunna District and Dan Majen Kagara emerged as the new Emir of Kagara after defeating five other contestants in an electoral college conducted by the 14 kingmakers of the Kagara Emirate.
Others who contested with him are Muhammad Salihu Tanko, (Bunun Kagara) the son of the late Emir, Garba Bako (Dan Galadiman Kagara), Aliyu Muhammad Kusherki (Katukan Kagara) and Idris Aliyu Jibrin (Barajen Kagara).
According to her, the issues of the release of the abductees cannot be treated as a matter of speculation.
Governor Bello in his address at the Government House in Minna, the state capital, said, “Regarding the event of the past few days where we have two serious cases of kidnappings –the NTSA (Niger State Transport Authority) bus that was kidnapped (with passengers). And the second event took place at the Secondary School in Kagara.
“As at this moment, we do not have any additional information to give apart from the one given earlier on, yesterday. But I want to assure you that we are doing everything we can, we are interfacing with the local communities, with federal authorities and our own state authorities to ensure that we recover the victims safely.
“Our utmost priority right now is to make sure we bring them back home safe and that is exactly what we are going to do. So, there hasn’t been any information I can give you at this moment but once we have anything for you, we will let you know.”
Responding to a question on the purported release of the abductees, the governor said, “Everything that is being said out there is rumour and in situations like this, we cannot work with rumour, it has to be confirmed. Yes, we’ve been receiving different rumours from different people within villages but we are still treating those as rumour until processed and confirmed.”
The governor urged the parents and families of the abducted persons not to despair, adding that the government hopes to secure their release in hours or days.
He added that adequate security personnel have also been deployed to Kagara town and environs to boost security in the area, which according to him has also boosted the morale of the people.
The operations started from the staff quarters and ended in the students’ hostels and in the process, other students were also wounded by gunshots.
The gunmen gathered some staff and students at a place for hours before moving them out of the school premises to an unknown destination.
They wore a military uniform and entered the school premises which has about 1000 students, overpowered the security guard, before whisking away the students and staff.
A staff by the name Batagi who was among those kidnapped has escaped and is in the school as of the time of publishing this report. Others still with the bandits are Mall. Lawal, Ali, Hannatu, and her husband, Dodo, Mohammed Abubakar(Akawu), among others.
The State Police Command is yet to comment on the incident but an officer in the area who craves anonymity confirmed it.
Also during plenary, the Senate asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on insecurity in the country.
The resolution follows a motion by Senator Sani Musa on the abduction of students from the Government Science College Kagara Niger state.
Senator Bima Enagi from Niger State in his contribution, accused the President of incompetence as the security situation is worsening in the country.
He argued that the constitution should be amended to give governors more powers as they are the security officers in their states because the Federal government is incompetent in handling security.
See below photos of the school premises after the attack:
Following the incident, President Buhari has directed armed forces and police to ensure the safe return of the abducted students.
The President has also dispatched a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation.
This was disclosed in a statement signed on Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has received reports of the brazen attack on Government Science College, Kagara, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, following which a yet to be ascertained number of staff and students have been abducted by gunmen.
“Following these reports, the President has directed the Armed Forces and Police, to ensure the immediate and safe return of all the captives. The President has also dispatched to Minna, Niger State a team of security chiefs to coordinate the rescue operation and meet with state officials, community leaders, as well as parents and staff of the College”.
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the resumed trial of a former governor of Niger State, Mr. Babangida Aliyu before Justice Yellim Bogoro.
The former governor and his ex-chief of staff Umar Nasko were arraigned in 2017 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja for allegedly diverting N1.9 billion ecological fund which the state received from the Federal Government in 2014.
The case was, however, transferred to Justice Bogoro after the defendants made an application, insisting that the case be transferred to Niger State where the offences were allegedly committed.
However, the then Chief judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Abdu Kafarati withdrew the case file from Justice Bogoro and reassigned it to Justice Aliyu Bappa based on a petition by EFCC.
Aggrieved by the transfer of his case, the former governor filed a suit before Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, challenging the decision of the then Chief Judge.
Delivering judgment, Justice Ekwo held that the former chief judge breached section 98(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015 when he re-assigned the case file to a new judge for a fresh trial after the EFCC had called 10 witnesses in the matter and tendered several exhibits in evidence.
Justice Ekwo further directed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, to recall the case file from Justice Bappa and remit same to Justice Bogoro to continue and conclude the case having to take the evidence of 10 prosecution witnesses.
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has approved the immediate dissolution of Boards of Parastatals and Agencies of Government in the State.
A statement issued by Permanent Secretary, Economic Affairs overseeing Political Affairs, Yahaya Baba Wachiko, disclosed that the Chairmen, Permanent Commissioners and Permanent Members, Directors General of statutory Commissions and Agencies of the following Commissions and Agencies are exempted from the dissolution.
“The Commissions and Agencies not affected by dissolution are Civil Service Commission, Local Government Service Commission, Law Reform Commission, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Niger State Judiciary Service Commission, House of Assembly Service Commission and State Independent Electoral Service Commission.
“Others include Niger State Universal Basic Education, Pension Board, Niger State Transport Authority, Niger State Environmental Protection Agency, Niger State Bureau of Religious Affairs, Niger State Investment Promotion Agency, Small and Medium Microfinance, Niger State Commodity and Export Promotion Agency and Chairman and Board Members of Niger State College of Education, Minna”.
He added that handing over notes and all government properties in the possession of Chairmen and Members of the dissolved Boards and Agencies should be submitted to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs on or before 12:00 noon of Friday, May 31st, 2019.
“Similarly, all former Commissioners, Special Advisers and Directors General are also to submit copies of their hand over notes to the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs on or before 12:00 noon of Friday, 31st May 2019”.
The Governor commended members of the dissolved Boards and Parastatals for their tremendous contributions to the overall development of the State since the inception of the present administration.
Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has presented a budget estimate of over 159.529 billion naira for 2019 to the State House of Assembly.
The budget which he titled “Budget of sustenance and continuity” is 5.43% higher than the 2018 budget which is to focus mainly on completion of ongoing projects and other new ones that have a direct bearing on the lives of the people.
The estimated recurrent expenditure stands at 63.324 billion naira while capital expenditure 96.204 billion naira which is 60.31 percent of the total estimate.
Governor Bello said the budget will be largely funded through statutory allocation and capital receipts both expected to generate about 102 billion naira.
According to him agriculture, water resources, infrastructure, education and social development will be given adequate attention to stimulating economic growth through investment inflows.
The Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has described rumours of him defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as ridiculous.
He said “It is strange for anyone to think I will defect from the APC when I alongside other governors of the party have been on a reconciliation mission to woo members who recently defected from the party.
Governor Bello disclosed this on Sunday when he received a crowd of supporters at the Government House in Minna, the Niger State capital.
His comment comes after three state governors, Benue, Sokoto and Kwara recently defected from the APC to the opposition party, PDP.
The governor thanked his supporters and insisted that he is not defecting from the ruling party.
“I have no doubt that in 2019, APC will have a resounding victory. So, we are grateful, and we urge you all to remain patient with the government as we are doing our best.
“By God’s Grace, if we are re-elected, we shall complete all the projects we have started.
“Maybe you have heard the rumour that I plan to defect to PDP it is a lie”, the governor added.
Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, on Wednesday signed into law the 2018 budget of over one hundred and thirty-four billion, two hundred and eighty-six million naira (N134, 286,425,019.00).
The budget is made up of recurrent expenditure of N53, 244,216,434.00 and capital expenditure of N81, 042,208,585.00.
Governor Bello had earlier presented an estimate of over one hundred and twenty-eight billion naira, which is a difference of over six billion naira.
Before signing the budget, he said although it was passed three months after the presentation, he will ensure judicious implementation of the budget.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ahmed Marafa, said the House passed the bill after careful scrutiny of the document by various house committees and recommendations were made for adjustment of some heads that were not initially provided for.
The 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 Governor, Sani Bello, has assured the people of the state that his administration will ensure the provision of good, functional and accessible medical services.
He gave the assurance when he flagged off the project tagged ‘500 Free Eye Surgical Operation’ jointly organised by the state government and a Saudi Arabia based non-governmental organisation at the IBB Specialized Hospital, Minna.
The Governor assured rural dwellers of his administration’s commitment to ensuring that adequate healthcare facilities are provided to rural areas where more indigent patients with various kinds of ailments abound.
Flagging off the free eye treatment, Bello said that the programme would concentrate on removal of cataract, rectifying of eye lenses as well as giving of glasses where necessary in order to reduce blindness in the state.
“We discovered that some people in rural areas have been carrying different diseases such as Cataract, Hernia and Goiter for 30 to 40 years and cannot afford treatment.
“We will sustain this type of projects and more of this programme will come up, it is going to be a continuous process.
“Hopefully by next week we will have another intervention. Another set of surgeons will carry out free operation for those suffering from Hernia, Goiter and other diseases,” he said.
Conducting the Governor round the male and female wards where those operated on were kept, Niger State Eye Coordinator, Dr. Jibril Isah, explained that the free eye cataract surgery was for 500 people with 20 persons from each local government area of the state.
Isah said that 108 persons have since been operated on by 12 experts involved in the five-day exercise. According to him four surgeons each from Saudi Arabia, National Eye Center Kaduna and four from the state were attending to the patients.
He further said that aside from the surgery, the Saudi Arabia partner provided 1,000 eye glasses and eye drops to aid the exercise.
The Commissioner for Health and Hospital Services, Dr. Mustapha Jibrin, said that the state government was expending 11 million Naira on the exercise.
One of the beneficiaries, Abdullahi Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of others, expressed gratitude to Governor Sani Bello for the kind gesture shown to them and prayed for a successful administration.