Niger State Governor Wades Into Pandogari Crisis

Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Beji ElectrificationThe Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, has asked the people of Pandogori in Rafi Local government Area of Niger State to exercise restrain over the crisis that erupted in the community.

This call was contained in a statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Jibrin Baba Ndace.

The Governor advised residents of the community, the state and indeed the country to abstain from giving the incidence a religious or tribal coloration.

“It will be a disservice and an attempt to overheat the polity if the incidence in Pandogari is given religious or tribal colouration. We must exercise restraint in our actions as well as comments on traditional and online media. It is neither a religious or tribal crisis,” he stressed.

The Governor also expressed displeasure over the outcome of the incident, insisting that it was always better for various stakeholders to pursue the path of dialogue, consultation and peaceful resolution of any conflict, than resulting to violence.

“Pursuing the path of peace, dialogue is cheaper and safer than violence. Violence is a distraction and costly path in any society. That is why I always sue for peace in our communities across the state,” he stated.

Mr Bello emphasised that the State was known for peace and that the incidence in Pandogari was an isolated case of breakdown of law and order which security agencies had been directed to maintain law and order and to ensure protection of lives and property in line with their constitutional role.

“I have directed the security agencies to ensure that law and order is maintained within Pandogari and its environs. Any one person or group of persons found to be involved in any act capable of causing further crisis will be dealt with according to law,” he told reporters.

He said that the Niger State government had set up an investigative panel to establish immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

The Governor also directed top government officials to visit Pandogari for on the spot assessment of the crisis.

“I have directed Deputy Governor, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Ketso, Secretary to State Government, SSG, Alhaji Umar Shehu Danyaya, Commissioner of Finance, Mr Ibrahim Balarabe, Commissioner for Local Government, Mr Kabir Abbas, member , Niger State House of Assembly, representing the area, Danlami Bako to visit Pandogari today (Wednesday).

“Also to be part of the visit are Special Adviser Security, Brigadier General Imam rtd, Director General Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, Mr Ibrahim Inga, Chairman Rafi Local government, Mr Gambo Abubakar Bojo, representative of Emir of Kagara, Galadima Kagara, Mr Abubakar Katako, representative of Brigade Commander, representative of Police Commissioner and other security agencies.

Governor Bello then assured Niger residents of his determination to ensure peace and security in the state and urged all stakeholders to support government’s resolve in that direction.

Emirs Frown At Indiscriminate Tree Felling In Niger State

Niger State, Tree Felling, EmirsThe Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers has called on Nigerians to stop illegal mining and indiscriminate felling of trees in the state.

‎The emirs made the warning when the Niger State Commissioner for Environment, Mineral and Forestry Resources, Ali Mohammed‎, visited their palaces, as part of plans to sensitise the people on environmental degradation.

Speaking differently at the meeting on Monday in north-central Nigeria, they vowed that defaulters would be dealt with accordingly.

The Emir of Minna, Farouk Bahago, and his counterpart from Agaie Emirate, Yusuf Nuhu, said that stringent laws were needed to tackle illegal activities in the state.

The Emir of Minna who asked the people to desist from illegal activities, expressed readiness to support the policy to ensure strict adherence.

In his words, the Emir of Agaie stressed that there was an urgent need for illegal operators to stop cutting economic trees for charcoal.

“We have invited our villages and District Heads to monitor their areas, report any illegal mining and ‎tree felling to us. They should be made to face the law,” he insisted.

The monarch added that, the Council had declared its support for the review of the law at the Niger State House of Assembly.

“All of us (the royal fathers) have been yearning for this law to be reviewed. We have been waiting for the government to review the law, so that we can know how to control the illegality. We are ready,” he said.

The Emir pointed out that the illegal operators had lied that they got licence from the Ministry of Environment to fell trees, maintaining that it was not true.

Mr Mohammed had earlier decried the indiscriminate felling of trees and illegal mining going on in the state.

“We are revisiting areas of penalty in the forestry law, so as to make fines effective enough to serve as deterrent for further destruction,” he said.

The Commissioner explained that the State government had banned all form of commercial exploitation of the forest.

Account For LG Funds, PDP Asks Niger Governor

Niger,PDPThe Niger State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Governor Abubakar Bello to account for the Local Government (LG) funds collected by the state in the last one year.

The PDP said apart from the payment of local government staff salaries, no dime has been released to any of the 25 local government areas in the state since May 2015 for capital project execution.

The new Chairman of the party in the State, Tanko Beji, challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration on Thursday during a session with journalists in Minna.

He lamented that activities are grounded in the local government areas because the chairmen and their councilors do not have money to work.

“We want to know how much has accrued to the local government areas since the APC government came into office, how they spent the money (and) under what law was the money spent,” he stated.

Beji, who is a legal practitioner, noted that Governor Bello does not have the constitutional power to abrogate the ‘state local government joint account’, as he had proposed from the end of May.

He said that the state local government joint account was a creation of the constitution, citing Section 162 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended saying: ‘No executive governor could by fiat abrogate the law’.

“We are watching at the appropriate time we will take necessary action to protect the law,” he added.

The PDP Chairman also challenged the Governor to tell Nigerians why he had refused to assent to the 2016 Appropriation Bill passed by the House of Assembly over three months ago, and why he has been spending money without the bill being assented to.

“This is a serious constitutional breach. We will not watch the constitution being violated with impunity,” he maintained.

Beji disclosed that he would soon raise a petition to the Code of Conduct Tribunal on the alleged non-swearing in of Special Advisers appointed by Governor Bello.

He pointed out that their being in office meant that they did not declare their assets as provided by law, describing it as an unconstitutional act.

The Niger State House of Assembly approved 15 special advisers for Governor Bello but only seven had been appointed and have assumed office.

Governor Bello Compensates Families Of Electrocuted Persons In Niger State

Niger-Abubakar BelloThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has made a cash donation to families the victims of electric surge in the state.

The families of the electrocuted victims in Jatau area of Maitumbi near an FM Station, which include a Village head, his son and a Police inspector on Friday received the sum of 15 million Naira.

The presentation of the cash succour to the victims was made by the Commissioner of Youth and Sports, Mr Mamman Muas, who represented Governor Bello.

The family of the late village head of Jatau and his son got a sum of two million Naira while the Police inspector’s family received one million Naira, as the rest was shared among 45 families of the affected victims.

In his reaction to the gesture, the representative of Bosso Local Government Area in the Niger State House of Assembly, Honourable Abdulmalik Bosso, appreciated the effort of the Governor.

He also commended Governor Bello for his proactive step, stressing that he could still remember them after three months of the ugly incident.

“We the people of Bosso Local Government are very grateful for your kind gesture and support,” he said.

Also present at the cash relief donation were the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Kabiru Abbas, and the Director General of the Niger State Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Inga.

Niger House Of Assembly Passes 2016 Budget, Sustains Pension Scheme

Niger-governor bello
Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello

The Niger State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the State’s 2016 budget, but refused to withdraw the State from Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) despite clamour for its removal by organised labour.

The figure in the 2016 Appropriation Bill submitted to the House by the Governor, Sani Bello, last December was jerked up by about 10 billion Naira.

While the executive presented a total fiscal estimate of 74.4 billion Naira for the 2016 fiscal year, the House of Assembly passed a total of 85.092 billion Naira.

The House also directed the Niger state Transport Authority, and other major Revenue generating Agencies to improve their generation capacities by over 100%.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr Marafa Ahmed, directed the Clerk of the House to produce five clean copies of the document for presentation to the Governor for his assent.

The House which also received the report of its committee on Labour Finance Local Government and Judiciary earlier in the day, instead of asking the government to withdraw from the CPS, decided that workers, who had been in employment before the introduction of the policy in 2006, be exempted from the scheme while those employed in 2006 and beyond should remain in the scheme.

The Chairman of the committee, Madaki Bosso, who submitted the report to the House of Assembly, which was subsequently passed by the committee, recommended that the areas of the bill where ‘repeal’ was recommended should be replaced with ‘amendment’.

This was even after the committee in its report conceded to the fact that the Contributory Pension Scheme ‘is domesticated in only six of the 36 states of the federation showing clearly its unacceptability’.

The House of Assembly also noted a lot of discrepancies from the various reports submitted to its committee on the contributions by workers, saying that while the Pension Funds Administrators claimed that over 22.625 billion Naira was contributed between the period the scheme started, and last year, the pension Board said 35.8 billion was collected.

The House discovered also that majority of workers in the local government areas of the state were neither registered with nor did they have any retirement savings accounts with any Pension Fund Administrator.

However, the House directed that the amended bill be sent to Governor Bello for his assent.

The lawmakers did not recommend punishment or recovery of any lost fund.

Niger House Of Assembly Confirms Eight Commissioners

niger state house of assemblyThe Niger State House of Assembly on Wednesday, confirmed eight persons nominated as commissioners by the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello.

The Speaker, Niger State House of Assembly, Honorable Ahmed Marafa, after opening the envelope, said that the Governor submitted the list in line with Section 2 (192) of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

Those that made the first batch list, are Kabiru Abbas Musa,  Dan Mallam Masara, Ramatu Mohammed Yar’Adua, Mamman Musa, Jonathan Vatsa, Fatima Mudugu and Mustapha Jubrin.

The Speaker further stated that Governor Bello said in the correspondence that the list would come in two batches explaining that the next names would soon be made available to the State Assembly.

My Impeachment Is Illegal, Null And Void – Niger Assembly Speaker

Adamu_UsmanThe embattled Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Mr Adamu Usman, has described his purported impeachment as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect.

Briefing journalists shortly after his impeachment at the NUJ press center, Minna, the former speaker, who was accompanied by his impeached Deputy, Abdulrahaman Bala Gambo and other impeached principal officers of the House, insisted that he is still the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly.

According to him, “We are still the leaders of the House of Assembly. I am happy they did not accuse any of us of financial mismanagement as reason for our impeachment”.

The embattled speaker said that the leadership of the House has done everything possible to let the executive realize that the House needs funds to keep the business of the House going, but because of the economic situation in the country, nothing has been done.

“Since January 2015, we have never received overhead cost because of problems associated with federal account. Everybody is aware. I do not control finance, as it comes I disburse. So, the impeachment beats my imagination”

“Whatever you see today is illegal because the Mace is under my custody. So whatever decision they took today (Tuesday), it is illegal.

Beside this, the Speaker disclosed that there was a court injunction from the State High Court, signed by the Chief Judge, Justice Fati Lamin Abubakar, restraining the Defendants (21 other members) jointly and severally from setting in motion any process of impeachment pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“My self (the Speaker), my Deputy, the Chief Whip and the Majority Leader are still in charge. There are grudges that government had not done anything to them as expected. We are making efforts to see what we can do about it. But we are hearing they carried out an impeachment without any offence.

Speaking on the Governor, Adamu said “what it means now is that the Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu should get himself prepared because I advised him before hand on this matter. So, anything that comes out of it, he should get prepared”.

My election as new Speaker of Niger state Assembly is God’s design – Usuma

The newly elected speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Adamu Usuma has described his ascension to his new position as a design of God.

Mr Usuma said this while addressing journalist shortly after he was elected by 21 of 24 members of the Niger state House of Assembly.

“When I was called upon, I’m sure you could see my demeanour. It is an unexpected position bestow on me and I just have to accept the responsibility because God has designed it so,” he said.

He said his primary responsibility is to move the state forward. He said the responsibilities him and his colleagues carried is covered by the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria.

“But at the same time, we are not in competition with any arms of government,” he said.

The former speaker of the House, Isah Kawo was on Tuesday impeached by his colleagues barely one week after been elected.

Mr Kawo’s impeachment followed a motion of no confidence moved by Andrew Doma representing Shiroro and supported by Abass Wazire representing Magama.

21 other lawmakers supported the no confidence motion and voted for the impeachment of Mr Kawo.

Mr Kawo’s immediate predecessor, Mohammed Tsowa Gammunu, was impeached last Tuesday after a motion that was moved by Bashir Loko Goma, representing Wushishi constituency under matters of urgent public importance for lack of competence was carried by the House.

The Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Bello, the Majority leader, Mohammad Dada, and the Chief Whip, Sa’adatu Kolo, the Chief Whip were all removed along with Mr Gammunu

Meanwhile, Mr Gamunu, had on Monday, dragged former speaker Mr Kawu and 19 others before a Minna High Court seeking to restrain the new speaker from performing the duties of the office pending the determination of the case.