Niger state government through the office of the Head of Service and the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to train civil servants on capacity building.
The Director-General Chief Executive Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari, said the decision was a result of mutual agreement between the state and ITF to build the capacity of all civil servants in the state.
Ari, represented by Gyang Davou, who is the Area Manager of ITF in Niger, said the partnership was geared towards improving the capacity of civil servants as key drivers of the image and structure of government operations.
“We have been working with synergy with the office of Head of Service, she has shown interest to civil servants development and their welfare.
“This partnership is to train civil servants as the workforce of the state to compete with another workforce of other states.
“It is to enhance their capacity, broaden their skills and knowledge, the training will cut across all aspects for all civil servants in the state,” he said.
In her remarks, Salamatu Abubakar, Niger State Head of Service, commended ITF for the collaboration with the state government to develop the capacity of civil servants at large.
She assured that they would ensure the sustainability of the partnership to build the capacity of all cadres of civil servants to compete with the world.
She also added that the agreement was to form a formidable working relationship to meet the specific needs support selected training areas as identified in skills gaps.
A member of the House of Representatives, representing Chanchaga Federal Constituency, Hon. Umar Bago has emerged the All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Niger State.
Bago polled 386 votes to beat his closest rival, Publisher of Blueprints Newspaper, Idris Malagi, who raked in 154 votes.
Similarly, a former Minister of Sports, Sani Ndanusa came a distant third with 84 votes while the incumbent Niger State Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso got 17 votes to clinch the fourth position in the contest.
Other contestants who were opponents of the APC’s governorship flagbearer in the 2023 general elections include the state Deputy Governor, Ahmed Ketso, Mohammed Kutigi, Aliyu Idris, Sani Ndanusa, Idris Malagi, Rufai Mohammed, Idris Makaranta, and Mohammed Kpautagi.
The Chief Retiring Officer for the exercise, Barrister Nasir Juju announced that about 1, 049 delegates were accredited to participate in the elections which was held at the Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna.
While announcing the results, Juju said Bago had the highest votes in the elections held in Minna, adding that “Therefore, I, Barr Nasir Ibrahim as the chairman Electoral committee, declare Hon Umaru Bago as the winner of the elections.”
In his acceptance speech, Bago appreciated God for the success of the elections.
He equally called on the party supporters to suspend celebration of his victory at the party’s Primary election, saying “We are not yet there, we still have work ahead to do. It is my prayer that APC forms the next Government in the state.”
Bago also thanked the state Governor, Abubakar Bello for providing a level playing field for all the aspirants, while calling on other aspirants and their campaign committees to kindly sheath their swords for the good of the party and residents of the state.
Ahead of the governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the police authorities have warned residents of Niger State against violence and thuggery.
The warning was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Wasiu Abiodun, saying adequate security measures have been put in place to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
“Niger State Police Command wishes to inform members of the public and party actors, that the Police Command and other security agencies in the state have emplaced adequate proactive security measures before, during and after the exercise,” the statement read in part.
“The Command hereby warns that anyone who has no business with the exercise should stay away from the venue and all delegates are equally advised to conduct themselves maturely and properly, as the Command is battle-ready and will not condone any acts of violence and thuggery.”
The police spokesman also warned that “anyone who has no business with the exercise should stay away from the venue and all delegates are equally advised to conduct themselves maturely and properly, as the Command is battle-ready and will not condone any acts of violence and thuggery.”
This is even as he advised parents and guardians to talk to their wards against being used as political thugs to disrupt public peace or political activities, as anyone found in the act of thuggery shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.
Ahead of the May 29 presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a presidential aspirant, Aminu Tambuwal has wooed Niger delegates, pledging an all-inclusive government if elected as Nigeria’s President in 2023.
Addressing PDP delegates in Niger State on Tuesday, Tambuwal, who is also the Sokoto State Governor, said he will ensure that all the 774 local government areas in the country benefit from his administration should he succeed President Muhammadu Buhari next year.
The governor stated that he possesses the requisite experience and qualities of being a unifier, adding that his records in the House of Representatives can testify to the fact that he has the capacity to bring Nigerians together to enhance the development.
Regretting that Nigeria is divided along ethnic and religious lines, Tambuwal advised the electorates to vote for someone that has the confidence and technical know-how as well as the tenacity of purpose to move the country to a greater height.
He described the commissioning of the Baro Port by President Muhammadu Buhari as dubious, saying “Buhari played you 419.”
On his part, the PDP Chairman in Niger State, Tanko Beji, noted that they will only consider presidential aspirants that visited them in Minna as a mark of respect during the party primaries in Abuja.
A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Mr. Jonathan Vatsa has vowed to quit politics if former President Goodluck Jonathan joins the party to vie for the presidential seat in 2023.
The former Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism in Niger State made the remark while speaking with Channels Television on Thursday in his reaction to speculations that Jonathan is set to join the race under the banner of the ruling party.
“I pray it is a mere rumor or fake news; but if former President Goodluck Jonathan accepts to contest the forthcoming election and under APC, then I will agree with a former governor, who once said there is no morality in politics. I will not only leave the party, but I will also quit politics and go back to the farm,” he said.
He said he is aware that the ruling party is desperate not to allow the power to return back to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023.
For him, “after our seven years of a disappointing performance in all aspects, the option of Jonathan should not be on our table”.
“We told Nigerians in 2015, that Jonathan was a devil, corrupt, and incompetent to address insecurity in the country, Jonathan is from a minority tribe and all manner of propaganda. Seven years after he is now an angel,” Vatsa said.
The former Publicity Secretary of the party in Niger State pointed out that the APC lied to Nigerians in 2015 in a desperate move to get the power by all means.
Such moves, he said, included the threat of violence which has now divided the country along ethnic and religious lines, adding that “this country has never been so divided as it is today”.
He attributed the wave of killings and tension in the country to what he called the hatred campaign by the ruling party ahead of the 2015 general elections.
Vatsa lamented that “today, there is no mutual love and trust among the various ethnic groups in the country, and this started in 2015.
“The desperation with which we want to bring Jonathan back is a confirmation that there was nothing wrong with the Jonathan government, rather some people wanted power at all cost even when they know that they are not competent and capable.”
“I have said it before and I will repeat it again that we as a party have nothing to tell Nigerians in 2023 for them to vote for us because we failed and have taken the country back 20 years. We must apologize to Nigerians because everything is now three times worst than we met in 2015, and that is the truth.
“Since 2015 we have continued to blame Jonathan and PDP for our inability to perform and fix the country, and now we want to give the government back to the same man we accused of destroying this country. This is a huge joke and amounts to taking Nigerians for granted.
“There is a complete lack of morality in Nigerian politics and I will not be part of this deceit. Posterity will not forgive some of us. This country is in dear need of an honest leader,” he maintained.
On the chances of Jonathan winning the election if he eventually declared, Vatsa said “he can not win under APC no matter the amount of rigging. Nigerians can not sincerely vote for APC again no matter who is the candidate. Or is it those that their relations are with kidnappers that will vote for you or those that their loved ones have been killed by kidnappers?
“You can not rig an election when the people are not with you; it is the people that help you to rig an election and the people are not with us right except we are lying and deceiving ourselves that the people are with us,” he submitted.
The Niger State government has debunked the claims that it confirmed the killing of six children by a fighter jet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
In a statement on Thursday in Minna, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Matane, described the report suggesting that he gave the confirmation as false.
He also faulted the report published by an online newspaper in which he purportedly detailed how the six children were killed, stressing that he never granted such an interview to any media outfit.
According to Matane, the report is a false and grossly misleading publication, and the public is advised to disregard the fake news.
He wondered how a reputable newspaper outfit could publish a sensitive security report of that nature without ‘proper confirmation’.
The SSG, therefore, called on members of the fourth estate of the realm and the public to desist from publishing or airing fake and unsubstantiated stories, but verify from credible sources before making them public.
Amid the report that six children were killed in an airstrike on Thursday in Niger, a community leader accused NAF of bombing houses in Kurebe in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state.
Salis Sabo, a spokesperson for the Coalition of Shiroro Associations (COSA), in a statement claimed the strikes occurred on April 13, although NAF authorities have yet to react to the allegation.
Part of the statement read, “Six children were bombed to pieces by an explosion from fighter jet belonging to Nigerian Air Force in Kurebe, Shiroro Local Government of Niger State.
“The incident happened on Wednesday the 13th of April 2020, in the morning when the children were coming back to fetch water from a motorised borehole within Kurebe community.
“A man who lost two of his daughters and two granddaughters in the incident said, ‘there was no single bandit within the village at the time the aircraft bombarded the innocent children. He added that the terrorists’ camps are well known.
“He said the terrorists around the community are of two groups, with two different camps. One links up with the community through Unguwan Zomo; the other through Kwantan Yashi area. Therefore, they do not understand why fighter jet would be targeting the community where civilians live.
Head Coach of Nigeria’s U-20 male team (Flying Eagles) Ladan Bosso has called up 40 players for next month’s WAFU B U-20 Championship taking place in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic.
The list has four goalkeepers, 12 midfielders, 17 midfielders, and seven forwards.
Invited players have been advised to arrive at the Blue Spring Hotel, opposite the Ministry of Justice (Maitama), Abuja on Monday, 18th April with their international passports, according to Team Secretary Aliyu Lawal Ibrahim.
Seven-time African champions, the Flying Eagles will play in Group B of the WAFU B Championship alongside Ghana and Burkina Faso, with the tournament scheduled for 7th – 20th May in Niamey. Hosts Niger Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, and the Benin Republic will contend in Group A.
Only the two finalists will qualify from the WAFU B zone to participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
“Let’s say if Nigeria accepts to do the same in the north-west in the fight against insurgency, we will gladly accept because as you know Nigeria almost entirely funds the operations and we will be very happy because that means it will reduce the economic and financial burden of the fight against these bandits,” he said.
He said Nigeria and his country must modify their strategies to the emerging security threats in the area.
This is the Nigerien president’s second visit to Nigeria since he came into power in 2021. He was welcomed by President Muhammadu Buhari, the governors of Zamfara, Borno, Kebbi, and Jigawa states.
During the meeting with Buhari and the governors, they discussed economic issues and security challenges facing the West African region.
Former Military President General Ibrahim Babangida has told those aspiring for the presidency to put Nigeria above other interests in everything they do.
Babangida gave the counsel when he received the former Senate President Bukola Saraki; Bauchi, and Sokoto State governors, Bala Mohammed and Aminu Tambwal respectively when they paid him a courtesy visit at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State on Thursday.
“Your belief in having a better Nigeria featured very prominently. You made my day. What you talked about is Nigeria, Nigeria, Nigeria. I want you to keep it up, for the benefit of this country and generations yet unborn,” Babangida said in reaction to the comments from Mr Saraki who led the three-man delegation.
“I want you to keep it up, for the benefit of this country and generations yet unborn. What you are doing is good, this is how the country should develop.”
He promised to support the group “so long as you stay on the course of promoting Nigeria all the time, making it a secure country”.
Earlier, the former two-time governor of Kwara State had said they were in Minna “as part of our consultations; going round the country talking to our elders and stakeholders”.
Saraki, who spoke to newsmen after the visit to General Babangida, said the team felt the former military president should be briefed about the efforts they are making to get a consensus presidential candidate that will face that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s election.
“We took him through what we are doing. This is part of what we call solution providing. We are trying to provide a solution to the political process because we want to ensure that it is smooth, it is not rancorous and it leads to a better Nigeria at the end of the day,” he said.
He said it was out of their “desire to make a better Nigeria that those of us who are aspiring to be president came together that we must find a way of having a consensus so that we can reduce the number and ensure that we have a candidate who is competent who has the support of everybody”.
According to him, they could not achieve the objective without the wise counsel of General Babangida and other leaders.
Saraki said Nigerians have been going through hell, especially in the last few days. He condoled those who lost their loved ones and those whose relations are injured or missing due to the train bombing incidents in Kaduna recently.
Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State has urged stalwarts of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sheath swords and press on amicably ahead of the 2023 elections.
The governor, who on Monday declared himself the acting National Chairman of the APC, stated this at a meeting where he addressed state chairmen of the ruling party.
“By the time you get back, you will unite the party in your various states,” Governor Bello said.
“Please, please, please; let bygones be bygones. You have to bring everyone together, those that were for you and against you.
“What we want is a united, unified APC in your various states, because we have elections around the corner and we hope and pray that by God’s grace we will have a better result in 2023 than in 2019,” Bello charged the state party leaders.
He further urged the chairmen to remember those who elected them into office in their various states, adding that all steps they take must be ordered by the principles of fairness, equity, and justice.
Earlier on, Governor Bello presided over a meeting of the Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja. He told newsmen after the meeting that he is now the acting chairman of the APC, a post which he claims to have been holding for a while now.
His comments come amid reports that Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State has been sacked as the chairman of the Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee.
Multiple reports suggested that security agents had stormed the party’s secretariat ahead of the meeting but the Niger governor said there is no cause for alarm.
“Well, every time there is a major event, we beef up security. So, today, we had a major event because all the chairmen came with their supporters and there were too many people,” governor Bello said.
“So, to maintain law and order when you have too many people, you beef up security.”
He, however, said he does not know the whereabouts of Governor Buni and his current post in the party.
According to him, he has the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the party. He explained that they discussed the party’s convention during the meeting, expressing happiness with the work so far done to make it a success.
According to him, sixty motorcycles were recovered, uncertain numbers of cattle were also returned to their owners. He noted that the bandits were killed in the Kundu axis of Rafi and the Babanlaba axis of Mariga local governments and other parts of the state between Sunday and Wednesday.
The commissioner hinted that two security personnel lost their lives in the fight against the bandits but appreciated the gallant efforts of the Joint State Security Taskforce.
At Gbacitagi village, the bandits invaded a wedding ceremony, kidnapped the bride, one other girl, carted away money and other valuable items, and destroyed vehicles.
The gunmen were reported to have killed one person each at Ebbo, Tsonfadagabi, Tsogi, and Kanko.
On their way out of the communities and heading towards Akare community in Wushishi Local Government Area with some of the rustled cattle, the gunmen got stuck when they discovered that the only bridge linking the community with Akare had collapsed.
The Commissioner for Local Government and Internal security, Emmanuel Umar, confirmed the attack to Channels Television.
He, however, said he was yet to get more details of the incident.
Residents, however, said they were unable to successfully cross the river of the broken bridge with the cattle, so they had to abandon them by the river and decided to retreat to Sheshi community to find another possible route out of the community.
The gunmen were, however, confronted by the locals, which resulted in an exchange of gunfire between them and the local vigilantes.
Six people were killed in the gun battle (two vigilantes and four locals).