Niger State NUT Laments Impact Of Insecurity On Education

 

The Niger State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, has lamented over the rate of damage activities of kidnappers, insurgents and bandits have caused to the educational sector and the lives of school children.

The NUT Chairman, Comrade Adamu Mohammed, made this known at an event to mark the 2022 World Teachers’ Day Celebration in Minna, Niger State.

Comrade Mohammed said the worst affected local councils in Niger state include Rafi, Shiroro, Mashegu, Paikoro, Munya, Mariga, and Rijau, hence the adverse effect on the desire to deliver quality education.

He further called on the state government to urgently ensure the payment of pensioners’ gratuities and salaries of teachers as at when due and the balance of ten months’ salary arrears.

Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State represented by his Deputy, Ahmed Ketso said the government is not unaware of many schools are still closed down owing to security challenges in the affected councils. He assured that the ugly trend will be reversed soon.

The state commissioner for Education, Hon Hanatu Jibrin, in her remarks enumerated some giant strides of the ministry including streamlining and strengthening the operations of the departments of the Ministry and creating an ICT department.

She assured teachers and education managers in the state that government is not unmindful of the challenges facing them and the important contribution they have been making to the development of the State.

Some teachers were awarded cars, refrigerators, gas cookers, and television sets for their outstanding performances in their respective schools.

NIWA Provides Speed Boat For Rescue, Surveillance In Niger Community 

NIWA-

 

As part of efforts to fulfill its mandate, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has launched PB Port Harcourt Fibre Patrol, surveillance and safety boat on Kanji Lake Malale Waterways in Niger and Kwara states.

The NIWA Managing Director, Dr George Moghalu, was represented by the deputy director in charge of navigation, Captain Abdulkadir Abu, at the commissioning ceremony in Malale on Friday.

He advised water users to avoid night journeys and desist from boarding without life jackets. According to him, about 30 people died this year in boat mishaps. He, however, said that due to cutting of water stocks, removal of water logs, and sensitization, accidents occurring on the Kainji Lake have reduced.

NIWA Area Manager Niger/Kwara states, Mr Akapo Adeboye, in his welcome address, said that the speed boat will be used for rescue, security, and safety of the water users in the communities with surveillance and safety agents.

 

Adeboye added that this would stop the infiltration of foreigners through the waterways into the country, overloading, over speeding hence the boat has the capacity of two 115 horsepower engines.

He urged the two states to take useful advantage of their waters for economic growth.

On his part, the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, represented by the Commissioner for Transportation, Zakari Mohammed reiterated the commitment to the state government in partnering with all stakeholders in enhancing the safety and protection of its citizens.

While commissioning the boat, the Emir of Borgu, Barrister Mohammed Dantoro, represented by the Wazirn Borgu, Sa’ad Abdulkareem, appreciated the kind gesture.

The monarch promised to maximize the boat to the benefit of the communities.

Nigeria, Niger Republic Hold Multilateral Security Meeting In Katsina

Participants at the meeting.

 

Worried with the growing insecurity in most parts of Nigeria including the neighboring Niger Republic, a multilateral security stakeholders meeting has been convened by Governor Chuaibou Aboubacar of Maradi Region in the Niger Republic.

The security meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the General Muhammadu Buhari Government House, Katsina State on Tuesday, had in attendance the governors of Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states in Nigeria as well as that of the Maradi Region in the Niger Republic.

The Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, were present at the meeting by the Kebbi State Deputy Governor, Sama’ila Yaubai, and his Zamfara State counterpart, Hassan Mohammed Nasiha respectively.

In his address during the opening session of the meeting, the Maradi Region Governor, Chuaibou Aboubacar, announced that the two affected countries are in trouble due to terrorist activities.

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“Participants at this meeting are one family, hence, we deem it necessary to sort ourselves out at mitigating the menace,” he said.

On his part, Governor Masari also decried the level of insecurity rocking Katsina, saying his administration has been taking several measures toward addressing the issue.

“We in Katsina State have built the capacity of traditional rulers and local government administrators to deal with the emerging real and potential threats in their respective areas of administration through the local content initiative.

“We also promoted the concept of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanism, as provided by the State Multi-Door court process, enhancing and promoting Inter-security agencies liaison through the establishment of joint operations and information-sharing platform,” he added.

Meanwhile, the representatives of Kebbi and Zamfara State governors unanimously agreed that the significance of the meeting cannot be over-emphasized, especially as the two countries face common cross-border crimes of banditry, terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, and other related crimes.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Katsina State Governor on Security Matters, Ibrahim Ahmad Katsina, commended the initiative of the governors operating in the frontline regions which he said is part of their efforts toward containing the myriads of security challenges facing not only in Nigeria and Niger Republic but also, the entire West African sub-region.

“The security challenges we are facing have become a multinational phenomenon, requiring multi-dimensional approaches and strategies to contend with.

“This meeting is therefore a brotherhood-driven approach towards problem-solving, especially when problems and challenges seem to be complicated and overwhelming. Thus, the desire by the affected frontline States of Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi states to partner with our brothers from Maradi in the Niger Republic and other critical stakeholders, towards finding lasting and adaptable solutions to our problems and challenges as it affects security.

“As your host, we are ready to share with you the Katsina State model pursued by the administration of Rt. Hon. Aminu Bello Masari in dealing with these challenges based on the realities on the ground,” he said.

Air Strikes, Floods Displace Terrorists In Northeast

A file photo an Alpha-jet of the Nigerian Air Force. Photo: [email protected]

 

Hundreds of Boko Haram jihadists have fled a forest enclave in northeast Nigeria, escaping air strikes by the military and floods from torrential rains to seek shelter on Niger’s side of Lake Chad, sources told AFP.

Northeast Nigeria is facing a 13-year armed insurgency by jihadist groups which has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes.

The violence has spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroon, with the jihadists maintaining camps in the vast Lake Chad region straddling the four countries.

A Nigerian security source said there had an exodus of Boko Haram militants from Sambisa forest since last month due to a sustained bombing campaign on their hideouts.

Nigeria has also recorded a more intensive rainy season, which usually runs from May through September, and floods have occurred in almost every part of the country.

“The exodus of the Boko Haram terrorists has increased in recent days as the bombardments have intensified, coupled with the floodings that have submerged many of their camps,” said the security source in the region who asked not to be identified.

On Monday, a convoy of more than 50 trucks carrying Boko Haram fighters and their families passed through villages on a route linking Sambisa with Lake Chad, several residents in the region said.

The fighters are believed to be loyal to Bakura Buduma, a Boko Haram factional leader, the sources said.

The convoy drove through Mafa forest into Jere and Koshobe before crossing between the towns of Gajiram and Gasarwa on the 135-kilometre (85-mile) highway linking the regional capital Maiduguri and the garrison town of Monguno, said the sources.

“They (Boko Haram) crossed the highway in batches of 10 vehicles at a time under the watch of heavily armed fighters,” said Laminu Kontoma, a resident of the area.

After crossing the highway, the convoy moved into Gudumbali forest from where they emerged at Gaidam, before traversing a river into Abadam district on the border with Niger, said another resident, Bunami Garga.

“The Boko Haram convoy is definitely heading to the islands on Lake Chad in the Bosso area of Niger where the group has camps,” said a fisherman named Kallah Sani who said he was familiar with Boko Haram movements in the region.

Niger authorities could not immediately confirm the movement.

Infighting

Those heading into Niger are Boko Haram fighters who had been holed up in parts of the Sambisa forest that remained under the group’s control after it lost ground to a rival, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).

ISWAP split from Boko Haram in 2016, rising to become a dominant jihadist group focusing more on attacking military bases and ambushing troops rather than civilians.

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau was killed in May 2021 during the infighting with ISWAP, which also seized most of the group’s territory in Sambisa.

Some Boko Haram fighters moved out of Sambisa towards forests in the northwest where they forged alliances with criminal gangs involved in looting and kidnapping for ransom, according to a Nigerian intelligence report.

Niger State Assembly Orders Suspension Of 15 LGA Chairmen

 

The committee set up by the Niger state House of Assembly to investigate contract financing loans of twenty-five local government councils has recommended the suspension of fifteen local government councils chairmen.

This is to pave way for smooth and unhindered access by members of the committee to enable them to discharge their duties diligently.

Presenting the report during plenary, the Chairman of the committee, Abdulmalik Madaki Bosso, explained that the fifteen local government councils chairmen are that of Mokwa, Gbako, Suleja, Gurara, Tafa Paikoro, Bosso, Agwara, Borgu, Kontagora, Wushishi, Magama, Mariga, Mashegu, and Rijau.

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This he said was in line with the provision of sections 128 and 129 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended as well as the provision of section 90 Subsection one A B and C of local government 2001 as amended.

He alleged that most of the suspended local government chairmen have collected the loan without following due process which he said is unacceptable by the Niger State House of Assembly.

According to him, the problem had added an extra burden to the smooth running of local government administration in the state.

Abdulmalik Madaki Bosso, however, added that the deduction of N8m each from local government councils for loan repayment be suspended for the failure of the ministry to obtain house resolution as provided in Section 97 Subsection One of the Local Government Councils 2001 as amended.

Fake Soldier Arrested With N720,000 In Niger

The suspect was arrested by police operatives in Niger State. Credit: Police

 

A fake soldier has been arrested with military camouflage and cash of N720,000, according to police authorities.

The suspect, said to have been parading himself as a military officer, was sighted along the Ibeto area of Nasko, Magama Local Government Area of the state.

Police Public Relations Officer, Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday, saying a Mercedes Benz with Reg. No. BDG 300 TA was recovered from him.

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Also recovered include one NDA emblem, one military camouflage jungle hat, one military vest with a belt, one military face mask, two ropes and three sim cards of different network providers.

“On receipt of this information, Police operatives attached to Nasko Division mobilized to the area and arrested one Aliyu Umar aged 35yrs ‘m’ of  Wawu-Garin Warra, Ngaski LGA of Kebbi State,” the police spokesman said.

“During interrogation, he denied being a military officer, but claimed that the accoutrements belong to his brother who is a soldier is serving at Warri.”

The police spokesman stated that the suspect has been on the Command’s watch list, adding that he dumped a Honda Accord vehicle with Reg.No. RBC 143 FF at Maje along Kotangora road in the year 2020 to evade arrest for a similar offence.

According to Wasiu, the fake soldier could not give a satisfactory account of himself as he claimed to be a car dealer and farmer while he further said that the cash in his possession was meant to purchase a vehicle.

Noting that the case is under investigation, he stated that the suspect will be arraigned in court for prosecution immediately after the conclusion of the probe.

He equally called on members of the public to be more vigilant and report any strange person (s) to the police and other security agencies for prompt intervention.

Nigeria, Algeria, Niger Discuss Gas Pipeline To Europe

In this file photo taken on November 08, 2011 the Nordstream gas pipeline terminal is pictured prior to an inaugural ceremony for the first of Nord Stream's twin 1,224 kilometre gas pipeline through the baltic sea, in Lubmin November 8, 2011. John MACDOUGALL / AFP
PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: In this file photo taken on November 08, 2011 the Nordstream gas pipeline terminal is pictured prior to an inaugural ceremony for the first of Nord Stream’s twin 1,224 kilometre gas pipeline through the baltic sea, in Lubmin November 8, 2011. John MACDOUGALL / AFP

 

African energy giants Algeria, Nigeria and Niger signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday on a vast gas pipeline project offering Europe potential future alternatives to Russian supplies, state media reported.

The Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline (TSGP) would transport billions of cubic metres of gas some 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles) from Nigeria in West Africa, north through Niger and on to Algeria.

From there it could be pumped through the Mediterranean undersea Transmed pipeline to Italy, or loaded onto liquefied natural gas tankers for export.

On Thursday, Algerian Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab hosted his counterparts from Nigeria and Niger, Timipre Sylva and Mahamane Sani, for talks on the project, state news agency APS reported.

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The contents of the memorandum of understanding were not disclosed, but the long-dormant project has seen an uptick in interest in recent months as gas prices have surged following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

When the TSGP was first proposed in 2009, the cost of building it was estimated at $10 billion.

As well as serving European markets, gas could be diverted to serve markets along the route of the pipeline or elsewhere in the Sahel region.

Algeria, Africa’s largest natural gas exporter, has already seen increased demand following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, with Western nations scouring the globe to find supplies to replace oil and gas from Russia.

Algiers is seeking further ways to capitalise on high global energy prices.

But the TSGP would face formidable logistical and security challenges, passing through thousands of kilometres of desert where jihadist groups have waged a long insurgency.

“A pipeline like this would be hugely vulnerable, not just to attacks by jihadists but also by local communities if they feel they’re getting exploited by a project from which they derive no benefit,” said Geoff D. Porter, an energy expert with North Africa Risk Consulting.

“And then, who’s going to finance it?”

AFP

Bandits Kidnap Nine From Niger Village, Police Rescue Four

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Map of Niger State, North-Central Nigeria

 

Bandits attacked a village in Munya Local Government of Niger State on Saturday, abducting up to nine people in the process.

The bandits attacked the village in the early hours of the morning, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Niger Police Command, Wasiu Abiodun.

He said the police were, however, on the trail of the attackers and swung into action after being alerted about the attack.

“At about 05:20 hours, armed bandits attacked Kuti Village, via Sarkin Pawa in Munya Local Government Area where about nine persons were abducted,” he said at a press briefing in Minna, the Niger State capital on Saturday.

“Meanwhile, the police tactical team supported by vigilante members were drafted to this area and as a result of the sustained pressure, four victims were rescued unhurt while the teams are still on the trail of the hoodlums to rescue the remaining victims.”

The police urged the people to keep providing information and tips to aid operatives in effectively carrying out their duties.

“The Commissioner of Police, Niger State Command, CP Bala Kuryas, commended Nigerlites for giving such useful intelligence for proactiveness in ensuring the protection of life and property while urging them to sustain these efforts as security is a collective responsibility,” Abiodun said.

During the briefing, the police paraded some suspects including a 40-year-old man believed to be a kidnap kingpin.

The man, identified as Bashiru Abdullahi, was arrested in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.

Abiodun said he was arrested around 4:30 pm on July 14 by the police tactical team attached to the Minna Area command while trying “to recruit armed men needed to perpetrate his usual kidnapping escapades”.

During interrogation, the suspect confessed to his involvement in the kidnapping and that he was planning to kidnap a former local government chairman for N10m.

The police PRO said Abdullahi “claimed that the former chairman owed him about N5.8 million and that if the former chairman was kidnapped, he intended to collect N10 million as ransom from him.

“He further confessed that part of his plan was to equally kidnap the father of the former Commissioner whom he owes about one million, three hundred thousand naira (N1,300,000) from a business transaction between them while he was expecting to get fifteen million naira ransom from the plan.”

Police Arrest Suspected Kidnap Kingpin, Others In Niger


 

A suspected kidnap kingpin and killer has been arrested by the police in Niger State.

Public Relations Officer of the Police Command In Niger, Wasiu Abiodun, said the man, identified as Bashiru Abdullahi, was arrested in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.

He was arrested around 4:30 pm on July 14 by the police tactical team attached to the Minna Area command while trying “to recruit armed men needed to perpetrate his usual kidnapping escapades”, the police said.

In a statement on Saturday, Abiodun said the 40-year-old suspect is a native of Bangi town, which is the headquarters of Mariga LGA.

During interrogation, the suspect confessed to his involvement in the kidnapping and that he was planning to kidnap a former local government chairman for N10m, according to the statement.

The statement said he “claimed that the former chairman owed him about N5.8 million and that if the former chairman was kidnapped, he intended to collect N10 million as ransom from him.

“He further confessed that part of his plan was to equally kidnap the father of the former Commissioner whom he owes about one million, three hundred thousand naira (N1,300,000) from a business transaction between them while he was expecting to get fifteen million naira ransom from the plan.”

According to the police, further investigation revealed that sometime in March 2022, Bashiru is suspected to have murdered his younger brother, identified as Alhaji Mamuda Abdullahi aged 35 of Bangi.

“When he was interrogated, he confessed to the act (saying) that he contributed money with his brother to the tune of seventy-nine million naira (N79 million) for a business purpose, but he suspected that his brother swindled him and he hit him with a stick on the head which resulted in his death,” the police said.

“However, he told the family members that his brother was attacked and killed by bandits at Beri.”

The police believe the suspect is involved in other criminal acts and an investigation is ongoing to determine that and arrest other suspected members of his gang.

In a separate operation, the police in Niger arrested two suspects for criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, and robbery.

The police PRO identified the suspects as Mohamed Ndako and Mohammed Aliyu, both from Emitachigi Village in Katcha Local Government. Both men are based in the Gurara area of the Niger State capital, Minna.

According to him, the police operatives trailed the suspects to Paiko and arrested them when they were in the process of disposing of a stolen motorcycle.

He said, “During interrogation, Mohammed Aliyu confessed that on 13/07/2022 at about 2030hrs, he was at Gurara junction where he boarded a motorcycle to convey him to Gurara area and on reaching a point within the area, the suspect hit the motorcyclist who is by name Garba Aliyu ‘m’ of Barikichi area, Minna with a hammer on the head and fell unconscious.

“The suspect went away with the victim’s motorcycle and later joined Mohammed Ndako in his residence within the area, while both of them took the motorcycle to Paiko for sale, where they were apprehended.

“The two suspects confessed further to have conspired and stole a motorcycle at Bida within last year (2021) and the motorcycle was sold at the rate of forty thousand naira (N40,000) to a yet-to-be-identified person at Paiko.

“Two motorcycles were recovered from the suspects, one belonging to the deceased while the suspect Mohammed Aliyu claimed that the other motorcycle belonged to his brother.”

The suspects will be prosecuted after the completion of the investigation.

Niger Govt Declares Two-Day Holiday For PVC Registration, Collection

A file photo of Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has declared Thursday, 30th June 2022, and Friday, 1st July 2022 as state-wide public holidays to enable the people of Niger State to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

The governor made the declaration in a press statement signed on Thursday by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Ahmed Ibrahim Matane in Minna.

The holiday, he said, is to enable civil servants, public office holders, and citizens of the State who have attained the age of 18 years or lost their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) or even changed their locations to take advantage of the ongoing INEC Continuous Voters Registration Exercise and obtain their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs).

Governor Bello equally directed all Commissioners, Special Advisers, and top government officials to proceed to their respective Local Governments to sensitize and mobilize the general public to come out en-mass to register and obtain their Voter Cards before the closing date announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“At the end of the exercise, Commissioners and Special Advisers are expected to render reports on the outcome of the exercise in their Local Government Areas, the statement stressed. Voters Card remains the only tool that allows people to elect credible candidates of their choice,” the statement read.

While asking everyone to come out in large numbers to obtain their voter cards, the governor then tasked every political Appointee to submit reports on the outcome of the exercise in their local government areas.

Niger Govt Plans To Train Civil Servants, Signs MoU With ITF

Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.
Niger is a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria and the largest state in the country.

 

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.

Reps Member Umaru Bago Wins Niger APC Governorship Primary

The APC flag.

 

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.

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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.