Benue Lawmakers Push For North Central Development Commission

Benue State House of Assembly appeals to Samuel Ortom to facilitate North Central Development Commission The Benue State House of Assembly has appealed to Governor Samuel Ortom to help facilitate the establishment of the North Central Development Commission in a joint effort with other governors in the sub-region.

The lawmakers made the resolve as they resumed plenary on Thursday to debate key national issues, one of which is the insecurity issue relating to attacks by herdsmen.

A motion moved by the Majority Leader, Representative Benjamin Adanyi, prayed the House to also appeal to National Assembly lawmakers from the north-central region to pursue a bill in this direction.

Outlining the effects of herdsmen attacks in the region, Adanyi opined that such bill would help rebuild devastated communities in Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau states, as well as Southern Kaduna in Northwest Nigeria.

He likened the killings and destruction in the region to what the Boko Haram terrorists did in the northeast.

The lawmaker explained that the incidence warranted the Federal Government to establish the North East Development Commission, with proposed funding of 3% deductions from Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue collected nationwide.

He further questioned why such amount of VAT was collected from Benue State to fund the reconstruction of the northeast while excluding the state which he said was confronted with acute internal displacement challenges.

Following a few amendments of the motion by the Speaker of the House, Honourable Terkimbi Ikyange, the lawmakers unanimously passed the proposal.

Subsequently, the Benue South caucus of the assembly met to discuss the brutal killing of a soldier in Agatu Local Government Area of the state.

The Minority Leader of the House, Sule Audu, appealed to the Nigerian Army to halt the alleged destruction of Agatu villages in a retaliation move.

Police Recover Over 100 Animals From Rustlers In Kaduna

Police, Kaduna, Rustlers, Animals,Policemen attached to the Operation Yaki Security Outfit in Kaduna State have recovered over 100 cows and sheep from suspected rustlers in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

The coordinator of the security outfit, Yakubu Yusuf, made the disclosure while parading the recovered animals before reporters on Tuesday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

Mr Yusuf said that the animals were recovered during a raid at a bush in Sabon Gaya, following intelligence report from patriotic residents concerning the activities of the suspected rustlers in the area.

He added that the suspected rustlers took to their heels upon arrival of the security operatives.

The coordinator also noted that some of the animals, which were stolen from Kano and Niger states, were brought to Kaduna State through the bush.

He assured the public that his men would not relent in the war against cattle rustling, banditry and other criminal activities across the state.

He called for the cooperation of the citizens in the fight against crime in Kaduna State.

Police Gun Down Four Robbery Suspects In Kaduna

Police, Kaduna, Robbery Suspects, RobbersFour robbery suspects have died during a shootout with operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command.

The incident, according to the state’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyole Abeh, occurred on Monday afternoon around Jere area in Kagarko Local Government Area of the state in northwest Nigeria.

Mr Abeh said the suspects were on their way for a robbery operation before the police intercepted them.

He said the feat was made following intelligence information that the suspected robbers were on their way for an operation.

The Police Commission also disclosed that operatives of the command arrested a dismissed police officer who has been terrorising residents of the state capital in the name of the command.

He added that members of another robbery gang, who specialise in shop theft and car snatching, were also apprehended by his men in different parts of the state.

Items recovered from the suspects include 10 AK 47 rifles, live ammunition, a stolen Toyota Camry vehicle, a police uniform and stolen clothes and jewelleries.

Mr Abeh further assured the residents of water-tight security across the state ahead of the planned diversion of the Abuja bound passengers to the Kaduna International Airport which had been scheduled to take effect from March 8.

One of the suspects, who claimed to have been dismissed from the police since 2015 for alleged involvement in some criminal acts, confessed to the crime.

He told reporters that he had been impersonating as a police officer in order to earn a living.

Stolen Power Installations Recovered From Vandals In Kano

Power, Vandals, KanoThe Anti-vandalism Joint Task Force (JTF) recently inaugurated in Kano State has recovered electrical installations worth millions of naira from suspected vandals in the state.

The task force was constituted by the MD/CEO of Kano Electricity Distribution Company Plc (KEDCO) Dr Jamil Gwamna, to protect electrical installations in the northwest Nigerian state.

A statement by the spokesperson for KEDCO, Mohammed Kandi, revealed on Wednesday that the JTF raided a warehouse at Ranji quarters in Tudun Murtala, suspected to be hideout for vandals.

Mr Kandi said that the operation followed an information that large items of power installation had been kept in a premises purportedly owned by a scrap vendor.

“One of the suspected vandals (name withheld), who was arrested at the scene, admitted during a preliminary investigation by officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) that he had been in the business for the past three years.

“He also claimed buying the items which comprised 40 bunches of vandalised copper cables and five rolls of vandalised aluminium conductor weighing about 360kg from a trailer-laden with scrap materials,” the statement read.

The spokesman informed that the suspects would be prosecuted and called on residents to assist the firm in watching over the power installations in their area.

He lauded the management’s decision to set up the JTF with a view to clampdown on vandals and reduce the tide of vandalism in KEDCO’s coverage area of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa states.

Kafanchan Crisis: Protesters Burn Jema’a LG Chairman’s House, Worship Places

Bege Katuka, Kaduna, Protesters, Kafanchan, Jema’aSome youths in Kaduna State have attacked the residence of the Chairman of Jema’a Local Government Area, Dr. Bege Katuka, during a protest over the killing of their people by suspected herdsmen.

Dr. Katuka’s residence, which is located a few meters away from the council’s secretariat, was burnt down completely while some houses, shops, vehicles and places of worship were also torched.

The angry youths accused the chairman and the State government of not doing enough to stop the persistent killings going on in Southern Kaduna.

Witnesses told Channels Television that the incident occurred on Monday night and lasted till the early hours of Tuesday.

In his reaction, Dr. Katuka described the protest as politically motivated and aimed at breaching the fragile peace in the area.

The protest has led to the imposition of a curfew on Jema’a and Kauru local government areas of Kaduna State in northwest Nigeria.

Having suspended all his official engagements, Governor Nasir El-Rufai visited the affected areas with his deputy and top government officials and subsequently held a Security Council meeting in Kafanchan.

This is the second time the governor is holding such meeting in Kafanchan in 2016, as part of effort to find a lasting solution to the attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives and destroyed property worth millions of Naira.

While the meeting was ongoing, hundreds of women and youths gathered outside the compound of the venue, demanding to see the governor.

Addressing the women, Governor El-Rufai urged them to remain calm and assured them that the government was doing its best to beef up security and bring normalcy to the area.

He also stressed the importance of living in peace with one another, adding that no matter the effort of government, the people hold the key to lasting peace in the area.

The governor also visited the Emir of Jema’a, Muhammadu Isah Muhammadu, Chief of Kagoro, Ufoi Bonet and Chief of Marwa, Tagwai Sambo, where he solicited for their support in restoring peace to the area.

FEC Approves Completion Of Kaduna Power Plants

FEC, Kaduna Power PlantsThe Federal Executive Council has approved the completion of the 215 megawatts power plant in Kaduna State which had been abandoned since 2009.

The government also assented to the completion of the 40 megawatts of power from the Gurara Hydro Electric Plant (Phase One) to connect the Kaduna/ Mando transmission substation also in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, briefed reporters on the development after the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Fashola said the two approvals revealed the commitment of the present administration to create jobs and expand the transmission of power across Nigeria.

“We are now in a position that we can complete this programme by next year and add 215 megawatts of power to the grid and particularly dedicate some of that power to Gurara in Kaduna to support the industrial complex there,” he told reporters.

The second project was the construction of substation to evacuate power from the Gurara Hydro Electric Power Plant (Phase One).

The government had earlier approved a contract for the completion of the 10 megawatts wind power project abandoned in Katsina State since 2012.

On her part, the Minister of State for National Planning, Mrs Zeinab Ahmed, updated reporters on the social investment programme the All Progressives Congress (APC) government promised Nigerians during the campaigns..

She said 11 states were ready so far for the school feeding programme that is targeted at at least 5.5 million school children.

The Minister added that 500,000 undergraduates expected to benefit from the job creation programme would earn 30,000 Naira monthly.

She further stated that the government was aware of its promise to give 5,000 Naira monthly to the extremely poor for a period of two years.

El-Rufai Flags Off Construction Of Potato Factory In Kaduna

Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, Potato Factory Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, has flagged off the construction of a Potato Farm and Processing factory worth $120 million, in line with his administration’s economic diversification programme.

The factory, said to be the first of its kind in West Africa, is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. It is located at Manchok in Kaura Local Government Area of the state in northwest Nigeria.

The proposed factory is being constructed in partnership with Vicampro International, an agro-based company with branches in several countries.

At the ground breaking ceremony for the proposed factory on Saturday, Governor El-Rufai said the processing facility would earn foreign exchange and reduce over-dependence on oil.

He stated further that the state government was committed to promoting agricultural practices to fast track development, diversify the economy and boost Internally Generated Revenue.

Reduction Of Poverty

The Governor appealed to the host community to support and cooperate with Vicampro, in order to pave way for the attainment of its mission.


He expressed the belief that the return of vibrant economic activities and the reduction of poverty among the populace would drive prosperity and reduce the divisions that became pronounced as the state’s economy entered dire straits from the late 1980s.

In his remarks, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, spoke on the issue of access to finance, which he said remained a major challenge of most investors.

He pledged that the issue was being addressed to ensure that investors with viable ideas were given the necessary support.

Need For Diversification

The CBN Governor, who said the drop in oil prices had affected Nigeria’s economy drastically, suggested further diversification as the only alternative to overcome the economic crisis.

He assured the people that the CBN would collaborate with the Kaduna State government to translate the idea to reality for the benefit of all.

On her part, the Minister of State of Trade and Investment, Mrs Aisha Abubakar, described the development as a giant stride towards moving the nation’s economy forward.

Giving the details of the project, the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), Gambo Hamza, explained that to successfully run the plant, the factory would need about 10,000 hectares of land for potato cultivation.

He added that upon completion, the factory would have the capacity to process 2,500 tonnes of potatoes daily and create at least 30,000 jobs.

In his remark, the Managing Director of Vicampro, Michael Agbogbo, said the company would produce French fries, Irish flakes and biscuits for local and international consumption.

The residents of Manchok on their part, lauded the investment and expressed hopes that it would improve their community’s economy and provide jobs for them.

Troops Destroy Camps Of Livestock Rustlers And Armed Bandits

Army Troops Destroy Livestock Rustlers And Armed Bandits' CampsTroops of the Nigerian Army have destroyed hideouts of livestock rustlers and armed bandits in operations military said were tremendously successful.

The feat is in continuation with the clearance of all suspected livestock rustlers and armed bandits’ camps and hideouts in Nigeria, especially in the northwest region.

Troops of 223 Battalion, One Brigade of One Division on Friday raided suspected livestock rustlers and armed bandits’ camps at Tofa forest in Gusau Local Government Area (LGA) of Zamfara State.

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An armed bandit’s hideout set on fire

During the operation, an armed bandit was killed while few others sustained gunshot wounds.

The troops recovered a Dane gun, two locally made pistols and four motorcycles while the camps were destroyed in line with established procedure.

The four motorcycles recovered
The four motorcycles recovered

The Army spokesman, Colonel Sani Usman, revealed in a statement on Saturday that the troops also went on a long-range patrol along Dumburum-Batsari forest axis in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State and part of Katsina State.

“They also discovered several cattle rustlers and armed bandits’ camps and destroyed them after an encounter with the bandits in the area.

“Here too, the troops killed a bandit while others fled on motorcycles and recovered three locally made pistols.

Troops-clear-hideouts4
locally made pistols recovered

“Thereafter, the patrol team proceeded to Batsari in Katsina State and linked up with troops of 35 Battalion of Three Brigade, Nigerian Army and cleared several bandits’ camps within the area.

“The troops in conjunction with Nigeria Police also recovered a stolen Mercedes Benz car model E200 with registration number Lagos CW 504 LND from one Gambo Ibrahim of Kubacha town, that was stolen at New Karu.

Troops-clear-hideouts3
Another hideout destroyed by troops

“Similarly, troops at Anchau, Kaduna State, pursued a notorious armed bandit named Danladi Tasha Adamu along Kargi District (who) unfortunately fled into the bush.

“He, however, abandoned seven rustled cattle.

“The recovered livestock were handed over to Kubau Local Government Council officials,” Colonel Usman said.

Police Stop ‘Free Zakzaky’ Protest In Abuja

Police, Zakzaky, AbujaPolice have interrupted a protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria who are demanding the release of their leader.

Members of the group had staged a similar protest in Kano a week earlier and the Police stiffly resisted their attempt to stage another protest on Thursday in Abuja.

The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Alkali Usman, said that their action was to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

The leader of the group, popularly known as Shiites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been in custody of the Department of State Services since December 2015.

The arrest was a fall out of a bloody clash between members of the group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Since Zakzaky’s detention, the Shiites have staged several protests across Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, as the matter is still in court.

The latest by the group was the demonstration in Kano State where members including women and children, carried posters of their leader while chanting various anti-government slogans.

One of the protesters, Fatima Muhammad, said that their leader had been confirmed sick and needed immediate medical attention, noting that his health was deteriorating.

The group had also stated that there would be no going back and that they would continue with the protest until their demands were met.

 

Shiites Storm Kano To Protest Zakzaky’s Detention

shiite protest Zakzaky's arrest in KanoMembers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have taken their protest to Kano State in the northwest region of the country.

Once again, the Shiites are asking for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, after the alleged massacre of their members in Zaria.

Including women and children, members of the group carried posters of their leader while chanting various anti-government slogans.

One of the protesters, Fatima Muhammad, said that their leader has been confirmed sick and needed immediate medical attention, noting that his health was deteriorating.

The group stated that there would be no going back and that they would continue with the protest until their demands were met.

They maintained that Zakzaky and the entire members of the movement have not committed any offence.

The Shiites added that they would also continue to follow due process in ensuring the release of their leader whom they said has lost his sense of sight.

El-Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 following a clash between some Army personnel and members of the religious group in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Kano Youths Kick Against Pension For Former Governors

Kano Youths on pensionSome youths have called on the Kano State House of Assembly to repeal the pension benefits for former governors and their deputies in the state.

The Voice of Progressive Youth in Kano State alleged that the benefit had given more attention to the governors and deputies to the detriment of the citizens.

The Chairman of the group, Hamisu Sharifai, presented the letter of protest to the Clerk of the Assembly on Friday in Kano, northwest Nigeria.

He noted that the law would destroy the state’s economy, considering what the beneficiaries of the law were getting from the state’s lean treasury.

In line with the current Nigeria’s economic crisis, Mr Sharifai insisted that the said law be repealed in the interest of justice, equity, fairness, public decency and morality.

The youths noted that the law depleted the lean treasury of the state as well as made the governors and their deputies the landlords, rather than the servants of the good people of Kano State.

In his response, the Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Lawan Badamasi, assured the youths that their message would be delivered to the leadership of the House.

He promised that the lawmakers would act in accordance with the law.

In 2007, a former Kano State Governor, Ibrahim Shekarau, signed the Pension Rights of Governor and Deputy Governor, a law that entitles former governors and their deputies to pension rights for life.

Section 3 (1) of the law provides the governors and deputy governors with pension at the rate equivalent to annual total emolument of the incumbent governor.

This includes two personal staff, two brand new vehicle, free medical treatment and 30 days annual vacation within or outside Nigeria.

Nigerian Air Force To Increase Recruitment Of Personnel

Nigerian Air Force RecruitmentThe Nigerian Air Force says it will increase its recruitment of officials to 2,500 annually.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who announced the new plan, said the increase in the number of intake would increase the Air Force’s support to Nigeria’s security.

He was speaking during the commissioning of the Ground Training Centre Airmen Instructors Quarters and Recruits camp at the 335 Base Services Group Air Force Base, Mando in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The project is part of others initiated by the administration of Air Marshal Abubakar few months ago.

He explained that the projects were aimed at creating enabling working environment for personnel as a motivation to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.

Announcing plans by his administration to ensure that personnel of the service have their own houses upon retirement, the Air Chief urged them not to relent in their duties in protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.

During an interview with reporters at the end of the event, he cleared the air on the claim by the Boko Haram terrorists that 40 of the Chibok girls were killed during an air strike by the Nigerian Air Force jets at the Sambisa forest in Borno State.