Christian Group Tasks Kaduna Governor-elect, Deputy On Campaign Promises

el-rufai Kaduna Governor The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has admonished the Kaduna State Governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and his Deputy, Barnabas Bantex, to deliver on their campaign promises to the electorates.

The Chairman of the Kaduna State Chapter of CAN, Bishop George Dodo, gave the admonition on Sunday at a Thanksgiving Service ahead of the May 29 handover. The Service was held at the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) in Kaduna.

He also urged the elected representatives to be fair to all and also run an open-door policy if they must make progress as leaders.

Bishop Dodo told the elected officials that the people would hold them accountable for their actions and inaction while in office and, therefore, urged them to do what was right before God and man.

The church service was part of the inauguration programme lined up for the May 29 handover.

‘Tough Decisions’

Although the incumbent Governor, Mukhtar Yero, lost the April 11 governorship election to the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam El-Rufai, both men had continued to work closely for a smooth transition.

Addressing the congregation, the Deputy Governor-elect, Barnabas Bantex assured them that the incoming administration would take some tough decisions for the interest of the people.

He also explained that the incoming government would take all decisions in-line with the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution, and however assured the Christian community of equity and fairness.

Mr Bantex also told the Youth that the El-Rufai Government would provide massive jobs for them, and solicited for prayer from the Church to enable them succeed.

On his part, the outgoing Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Yero, thanked the people for their support to the outgoing administration and urged them to extend similar support to the incoming government.

Kaduna Commences Disbursement Of N1 bn MSME Funds

kaduna stateThe Kaduna State Government on Thursday commenced the disbursement of another N1 billion naira intervention fund to support operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The programme, which was executed in partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI), was to support the accelerated development of the state through job creation, where the BOI and Kaduna state government contributed N500m each under a programme tagged ‘Graduate Support Grant’

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who represented Governor Muhtar Yero, described the intervention as very critical and a major component for economic rejuvenation and prosperity of the state.

He further explained that the main aim of the programme is to empower the citizens, especially the graduates and also reduce the level of crime and poverty in the state.

Meanwhile, a mild drama ensued midway into the programme  when hundreds of graduate trainees under the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN)  stormed the venue with placards, demanding the State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, to release the N1 billion Graduate Empowerment Loan promised to them over five months ago after their training.

Chanting anti-government songs, the aggrieved Youths blocked the Deputy Governor’s convoy as it made its way out of Hassan Katsina House, where the event was held.

They alleged that they were promised by the government to be empowered with money to set up their own businesses immediately after their training.

The Youths also alleged that they were asked to register with money for them to be entitled to benefit from the N1 billion loan.

However, in a swift reaction, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Shekarau Uchissa, denied the allegations saying the state government only went into capacity building where 1000 youths were trained in different skills, but were not promised any money.

Kaduna State Government Commissions Disease Control Centre

Gov-Ramalan-Yero1The Kaduna State Government has launched an Infectious Disease Control Centre (IDCC) as part of efforts to tackle the challenges of emerging and re-emerging diseases in the state.

The State Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, representing the Governor at the commissioning ceremony, said that Kaduna state is fully prepared and well positioned to tackle any disease outbreak in the state.

Mr Bajoga said the aim of setting up the centre is to ensure that those suffering from any communicable disease are isolated for proper treatment, in order not to transmit such ailments to the rest of the society as well as protecting the susceptible ones through routine immunization.

The Deputy Governor, while calling on the health personnel at the centre to treat their patients with dignity and compassion, assured the patients of best treatment and attention.

He also guaranteed those living very close to the Disease Control Centre of adequate safety, stating that the centre had been equipped in line with best international standard.

The Centre is expected to focus on communicable diseases such as meningitis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Malaria, Tuberculosis, other neglected tropical diseases, emerging diseases, epidemics, and potential pandemics.

The Kaduna State Commissioner for Health, Dr Thot Dogo, said the Disease Control Centre would contain the spread of the infectious diseases.

He stated further that adequate safety measures had been put in place at the centre to ensure the safety of the health care providers.

A representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Mrs Charity Warigon, present at the event commended the State Government for setting up the centre.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 60 per cent of deaths in West Africa are as a result of communicable diseases, blamed on lack of trained laboratory technicians and facilities that hamper diagnosis.

Kaduna Police Boss Warns Politicians Against Inciting Violence

PoliceAhead of the February general elections in Nigeria, Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu has threatened to arrest candidates and their supporters who use provocative language, make unguarded or inflammatory statements before, during and after the elections.

He also warned that such persons would be made to face the full wrath of the law if caught in such act.

Speaking to journalists after meeting behind close doors with governorship candidates  at the Police Officers Mess, the Police commissioner reminded the politicians  to conduct themselves in an orderly manner and carry out their campaigns in line with the political parties code of conduct and the  Electoral Act.

While assuring that the Police will continue to provide maximum security for all political parties and their candidates, the commissioner also promised that the force will remain non partisan and will rather ensure a violence free electioneering campaigns and hitch free elections.

The meeting, which was held behind close doors, had in attendance the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and incumbent governor, Muktar Yero and his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga,  governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Mallam Nasir el-Rufai and his running mate, Bala Bantex as well as candidate of the Labour Party, James Magaji.

Chairmen of the political parties and their members were also in attendance.

The meeting lasted for over three hours and at the end, the commissioner briefed journalists that The essence of the meeting is to refresh the minds of the stakeholders in the democratic journey on the security guidelines and other provisions on electioneering campaigns and other political activities before, during and after the elections.

He mentioned some electoral offenses to include ballot box snatching, destruction of posters and billboards, under age voting, multiple voting among other offences which he said are punishable under the law.

Governor Mukhtar Yero, who expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting, assured the commissioner that his party and supporters shall abide by the electoral law and approach the election as not a do or die affair.

He called on the residents of the state not to be manipulated by politicians against their selfish interests.

His counterpart from the APC, Mallam El-rufai also commended the Police command for conveying the meeting, but explained that the Police must stop the PDP from rigging the forthcoming election in order to avert any violence.

Southern Kaduna Indigenes Urge FG To Intensify Efforts At Curbing Insecurity

Boko HaramThe people of Southern part of Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, have called on the Federal and State Governments to put in more efforts in addressing insecurity in the area which has claimed several lives.

Speaking during a security and political summit to brainstorm on ways of addressing insecurity and political conflicts in the area, the people scored government’s effort at providing security to the citizens low, and called on both the Federal and State Governments to step up the fight against terrorism and insurgency in the area and other parts of the country as well as providing a peaceful political arena ahead of the 2015 elections.

The summit which was organized by the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) took place in Kachia Local Government Area of the state and attracted the presence of politicians, traditional and religious leaders, security experts as well as youth leaders.

Addressing the participants, the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nuhu Bajoga, said every indigene has a role to play in the fight against insecurity and restoring peace in the area.

He highlighted that insecurity has remained one of the forces working against the nation’s unbroken democracy and political instability, adding that with effective collaboration between the people and government, the national political climate will wear a positive outlook.

Mr Bajoga also disclosed that Southern Kaduna zone has benefited immensely under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) administration since 1999 and therefore, stressed the need for them to come together and assist government in restoring peace to all parts of the state.

The Catholic Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, Joseph Bagobiri, identified lack of appropriate solutions by the government and the people as well as political imbalance as the most critical. He said government has not done well in terms of protecting the citizens from attacks.

Kaduna Bombing: Yero Visits Buhari, Scene of Blast

yeroThe Kaduna State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, has visited the scenes of Wednesday’s bomb blast at Kawo and Alkilu road that claimed at least 72 lives.

Yero, who arrived the scene of the blasts at about, was briefed at the spots where the two bombs went off by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu.

The Governor, who was accompanied by his deputy, Nuhu Bajoga, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abbah and heads of other security agencies in the state, also visited the former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, at his residence to condole him over the second bomb blast that almost claimed his life.

He spent about few minutes before moving to the 44 Army Reference Hospital where those who sustained varying degrees of injuries were receiving treatment and where the death toll had risen to 76 as at Thursday afternoon.

A total of 37 injured victims were receiving treatment at the 44 Army Reference hospitals, and the Chief Medical Director, Mohammed Abdullahi, said that all of them were responding to treatment.

The Governor, after he was conducted round the wards where the injured were being attended to by the hospital’s CMD, spoke with journalists.

While condoling with the victims, Yero described the insurgency as one of the darkest phases of the country’s history, saying that it was regrettable that while some Nigerians were busy engaging in nation building, some others were busy killing their compatriots.

General Buhari, while hosting the Governor, absolved any religion of being responsible for the spate of insurgency in the country, urging all Nigerians to collectively fight the war against terror.

Also, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, Buhari said that he was hale and hearty, and described the attack on him as unfortunate but his survival of the attack as an act of God.

Meanwhile, the entire Kaduna town has been deserted as a result of the 24-hour curfew put in place by the State Governor. Our correspondent who went round the city reported that all markets, schools, business premises and offices remained locked.

Boko Haram Attack Kills At Least 24 Nigerian Security Personnel

Boko HaramGunmen of the Boko Haram Islamist sect have killed over 10 soldiers, including several civilians during an attack on a military base in Buni Yadi, Yobe State on Monday.

Insurgents stormed the military base on Monday evening and opened fire on the soldiers without provocation.

The military were said to have engaged the insurgents in a gunfight that lasted well into the night, with the insurgent perceived to have been successfully repelled and resulting in them retreating.

They, however, stormed the village and the nearby Police Station with heavy arms – several Toyota Hilux vans as well as armoured personnel carriers – disguised in Army uniforms. They burnt down the Divisional Police headquarters, palace of the district head and court.

Security personnel from the Army, including the Divisional Police Officer, Divisional Crime Officer and at least 12 other policemen were reportedly killed in the attack.

The Yobe State Commissioner of Police Mr. Markus Danladi, who confirmed the attack, said that he has just visited the side of the attack but could not give casualty figures.

The attack occurred not far from The Federal Government College, where sect members killed 59 students in February 2014.

Buni Yadi is located in the Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State.


Boko Haram: Traditional Rulers Seek Constitutional Roles To Tackle Insurgency

Umar El-Kanemi of Borno says insurgency can be subdued through proper consultations

Traditional rulers in Nigeria are agitating for constitutional roles, which they say will go a long a way in stemming the tide of the Boko Haram insurgency in the north east.

The agitation dominated the discussions of most speakers at a two-day national conference on Culture, Peace and National Security held in Kaduna State on Monday.

The conference, with the theme: “Culture, Peace and National Security: Role of Traditional Rulers in Nigeria’s Democracy”, was organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in collaboration with the UNESCO.

At the gathering considered important due to increasing insurgency in Nigeria’s north east states, speakers stressed that traditional rulers would play very important role in ending the insurgency.

Ranging from the Boko Haram terror in the north east to the kidnappings in the south east and militancy in the south-south and south west regions, these hostilities have no doubt claimed the lives of innocent citizens, destroyed several property worth billions of Naira and also afflicted pains on many families.

The conference highlighted the obligations and contributions of the traditional institution which is seen as the custodian of culture, peace and security.

One of the speakers, the paramount ruler of Oko Community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Laz  Ekwueme, identified insecurity and corruption as the bane of development in Nigeria, and stressed that if the government would assign constitutional responsibilities to traditional rulers, they would be able to join hands with government to tackle the rising rate of bomb attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists since they were closer to the grassroots.

He noted that corruption and insecurity had been giving the council of traditional rulers a serious cause for concern.

On the abducted school girls by the members of the sect, Professor Ekwueme expressed optimism that the abducted girls would soon be rescued by the Nigerian military especially with the assistance it had received from some foreign countries.

The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Umar El-Kanemi, noted that the current security challenges could only be surmounted if appropriate measures were taken through proper consultations.

“If the roles and welfare of traditional rulers are properly spelt out, such will enable them to effectively contribute their quota in national development,” he said.

The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who was represented at the occasion by the Kaduna State deputy governor, Mr Nuhu Bajoga, highlighted the critical role of royal fathers as custodian of cultural re-orientation, but lamented that they had abandoned such responsibilities for partisan politics.

“While the present administration is committed to the promotion of peace and security in the country and to also ensure that the abducted Chibok school girls are rescued, there is the need for deliberate cultural re-engineering in order to restore the nation’s lost values and ethics,” the Vice President said.

Participants at the gathering believed that the management of security rests principally on the complimentary roles of all levels of government and traditional institutions who constitute veritable agents of grassroots mobilisation in cultural orientation.

It is therefore expected that with the present security situation, government should work closely with the traditional rulers as a way of tackling the challenges.

Delegates Agitate Constitutional Roles For Royal Fathers

Speakers at a two day National Cshehu-of-borno-alhaji-abubaonference on Culture, Peace and National Security  in Kaduna state are agitating for constitutional roles for traditional rulers in the country as it will go a long a way in stemming the tide of the Boko Haram insurgency  in the north eastern part of  Nigeria.

The summit, organised by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in collaboration with the UNESCO, is to highlight the obligations and contributions of the traditional institution which is seen as the custodian of culture, peace and security.

In his remarks, one of the speakers, the paramount  ruler of Oko Community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra state, Igwe Laz  Ekwueme identified insecurity and corruption as the bane of development in Nigeria, and stressed that if the government is able to assign constitutional responsibilities to traditional rulers, they will be able to join hands with government to tackle the rising rate of bomb attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists since they are closer to the grassroot.

He noted that corruption and insecurity have been giving the council of traditional ruler’s serious cause for concern.

Professor Ekwueme however expressed optimism that the abducted Chibok school girls will soon be rescued by the Nigerian military especially with the assistance it has received from some foreign countries.

On his part, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Umar El-Kanemi noted that the current security challenges can only be surmounted if appropriate measures are taken through proper consultations.

He said that if the roles and welfare of traditional rulers are properly spelt out, such will enable them to effectively contribute their quota to national development.

Vice President Namadi Sambo, who was represented at the occasion by the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Mr Nuhu Bajoga, highlighted the critical role of royal fathers as custodians of cultural re-orientation, but lamented that they have abandoned such responsibilities for partisan politics.

While he reassured that the present administration is committed to the promotion of peace and security in the country and to also ensure that the abducted Chibok school girls are rescued, the vice president however expressed the need for deliberate cultural re-engineering in order to restore the nation’s lost values and ethics.

Kaduna Govt to Recruit 2,000 Graduates Under SURE-P

Sure pAs part of efforts to create employment for the youths and reduce crime in the society, the Kaduna State Government has concluded plans to recruit 2000 graduates from across the 23 Local Government Areas into the State Civil Service under the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P).

The Deputy Governor and Chairman of the Committee on SURE-P, Mr Nuhu Bajoga, who disclosed this at a news conference on Friday, said that the graduates would be sent to various ministries within the state to work for a year and would be paid N10, 000 monthly in addition to the Federal Government N30, 000 stipends.

The Deputy Governor assured that at the end of their intensive training, none of the graduates would be sent back to labour market, as all would be employed.

He said that the need to recruit more graduates emanated because there were civil servants that have reached retirement age while some others have died, hence the need for more hands to be employed in the State Civil Service.

On the mechanism to check the performance of the SURE-P beneficiaries, Bajoga said that the State Government had provided appropriate measures to monitor those that were given starter packs recently in the state.

Governor Yero Distributes N163 Million To Religious Groups In Kaduna

yeroooGovernor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State has doled out over N163 million to 366 religious group in the state.

The Governor noted that three years after the post-election violence, the Federal Government was yet to redeem the N7 billion compensation for the victims of the 2011 post-election violence, adding that the state was not alone in the delay for the payment of the compensation to the victims of the violence which blew across some parts of the North in the wake of the 2011-presidential election.

The Governor, while presenting cheques to representatives of religious groups said that the N163million was to assist various religious bodies in carrying out their activities, as well as assist them in the building of places of worships, adding that his administration would not relent in its effort at sustaining lasting peace in the state.

The Governor also used the occasion to preach the message of peace and unity among adherents of the two major religions in the state. He reminded them that the aftermath of the violence has continued to hamper all the peace building processes initiated by the past and present administration due to reprisals and vengeance.

He also appealed to religious leaders to caution politicians against do-or-die politics, noting that no one could achieve what he or she is not destined to achieve.

Kaduna State is predominantly made up of Christians and Muslims. Due to its heterogeneous religious nature, the state has witnessed several ethno-religious crises in the past, which has also claimed so many lives and properties.

During the 2011 post presidential election violence in the state alone, several places of worship and commercial places were destroyed. This made the state the worst hit in the violence as both Muslims and Christians suffered losses.

The Governor, while  condemning  the recent attacks in parts of the state, especially those communities in Kaura, Birnin Gwari and Giwa Local Government Areas, assured  the people that Government would leave no stone unturned in its determination to apprehend those behind the dastardly acts.

The benefiting religious groups comprising Christian and Muslim leaders thanked the Governor for the gesture and for his efforts to restore peace and security in the state.

Different religious groups from across the state received cheques distributed by the Governor, his Deputy, Nuhu  Bajoga and other political office holders in the state.

Kaduna SURE-P Committee Renders Account, Denies Allegation of Missing N560 Million

The committee for the implementation of the Subsidy Re-Investment Programme, SURE-P in  Kaduna State has said that  over 2 billion Naira intervention fund has been released and  spent to improve education, healthcare and Infrastructure.

Following various controversies surrounding the release and implementation of funds under the programme, the committee said that it has discharged its duties in line with the objective of establishing the programme by the Federal Government.

At a media conference on the implementation of the 2012 SURE-P funds accrued to the state, the Deputy Governor, Nuhu Bajoga, who is also Chairman of the SURE-P Implementation Committee, said that six sectors for intervention; education, health, agriculture, youth empowerment and security were identified by the committee, and were given attention under the programme.

The breakdown of the budget showed that infrastructure was allocated the highest amount of 833 million Naira, followed by youth and women empowerment which received 487 million Naira. Education and health were allocated 216 million and 93 million Naira respectively.

The Deputy Governor also denied allegations by the State Assembly in June that over N560 million 2012 SURE-P fund was missing, explaining that no single kobo was misappropriated by the committee.

While the committee prides itself of having successfully committed the SURE-P funds into judicious use, indigenes of the state are hoping that the interventions made by the committee in various sectors of the economy in the state would soon start yielding positive result.