Kaduna State Threatens To Publish Names Of Non Performing Contractors

YeroThe Kaduna State government has threatened to publish the names of contractors who collected money from the state government and abandoned the projects.

The government also said it would revoke any road contract that had failed to meet government’s expectations on quality delivery.

Governor Mukhtar Yero issued the threat through his spokesman, Ahmed Maiyaki, during an interaction with journalists on Tuesday.

The governor disclosed that  most of the abandoned road projects were awarded in 2012 by his predecessor, Late Patrick Yakowa, who died in a helicopter crash in December that year.

With the death of Yakowa, Governor Yero alleged that some of the contractors who were already mobilised with 25 per cent of the contract sum, abandoned the site with the intention of working away with taxpayers’ money.

He stated that some of the road contracts had been revoked by the government and re-awarded to competent contractors who have been given specific period to complete them.

Governor Yero further assured the indigenes of the state that the government would use all legal means to recover the money from the non performing contractors.

The governor urged the contractors, handling road projects in different parts of the state to increase their pace for greater impact before the next rainy season. He also expressed his commitment towards the rehabilitation of roads in the state, emphasising that he has not abandoned any road contract awarded by his predecessors.

Kaduna PDP Endorses Yero for 2015 Governorship Race

yeroooThe Kaduna State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has passed a vote of confidence on the State Governor, Mukhtar Yero, saying that the party would support him for the 2015 governorship election in the state if and when he declares his interest to run.

The party, while declaring that it was evident that the state had made significant progress in many sectors under Yero’s leadership, also told the opposition political parties in the state  that there was no vacancy at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, the state seat of power come 2015.

Speaking to Channels Television during an interview,  the Kaduna State PDP Chairman, Abubakar Haruna, commended  the Governor for the  total support he has shown to the party and his uncommon interest in the affairs of Kaduna  State, particularly in areas of appointment and infrastructural development.

He described as false and malicious, allegations by a group of people in the state  that the Governor had abandoned all the ongoing projects he inherited from his predecessor, Late Patrick Yakowa, particularly in the southern part of the state.

The endorsement of the Governor by the PDP has, however, drawn the anger of a group from the southern part of the state, the ‘Concerned Realists of Southern Kaduna’,  which claimed that their people had been marginalised and that no meaningful development had been recorded in the state since the Governor succeeded  the late Governor Patrick Yakowa, who died in a helicopter crash  in December 2012.

The group, at a news conference, said that the people of southern Kaduna would not support Mr Yero for the governorship election in 2015 because he had not done well enough to deserve a fresh mandate from the people of the area.

‘Copter Crash: Yakowa’s Kinsmen Want Cause of Incident Made Public

Precisely one year after he died in a helicopter crash in Okoroba, Bayelsa state on December 15, 2012, indigenes of southern Kaduna where the late governor of the  state, Patrick Yakowa came from, have expressed sadness that the Nigerian Airforce and Aviation authorities are yet to disclose to the public the cause of the crash which also took the life of the former national security adviser, Andrew Azazi.  

At a memorial lecture and thanksgiving service held in Kaduna on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of Yakowa’s death, his kinsmen demanded that the Federal Government should make its findings known to Nigerians concerning the cause of the helicopter crash that took the life of the late governor and others .

President of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Mr Ephraim Goje told Channels Television during the memorial church service that they were disappointed with the Federal Government for failing in its responsibilities of protecting the lives of the citizens.

The ceremony which took place at the Umaru Yar’adua Hall was attended by family members, friends and prominent Nigerians including Vice President Namadi Sambo, the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, state governors, ministers, traditional and religious leaders.

Sambo and Tukur in their separate tributes emphasised the need for a peaceful co-existence among the various religions and tribes in the country, as there cannot be any meaningful development in an atmosphere of rancour. They described the late Yakowa as a bridge builder who built bridges across all divides and offered selfless and patriotic service to Kaduna state and the nation at large.

Also paying glowing tribute to his late boss, the Kaduna state governor, Mukhtar Yero maintained that Yakowa was a man of peace and the people, an apostle of peace, assuring that the best way to immortalise him is by sustaining his virtues.

On his part, Governor Isah Yuguda of Bauchi state said that most of the religious crises in the northern part of the country were politically motivated, questioning why there were no such incidents in the south western part of the country which also had majority of Muslims and Christians.

Yakowa’s widow, Amina said the outpouring of emotions by dignitaries at the occasion showed that her late husband lived a life worth remembering, noting that the family had accepted the loss as part of God’s purpose which mortals might not always understand.

Earlier, the guest lecturer at the occasion, Dr. Abdullahi Aliyu in his paper entitled “Challenges of Responsible leadership in Nigeria” said that “a  true leader must understand that leadership is a privilege and not a right”, and as such should treat his/her office with every sense of responsibility, commitment and gratitude. He maintained that Yakowa was a leader, a gentleman, a builder of peace and a developer of bridges for reconciliation and forgiveness.

He said that some leaders were never prepared enough to leave office because of the uncertainties outside; and identified corruption, bad followership, lack of orientation of the followers, and systemic government failures as some of the challenges facing leadership in Nigeria.

At the thanksgiving service held at Saint John’s Catholic Church, Kaduna, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Kukah, while extolling the good qualities of the late Yakowa called on Nigerians to elect leaders based on merit and not on religious and ethnic sentiments.

Others however insisted that the authorities should make the probe into the helicopter crash public.

 

Yero Appoints Commissioners One Year After His Inauguration

The Kaduna  state Governor, Mukhtar Yero,  has reconstituted his cabinet by swearing-in 14 new commissioners three months after dissolving the last executive council which he inherited from his predecessor, Late Patrick Yakowa in December last year.

During the swearing-in ceremony that was almost hijacked by political thugs at the Murtala Mohammed Square  in the  state capital, the governor said with the coming on board of the new commissioners, the state will witness rapid development in the provision of critical infrastructure and quality service delivery needed for the improvement of overall living standards of the people.

He admonished the commissioners to see their new offices as a call to duty and sacrifice to their father land.

The swearing-in ceremony is coming 10 days to the one year anniversary of Governor Yero, who took oath of office on December 16, 2012, following the death of the former governor, Patrick Yakowa in a plane crash in Bayelsa state on December 15 last year.

Governor Yero said the inauguration of the new commissioners   is coming at the right time when the state government is determined to deliver the dividends of democracy.

While congratulating the new appointees, the  Governor charged them to imbibe the spirit of unity which is one of the pivot of his administration. He reiterated that the appointment is not a compensation for their struggle during election campaign but as a result of their performance.

While thanking the Governor for the privilege given to them to serve,  some of the new commissioners  promised to remain committed to their duties and ensure that they give Kaduna  citizens the best in discharging their duties.

Nigerian Navy Yet To Ascertain Cause Of Bayelsa Copter Crash

The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) that was constituted to ascertain the cause of the ill-fated Augusta Helicopter Crash that occurred December 15, 2012, killing six people on board including the former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Azazi, has submitted an interim report to the Nigerian Navy.

A statement issued by the Naval Director of Information, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, said that the real cause of the crash could not be determined, but it might have been caused by either human error, material failure or a combination of both

Aliyu added that in order to be certain of the immediate and remote causes of the tragic air mishap, the aircraft’s engine would have to be subjected to a detailed forensic analysis.

The Naval headquarters had already mandated the manufacturers of the NN07 Agusta-Westland engine, Turbomeca, to carry out the forensic analysis phase of the investigation.

According to Aliyu “The investigation which was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers of the aircraft – Agusta Westland – has stated that the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure or a combination of both.

“However, to determine the actual cause of the crash there is the need to tear down the engine of the helicopter in order to carry out a detailed forensic analysis.

“This aspect of the investigation will be carried out by Turbomeca, the manufacturers of the engine.”
The naval spokesman debunked any perceived act of sabotage as being the cause of the crash, adding that an independent police report has ruled out the possibility.

“It is important to emphasize that an independent police report has equally ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash. Further information on the investigation would be made public when available,” he said.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Joseph Ezeoba, had set up a board of enquiry to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crash.

Azazi Buried In Heroes Square

Former National Security Adviser, Andrew Iwoye Azazi was on Saturday buried at the Ijaw National Heroes Square in Yenegoa, the capital of Bayelsa state.

The late Azazi, a four star general retired from service on 20th August 2008 and was appointed National Security Adviser on October 2010. He was the Chairman of Bayelsa State post flood disaster management committee before his death through a helicopter crash while returning from burial ceremony of the father of an aide to President Goodluck Jonathan in Bayelsa State.

The casket, draped in the nation’s green-white-green colours, bearing the remains of the late General, arrived the venue of the funeral service, in a Nigerian Army ambulance marked, NA 459 E 01 at 10.02 am.

When the casket was brought out from the olive coloured ambulance, it was carried by officers of the rank of Major General to the podium specifically set up for the purpose of the commendation service while a military helicopter was hovering over the arena ostensibly on reconnaissance mission and in honour of the departed four-star general.

The solemn ceremony commenced shortly after President Goodluck Jonathan, his wife, and Governor Seriake and his wife arrived the venue at about 10.30am.

Other dignitaries at the funeral ceremony were the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and his wife, Judith; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State; former Bayesa State governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; former Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen Alexander Ogomudia (rtd); Rear Admiral John Kpokpogiri (rtd); former governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff; former NDDC Managing Director and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Timi Alaibe; former JTF commander in the Niger Delta, Major General Sarkin Yakin Bello (rtd); PFN/CAN President Ayo Oritsejafor; and former transport minister, Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni.

Also present were former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke; Speaker of the Bayesa State House of Assembly, Benson Kombowei; Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke; Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah; Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe; and the National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

Speaking at the funeral service, President Jonathan described the late Azazi as a patriotic Nigerian.

He said, “Saturday, December 15, 2012 was a sad day in the history of Nigeria. Gen Azazi, though we are from Bayelsa State and the Ijaw ethnic nationality, I never met him until 2004 when the then Brigadier Azazi was made the Director of Military Intelligence.

“I was then the deputy governor of Bayelsa. Somebody came to me to say one of our own had been made the DMI boss and that was a prestigious posting in the army. And I decided I was going to receive him and have a little party for him. I hosted him one evening in Abuja at an Officer’s Mess. From that time, we remained in touch; then he was promoted to Major General and made the GOC One Division, Kaduna and then he was also made the chief of the army staff. That was another level of our interaction in 2006, by which time; I was the governor of Bayelsa State. I also hosted him as chief of the army staff alongside the current Minister of Petroleum Resources, then as the first female executive director of Shell. It was also my first time of meeting her.

“He was made chief of defence staff in 2007 when I was vice president to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’dua. I also made him the NSA when I became president. I saw him as somebody who meant well for this country. Sometimes, people wonder why good people die, it is quite touching.”

President Jonathan urged Nigerians to imbibe the qualities of the late General saying that “if we change our attitude to do what is right, the country will change for the best.”

General Azazi’s Service Of Songs In Lagos

As part of funeral activities for the late General Owoye Azazi, a service of songs was held in his honour in Lagos on Wednesday.

The requiem mass was  held at the Church of the Assumption, Falomo, Lagos, south west Nigeria.

The service was attended by family, friends, and colleagues among whom were Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson, his Delta state counterpart, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan and former governor of Cross River state, Donald Duke who all paid tributes to the late general.

General Azazi died in a naval helicopter accident which occurred on the 15th of December 2012 alongside Kaduna state governor, Patrick Yakowa and four others.

Kaduna State Governor Nominates New Deputy

Kaduna State Governor, Muktar Yero, has nominated Nuhu Bajoga as the Deputy Governor of the state.

The State Commissioner for Information, Saidu Adamu, briefed newsmen on Monday after the governor met with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) officials and principal officers of the state House of Assembly.

Prior to the appointment, Mr. Bajoga was the Chairman of the ruling PDP, in the state.

The Commissioner for Information said Mr. Bajoga’s name has been submitted to the assembly for screening.

The post of Deputy Governor became vacant in the state after Patrick Yakowa, the former governor of the state, died in a crash penultimate Saturday and his Deputy, Muktar Yero assumed the office of governor.

Senator Queries Use Of Military Training Aircraft By Politicians

A Senator, Olubunmi Adetumbi (ACN Ekiti) on Tuesday condemned the use of a military training helicopter by civilians during the burial of the father of a presidential adviser, Oronto Douglas.

Speaking during a debate on the urgent need to investigate the recent helicopter crash in Bayelsa, Senator Adetumbi said the death of the former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa, former National Security Adviser Andrew Azazi and others was as a result of the failure of the system to address the issue of corruption.

According to him, the crashed helicopter is called a military training helicopter, but it is obviously not being used for military training on that day.

He said that pertinent questions, such as who authorised the use of the helicopter for civilian purposes must be asked and answers given.
“Who gave the order for the chopper to be used? What is the purpose of private charter helicopter? Why was a private chopper not hired? Is it what the Navy appropriation is being used for?” Senator Adetumbi asked.

He called on the National Assembly to do more than paying tribute to the deceased and observing one minute silence in their honour, but to take action to forestall future occurrences.

Other lawmakers who contributed to the debate condemned what they described as the resurgence of air mishaps in the country calling on the government to publish all previous reports of investigative panels into air crashes in the Nigeria.

Chris Anyanwu (APGA – Imo) said that in 2007 and 2011, there had been two crashes of similar Augusta helicopters owned by the navy. She expressed concerns over the seeming recurrence of air mishaps not just in civil aviation, but also in the Nigerian Military in spite of public outcry.

“Between March and October 2011, there were three reported cases of air mishaps by the Air force at different locations in the country and the causes of these crashes remain unknown. On March 21, 2011, one F7-NI fighter jet belonging to the Nigerian Air Force that was on a routine training programme crashed in Kano, killing the flight instructor.

“The fighter jet, which was reported to have come from Makurdi for a two week training exercise was delivered to the Air force by the manufacturers in China only a few days before the incident,” she said.

According to her, it is worrisome that the resurgence of air mishaps in the country is suggestive of a deep seated systems problem which must be unearthed and resolved.

Contributing to the debate, Heineken Lokpobiri (PDP-Bayelsa) urged the committee to ensure that its investigation was devoid of bias and should not be politicised.

“We should use this crash to stop others from occurring because this has become embarrassing, so the committee’s investigation must be total,’’ he said.

Danjuma Goje (PDP-Gombe) also advised the committee to make the investigation open and transparent. Goje said he was in support of the position of the Governors Forum that foreign experts should be involved in the investigation.

Ganiyu Solomon (ACN Lagos) also said that there had been several crashes and investigations followed, but the reports had never seen the light of the day.

He was of the view that the Senate committees on Navy, Air force and Aviation mandated to investigate the frequency of these mishaps should go as far as visiting the manufacturers of these planes to ascertain their air worthiness.

He expressed concerns that if military planes were crashing frequently, it was an indication that the military was not prepared for military action should the need arise.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the plenary said that more than 50,000 Nigerians had died in the last two years since the ugly trend of terrorism reared its head.

He however, called on the regulatory agencies in the aviation sector to ensure the airworthiness of every plane that took off and landed in the country.

The deputy senate president also noted the need for the Senate to buckle up and tackle the problem once and for all.

The Senate set up two committees to pay condolence visits to all the victims of the air crash and observed a minute silence in their honour.

Yakowa To Be Buried On Thursday

The newly sworn-in Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Yero on Sunday said the remains of late governor of the state, Patrick Yakowa would be buried on Thursday.

The late governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa

Mr Yero disclosed this in an interview with newsmen at the Government House shortly after a broadcast to the people of the state.

In the broadcast, the governor declared Monday, Dec. 17 as work free day and a seven day mourning period in honour of the deceased, beginning from Sunday.

He said the remains of the late governor and the other victim, Dauda Tsoho would be received in Kaduna on Monday.

“Details of necessary arrangements for their internment would be made known in due course.

“During the period of mourning, all national flags in the state should be flown at half mast,’’ he said.

He directed all the 23 local government chairmen in the state to open condolence registers at their various offices, adding that two have been opened at the Government House and the Hassan Usman Katsina House.

Mr. Yero described the late governor as a humble, dedicated and fair person, who always related well with people, irrespective of religious, tribal or sectional inclinations.

Yakowa’s last assignment as governor

The last official assignment of the former governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa was at the burial ceremony of a presidential adviser, Oronto Douglas in Bayelsa.

“I am happy that I came,” the Late Yakowa had told Mr Douglas after paying tributes to and sympathising with the family of Pa Tamunobibara Douglas.

After greeting their host, both Yakowa and former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi took a walk away from the crowd to where the ill-fated Helicopter was stationed, ready to travel back to Port Harcourt. Little did both men know that in few hours Nigerians will be sympathising and condoling with their families as well.

Northern Governors Describe Helicopter Crash As ‘Painful’

The Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) have described the death of the Kaduna state governor Dr. Patrick Yakowa and the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Gen. Andrew Azazi as painful.

The Chairman of the forum and governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, in his reaction described the death of the two as a great loss not only to the people of Kaduna and Bayelsa states but to the entire nation.

The forum said it is particularly pained by the demise of governor Yakowa who has consistently hosted the meetings of the NSGF since he mounted the saddle as governor of Kaduna state but takes solace in the fact that he lived exemplary and purposeful life with remarkable achievements as a public servant, administrator, community leader and a dedicated family man.