Katsina Governor Appoints New SSG, Swears In Seven Permanent Secretaries

Six reappointed permanent secretaries taking the oath of office at the council chamber of the Katsina Government House on Wednesday, June 19, 2019.

 

Katsina State Governor Aminu Masari on Wednesday appointed Mustapha Inuwa as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

Seven Permanent Secretaries were also sworn-in in the state civil service.

One of the permanent secretaries, Halima Lawal from the state ministry of Education, is newly appointed while the remaining six are reappointed.

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The newly appointed officers were drawn from the state Ministries of work, Health, Environment, and Commerce including the Government House and SGS Office. Those reappointed includes Muntari Lawal, Suleiman Yakubu Safana, Hafizu Iliyasu, Sani Isiyaku Masari, Mustapha Kabir and Muntari Danladi.

Their reappointment according to the governor was based on merit and their outstanding performance during the past tenure.

Kogi Govt. Commits To Maternal, Newborn Health In Week-long Programme

Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, MNCHWKogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has directed health officers to ensure comprehensive implementation of all stages of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) in the state.

Governor Bello urged the health officials to specially pay close attention to the needs of women, children and nursing mothers.

He gave the directive through the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folashade Ayoade, at an event in Lokoja, the state’s capital in north-central Nigeria.

The event was organised to officially flag off the week-long free healthcare services for women and children to mark the 2017 MNCHW in the state.

The governor said his administration was poised at bringing good health to the doorstep of everyone living within the state.

He directed the Kogi State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Saka Haruna, to ensure that every stage of the exercise was comprehensively covered.

Governor Bello also ordered the administrations of the 21 local government areas in the state to ensure the success of the programme.

In his remarks, Dr. Haruna thanked the governor for his determination to introduce the ‘Health  Plus’ programme.

He expressed hopes that the programme would aid the renovation, remodeling and re-equipment of health facilities in order to reduce mortality rate in the state.

The highpoint of the event was the immunisation of children which was administered by the Secretary to the State Government.

It was witnessed by representatives from WHO, UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Health, Centre for Integrated Health Programmes, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, as well as top government officials and nursing mothers in the state.

Church Says Over 27,000 Persons Displaced In Southern Kaduna

kaduna-southern-crisisA church in Kaduna State says more than 27,000 people have been displaced from their homes since the renewed attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen against natives of the southern part of Kaduna State.

The Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA) also said that hundreds of others have been killed in the renewed attacks.

The group further kicked against a plan by the Kaduna State government to create new grazing reserves and routes for Fulani herdsmen in the area, alleging that the herders were responsible for the attacks.

They also describe the move as an orchestrated plan by the Fulanis to take over the ancestral land of the indigenes.

Fled From Their Homes

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, the Chairman of 19 District Councils of the church, Reverend Zachariah Gado, asked the state government to stop the proposed creation of grazing reserves in the area for the interest of peace and security of lives and property.

The press conference by the ECWA Church came barely three days after gunmen attacked four villages in Kauru Local Government Area also in the southern part, killing about 31 people.

The gunmen were said to have carried out coordinated attacks in the four communities, where they burnt down over 150 houses and farmlands.

Now, the residents have fled from their homes to neighbouring communities in Nasarawa, Plateau and Abuja. Those who do not have anywhere to go are now taking refuge at a primary school.

Emergency agencies have deployed officials to provide them with relief materials pending when they will go back to their homes.

Godgodo, death toll, Kaduna
Residents of attacked communities are fleeing in their numbers

This is the same situation in other communities in Sanga, Kaura and Jemaa Local Government Areas since the renewed attacks in those places by suspected herdsmen.

Most worrisome is that majority of the communities do not have access roads, a situation that makes rescue operations difficult during emergency situations.

The State Deputy Governor, Mr Bala Bantex, in company of Secretary to the State government, Baralabe Lawal and other top government functionaries were at the area to assess the level of destruction and also condole with the victims.

On arrival, the interim chairman of Kauru Local Government, conducted the deputy governor and his entourage around the affected villages.

The deputy governor while addressing the few people that were around, urged them to live in peace with one another, stating that the government had already ordered a full scale investigation of the attacks. He said a preliminary report had been received.

He also warns mischief makers to stop politicising attacks in some parts of the state.

“We are here to condole the victims and also assess the situation on ground. We have received preliminary reports and we have already ordered for full scale investigation. We inherited the breakdown of law and order in the state but we are working day and night to restore peace in some parts of Southern Kaduna and places like Birnin Gwari.

“We are also advising people to stop politicising security issues in Kaduna. We must live in peace with one another as one of the ways of embracing peace in our communities. We call on you to reject messages of hatred and division by the mischief makers and ask that you accept peaceful messages.

“We have directed State Emergency Management Agency and they acted promptly by bringing in the relief materials to cushion the hardship of displaced people,” he told the gathering.

According to the clergymen from ECWA attacks on Southern Kaduna natives by suspected Fulani herdsmen had started since 2011.

They said that the development was a manifestation of ethnic cleansing by suspected Fulani militia.

senate-in-nigeria-chamber
The Senate has summoned the Inspector General of Police to explain why the police could not contain the attacks

While demanding for compensation for affected persons, the church also called on the Federal Government to establish an Army barracks near the affected areas in order to deter such killings in the future.

“Since the violence that followed the 2011 Presidential Election, there have been increasing indications of the existence of a desperate, well-funded, organised and executed campaign not only to make life unbearable for the entire Southern Kaduna territory through threats, intimidation and psychological warfare, but also to occupy the land through what can only be described as ethno-religious cleansing by Fulani herdsmen militia.

“This campaign has been devastating. The Attakad Community Development Association has confirmed that at least 180 people have been killed in Attakad Chiefdom, Kaura LGA, since 2013 and 10,000 persons displaced.

“Since 24 March 2013, 16 Attakad villages have been lost to the Fulani militia and Fulani men are now fully settled with their cattle and families, in Mayit, Agwom, Zakai Gira, Tunga Magwot, Telak, Zakum and Kirim. Several ECWA churches have been destroyed, along with those belonging to other denominations, and many of our members have become IDPs.

“In 2014, several communities in Sanga LGA, were invaded and hundreds of people killed by these armed herdsmen, with no apparent provocation. In an indication of their underlying religious hostility and motivation, churches are usually prime targets.

“To further buttress the assertion that there is an orchestrated plan to drive our members and other indigenes out of these parts of Southern Kaduna, it appears that the next stage will involve the full take over, Godogodo Chiefdom, in Jema’a LGA. Part of Godogodo town, Ninte, Akwa, Ungwar Anjo, Gada Biyu have been overrun and occupied by the Fulani. Churches in these villages are laid to waste after being burnt.

“It is deeply shocking that in the 21 Century, not only are Fulani militia carrying out a campaign of forced displacement and occupation reminiscent of previous centuries, but also that this is occurring so blatantly under the full gaze of a succession of modern, democratically elected governments,” Reverend Gado stated.

Fled For Safety

The church heads further said that they were aware that the Kaduna State Government, through the Nigeria Police and Nigerian Army were currently arresting their members, including Royal Fathers, on trumped up charges while the Fulani who have publicly taken responsibility for this carnage are walking free.

“We therefore request that Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Ahmad M. Yandeh and Abdulhamid Musa, be arrested and be made to produce those who are behind this grim sin against man and God. Failure to do so would be a clear indication that the Kaduna State Government has taken sides in this matter.

“We also acknowledge the gesture of Kaduna state governor in offering 100 million Naira for the rebuilding of churches and mosques in Southern Kaduna destroyed through violence. We wonder who would be worshiping in these churches, since most of the worshippers have fled for safety or do not even have homes anymore to live in.

“We appeal to the Kaduna State government, in the interests of justice, peace and security, to respect the wishes of the electorate of Southern Kaduna and their elected representatives and stop the creation of grazing reserves in the area, especially since this is tantamount to rewarding perpetrators of murder, arson and destruction for their crimes.

“As perpetrators continue to evade consequences for their illegal and violent actions, impunity and lawless are becoming entrenched, to the detriment of the entire state.

“We therefore call on the State and Federal governments to restore all occupied areas to their rightful owners. Failure to do so will not only encourage further lawlessness; it may also eventually compel the owners of these villages to resort to forceful means to recover their ancestral and only God given lands.

“We appeal for compensation for affected persons, and for relief materials to be provided to the displaced,” Reverend Gado added.

Reacting to the allegation at a separate briefing, the Kaduna State chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, disassociated its members from the recent attacks.

cattle-in-abuja
Challenges of specific grazing area for herders is seen in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, as cows disrupt human activities

Instead, the leader of the Group, Abdullahi Mohammed, claimed that several Fulani herdsmen and their relatives were the main victims in all the attacks, with many of them killed by suspected indigenes of Southern Kaduna.

He attributed the lingering crisis in the area to include, failure of government to implement recommendations of past probe panels reports, deliberate encroachment of gazetted grazing reserves and routes by local farmers and partisanship of security operatives among other causes.

“Nigerians need to be informed that the recent ongoing clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and tribal farmers in Godogodo Chiefdom of Jema’a Local Government, Kaduna state have received widespread publicity in both electronics and print media and, the episode was specifically tabled at the National Assembly by the elected Representatives from Southern Kaduna.

“Unfortunately, what were published and discussed was one-sided story resulting in the virtual condemnation of the Fulani herdsmen without given them a fair hearing.

“Of recent, and almost across the country, no one bothers to listen to the plight of the Fulani herdsmen. As the decision to condemn them have been overwhelming, in a manner of heads loose, tails-loose situation.

“Therefore, the clear message is, anytime the herdsmen and their animals were attacked, killed or maimed under whatever situation, they have no right to complain not to talk of defending themselves, they are always seen as the aggressors,” he highlighted.

According to reports, over 1,500 households were affected since the escalation of the attacks early this year while many are still hospitalised.

This worrisome figure made the Senate consider the issue and summoned the Inspector General of Police to brief the lawmakers on the situation in southern Kaduna.

The renewed attacks no doubt have devastated so many communities and affected socio economic activities in southern part of Kaduna state.

As both parties continue to trade words, government appeal that this is not time for blame game or politicize the killing of innocent souls. Rather, It is time to forge greater unity to ensure the triumph of good over evil.

Ogun Workers End Strike After National Leadership’s Intervention

Workers. Strike, OgunWorkers in Ogun State have agreed to suspend their two weeks industrial action over non-payment of deductions and other demands.

The resolve was reached on Wednesday after a closed door meeting which lasted for about nine hours between the national and state leaders of the organised labour and State government.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun briefed reporters on the outcome of the meeting in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in southwest Nigeria.

He reiterated the commitment of his administration towards better conditions of service for the state workforce.

In his submission, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, commended the two sides for the maturity that led to the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding aimed at resolving the impasse.

The civil servants had on October 20, commenced an indefinite strike to press home their demands over an alleged non-payment of 12 months deductions.

Among other demands, the industrial action was also aimed at putting an immediate end to the contributory pension scheme.

The workers began the strike after Governor Amosun had sent a strong warning to the leadership of labour unions in the state.

The governor had also lauded the people of the state for their understanding and the support shown towards his administration’s policies and programme.

He assured them of more development in the state in the coming fiscal year.

Ogun Govt. Seeks Partnership In Mechanised Cassava Production

Ogun government on mechanised cassava productionOgun State Government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with development partners in the area of mechanised cassava production and its value chains.

The government explains that the partnership is a way of diversifying the economic base of the state in southwest Nigeria.

The expression of interest was communicated by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, who represented the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, at a workshop on mechanised cassava production.

The government informed the gathering that there was a provision in the 2017 Budget for the opening up of about 1,000 hectares of farmlands for cassava farming in the state.

The training which took place on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital brought together agriculture experts and development partners from Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the United States.

Some experts, Enorck Chikava and Adebayo Sangobiyi, raised concerns over the best practices in commercial and mechanised cassava production and agro-processing, stressing the need to ensure that such engagements sustain grow and develop the nation’s economy.

They also addressed some of the challenges facing the sector with a view to exploring some of the available options such as effective government intervention, more funds for research and development as well as improved seedlings among others.

Economy In Recession

Nigeria is the highest cassava producer in the world with at least 50 million metric tonnes per year.

However, the output per unit is very low as a result of the numerous challenges grappling with the agriculture sector, one of which is the recession in Africa’s most populated country.

While the government is making effort to address the economic challenges, a World Economic Outlook report released by the International Monetary Fund had predicted that the Nigerian economy would grow by 0.6% in 2017.

The report revealed that Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product was expected to increase marginally by 0.6% with Consumer Prices rising by 17.1%, effectively lifting the country out of an officially declared recession.

Attacks On Oil Facilities

The recession was triggered by the drop in the price of crude oil and the attacks on the nation’s oil facilities by some militant groups in the Niger Delta region.

The militants under the umbrella of the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for most of the attacks which have drawn the attention of the Nigerian Government and some other foreign governments.

Disturbed by the spate of the militants’ activities, the Nigerian Army launched a special team code named “Operation Crocodile Smile”, amidst agreement between the government and the militants to hold talks after a ceasefire agreement from both sides.

Despite this agreement, several other attacks have been launched on oil installation by the Niger Delta Avengers and another splinter group.

Both military and militants have continued to point accusing fingers at each other, alleging a breach of agreements, as the military said it would not hesitate to repel militants’ attack in the region.

Ogun Workers Begin Indefinite Strike Despite Amosun’s Warnings

workers. strikeWorkers in Ogun state have commenced an indefinite industrial action to press home their demands over an alleged non-payment of 12 months deductions.

Among other demands, the industrial action is also aimed at putting an immediate end to the contributory pension scheme.

When Channels Television visited the state government secretariat at Oke Mosan, Abeokuta, the state capital, it was revealed that some workers reported for work while others abdicated their duty post on the order of their leaders.

Commenting on the development, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, described the action as illegal and uncalled for, saying that the government may initiate a ‘no work, no pay’ system as a punishment.

Mr Adeoluwa asked the workers to see reasons, especially in the face of the current economic downturn, restating that the government is committed to the welfare and care of the workforce.

Although the town seemed calm, security operatives were stationed at strategic places to maintain law and order as a result of the strike.

Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, had earlier sent a strong warning to the leadership of labour unions in the state, over the proposed indefinite industrial action.

He gave the warning in Abeokuta, the state capaital, during a town-hall meeting for the 2017 budget, held at the cultural centre in the state capital.

He thanked residents for their understanding and the support shown towards his administration’s policies and programme, while assuring them of more development in the coming fiscal year.

Lagos Govt. Begins Clean Up Of Ikoyi, VI And Lekki

Lagos, Ikoyi, Lekki, Victoria Island, Akinwunmi AmbodeThe Lagos State government has begun a move to extend its urban clean-up project to the Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Lekki areas of the state in southwest Nigeria.

To achieve its plan, government has set up a committee to commence the elimination of illegal structures and shanties, street hawkers, as well as those who have converted walkways to trading points and food courts on the island.

Inaugurating the committee at the State House, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, expressed worry over the abuse of urban planning and environmental laws.

He said this necessitated the decision to embark on a major clean-up of the environment to restore it to its desired form.

Governor Ambode explained that his administration was passionately determined to rescue the fragile environment in the state from avoidable impediments.

The newly inaugurated 16-man committee, headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, is saddled with the responsibility to commence the implementation of the approved action plan and execute the clean-up exercise among other terms of reference.

The government has given a 14-day ultimatum to those who might be affected by the exercise to vacate the premises.

Niger Govt. Sets Up Committee To Investigate Military Invasion

Sani Bello, Niger State, MilitaryA three-man committee has been constituted by the Security Council headed by the Secretary to the Niger State Government (SSG) to look into the military invasion of some communities in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

This comes after the military in Niger State invaded Lunko, Kopa and environ villages in Bosso Local Government Area of the state at about 1:00am local time on Thursday.

The Government has requested for feedback on the incident within 24 hours.

According to a statement by the State Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the government, after an emergency State Security Council meeting on Friday, directed an extensive investigation into the remote and immediate cause(s) of the unfortunate incident, with the aim of having a permanent solution and forestalling future occurrence of such act.

The council also directed that residents of the affected villages, community leaders, party chieftains, religious leaders and political office holders in the area should embrace peace and assist the committee by proffering suggestions that would bring lasting solution and guarantee an enduring peace in the area and the state at large.

The council, while commiserating with the families of those who lost their lives, appealed to the military to ensure strict adherence to rules of engagement while assuring them of government’s resolve to recover the missing arms during the unfortunate incident.

As normalcy returns to the affected area, the council appealed to members of the public to go after their lawful duties, avoid engaging in any act capable of breaching peace of the state and report any suspicious person or movement to appropriate authorities.

The armed soldiers drawn from the 31 Artillery Brigade in Minna and the Air Force base in Bosso, allegedly stormed the villages in a brutal commando style, waking the sleeping villagers, causing distress and inflicting pains on them.

Police Offer 10 Million Naira For Information On Slain Plateau Monarch

Police, Plateau MonarchThe Plateau State Police Command has announced a ten-million-naira reward for anyone that can provide useful information leading to the arrest of perpetrators of the gruesome murder of a Plateau monarch, the chief of Bokkos, Saf Ron Kulere and three others.

Police Commissioner, Adekunle Oladunjoye, made the announcement at the police headquarters in Jos during the working visit of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 4, Mr Agboola Oshodi.

The Police Commissioner said that investigation was still ongoing in the murder of the monarch and the reward placed on the suspected killers was an evidence of the commitment of the Police and the state government in finding the perpetrators of the crime.

The first class traditional ruler was gruesomely murdered by unknown gunmen on Monday, July 18, 2016 alongside three others while others sustained injuries from the attack.

He was attacked in his village, Sha, while coming back from the farm along Bokkos-Barkin Ladi Road on Monday evening in company of his son, the police orderly and the driver.

There had been protests by angry youths of Bokkos  aggrieved by the murder of their ruler.

The aggrieved youths took to the streets blocking the highway between Bokkos and Barkin Ladi to express their grievances on the killings.

The Police immediately launched an investigation into the killing.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, said that a special investigative team from the Force Headquarters had taken over the case.

He disclosed that a helicopter had also been released for aerial surveillance of the community.

Police Investigate Plateau Monarch’s Murder

Police, Plateau, Kulere Lazarus AgaiThe Nigeria Police has launched an investigation into the killing of a first class traditional ruler in Plateau State, Saf Ron Kulere Lazarus Agai.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations, Joshak Habila, said this on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

DIG Habila said that a special investigative team from the Force Headquarters has taken over the case.

He disclosed that a helicopter has also been released for aerial surveillance of the community.

The investigation is coming after the Plateau State Security Council had imposed a 24-hour curfew on Bokkos Local Government Area following the protest that trailed the brutal murder of the monarch and some of his aides.

Rising from an emergency meeting of the Security Council over the unfortunate incident, Secretary to the State Government, Rufus Bature, advised the public and residents of the affected areas to comply with the imposition of the restriction order and cooperate with security personnel deployed to the area to maintain law and order.

Plateau Imposes 24 Hour Curfew On Bokkos

Plateau-Simon Lalong
Governor of Plateau State, Mr Simon Lalong

The Plateau State Security Council has imposed a 24 hour curfew on Bokkos Local Government Area following the protest that followed the brutal murder of the paramount ruler of Bokkos and some of his aides.

Rising from an emergency meeting of the Security Council over the unfortunate incident, Secretary to the State Government, Rufus Bature, in a statement advised the general public and residents of the affected areas to comply with the imposition of the restriction order and cooperate with security personnel deployed to the area to maintain law and order.

Angry youths of Bokkos had on Thursday protested the murder of the paramount ruler of Bokkos, Saf Ron-Kulere, Lazarus Agai and three others on Monday evening.

The aggrieved youths took to the streets protesting and blocking the highway between Bokkos and Barkin Ladi to express their grievances on the killings.

The Plateau State Police Commissioner, Olakunle Oladunjoye, explained that contrary to insinuations that that the traditional ruler was shot, he died as a result of the vehicle losing control after the driver of his vehicle was shot.

Delta Begins Commercial City Project In State’s Capital

Delta, Ifeanyi OkowaThe Delta State government has signed an agreement with Development Partners to kick-start the construction of the Delta Commercial City project in Asaba, the State’s capital.

Speaking during the signing ceremony, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa assured residents of the government’s commitment to boosting infrastructural development in the state.

Mr Okowa said that Deltans were desirous of development, and that the government would provide the enabling environment for infrastructural development to thrive.

He stressed that the Delta Commercial City would not only provide employment for the people of the state but also bring development to the state.

The Secretary to the State Government, Mr Ovie Agas, signed the agreement on behalf of the state government while Moise Nassogui of D’Arcano Group and Olawole Rhodes-Vivour, Al HUDA Nigeria Limited, signed on behalf of the development partners.

Governor Okowa witnessed the signing with other members of the state Executive Council.