The Sokoto State Governor, Mr Aminu Tambuwal, has lauded the Federal Government’s Grazing Reserve Policy, saying it will ensure better security, improve the health condition of herds and also make more economic sense.
The Governor made the statement on Wednesday at the Government House in Owerri the capital of Imo State in south-east Nigeria when he paid a courtesy visit on the Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha.
He further called on all Nigerians, especially the northerners, to support the policy, as it would guarantee better security for herds and herdsmen as well as people living within the affected areas.
The policy is part of the Federal Government’s effort to put an end to attacks on communities by herdsmen which had been on the increase.
Governor Tambuwal, who was on his way to Abia State for a function stopped by in Owerri to commiserate with the Governor over gruesome murder of Mrs Bridget Agbaheme in Kano State.
Governor Tambuwal condemned the act in its totality.
He said: “Islam is a religion of peace and not destruction and as such, people should not hide under the guise of Islam and religion to perpetrate evil against fellow Nigerians”.
Responding to Governor Tambuwal, Governor Okorocha said the unity of the country was more paramount at this time.
He also called on all leaders from the North and the south to unite for a better Nigeria.
Unity of purpose, patriotism and selflessness are the crucial ingredients required for building a dynamic democratic culture that will ensure the integration of all ethnic and religious groups on the basis of fairness and justice.
Governor Amino Tambuwal of Sokoto State gave this opinion on Monday while delivering a lecture on “Religious Tolerance and the Challenges of Democratic Governance in Nigeria” in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State.
The Sokoto State Governor stressed that to ensure that religion played it’s vital role as a source of harmony, it was imperative to expose and penalise all divisive agents of violence and lawlessness within the purview of existing laws.
While pointing out that many politicians had in time past used religious and ethnic rhetoric as a cover up to claim political representation and opportunities, Governor Tambuwal warned the citizenry to be wary of deceptive politicians and elect only politicians who are selfless and people oriented.
He advocated that leaders, security agencies and traditional rulers at all tiers of government should constantly hold discussions amongst religious groups and organisations with a view to promoting unity and understanding.
The former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, has denied involvement in the 2.1 billion dollar arms deal scandal, saying he did not receive any money from the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd)
A statement issued in Abuja by one of his aides, a former Special Adviser on Youths and Students Matters, during his term as Governor of Sokoto State, Mr Akibu Dalhatu, maintains that the former Governor had no deal with the former National Security Adviser.
Mr Dalhatu, who in the statement said he had visited Bafarawa at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), claimed that his boss was not arrested at home or anywhere else as has been reported in a section of the media.
The statement added that the former governor went to the EFCC to honour an invitation made to him by the agency while he was abroad.
He had informed them through a letter by his lawyers that he was abroad and would honour their invitation upon his return, which he did.
The trial of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki has again been stalled following the filing of a fresh application by the federal government seeking to stop the execution of the bail granted to the accused person on November 3, 2015.
At the resumed hearing, lawyer to the federal government, Mr Oladipo Okpeseyitan said that he had just been briefed to handle the case through a fiat of the Attorney General of the Federation authorizing him to take over the prosecution of the case.
He also told the court that he has filed a new application seeking to stay the execution or further execution of the order of the court delivered on November 3, 2015.
He added that the federal government was not in disobedience of the order of the court granting bail to the accused person.
Lawyer to the accused person, Mr Ahmed Raji, however, objected to the hearing of the application saying it was not ripe for hearing.
He told the court that he had just been served with the motion in court, adding that he needed time to respond to the motion.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola subsequently adjourned the case till December 8.
Dasuki Denies Implicating Anyone
Meanwhile, the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has denied implicating anyone or group during interrogation on the allegation of $2billion arms purchase deal brought against him by the Federal Government.
Dasuki’s lawyer, Mr Ahmed Raji, a senior advocate said that his client never made such statement or name anyone to EFCC. He wondered where the authors got their information from.
“I was with Dasuki yesterday and wish to make a categorical statement that my client never made any statement of such nature or naming anybody or group in any statement.
“Quote me anywhere, Dasuki has not done anything like that. It is absolutely untrue. It is the figment of the imagination of the authors aimed at creating falsehood for reasons best known to them and Nigerians should disregard them.
“They are just out to scandalise the man, bring his image and character into disrepute so that his friends and well-wishers can run away from him. They want him deserted and that will fail,” Raji said.
The Sokoto State Governor, Mr Aminu Tambuwal, is optimistic that the crisis in the All Progressives Congress following the leadership tussle in the National Assembly would soon be a thing of the past.
The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is heading one of the committees set up to find amicable settlement to the crisis, spoke to reporters on Tuesday shortly after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed-doors.
He said: “There is light at the end of the tunnel. Peace and normalcy will be restored to the chambers of the National Assembly”.
Governor Tambuwal assured the President of his full support, as his administration works to deliver their campaign promises to Nigerians.
On the insistence of the Femi Gbajabiamila group to produce four principal officers in the House of Representatives, Governor Tambuwal said, as a mediator, he was not at liberty to pre-empt what should be the outcome of his report.
In 2011, members of the House of Representatives had elected Mr Tambuwal as the Speaker in deviance to the choice of the party, a situation that many said gave impetus to the disagreement in the House of Representatives over choice of principal officers.
But Governor Tambuwal disagreed with the claims, saying “the lawmakers are matured enough to know what is best for the country and the party”.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), was in Sokoto State on Saturday to visit former president, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
The visit was to celebrate with the Second Republic President, whose 90th birthday was on February 25, while General Buhari was away in the UK.
General Buhari seized the opportunity to explain why he missed the February 25 date.
“Your Excellency, my coming today is to felicitate with you over your 90th birthday anniversary. I have personally sent a letter to you informing you that I was in London and hope the letter was delivered to you.
“I would have loved to come with some of our colleagues who were here earlier but for my trip to London where I went to have some rest after campaigning in all the 36 states of the federation in addition to several townhall meetings.
“I pray Allah to grant you good health and more fruitful years ahead,” Buhari said.
He described Shagari as a great nationalist, lauding him for his commitment to Nigeria’s peace and unity.
The Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, who accompanied the APC presidential candidate to Shagari’s Sama road residence alongside other members of the APC in Sokoto, also highlighted Shagari’s virtues of discipline, humility and nationalism.
Former president Shagari was full of smiles and gratitude to his visitors. He also urged Nigerians to continually pray for the peace and stability of the country.
He wished General Buhari success in his political ambition.
Buhari overthrew Shagari during his civilian regime in a military coup on December 31, 1983.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has found the need to review its activities as a group, and the progress made by the country, with a view to chart the way forward for the country.
Rivers State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, alongside his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Wammako shed light on the forum’s retreat while appearing on a special edition of Channels Television’s breakfast programme Sunrise, from the ancient city of Sokoto.
The host governor, Aliyu Wammako stated that general belief in the forum on the need to have a dialogue geared towards moving Nigeria forward was the major motivation for him volunteering to host all the 36 Nigerian governors in Sokoto State for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum retreat.
He stated that this is the second time the Governors’ Forum will be meeting outside Abuja, having met in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state before stressing that the forum has now resolved to henceforth rotate their meetings across the states to enable them know more about the country and know the truth based on facts and figures and not just on emotions.
He reeled out topics outlined for the retreat to include good governance, economy, security, and rule of law which are all very important to the Nigerian Governors’ Forum. He also stressed that focus will be on taking stock of how they have performed with a view to agree on how to move forward.
Excess Crude Account Is Illegal
While responding to a question on the perceived lack of understanding for the NGF’s purpose among Nigerians, Governor Amaechi referred to the NGF’s role in the Oil Subsidy debate. According to him, “if we didn’t step in, oil subsidy would have hit 3 Trillion. That we are talking about 2.3 Trillion now is because the NGF stepped in.”
“We refused to collect our monthly allocation more than 4 times in 4 different months because it was ridiculous to hear that oil subsidy that was 300 billion Naira when Yar’adua was alive or when Obasanjo was President had astronomically risen to trillions…and Governors had to step in. And when we stepped in, things had to stop.”
He also mentioned that the Governors’ Forum stepped in on the issues of the excess crude account. “Since January, before the second term election of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Chairman, what was left in the excess crude account was between 8 and 9 billion dollars, as at last month only 4 billion dollars from 9. So you can begin to see the role we play, the absence of the Governors’ Forum will worsen the case.”
He went further to emphasize the alleged illegality of the Excess Crude Account, “if the Supreme Court has said it is illegal, the fact that they’re still keeping that account shows how much respect we have for our judiciary.”
“The more they (Federal Government) keep that money, the more the account is mismanaged. We don’t know how the money is managed, we will just wake up one day and they will say its 9 billion, the next meeting in 2 months, 4 to 5 billion would have disappeared. Who is doing that?”
Governor Wammako referred to the Excess Crude Account issue as very painful for the Governors. “We all spoke against this account and we believe that this money is supposed to be invested in the future of Nigeria by way of creating jobs for our youths, by way of investing more in the areas of infrastructure but keeping the money doesn’t make sense, Nigerians are not as happy as they should be.”
Governors And Corruption
On the alleged corruption of some governors, Governor Amaechi highlighted that things have changed from what it used to be in the past. He said that in this generation, it is the governors who are complaining about corruption and Nigerians should have noticed that this is because there is a new sense of responsibility among the governors.
He complained that the Federal Government’s approach towards corruption has been inadequate.
The interview also touched on several issues like Nigeria’s electoral process, the reduction in states’ monthly allocation, allegations of corruption in the NNPC, the Senate’s report of 500billion Naira being stolen from the SURE-P account and the National Assembly’s report that 2.3trillion Naira has been stolen from the oil subsidy account.
Governor Wammako also seized the opportunity to talk about the developmental projects embarked on by his administration, claiming that the state is already reaping from its good roads and other infrastructures in terms of investment coming into the state from the agro-allied sector, mining and so many other sectors. He also emphasized the peaceful state of Sokoto as a major achievement of the administration.
Invited as resource persons for the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, are Professor Wole Shoyinka, Professor Chidi OdinKalu, Professor Junaid Mohammed, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, and many other prominent Nigerians.
Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, has described fairness and justice as the key to security and peace in Nigeria.
This is the strategy, which he said, he had employed to keep his state secured.
The Governor, while speaking to Channels Television, advised his counterparts to also maintain strong communication with security agencies operating in their states.
“Once there’s fairness and justice there will be less friction.
“We believe in prayers, we are always praying …5 times a day for the state and the country at large.
“As a government, we have very good working relationship with our security agencies in the state; we give them whatever they require to function properly in the state because they are doing their best.
“We have been campaigning actively to let the citizens of the state know how to report any special behavior in their communities to the security agencies and we give them assurance that their privacy will be protected.”
Finally, Governor Wammako suggested building an atmosphere where everyone would feel welcomed and loved, no matter where they came from. “Everybody feels he or she is part of the state and we are working towards ensuring the state maintains its peaceful nature at all times.”
Sokoto state government has approved the release of one billion five million one hundred and seventy-eight thousand eight hundred and eleven naira only (N1,005,178,811.00) for the payment of allowances to foreign students of Sokoto origin.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Abdullahi Bala Sokoto on Friday.
According to the statement, “Governor Aliyu Wamakko has approved the immediate release of N1,005,178,811.00 for payments of all outstanding financial commitment of all foreign students, who are under the sponsorship of Sokoto state government in different parts of the world.”
It further stated that “other students studying at different institutions within the country as well those on higher scheme outside the country would be paid accordingly,” adding that the gesture by was aimed at ensuring that the students underwent academic pursuits without hitches.
“We want our children studying home and abroad to have concentration in a conducive and peaceful academic atmosphere”, the statement read.
Bala Sokoto urged the benefiting students to reciprocate the gesture through hard work in order to achieve academic excellence as justification for the huge expenditure incurred by government.