Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal has assented to the Child Protection Bill, earlier passed by the state House of Assembly.
The law was signed on Monday, in a ceremony attended by the UN Resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, as well as other development partners and members of the Children Parliament in Sokoto State.
According to the governor, since the enactment of the Child Rights Act in 2003, domesticating the law in the state has been very difficult due to cultural and lifestyle differences.
The Sokoto State Government on Saturday said it has asked the Federal Government to suspend its telecoms blockade on 14 local government areas of the state.
The blockade had been imposed in September as part of efforts to clampdown on bandits operating in the North-West.
A similar blockade is in effect in parts of Zamfara and Kaduna states.
But after “an enlarged security council meeting on the fallout of bandits attack on Goronyo market which claimed the lives of 43 people last week”, the Sokoto State Government said it was necessary to review the blockade.
“According to Gov. (Aminu) Tambuwal, the call for the rescinding of the blockade became necessary in view of concerns expressed by security outfits in the state that the outage was affecting the smooth conduct of their works,” a statement signed by Tambuwal’s spokesperson, Muhammad Bello, said.
“He said the state government has already forwarded a letter to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy to review the internet blockade.”
The statement said Tambuwal disclosed the state’s decision when he received, on Saturday, the North-East Governors Forum (NEGF) represented by Governors of Borno and Gombe state, Prof. Babagana Aymara Zulum and Alhaji Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya respectively.
The North-East Governors were paying a condolence visit to the state over the recent bandit attacks in the state.
Over 20 persons have been reportedly killed by bandits who attacked a market at Ungwan Lalle in Sabon Birni Local Government Area in Sokoto state.
Sources in the village said several other persons were injured and majority of them are currently receiving treatment at the General Hospital in Sabon Birni while others with life threatening injuries were taken to the state capital for proper care.
A former council chairman of Sabon Birni local government, Abdullahi Tsamaye, confirmed the attack to newsmen.
Suspected armed bandits have attacked, Gatawa and Gangara all in Sabon Birni local government area of Sokoto State, killing four persons.
Spokesman of the Sokoto State Police Command, Assistant Superintendent of Police Sanusi Abubakar, confirmed this in a statement on Thursday.
The police spokesman who said the attack occurred on Tuesday, however, said details of the incident are not available as the area is part of where telecommunication services have been shut down as part of measures against insecurity in the state.
Meanwhile, a member representing Sabon Birni East constituency at the state House of Assembly, Sa’idu Ibrahim told newsmen that the bandits are now targeting security formations in the area.
According to him, the said bandits are now looking for where security operatives are stationed because their morale was boosted by their recent successful attack on a military formation at Dama where many soldiers, policemen and Civil Defence officers were killed.
He said Gangara village was raided twice on Tuesday, first around 5:00 am and when they could not find any security operatives to kill, they came back around 3:00 pm shouting “where are the soldiers who claimed to be on our trail, where are they?”.
Ibrahim said four persons were shot as the bandits could not find security operatives on ground to kill.
A source close to the 8th Division Nigeria Army, Headquarters said more army personnel have now been posted to the area to restore normalcy.
While the police were also on ground and planning to transport the suspects to the command headquarters in Sokoto, the angry community members overpowered them and forcefully snatched the suspects from the security personnel.
Thereafter, all the six bandits were set ablaze.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police Sanusi Abubakar, confirmed the incident but refused to give any further comments.
Sokoto United have unveiled former Gombe United Chief coach, Mohammed Mohammed as their new Technical Adviser ahead of the 2021/2022 NNL season on a two-year contract.
At the unveiling ceremony on Saturday, the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Bashir Usman Gorau, challenged the new manager to get the club promoted to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in the coming football season.
The commissioner said the club has also engaged the service of a legal adviser to help the team handle all its legal affairs as well as players’ contract in a more professional manner.
According to Mr. Gorau, this is the first time since the formation of the club in 1995 that it will be engaging a legal adviser, as well as signing a coach for more than a season with the intention of transforming the club to run professionally.
He assured the new technical crew of an improved welfare package for the team and the necessary support to ensure they achieve the target of gaining promotion to the NPFL and development of football in the state.
“Today is an interesting day and event to unveil our Technical crew. The journey to the NPFL begins now. We have made the right choice of appointing you and your assistants after consulting with every key stakeholders within and outside the state. That’s why we have invited everyone to witness this unveiling.
“Welcome our amiable Technical Adviser. Let me also challenge you and your team to take Sokoto United to the elite division next season as my Ministry and management of the club would give you the free hand to pick players of your choice without interference as all we crave is to play in the NPFL next season,” he said.
Coach Mohammed Mohammed in his acceptance speech thanked the Ministry for giving him the opportunity to serve and promised to bring his wealth of experience to bear in other to actualize the set target.
“I want to thank the Almighty God for this wonderful opportunity and also the Hon. Commissioner, the Permanent Secretary and Director of Sports for making it possible to be part of this wonderful family. I believe so much in hard work and Sokoto United won’t be an exception,” the new coach said.
“It’s not going to be easy, but with a solid structure in terms of players recruitment and with the already existing high level of players welfare here, we shall achieve our promotion target next season.
“I want us to be patient as we take our steps one after the other. I and my crew can assure you of good and result-oriented football next season.
“The caliber of people I would be working with are highly experienced and together we shall place Sokoto United where it truly belongs which is the NPFL”.
Also present at the unveiling ceremony are; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports Development, Hajiya Amina Dekada, Director of Sports, Bala Ubandoma, Sokoto State FA Chairman, represented by Comrade Sanusi Zulu, SWAN (Sokoto Chapter), Sokoto State Referee Council Chairman, Dr. Bello Abubakar, Sokoto United Supporters Club, and other dignitaries.
While urging residents to disregard the threats, the CP assured residents of their continued safety.
Sokoto is one of the states in the North-West region that has recently come under attack by bandits who kidnap for ransom, rape, steal, and murder people villages.
Last week, Governor Aminu Tambuwal invoked an executive order banning motorists from plying the Marnona/Issa Road linking the eastern part of the state.
According to the Commissioner for Information, Isa Bajini, the decision was to check the rising insecurity in the state.
Some other states such as Zamfara and Katsina, plagued with similar challenges, have taken up more stringent measures to curb the crime rate such as the shutting down of telecoms services and the closure of some markets and filling stations.
He said the victims, mostly from the southern part of Nigeria, were intercepted in Niger Republic and repatriated to Nigeria by the Nigerian police who then handed them over to the officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Illela border.
Mr. Bashiru said the victims were handed over to NAPTIP by the officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the Illela border.
He said NAPTIP has commenced investigation to find out the culprit responsible for the heinous crime against the victims.
He also expressed sadness that despite sensitizing the public against the danger of trafficking, parents of some of the victims in trafficking cases are always accomplices in committing the crime.
The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, has announced the donation of the sum of ₦50 million to victims of the Sokoto Main market fire incident which occurred last week.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser, Public Enlightenment Media and Communications, Zailani Bappa, the Governor, accompanied by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, visited the site of the incident, where he noted that whatever affects the Sokoto people directly affects the people of Zamfara State.
“What affects the eye directly affects the nose too. We are basically the same people and we must share our good and bad moments together,” Governor Matawalle said.
He said he was unable to visit the state last week due to the security situation arising in Zamfara at the time but prayed for Allah to give the victims of the incident the heart to bear the loss while also urging them to consider it as a special test from God.
“When this market was built, it was one of the best in this country, but it has experienced more than one trial like this. God knows why these have to happen. But we must leave all matters in His hands as only He knows best,” Governor Matawalle said.
Responding on behalf of the victims, Governor Tambuwal thanked his counterpart and promised to ensure that they are compensated appropriately.
He also noted that already, the other side of the market has been separated and all the traders have moved there to continue with their businesses.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday, commissioned an expanded fistula care centre in Sokoto State.
In a statement by the UNFPA, the agency explained that the “rehabilitated Goronyo General Hospital operating theatre and patient ward are part of a comprehensive approach by UNFPA to increase access to fistula care for indigent patients.
“This includes the earlier commissioning in March 2020 of the rehabilitated operating theatre and patient ward at the Maryam Abacha Women and Children Hospital in Sokoto metropolis, along with the provision of essential medical equipment and kits as well as the training of healthcare workers on the management of obstetric fistula.”
According to the UNFPA, the project further aims to restore the dignity of women and girls living with fistula and preventing the disease, while appreciating the support of the Sokoto State Government.
“UNFPA reiterates its commitment to ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled,” the statement added.
“Also, UNFPA is committed to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s vision of becoming a country free of Obstetric Fistula by 2030. Finally, UNFPA would like to once again, thank and appreciate its donor, Global Affairs Canada, for providing funding support for the project.
Sokoto State has one of the worst reproductive health indices in Nigeria with an estimated maternal mortality of more than 2000/100,000 live births, the UNFPA noted.
The UN agency added that over a two-third (71%) of pregnant women in the state never attended antenatal care; 91% of the women delivered at home and less than 10% had skilled birth attendance, exposing them to risk of maternal death and complications including fistula.