NDLEA Parades Suspected Drug Baron With ₦1bn Worth Of Cocaine In Sokoto

Some of the substance suspected to be cocaine was intercepted by NDLEA operatives in Sokoto State.

 

The National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has paraded a suspected drug baron with cocaine worth ₦1 billion.

The suspect was arrested at Illela border in Sokoto State as he attempted to cross to the Niger Republic.

Briefing journalists on Monday, the suspect said he abandoned his textile business in Algeria for drug business to make more money as the textile business is not yielding enough.

Channels Television learned the suspect was attempting to move to Algeria where he resides via the Niger Republic before he was nabbed.

He was caught with 62 wraps of the substance carefully concealed in two Yoghurt bottles weighing 1.550kg when NDLEA officials were on stop and search operation.

The NDLEA said the worth of the substance intercepted in the hand of the trans-border drug baron is in the tune of one billion naira.

According to the NDLEA acting Commander of Sokoto Office, Amos  Bamidele, the suspect confessed that he was lured into the business.

He said the suspect explained his Nigerian friend mocked and lured him into the business of drugs with a promise to pay him five hundred thousand Naira after delivery of the stuff to his Algerian syndicate.

While warning drug barons to stay away from Sokoto, the NDLEA warned that the command is ready to deal with anybody involved in illicit drugs in and around the state.

Bandits Kill 12 People In Sokoto

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River
Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River.

 

Suspected bandits have killed 12 people in Illella Amarawa in the Illela Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

A resident of the area told Channels Television that the gunmen came to the area around 2:00 am and kidnapped a popular businessman in the community, Rabi’u Amarawa.

Following the attacks, community members were said to have alerted the vigilantes who mobilised and chased the bandits in a bid to rescue the abductee.

The bandits with superior firepower open fire at the vigilantes and members of the community and in the process killed twelve persons.

The Sokoto State Police Command confirmed the killing to Channels Television on Monday.

Spokesman of the command, Sanusi Abubakar, said members of the affected community resorted to self-help without calling on police, adding that it led to heavy casualties.

He explained that the police authorities have commenced investigation and also deployed five units, each comprising 63 well-armed policemen to areas prone to banditry in the state.

APC To Boycott Sokoto LG Election

A flag of the APC.

 

Ahead of the March 27 local government election in Sokoto State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has announced its withdrawal from the exercise.

Addressing journalists on Sunday at the party’s secretariat in Sokoto, APC Caretaker Chairman, Isa Sadiq Achida, said the party cannot participate in an election that will be conducted by unfair, compromised and bias umpire.

According to him, the state electoral commission is a composition of men not only loyal to the state government, but very close allies of the state governor, and are allegedly ready to do his bidding.

READ ALSO: Presidency Should Be Zoned To Southern Nigeria, Says Ganduje

He said the party is pained that the present administration in the state has destroyed the local government administration, noting that the APC cannot tarnish its good mage by participating in a compromised exercise.

The APC chieftain is however sure of winning the election if conducted in a free and fair manner.

Achida blamed the party’s decision to pull out of the exercise on what he described as a lack of transparency by the state government.

Buhari Directs Federal Aid Agencies To Respond To Sokoto Market Fire Victims

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Federal Agencies to urgently respond to victims of the Sokoto Central Market fire which occurred on Tuesday.

The President in a statement on Wednesday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, expressed sympathy and solidarity with victims of the Sokoto Central Market fire incident.

“I am deeply moved by this fire incident because of its huge adverse impact on the economic life of the people who struggle daily to earn a living.
“To see your investments go up in flames is particularly painful and I sincerely send my heartfelt sympathy and solidarity with all the victims, and pray to God to replenish your losses.’’

President Buhari called on market authorities to train traders and facility managers on basic safety precautions to forestall the frequency of fire outbreaks.

According to him, “once the traders are trained on the risk factors, it will go a long way to minimize the frequency of fire outbreaks at business places.’’

Fire Engulfs Sokoto Central Market

Sokoto Central Market

 

Fire has engulfed the Sokoto central market destroying goods and properties.

The cause of the incident which occurred on Tuesday is yet unknown as some traders say the fire started from some plastic materials.

Officials of the Federal and State Fire Service in Sokoto are working with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other security agencies to put out the fire outbreak.

A bulldozer used in removing rubbles

An official of the Federal Fire Service said the large crowd that gathered are making their work difficult.

He admitted that a shortage of equipment is also a challenge, adding that a bulldozer is required to create space for firefighters to the fire.

I Did Not Call For A Coup In My Christmas Message, Says Kukah

The Catholic Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah speaks during a press conference in Sokoto on December 28, 2020.

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto Catholic, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah has denied calling for a coup in his 2020 Christmas message.

He made this known on Monday night during a press conference at St Bakhita Secretariat in Sokoto.

“It is unfair for a journalist or news medium to report that I called for a coup while expressing my personal view about Nigeria,” he said.

“I am pained and very sad that my emergency critics never see that many innocent lives are being lost on a daily basis. The loss of lives in the last ten years, even before the advent of this administration, calls for concern.

“The reactions are a reflection of every citizen that make up Nigeria. It is sad that when you drop something in Nigeria, everybody goes back to their enclave and abandon the larger picture. I am someone who never takes offense to what people say about me.”

READ ALSO: Killings: Buhari’s Govt Owes Nigerians An Explanation, Says Kukah

Speaking further, Bishop Kukah said it is only feeble minds that would misconstrue his statements as an indication of the intention to go into party politics.

While noting that everyone has the right to hold political views, he said nothing stops him as a priest and conscience of society from speaking truth to power.

“To make it more interesting, a retired General from the North-West who is a Muslim has also released a statement on his handle to say all that I said is true.

“I have no plan and will never play partisan politics for any reason. Those who link me to partisan politics because of my statement are only playing into the gallery,” he added.

Kukah’s remarks come four days after he said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?”

Killings: Buhari’s Govt Owes Nigerians An Explanation, Says Kukah

Atiku Was Invited For Peace Accord Signing, Says Kukah
File photo of Bishop Matthew Kukah

 

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto, Bishop Matthew Kukah has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government owes Nigerians an explanation over the killings of innocent people in the country.

In his Christmas message titled, ‘A Nation in Search of Vindication,’ Bishop Kukah said Nigeria appeared to be heading for darkness under his administration.

“This government owes the nation an explanation as to where it is headed as we seem to journey into darkness,” he said.

“The spilling of this blood must be related to a more sinister plot that is beyond our comprehension. Are we going to remain hogtied by these evil men or are they gradually becoming part of a larger plot to seal the fate of our country?”

While lamenting the level of insecurity in the country, Kukah said Nigerians have nowhere to turn to.

According to him, the country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence.

“As our country drifts almost rudderless, we seem like people travelling without maps, without destination and with neither Captain nor Crew. Citizens have nowhere to turn to.

“Our country’s inability to feed itself is one of the most dangerous signs of state failure and a trigger to violence,” he said.

The cleric described Nigeria as a rudderless country where the citizens travelled in a boat devoid of captain or crew and without any maps and destination insight.

He also accused President Buhari of nepotism, noting that there could have been a coup if a non-northern Muslim president does a fraction of what Buhari did.

For Bishop Kukah, President Buhari’s administration was institutionalizing northern hegemony by “reducing others in public life to second-class status”.

READ ALSO: Insecurity: Citizens Have Nowhere To Turn To – Bishop Kukah

“President Buhari deliberately sacrificed the dreams of those who voted for him to what seemed like a programme to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony. He has pursued this self-defeating and alienating policy at the expense of greater national cohesion.

“Every honest Nigerian knows that there is no way any non-Northern Muslim President could have done a fraction of what President Buhari has done by his nepotism and gotten away with it,” he added.

Bishop Kukah, however, asked Nigerians not to give up despite the pain, sorrow and uncertainty in the land, calling for prayers to save the nation.

“Yet, we stand firmly with the unshaken belief that no matter the temptations, the world has known worst times. These may be the worst of times, but for men and women of faith, they could be the best of times. We must stand firm and resolute because, our redeemer liveth (Job 19:25),” he said.

Sokoto Govt Directs Immediate Closure Of 16 Boarding Schools

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

 

Sokoto State Government has ordered the immediate closure of 16 boarding schools along its borderlines.

The decision was taken from the 17th security council meeting which was held on Wednesday.

Briefing journalists the State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr Muhammad Bello Abubakar Guiwa on the security situation in the affected areas and the threats this portends.

The affected schools are: Government Girls Model Secondary School, Illela, Sultan Muhammadu Tambari Arabic Secondary School, Illela, Gamji Girls College, Rabah, Government Secondary School, Gada, Government Secondary School, Gandi and Government Secondary School, Goronyo

Others are Government Secondary School, Isa, Government Secondary School Sabon Birnin Gobir, Boarding Primary School, Isa, Boarding Primary School, Balle and Boarding Primary School, Jabo.

The remaining are UBE Junior Secondary School, Sabon Birni, Government Secondary School, Kebbe, Government Secondary School, Tureta, Government Technical College, Binji and Olusegun Obasanjo Technical College, Bafarawa.

Gov. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal disclosed that “the schools were to be closed, temporarily for two weeks.”

The governor directed the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education and that of Science and Technology to temporarily merge the students of the affected schools with those of other schools for the continuation of their studies pending the improvement in the security situation of the affected areas

Accordingly, Principals of the affected schools are hereby directed to comply with immediate effect.

Police Kill Two Suspected Kidnappers, Arrest Armed Robbers In Sokoto

File photo of a Police patrol van.

 

Two suspected kidnappers have been killed in Sanyinna area of Tambuwal Local Government Area of Sokoto State during a gun battle with the police.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ibrahim Sani Ka’oje disclosed this on Saturday during a press conference at the command’s headquarters.

He explained that been an upsurge in kidnap for ransom and pockets of robbery in the state with one of the recent robbery cases leading to the death of one person.

“We have been trailing them. Last two weeks, there was a case in Sanyinna whereby the military and other security agencies went to that forest but they couldn’t penetrate because that place requires a tactical operation,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bandits Attack Kasuwan Magani Town, Shoot Fulani Leader In Kaduna

According to the police boss, one of the suspects in the robbery that claimed the life of a victim two weeks ago in Tamaje area of the state have been arrested.

Four robbery suspects and eight other persons suspected to be kidnappers were also arrested and three AK-47 and a rifle with live ammunition were recovered.

Borno Killing One Of The Most Gruesome Murders By Boko Haram – Sultan

File photo of the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar

 

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar has described the Borno killing as the most gruesome murder carried out by the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists.

Boko Haram terrorists had on Saturday stormed Koshebe community killing at least 43 people.

But speaking on Wednesday during an event in Sokoto, the Sultan asked Nigerian leaders to rise up to the challenge of insecurity facing the country.

He also called on the Muslim faithful not to forget to pray for god’s intervention to end the security crisis.

“We are most devastated with what happened in Borno some few days back. It is one of the most gruesome murders carried out in this country for such a large number of people,” he said.

“We want to go back to the almighty Allah always; there we have peace of mind because he does what he wants to do at the time he wants to.

“We are not challenging almighty Allah. Rather we are thanking him for opening our eyes the more for us as leaders to wake up to our responsibilities.”

READ ALSO: Borno Killings: Northern Elders Lament, Claim Life Has Lost Value Under Buhari’s Administration

Following the deadly attack, there has been conflicting figures on the number of casualties in the troubled northeast.

While the United Nations put the number of dead victims at 110, the military authorities insist that only 43 were killed.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria Mr. Edward Kallon had in a statement on Sunday, condemned the assault, calling for the immediate release of several persons who were kidnapped.

Kallon further stated that such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing which the UN is striving to alleviate.

According to him, such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity they are facing which the UN is striving to alleviate.

“I strongly condemn this attack and any act of violence against innocent civilians and I firmly urge all actors on the ground to respect international laws and humanity,” Kallon said.

“The entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State is outraged by the incident.

Any Strike Action Will Worsen Nigeria’s Economy, NGF Tells Organised Labour

NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has cautioned the organised labour against embarking on industrial action.

The warning was contained in a communique issued on Friday by the NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

Tambuwal argued that any plan to down tools will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“On the call for national strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Forum believes that the labour unions should exercise caution on the call for strike action, noting that any strike action will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the communique partly read.

“While expressing concern over the call for national strike action by the  Nigeria  Labour  Congress  (NLC)  and  the  Trade  Union  Congress (TUC),  Forum  members  suggested  the  provision  of  a  cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal.”

 

SEE FULL STATEMENT HERE

Communiqué ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 18th TELECONFERENCE (EMERGENCY MEETING) OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON THURSDAY, 24TH SEPTEMBER 2020

  1. The Emergency  Meeting  was  convened  to  deliberate  on  two  key issues – ALGON Vs FAAC: deduction of LGC statutory allocation for the construction of primary healthcare centers in each of the 774 LGAs; and the NLC & TUC call for a national strike action over the recent increase in  the  pump  price  of  Premium  Motor  Spirit  (PMS)  and  increase  in Electricity Tariff.
  2. Governors expressed  serious  concern  over  deductions  from  the Federation  Allocation  of  the  774  local  governments  of  the  country  to construct and equip healthcare centres in each local government area on behalf  of  the  Association  of  Local  Government  Areas  of  Nigeria (ALGON);
  3. The Forum  rejected  the  legality  and  the  legitimacy  of  the  contract including all financing arrangements;
  4. On the call for a national strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Forum believes that the labour unions should  exercise  caution  on  the  call  for  a  strike  action, noting  that  any  strike  action  will  worsen  the  currently  deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  5. While expressing concern over the call for a national strike action by the Nigeria Labour  Congress  (NLC)  and  the  Trade  Union  Congress (TUC),  Forum  members  suggested  the  provision  of  a  cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal;
  6. Governors confirmed during the meeting that an Industrial Court had barred Labour from  embarking  on  its  planned  industrial  action  but nevertheless decided to  use  the intervening period to  mediate  between the stakeholders.1

Communiqué  After  a  long  and  arduous  deliberation  on  the  two  issues,  the  Forum Resolved to:

  1. Call on  the  Minister  for  Finance  and  the Accountant  General  of  the Federation not to disburse to receiving entities monies already deducted for  the  construction  of  primary  healthcare  centers  in  each  of  the  774 LGAs, and that further deductions should be halted forthwith;
  2. Constitute a Committee comprising the Governors of Ekiti (Chairman), Ebonyi, Delta, Gombe, Plateau, and Kano States to represent State and local governments on the matter. The Committee will also approach Mr. President, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, the National Judicial  Council  and  the  Minister  of  Finance,  Budget  and National Planning to appeal against the judgement;
  3. Intercede with the Labour Unions, the Federal Government and other stakeholders and especially call labour to exercise caution in its plan to embark on an  indefinite  strike  action,  noting  that  any  such  action  will worsen  the  already  deteriorating  economic  situation  of  the  workers brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  4. Set up a Committee made up of the Governors of Jigawa (Chairman), Nasarawa, Ogun, Kwara, Gombe, Abia and Bayelsa  States  to  interface with  the  National  Economic  Council,  the  Labour  Unions  and  relevant stakeholders  for  the  overall  interest  of  the  nation.  The  NGF  Secretariat will  provide  relevant  support  to  the  Committee  on  the  details  of  the mechanism for deregulation put in place by the federal government;
  5. Call for an Emergency NEC meeting as soon as the Committee comes up with a common position on the deregulation of both the petroleum and power sectors and the figures laid bare for all to see;

Finally,  members  advised  that  any  position  taken  by  the  Forum  should not  be  seen  to  be  contrary  or  injurious  to  the  position  State  Governors 2

Communiqué  have  always  maintained  in  support  of  deregulation.  Governors  insisted that subsidy in the petroleum sector, apart from promoting corruption in petroleum  pricing  and  distribution,  brings  about  loss  of  revenues  to  the three tiers of government and loss of jobs to the populace.

 

Meeting held from 6pm – 7:30pm.

          Signed

Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Governor of Sokoto and Vice Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

Three Nigeriens Arrested Over Arms Smuggling In Sokoto

The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche speaks during a press conference in Abuja on August 21, 2020.

 

Three citizens of the Republic of Niger have been arrested in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State over arms smuggling.

Speaking during a press conference in Abuja on Friday, the Coordinator of defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche said the suspects are members of a notorious arms smuggling syndicate.

He explained that the foreigners smuggled the special ammunition into the country by concealing them in their vehicle.

Sokoto, usually referred to as Sokoto State to distinguish it from the city of Sokoto, is located in the extreme northwest of Nigeria, near to the confluence of the Sokoto River and the Rima River

 

“Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity deployed at Forward Operating Base Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State on the 15th of August after an undercover operation successfully smashed a notorious illegal arms smuggling syndicate who specialise in massive arms supply to bandits in the northwest from across the international borders.

“The three suspects, all Nigeriens were intercepted at Dantudu in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State with six AK-47 rifles, two AK-47 rifle magazines and 2,415 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition concealed in various parts of their vehicles,” he said.

Speaking further, the defence spokesman said some of the nation’s “security challenges have an external influence.”

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Enenche recalled that two foreigners were also arrested in Niger State recently over arms smuggling, adding that the Armed Forces will not relent in tackling the security challenges in the country.

Sokoto has been experiencing a series of attacks from bandits recently with the latest happening on August 17 in the same local government.

Just four days ago, three suspected arms smugglers – Alhaji Adamu Alhassan, Salisu Adamu and Abdullahi Sani were arrested by the troops following credible intelligence.

The suspects were said to be citizens of the Republic of Niger.

The military authorities said preliminary investigation revealed that the dangerous consignment was meant for some bandits in Isah Local Government Area of the state.