Shiites-Army Clash: Kaduna State Govt Says Over 340 Bodies Buried

Army Shiites clashThe Kaduna State Government says no fewer than 347 dead bodies were given a mass burial after the violence clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army which occurred in Zaria on December 12, 2015.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Balarabe Lawal, gave the testimony when he appeared before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the State government to investigate the cause of the incident.

Although members of the group have maintained that corpses of the victims were secretly buried at an unidentified cemetery by the Army, this is the first time the state government is giving an information about how the remains of the killed Shiites were disposed.

Members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the December 2015 bloody clash held their session at the General Usman Katsina House, with submissions made by witnesses to the incident.

The commission has so far received submissions from the Nigerian Army, but Tuesday session featured some officials of the Kaduna State government led by the SSG.

While making his submission, Mr Lawal said that 191 corpses were taken from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, and were later buried at Mando area in the outskirt of the state capital.

He further told the commission that another 156 corpses were also conveyed from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, to the same Mando cemetery for mass burial.

The State government said the corpses were committed into a single grave at Mando and jointly supervised by the State government officials and about 40 men of the Nigerian Army.

The SSG informed the panel that 189 suspects were being prosecuted for alleged involvement in the Zaria clash while one of them died in custody.

On the alleged demolition of buildings and structures of the IMN leader, Sheik El-Zakzaky and other members, the SSG explained that the buildings were demolished because they did not meet up government’s approved building safety standards.

Counsels to the commission, JNI and Nigerian Army cross examined the SSG on the submission.

Another witness and Director-General, Kaduna State Interfaith Agency, Namadi Musa, who claimed he supervised the burial, said the corpses were buried on December 14 and 15 respectively, and that the mass burial was authorised through a warrant of burial obtained from a Chief Magistrates Court in the state capital,

Another witness, a representative of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Professor Adamu Ahmed, who is the Deputy Chief Medical Director, narrated how armed soldiers invaded the hospital, prevented the workers from discharging their duties and also carted away corpses from the hospital’s mortuary.

The Justice Muhammed Lawal-Garba’s panel also received submissions from the Izala Islamic group and the Gyellesu Community in Zaria.

Shiites Funded By Iranian Government

The elder brother of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, Muhammad Sani Yaqoob, in his submission, commended the actions taken by the Nigerian Army in the December clash between soldiers and the Shiites in Zaria which he said was caused by the group who blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff.

Speaking in Hausa language, he alleged that the movement got funding from the Iranian government, and had been harassing and intimidating residents of Zaria and Kaduna state over the years.

Although members of the Islamic movement in Nigeria and their lawyers have withdrawn further appearance before the panel, a statement issued by their spokesman after the proceedings, said the recent revelations made by Kaduna State government through the SSG had clearly vindicated them from any wrong doing.

The public hearing will continue for the next three weeks and members of the public are anxiously awaiting the outcome and recommendations that would be made by the commission.

Governor Okorocha Sacks Imo SSG

Governor OkorochaThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has sacked the Secretary to the Imo State Government, Mr Jude Ejiogu.

This decision was made known in a letter made available to the Imo State broadcast outfit signed by the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Pascal Obi.

Governor Okorocha thanked the former SSG for his contributions to the development of the state as an appointee under the Okorocha-led administration. He also prayed for success and God’s guidance in all his future endeavours.

As at the time of filing this report, no reason has been given by the state government for the action.

Before his appointment as the Secretary to the Government of Imo State in 2015, Mr Jude Ejiogu had taken positions as Chief of Staff to the Imo State Governor, Special Adviser to the Governor on IGR, Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission and Commissioner for Special Duties.

Okorocha Swears-In New SSG, Chief Of Staff

Rochas OkorochaThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has sworn in Jude Ejiogu as the newly appointed Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Uche Nwosu as the State’s Chief of Staff.

The swearing-in ceremony was held on Monday at the Sam Mbakwe expanded Exco Chambers at the Government House in Owerri, Imo State Capital.

At the event the inauguration of Chief Press Secretary, Sam Onwuomeodo, and some other Senior Special Assistants was also held.

Governor Okorocha, while speaking at the ceremony, reiterated his commitment to the development of the state, saying “developing Imo State is key in my rescue mission and it can only be achieved through the establishment of industries and job creation for teaming unemployed youths in the state”.

While advising the newly sworn-in appointees, Governor Okorocha urged them to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice and be a strong apostle of the rescue mission to make Imo a better state.

He also said that the next four years of his administration would focus more on how to generate wealth for the people of the state and create adequate jobs for the teaming unemployed youths in the state.

“Imperative in my agenda for the future generation in the state is leaving a lasting legacy of a well developed state,” he stressed.

Speaking to Journalists after the event, the SSG, Jude Ejiogu, on behalf of the appointees, said they would not fail in supporting the government and delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.

Amosun Reappoints Adeoluwa As SSG

AmosunOgun State Governor has re-appointed Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa as Secretary to the State Government.

Adeoluwa took his oath of office and oath of allegiance at 1.47pm in the presence of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, Head of Service, Mrs Modupe Adekunle and Body of Permanent Secretaries at the Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office.

Governor Ibikunle Amosun, while charging the State Scribe, said that the only reason for his re-appointment was his “good performance during the first term”.

He advised him to work harder in giving dividends of democracy to the people, saying that, “the first term feats were building blocks for the second term expectations.”

“The only reason for your re-appointment was because you worked well. We have to continue to demonstrate that we mean well for our people by giving them things that will make life more comfortable.

“The work we did in our first term are building blocks for second term expectation. Your re-appointment requires more hard work as we strive to move the state forward.”

In his response, Mr Adeoluwa pledged to remain faithful and loyal to the state government, calling on the Governor to count on him for continued dedication to work and service.

Adeoluwa holds a Masters Degree in Law from the University of Lagos. He is the first SSG to be re-appointed consecutively in Ogun State.

El-Rufai Appoints SSG, Others Ahead Of Inauguration

El-rufaiKaduna State Governor-elect, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, ahead of his inauguration on Friday May 29, has on Wednesday announced the appointment of key officials into his cabinet.

In a statement signed by the Governor-elect, Mr Balarabe Abbas Lawal has been appointed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG).

Salisu Suleiman was appointed his Principal Private Secretary, while Mr. Abu Musa Sheyin, will serve as Private Secretary to the Deputy governor-elect, Barnabas Bantex.

El-Rufai also announced the appointment of Bala Yunusa as Deputy Chief Of Staff (Legislative Affairs) and Samuel Aruwan as his Special Assistant, Media.

The statement also says, ‘’all the appointments take effect from Friday, 29 May 2015’’.

The new SSG, Lawal, served as Chief of Staff to El-Rufai when he was minister of the Federal Capital Territory and was also a Director in the Nasir El-Rufai Campaign Organization. He currently chairs the Kaduna State APC Transition Committee.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)  declared the Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr Nasir El-Rufai winner of Kaduna State governorship election.

Ogun State Political Parties Sign Peace Accord

peace accordPolitical parties and their candidates to various political offices have signed a peace accord hinged on the need for peace and order to reign supreme before, during and after the general elections to ensure a violence free general elections in Ogun State, south-west Nigeria.

Directing the affairs at the event held at the State Headquarters of the Police Command, the State Commissioner of Police (CP) Valentine Ntomchukwu read the riot act to erring political parties and their supporters saying it would not shy away from wielding the big stick against any act of violence

Political parties and their supporters who attended the peace accord signing also promised to abide by the laid down rules and regulations guiding peaceful conduct of the polls

The State Commissioner of Police said that Ogun State currently seemed to be enjoying relative peace as political parties and politicians do their acts to woo more voting public for eventual victory at the polls but there is the need to sustain the tempo and this signing of the peace accord by politicians may not be out of place after all.

One after another, candidates and representatives of political parties before police officials and other service chiefs took their turn to append their signature in what seemed an article of faith for a peaceful electioneering, before, during and after the elections.

Issues were raised by members of political parties as regards observed potential development that could trigger off violence among political parties as some parties alleged destruction of their candidate, posters and bill boards, a situation the CP said would not be treated with kid gloves.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, who represented the State Governor, Sen Ibikunle Amosun, however, seized the opportunity to pledge the support of the State government to ensure peaceful and violence free general elections.

Aside the promises made, it is expected that stakeholders must jealously abide by the terms and conditions of this accord.

Anambra: Obiano Mandates Compulsory Adherence To Traffic Laws

Willie Obiano1It would not be business as usual for road users in Anambra State from July 1, as the State Government would commence enforcement of laws on compulsory use of crash helmet by motor cyclists, as well as seizure of vehicles that are not road worthy.

Governor Willie Obiano announced this when he paid a condolence visit to a family at Ochuche-Umuodu, in Ogbaru Local Government Area of the state, who lost five family members in a fatal auto crash last week.

It was a massacre of some sort of four women and one man from Okechukwu family and another from Nwadialo’s family, in an auto crash while returning from a traditional marriage ceremony of a kinsman at Ekwulumili in Nnewi South Local Government Area.

What was supposed to be a happy occasion turned sour when a construction truck rammed into them at Obodoukwu road in Okpoko, killing six people on the spot and injuring many.

The Governor, who attributed the unfortunate incident to carelessness and non-adherence to traffic laws, read the riot act to all road users.

He disclosed plans to place road signs and markings at necessary places, as part of measures to improve safety and promote sanity on roads.

The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Hyginus Omeje, also said that his command would actively enforce the traffic laws.

Also reacting to the development and emphasizing strict enforcement of traffic laws were the Secretary to the State Government, Oseloka Obaze, and the Senior Special Adviser to the Governor on Image Management, Paul Nwosu, who decried the carelessness that robbed them of their community members, as they were all from Ogbaru council area.

The community members appreciated the Governor’s visit and noted that his governance had remained a people oriented administration and had given them a sense of belonging by sharing their burdens with them.

The Governor was received by the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Paul Agaba.



Determination, The Driving Force To Curbing Oil Theft In Nigeria

The secretary of Delta state government (SSG), Mr. Ovuozorie Macauley, on wednesday said that determination is the key factor in handling crude oil theft in Nigeria. 

He added that the issue of oil theft goes back to the 70s and bunkering has turned out to become an epidemic in the country.

Speaking on Channels television’s breakfast programme, Mr. Macauley said “there are different types of oil bunkers, we have the locals who steal from abandoned oil wells and sell within the country, the foreign bunkers who pump oil from a particular point through the SPDC pipelines into the Cotonu boat and take it to the baby vessel and then transfer the oil worth about 33,000 tonnes to the mother vessel that waits in the high sea”.

“This is where foreigners come in, conniving with security agencies that have been put in place to stop this criminal act”. He added

Mr. Macauley said that these security agencies are not well equipped to catch this thieves because they do not have the weapons needed, using the navy as an example, he said that the naval air crafts on ground do not have the ‘endurance’ to make trips round the water.

Politicians involved in bunkering have not been persecuted neither has government been able to punish this oil thieves, he said their punishment should serve as an example to others.

He however mentioned that the Delta state government is assisting security agencies like JTF through repair of boats and vehicles.