Zamfara Killings: Senators Demand Action As Ekweremadu Calls For State Of Emergency

Senate Confirms North-East Development Commission Chairman, Members
A file photo of the Senate during plenary at the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on December 18, 2018. Photo: [email protected]

 

Senators are demanding an end to the Zamfara killings as the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has called for the declaration of a State of Emergency.

A lawmaker, Senator Kabiru Marafa, during plenary on Wednesday asked the Federal Government to step up its efforts in solving the crisis in the state.

He presented a motion calling for its intervention, a situation where he said many lives have been lost and properties destroyed.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes Police Trust Fund Bill, Three Others

The Senator has on several occasion, drawn the attention of lawmakers to the killings in Zamfara state.

He has therefore asked for a Presidential Initiative in Zamfara with a ten-year life span to cater to the needs of displaced persons in the state.

Mr. Ekweremadu also called for the introduction of state police within the country’s security architecture.

He said the insecurity in the state has reached the point where the State of Emergency should be declared in Zamfara, to help stabilise the state.

Buhari Declares State Of Emergency On Water, Sanitation

Buhari Declares State Of Emergency On Water, Sanitation
(File) President Muhammadu Buhari speaks during a meeting at the State House in Abuja on November 2, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared a state of emergency on the nation’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene sector.

He explained that the declaration became imperative to reduce the high-prevalence of water-borne diseases in different parts of the country, which has caused preventable deaths.

The President stated this while inaugurating the National Action Plan for Revitalisation of Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector at State House Conference Centre in Abuja on Thursday.

He directed government at all levels to redouble efforts and work towards meeting the nation’s water supply and sanitation needs.

President Buhari said, “The Sustainable Development Goals (MDGs) targets (6.1 & 6.2) for WASH are even more demanding as they require WASH services to be provided in adequate quantity and quality on premises at affordable prices.”

“This cannot be achieved if we continue with ‘a business as usual’ approach. It is on this premise that I fully endorse the decision taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in April this year to declare ‘a State of Emergency on our WASH Sector,” he added.

President Buhari said statistics on open defecation, access to piped water services and sanitation in the country was disturbing.

He, however, warned that henceforth, the Federal Government support to state governments would be based on their commitment to implement the National WASH Action Plan in their respective states and to end open defecation by 2025.

“Access to piped water services which was 32 per cent in 1990 has declined to seven per cent in 2015; access to improved sanitation has also decreased from 38 per cent in 1990 to 29 per cent in 2015,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Mr Femi Adesina.

President Muhammadu Buhari at the launching of the National Action Plan for Revitalisation of the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector at the State House in Abuja on November 8, 2018.

 

He added, “Our country now ranks No 2 in the global rating on Open Defecation as about 25 per cent of our population are practicing open defecation.”

“WASH services at the rural areas are unsustainable as 46 per cent of all water schemes are non-functional, and the share of our spending on WASH sector has been declining from 0.70 per cent of the GDP in 1990 to about 0.27 per cent in 2015, which is far below the 0.70 per cent at the West African regional level.”

The occasion was attended by representatives of various state governments and development partners.

President Buhari also seized the opportunity to reiterate that the provision of potable water supply, adequate sanitation and hygiene were primarily the responsibilities of state and local governments.

“However, these are not being given the required attention judging from the high prevalence of water-borne diseases that are being reported in different parts of the country,” he said.

“We cannot and will not continue to allow these preventable occurrences to decimate our population.”

The President told the gathering that he was aware that Nigeria did not meet the MDG targets for Water Supply and Sanitation that ended in 2015.

“I call on all state governments to complement this effort by according the sector similar recognition to enable us to work together to achieve the SDG targets for WASH by 2030,” he said.

At the Federal level, President Buhari pledged that his administration would continue to place priority on infrastructure development, including those of water supply, sanitation and hygiene services towards ensuring a better life for Nigerians.

According to him, this is being demonstrated through faithful implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) – which is the present administration’s blueprint for infrastructure and economic development.

“From the inception of this administration, we have demonstrated a serious commitment to the development of the Water Sector by preserving the Ministry of Water Resources and subsequently approving the 15-year roadmap developed for the sector,” the President revealed.

He added, ”The transformation being witnessed in the sector since then is highly commendable. I have no doubt that the ongoing initiatives, including the implementation of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) in the Ministry, will take the water sector to improved performance and supply, thereby meeting the national aspirations as well as the SDGs.”

Hurricane Florence: Georgia Declares State Of Emergency

 

Georgia declared a state of emergency on Wednesday as forecasters warned of torrential rain in the southern state after Hurricane Florence slams into the Carolinas with what an emergency management official called the force of a “Mike Tyson punch.”

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said meanwhile that Florence’s maximum sustained winds had eased slightly and it had been downgraded to a Category 3 storm from a Category 4 on the five-level Saffir-Simpson wind scale.

The NHC stressed, however, that while a slow weakening is expected over the next 24 hours “Florence is still forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday.”

As Florence churned across the Atlantic packing winds of 125 miles per hour (205 kph), President Donald Trump and state officials stepped up appeals to residents in the path of the monster storm to evacuate before it is too late.

“Get out of its way, don’t play games with it, it’s a big one, maybe as big as they’ve seen,” Trump said. “We’ll handle it. We’re ready, we’re able.

“But despite that, bad things can happen when you are talking about a storm this size,” he added.

Up to 1.7 million people are under voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, and coastal residents were frantically boarding up homes and businesses and hitting the road on Wednesday as the storm approached.

Florence is forecast to dump up to three feet (almost a meter) of rain in some areas after it makes landfall in North and South Carolina.

“This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding,” the NHC said.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) were also forecast in some areas of North Carolina along with the possibility of tornadoes.

“This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast,” said Jeff Byard, the associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

“This is not going to be a glancing blow,” Byard said, warning of power outages, road closures, infrastructure damage and potential loss of life.

Riding out the storm

At 2:00 pm (1800 GMT), the eye of the storm was 435 miles (700 kms) southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving northwest at 16 mph (26 kph).

The storm was heading for the coast of North and South Carolina but heavy rain was also expected in Virginia to the north and Georgia to the south.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency “in light of the storm’s forecasted southward track after making landfall.”

“The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety,” Deal said. “I encourage Georgians to be prepared for the inland effects of the storm as well as the ensuing storm surge in coastal areas.”

A state of emergency has also been declared in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington.

People fleeing coastal North and South Carolina clogged highways Wednesday as Florence bore down on the coast for a direct hit in a low-lying region dense with beachfront vacation homes.

The eastbound lanes of several major highways have been shut to allow traffic to flow inland, but the exodus was slow along roads jammed with outward-bound vehicles.

In Columbia, South Carolina, Barry Sparks, a 66-year-old retiree, was thinking of getting out after the path of the storm shifted to the south.

“If I need to evacuate I can go to my son’s house” in North Carolina, Sparks said as he carted a load of water bottles to his car.

“He was thinking of coming here until this morning, and now he asked me if I wanted to come up there,” he said.

Kevin Miller, a 50-year-old electrician, said he planned to ride out the storm at his home near Charleston.

“I rode out Hugo,” Miller said of a 1989 hurricane that caused widespread damage. “The water level will get a little high but we’ll be fine.

“Hugo was a direct hit,” he said. “I was in the same house and it stood fine.”

‘Disaster is at the doorstep’

In a trailer park outside Wilmington, Alondra Espinoza was preparing to leave with her two young children.

“Everything is packed,” Espinoza said. “I want to get them as far away as possible.

“I’ve been through hurricanes before but never with kids,” she said. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have minded staying here.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned residents that time was running out to seek safety from what he called a “once in a lifetime” storm.

“Disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in,” Cooper said. “If you are on the coast, there is still time to get out safely.”

South Carolina ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.

In Virginia, 245,000 coastal residents were ordered to evacuate.

Florence is being trailed in the Atlantic by two other storms — Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac.

Helene was weakening, however, and posed no danger to land, the NHC said, while Isaac could bring heavy rain to Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe.

AFP

Kidnapping: Declare State of Emergency On Kaduna-Abuja Highway, Community Tells FG

Residents of Sabon Gaya community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State have appealed to the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the Kaduna-Abuja highway due to the incessant kidnapping of travellers and killing of innocent citizens along the highway.

The residents want the government to deploy more security personnel and helicopters to flush out the bandits from their hideouts.

Their request on Wednesday followed the gruesome murder of the Head of the Civilian Joint Task Force by suspected kidnappers on Sunday, last week.

The murder shocked and angered the people of the Sabon Gaya community and they blocked the Abuja-Kaduna highway on Sunday in anger, a decision that caused a gridlock that lasted for more than seven hours on the highway.

As far as the residents are concerned, the decision to block the road is justifiable as its objective was to draw the attention of the government to their plight.

Travellers were delayed for hours as a result of the protest

They shared their views on the matter when the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 7, Salisu Fagge, visited the community.

Fagge was there to monitor the ‘show of force’ by the Kaduna Police Command, and interact with the locals in order to find the best way of stopping kidnapping and banditry along the highway and the neighbouring communities.

The AIG told the residents that the police have the capacity to end insecurity in the area, and warned them against taking laws into their hands to the detriment of others.

He said, “I’m here based on the instruction by IGP to talk to the people of Sabon Gaya over what happened on Sunday that led to the blocking of the road by angry members if the community to protest the killing of one of their sons who was a vigilante while working in his farm.

“I want to assure the members if the community that, we have the capacity and power to provide security. We want to enjoin you to always report happenings to the police who are willing to salvage the situation.

“Nobody is allowed to take laws into their hands. It is not in the best interest of anyone to block Kaduna-Abuja highway knowing its importance as linking road between the North and the South.”

He appealed to them to maintain the peace and contact the District Police Officer whenever the need arises.

“While we are trying to protect you, you also have a role to play to make us succeed greatly in this fight against crime,” Fagge said.

“We need information and intelligent to deliver better. Tell us where they are, how they are preparing, where they lie down and we will respond immediately. We don’t want to hear such a thing again not only in this area but everywhere across the zone.”

On behalf of his people, the traditional ruler of Gbagyi chiefdom, Danjuma Barde, thanked the security operatives for their efforts to safeguard lives and property of his people.

“We commend the efforts of our security men especially the police. But I want to tell you that, most of the killings happen in the bush when our people go to their farms. I want to plead with IGP Idris if he can help us to monitor the area using an helicopter. That will help us a great deal because the criminals do their evil work more outside the town,” he said.

 

NUJ Asks FG, States To Urgently Fix Federal Roads In Southeast

NUJ-LogoThe Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has decried the deplorable state of federal roads in Nigeria’s southeast region.

The NUJ calls on the Federal Government and governors of the five states in the region to as a matter of urgency, declare a state of emergency on the roads.

The National Vice Chairman of the union, Zone C, Chris Isiguzo, made the call on Friday at a meeting with the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, at the Government House in Owerri, the state’s capital.

Speaking in company of the NUJ executive members of Zone C, Mr Isiguzo described all the federal roads in the southeast as a ‘death trap’.

He identified the Owerri-Okigwe Road, Onitsha- Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Aba-Ikot-Ekpene-Uyo Expressway and Owerri-Port Harcourt Road among others as some of the important roads in the region.

The NUJ executive urged the Federal Government in collaboration with the governors to find a solution to the problem, so as to make life easier for the people of the south-east.

He also asked the governors to tackle the continuous attacks on the people of the region by suspected herdsmen.

In his response, Governor Okorocha blamed the road dilapidation in the region on previous governments, saying there were neglected.

However, he promised to call on his colleagues to see how most of the issues raised would be tackled headlong.

Niger Extends State of Emergency In Diffa Region Hit By Boko Haram

Niger, State of Emergency, Boko HaramNiger Republic has extended a state of emergency in the southeastern region of Diffa for three months after a series of attacks by Boko Haram, the government said late on Friday.

Attacks by Boko Haram since late May have emptied the towns of Bosso and Yebi near the Nigeria border in the Lake Chad region. Some 69,000 have fled, according to a report on Friday by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Despite the various extensions of the state of emergency in the region of Diffa and bloody setbacks inflicted on it, the Boko Haram sect still continues to have a destructive capacity as evidenced by the recent attacks in Bosso,” the government said in a statement.

Boko Haram took the town of Bosso near the Nigerian border in early June, in an attack that killed 30 soldiers from Niger. It was the deadliest assault in Niger by Boko Haram since April 2015. Since then, Chad has sent troops to help Niger wage a counterattack.

The state of emergency, which the government hopes will allow it to beef up its presence in the region with troops and added security measures, will now run to October 25. It is the latest in a series of such declarations in the Diffa region since February last year.

Boko Haram has been trying to establish an Islamic state adhering to strict Sharia law in northeastern Nigeria since 2009. The violence has since spread into neighboring Niger, Chad and Cameroon. About 2.1 million people have been displaced and thousands have been killed during the insurgency.

Earthquake Kills 77, Injures Scores In Ecuador

Ecuador-earthquakeVice President Jorge Glas says an earthquake has killed at least 77 people and injured more than 500 in Ecuador.

The powerful quake of 7.8 magnitude, which was Ecuador’s largest since 1979, hit at 18:58 on Saturday near the northern town of Muisne.

The mishap has led to an extensive destruction and also destroyed a bridge in Santiago de Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa, who was flying back from a trip to Italy, has announced a state of emergency.

“This is a very painful test. I ask the country to be calm and united (and) let’s be strong, we will overcome this.

“Roads and hospitals can be rebuilt (but) you cannot recover lost lives. That’s what hurts the most,” the President said on BBC.

I Will Declare State Of Emergency In Economic And Power Sectors If Elected – Audu

APCThe flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, has promised to declare a state of emergency in the economic and power sector, if voted in as the Governor of the state for four years.

Prince Audu disclosed this while receiving a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Leke Abejide, who decamped to the APC with hundreds of supporters at Alu in Yagba East Local Government Area of the state.

While soliciting for votes from the people, Audu, who was the former Governor of the state, said the welfare of the people remained a priority to him, noting that he has the best interest of the people at heart.

Lake Abejide, who decamped to the APC, gave his reasons for quitting the PDP.

“There are five reasons I left the PDP. Foremost of it all is that the PDP is conservative in nature and I am progressive in nature, he said.

“Over the years, I have tried to change things within their fold, but I have realised that it will not be. After painstaking deliberation with some of my followers and supporters across the three local councils in the area, and some people outside the state, we decided it is best to move to the APC where the real idea behind my joining politics can be realised”, He added

While the political parties solicit for votes from the electorate ahead of the election, the people will decide through secret ballot system who will rule them.

The Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who was also at the occasion, urged the people to vote APC for better things to come.

Tunisia To Build Libya Wall To Counter Terror Threat

tunisiaIn order to counter the threat from Jihadist militants, Tunisia has announced plans to build a wall along its border with Libya.

Tunisian Prime Minister, Habib Essid, told reporters that the wall would stretch 160km (100 miles) inland from the coast, and be completed by the end of 2015.

The gunman who killed 38 people in an attack on a beach resort is believed to have received training in Libya.

Tunisia declared a state of emergency following the attack last month where over 30 people were killed.

Mr Essid said that the Tunisian army would build the wall, which would have surveillance centres at certain points along it.

Meanwhile, the Tunisian government has deployed extra security to tourist sites and vowed to close down mosques accused of inciting violence.

Freddie Gray: State of Emergency Declared As Baltimore Riots Spread

Freddie GrayA state of emergency has been declared in the American city of Baltimore amid violent protests linked to the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, fatally injured in police custody.

A curfew to last through the week has been announced from 10.00pm to 5.00am of the next day and as many as 5,000 national guard troops could be deployed.

Public schools, businesses and train stations are to remain closed on today while a baseball game has been cancelled.

Monday’s clashes began hours after Freddie Gray’s funeral.

The disturbances broke out just a few blocks from the funeral of Freddie Gray and then spread through parts of Baltimore in the most violent U.S. demonstrations since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

After more than an hour of mayhem, hundreds of police moved into glass-strewn streets where the worst of the violence had taken place and used pepper spray on rioters who had sacked check-cashing and liquor stores.

After dark, a community building that was under construction was engulfed in flames.

25-year-old African American, Freddie Gray, died on April 19 after a week in a coma.

Gray’s death reignited a public outcry over police treatment of African Americans that flared last year after the killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, New York City and elsewhere.

The Justice Department is investigating exactly where and when Gray’s spinal injuries were sustained.

Meanwhile, officials have suspended six police officers who were involved in the case.

Former Army Director Blames Inadequate Security For Okrika Rally Fallout

col. DareThe former Director, Army Legal Services, Col. Yomi Dare, has questioned the security officers and the police for the attack that took place on Tuesday in Okrika in Rivers State during the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial rally.

He said that the Commissioner of Police and those in charge of security in Rivers State should be in a better position to explain what took place on Tuesday at the rally.

Col. Dare made the observation while speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He further stated that the rally should not have been held when it had already been destabilised. “Security issues should be taken very serious in the country.”

Col. Dare blamed the police force for not making use of their intelligent report. “If the police got intelligent information that people were about to foment trouble during the rally and an advice was given, it should have been obeyed.”

He said the attack in Okrika was as a result ot the emotional experience and mixed feelings people were facing due to the postponement of the general elections.

“Emotions are really high and if we are not careful we could experience more of this incidence in the coming days,” he noted.

Col. Dare called on the Law Enforcement Agents in the state to tell Nigerians why campaigns should not hold in a particular Local Government Area  “when there is no State of Emergency” in that area.

Explosion Kills One In Yobe State

Suicide-car-bomberAn explosion bedded in a football field has killed one person in Potiskum, Yobe State in north-east Nigeria, witnesses said.

Residents of Potiskum told Channels Television that the explosion occurred at the Arikime Primary School playing ground and killed a sugar-cane vendor who was heading home after the day’s trading.

They believe the planted bomb that went off around 6:30pm local time on Sunday was targeted at footballers using the playing ground.

The bomber, according to witnesses, was aiming at killing early morning football players who often besiege the busy Arikime playing ground for early exercise only to be triggered prematurely by the sugar-cane seller.

“The innocent wheelbarrow pusher runs into the embedded explosion leading to his death and I can assure you that the death toll this morning would have been much if not for the early trigger which claimed just one life,” a witness said.

The bomb is believed to have been planted by members of the Boko Haram sect, who seem to be having field days in the troubled Potiskum town in the last quarter of this year.

Suicide bombers have about two months ago killed Islamic faithful on procession.

Two weeks later students of the Government Science Secondary School Potiskum were killed in their numbers by a bomber who gained access to the assembly ground of the school.

Relevant authorities are yet to confirm the Sunday incident and no individual or group has claimed responsibility of the attack.