‘No State Is Poor’: Wike Faults Governors For Dependence On FAAC Allocation

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike

 

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has faulted governors who depend on the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), saying no state in Nigeria is poor.

Speaking during a lecture of the Executive Management Course 14 in Abuja, Wike wondered why governors lament there is no money in their states yet seek a second term in office.

The governor noted that every state has its own advantage and disadvantage, comparing two American states – Houston and California.

The first, according to Wike, is blessed with oil but not as developed as the second which doesn’t have crude oil but is the biggest economy in the United States.

He believes that development can strive if the governor is able to use the advantage for the benefit of the state and its people.

“No state is poor in this country, it is this over-dependence on the Federal Government,” Wike said. “At the end of every month, they send their Accountant-General/Commissioner of Finance for FAAC.”

“Any state that tells you we are poor and they deceive you by saying their state is poor. I keep on telling them ‘if your state is poor, why do you want to be governor? Your state is poor; you want to run the second term.”

He, therefore, charged governors to make good use of the opportunities at their disposal and stop relying solely on the Federal Government for survival.

On the issue of the Value Added Tax, the governor criticised the Federal Government for collecting VATs from states, insisting that “I looked at it and saw that what the Federal Government was collecting is not their own.”

Governors Too Powerful

When he came into office in 2015, Governor Wike recalled that he inherited Rivers State as one that was financially depleted and very close to bankruptcy.

This, to him, is because workers in the state were owed their monthly salaries; pensioners were not paid as well as contractors, describing the situation as being problematic.

Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that what he met on the ground became worse for him because his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi (of the All Progressives Congress) did not leave a handover note to ease governance.

According to him, institutions should be made strong so that whether a governor is leaving the office or not, governance would not fail as it is a continuum.

He added, “Nigeria is one funny country how a democratically elected governor in the history of Nigeria will take a padlock and lock the court for two years. For two years, the courts were shut down in Rivers State and you know the implication of the courts being shut down.

“We, the governors are too powerful. The President is too powerful. If the governors were not too powerful, how can a governor think of a whole arm of government, the judiciary, and shut it for two years?

“Tell me what will be the fate of those who have problems with their contracts, how do they go for determination of who is wrong or right?” he questioned.

Senate Denies Proposing Creation Of 20 New States

Lawmakers during plenary at the Senate chamber in Abuja February 12, 2020. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Senate has debunked reports that the lawmakers have proposed the creation of 20 more states, saying the upper chamber was “grossly” misrepresented.”

Senate spokesman Ajibola Basiru in a statement on Sunday said the report is a misunderstanding of the decision reached by the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 constitution.

“The report is a gross misrepresentation of the decision of the committee on the request for creation of more states,” the statement maintained.

“Far from recommending creation of any state, the Senate Committee, while acknowledging receipts of several Bills proposing creation of new states, decided that it is not in a position to recommend or proposed the creation of any state unless there is compliance with the provisions of section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic as amended.”

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According to the lawmaker representing Osun Central, Section 8 of the Nigerian Constitution clearly stipulates the procedures for the creation of additional states.

“In view of the above, the Senate Committee is not in a position to propose creation of any state as reported,” he added.

“Rather the committee decided to refer the requests received to Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure compliance with section 8 of the Constitution by conducting referendum in the areas if the requests supported by at least two-thirds majority of members (representing the area demanding the creation of the new State) in the Senate, the House of Representatives and the House of Assembly in the area.”

Several reports had suggested that the Senate told the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a referendum for the creation of the new states.

The Senate purportedly reached the decision to respect “the genuine desire of Nigerians.”

Some of the states which the Senate purportedly proposed their creation are ITAI State from Akwa Ibom; State status for the FCT; Katagum State from Bauchi; Okura State from Kogi East; Adada State from Enugu; Gurara State from Kaduna South; and Ijebu State from Ogun.

Others are Ibadan State from Oyo;  Tiga State from Kano; Ghari State from Kano; Amana State from Adamawa; Gongola State from Adamawa; Mambilla State from Taraba;; Savannah State from Borno; Okun state from Kogi; Etiti State from the South East Zone; Orashi State from Imo and Anambra; Njaba from the present Imo.

The rest were said to be: Aba State from Abia; Anioma State from Delta; Torogbene and Oil River, from Bayelsa Delta and Rivers; Bayajida State from parts of Katsina, Jigawa, and Zamfara.

We Are Resolving Issues On Autonomy For State Judiciary, Legislature – NGF

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday said they are working to resolve issues surrounding the implementation of Executive Order 10.

This was disclosed in a communiqué signed by the Chairman of the forum Kayode Fayemi at the end of the 30th teleconference meeting.

President Muhammadu had earlier in May 2020 signed an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to both the judicial and legislative arms of government at the state level.

In its statement, the NGF said talks on the order had reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, conference of speakers, and the National Judicial Council.

“On Executive Order #10, talks have reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, Conference of Speakers, National Judicial Council, and the NGF. All parties are working earnestly to resolve the issues surrounding the implementation of the order.

“There are however legal aspects of the order that need to be tied up, but which cannot take place if officials responsible for these final processes are on strike. Governors are happy to implement the demands of the Judiciary and the Legislature,” the statement read in part.

The NGF, however, resolved to call for the immediate dissolution of the presidential implementation committee on autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

 

See below the full communique issued by the governors at the end of their meeting…

 

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 30th TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM (7th IN 2021) HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 19th MAY 2021.

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on several matters of national concern and concluded as follows:

 

  1. The NGF Chairman briefed the Forum on an ongoing consolidation exercise between the Forum and the Budget Office of the Federation to consolidate public finance data of the federal, states, and local governments into a national budget portal. He urged his colleagues to share details of their local government budgets and financial statements in addition to State government data already published.
  2. On Executive Order #10, talks have reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, Conference of Speakers, National Judicial Council, and the NGF. All parties are working earnestly to resolve the issues surrounding the implementation of the order. There are however legal aspects of the order that need to be tied up, but which cannot take place if officials responsible for these final processes are on strike. Governors are happy to implement the demands of the Judiciary and the Legislature.
  3. The NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee was inaugurated on Wednesday 21st April 2021. The roundtable is a sub-national platform expression of the NGF and NESG, based on a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between both institutions at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in October 2017. The goal of the partnership is to promote strategic cooperation between State governments and the private sector to drive investments, economic growth, productivity, and shared economic reform agenda across the 36 States of the federation. Membership of the Steering Committee include governors of the 6 geopolitical zones and 6 captains of industry.
  4. The Governor of Delta State, H.E Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who is the Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 provided an update to the Forum on the activities of the PSC, and informed members of the expected commencement of the administration of the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country, starting with those who received the first batch of the vaccine. The Governor noted that the PSC is currently working to get additional vaccine doses for the country, and he urged his colleagues to continue to maintain COVID public health guidelines to ensure that the transmission of the virus is kept at the lowest level possible presentations.
  1. The Forum received a presentation from the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, on the second phase of farmer enumeration for the Agric for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP) which is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) approved by Mr. President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 24, 2020. The programme is designed to help mitigate the impact of COVID 19 on smallholder farmers and the entire agricultural value chain. The 2nd phase enumeration is an extension of the 1st phase targeting the registration of up to 10 million farmers in the AFJP database. 2.4 million smallholder farmers were initially targeted for registration to be provided with input funding to boost food production, with about 30,000 N power (N Agro) graduates engaged and trained to carry out the farmer registration.
  2. The Forum also received presentations from the World Bank led by the Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, in the company of Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa, Sector Leader of the Human Development Team, and Yue Man Lee, Task Team Leader for the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) – Program-for-Results (PforR) on the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Program for Results (Nigeria CARES) and SFTAS.
  3. The World Bank team commended the commitment and actions of State Governors for establishing and resourcing CARES programme State Coordinating Units under their Ministries of Planning, and requested for their additional support in areas such as the adoption of a Fund Release Policy for improved predictability of resources flows to CARES Delivery MDAs; adoption and institutionalization of protocols for reporting, management and investigation of fraud and corruption in MDAs implementing CARES; and the release of 2021 State budgets to MDAs for the commencement of CARES-related activities. The Bank also urged the support of Governors to ensure that their Ministries of Finance and Ministries of Justice fast track the execution of subsidiary agreements for the CARES programme.
  4. Updates on the SFTAS programme showed that targets for results and disbursements on the 2018 and 2019 Annual Performance Assessments (APA) and new COVID-19 2020 Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) have been exceeded. For the SFTAS 2020 APA and new COVID-19 DLIs, all 36 States are on track to fully meet the Eligibility Criteria of having National Chart of Account (NCOA) compliant FY2021 budget published online by 31 January 2021. (33 States have been confirmed as fully compliant while the remaining 3 States are being reviewed).
  5. Under the SFTAS Program for Results, 23 States have already passed strong state-level debt legislation which stipulates: 1) responsibilities for contracting state debt; 2) responsibilities for recording/reporting state debt; and 3) state fiscal and debt rules/limits. To help Nigeria successfully meet the World Bank Sustainable Debt Financing Policy (SDFP) by strengthening debt management, debt transparency, and fiscal responsibility at the state level, a strong collective commitment was made for the remaining 13 States to pass such state-level debt legislation by 31 December 2021.
  6. The NGF SFTAS Programme Lead, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided key lessons that have accounted for the success of performing States in the implementation of the SFTAS programme, including the institutionalization of a steering committee chaired by a very senior government official; high-level monitoring and ownership with regular briefings to the State Governor or State Executive Council; dedicated budget under the Ministry of Finance to support SFTAS operations; an incentivized environment for State government officials working on SFTAS activities; and the provision of basic ICT infrastructure arrangements for focal MDAs to ensure that they are able to access remote technical assistance and meet reform actions in time.
  1. HE Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai gave a briefing on the appropriate pricing of PMS in Nigeria, calling for full deregulation. He noted that between N70billion and N210billion is estimated to be spent every month to keep the PMS price at N162/litre, a situation that is completely unsustainable.
  2. Finally, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai briefed his colleagues on the Labour situation in Kaduna State Resolutions
  3. The NGF agreed on the need for States to meet their SFTAS obligations and resolved to put the necessary legal frameworks and institutions in place.
  4. The NGF agreed on the need to continue to maintain COVID public health guidelines and vaccination protocols to ensure that the transmission of the virus is kept at the lowest level possible.
  5. The NGF resolved to call for the immediate dissolution of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary as this Committee is now acting as a permanent committee basically misguiding and overheating the relationship between State Governments and the other arms of government.
  6. On the Labour crisis in Kaduna State, the NGF noted that it stands with the Governor of Kaduna State in his quest to improve the productivity of workers and their rights for a better quality of life.

NGF recognizes that what is happening in Kaduna State, will reverberate in each of the States and encourages the Governor of Kaduna and all other Governors to remain steadfast in the pursuit of human rights protection while ensuring that actions taken do not undermine the safety and security of lives. NGF appeals to both parties in Kaduna State to resolve the issues in the interest of the State as the protection of human rights for the collective good of all citizens and growth of our dear country, Nigeria, is what matters most.

Yobe Govt Closes Boarding Schools In 17 LGAs

Yobe is situated in North-East Nigeria
A map of Yobe, a state in north-east Nigeria.

 

The Yobe State Government has shut down all boarding schools across the 17 Local Government Councils of the state.

The directive issued on Sunday is expected to take effect immediately.

Although there has been no official statement from the government or security agencies, one of the students told Channels Television that their teachers asked them to vacate the hostels and go home without giving them any reason.

Efforts to speak with the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education proved abortive as his phone was switched off.

Read Also: Abducted Jangebe Schoolgirls Reportedly Regain Freedom, Govt Yet To Confirm Report

However, a teacher who spoke to Channels Television said the decision was a  result of the increasing security threats across boarding schools in the country.

Students of the Senior Secondary School (SS3) have, however, been asked to stay behind.

This comes days after gunmen attacked the Government Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara State, whisking away 317 female students.

While Channels Television gathered on Sunday that the students have regained their freedom, the state government and other officials are, however, yet to confirm this or provide any details.

As of Friday evening, seven out of the 317 abducted female students were said to have escaped.

A source who spoke with Channels Television from Jangebe town via a phone call confirmed that the seven girls returned home on their own as they claimed they manoeuvred their way back from the bandits while trekking along the forest.

In reaction to the development, the Zamfara Police Commissioner, CP Abutu Yar, had said a joint search and rescue operation was already underway with a view to rescuing all 317 students.

 

The hostel of the abducted schoolgirls in Zamfara State.

 

CP Yaro said the Force Commander Operations Hadarin Daji, Major General Aminu Bande, Brigade Commander 1 Brigade, Nigeria Army Gusau, and other state government officials led a heavily armed Re-enforcement team to Jangebe to complement the rescue operation in the locations where the students were believed to have been whisked to.

Meanwhile shortly after, the state Governor, Bello Matawalle, ordered the immediate closure of all boarding schools in the state.

“As we are making efforts to strengthen security around our schools, I have directed the immediate closure of all boarding secondary schools across the State,” Matawalle said in a broadcast, Friday evening.

NJC Recommends Appointment Of 22 Judicial Officers, Warns Judge

A Photo of the NJC building

 

The National Judicial Commission (NJC), has recommended the appointment of 22 officers for Federal and State judiciaries.

The recommendation was considered during a virtual meeting held on Wednesday and Thursday in Abuja.

A statement by the Director of Information of the Council, Soji Oye, (Esq) says that council considered the Report of its Interview Committee and recommended twenty-two (22) Judicial Officers as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.

“The NJC received the final report of the Judicial Ethics Committee and other Ad-Hoc Committees set up.

“The council also received the notification of the retirement of thirteen (13) Judges and notification of the death of six (6) Judges of States High Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal”, the statement read.

Similarly, the NJC under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, considered the Report of its Investigation Committee on allegation of misconduct made against Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

At the end of the deliberation, the Plenary resolved to issue a warning letter to Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah, OON, that His Lordship refused to release a copy of the judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven (7) days.

During the meeting, the petition written by Mrs. Ademujimi Adenike Nancy against Hon. Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi was dismissed for want of merit.

The Council also considered the Report of Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on petitions written against the following sixteen (16) Judicial Officers and dismissed the allegations levelled against Hon. Justice Ayodele Daramola, Chief Judge, Ekiti State, Sulyman Kawu, Chief Judge, Kwara State, Hon. Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices B. A. Oke-Lawal, O. A. Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu, High Court of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Mustapha A. Ramat, High Court, Nasarawa State, Hon. Justices M. M. Ladan, Muhammed Lawal Bello both of the High Court of Kaduna State, Hon. Justice Adamu M. Kafin Madaki, High Court of Bauchi State, Hon. Justice L. M. Boufini, High Court, Bayelsa State and Hon. Kadi Goni Kur, Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State for either lacking in merit or being subjudice.

Read Full Statement Below:

PRESS RELEASE: NJC RECOMMENDS APPOINTMENT OF TWENTY-TWO (22) JUDICIAL OFFICERS FOR FEDERAL AND STATE JUDICIARIES; • ISSUES LETTER OF WARNING TO A JUDGE.

The National Judicial Council under the Chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, at its 2nd Virtual Meeting held on 11th and 12th August 2020, considered the Report of its Investigation Committee on allegation of misconduct made against Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

At the end of the deliberation, the Plenary resolved to issue a warning letter to Hon. Justice K. N. Ogbonnaya of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory following its findings on the petition written against him by Dr. Uchechukwu Samson Ogah, OON, that His Lordship refused to release a copy of Judgment delivered to the petitioner within the constitutionally prescribed period of seven (7) days.

In the same vein, Council also dismissed a petition written by Mrs. Ademujimi Adenike Nancy against Hon. Justice Sunday Olorundahunsi for want of merit.

Council also considered the Report of Preliminary Complaints Assessment Committee on petitions written against the following sixteen (16) Judicial Officers and dismissed the allegations levelled against Hon. Justice Ayodele Daramola, Chief Judge, Ekiti State, Sulyman Kawu, Chief Judge, Kwara State, Hon. Justices I. N. Oweibo, Hadiza R. Shagari, Ijeoma L. Ojukwu, Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa all of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justices B. A. Oke-Lawal, O. A. Ogala of the Lagos State High Court, Hon. Justice Augusta Uche Kingsley-Chukwu, High Court of Rivers State, Hon. Justice Mustapha A. Ramat, High Court, Nasarawa State, Hon. Justices M. M. Ladan, Muhammed Lawal Bello both of the High Court of Kaduna State, Hon. Justice Adamu M. Kafin Madaki, High Court of Bauchi State, Hon. Justice L. M. Boufini, High Court, Bayelsa State and Hon. Kadi Goni Kur, Sharia Court of Appeal, Borno State for either lacking in merit or being subjudice.

Similarly, at the Meeting, Council considered the Report of its Interview Committee and recommended twenty-two (22) Judicial Officers as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Heads of Court, Judges of High Court of States, Kadis of States Sharia Courts of Appeal and Judges of Customary Courts of Appeal.

It also received the final report of the Judicial Ethics Committee and other Ad-Hoc Committees set up.

Council also received the notification of the retirement of thirteen (13) Judges and notification of the death of six (6) Judges of States High Courts and Sharia Court of Appeal.

Soji Oye, Esq

Director, Information

Southern Kaduna Pushes For Creation Of Gurara State

The people of Southern Kaduna in Kaduna State have called on the Federal Government to give them their own state, Gurara, with its capital to be in Kafanchan.

They made this call during a town hall meeting held in Kaduna, the state capital while supporting the call also for Nigeria’s restructuring.

According to them, considering their population of over three million people, they are fit to be carved out for autonomy.

In his address at the meeting, a former Commissioner for Economic Planning in the state, Mr Timothy Gandu, said some people or ethnic groups in the country do not have the population and land mass compared to that of southern Kaduna before states were created for them.

The former commissioner questioned the criteria used in the creation of local governments, with large landmark and human population having less local councils, while smaller states with less population were given more local governments.

He added, “So, who wants to tell me that Nigeria should not be restructured? Nigeria must be restructured because the political and economic imbalance across the country is alarming.

“The unity of Nigeria is negotiable because there is no justice and equity. We from southern Kaduna are not northerners, we are middle-belters. And on restructuring we stand.

“The Hausa and Fulani in Southern Kaduna are our brothers, but if we quarrel and fight, they should not run to Niger Republic, Mali or Chad to import Fulani to attack us. If we are brothers, we must stay together and resolve our differences rather than to run away to bring strangers to attack us.”

The Deputy-Governor of the state, Mr. Bala Bantex, however, asked his kinsmen to forget about state creation and focus attention on good governance.

Bantex, who is also from southern Kaduna, blamed traditional rulers and retired generals from the area for misusing the opportunity.

He accused them of insisting that Jaji village, along Zaria highway must be part of the new Gurara State, which the then Head of State, late General Sani Abacha did not grant them.

“Let us not be like South and North Sudan where one agitated for and got a nation, but since then no peace in the area. You should not be enemies to yourself because of this idea of we versus them,” he added.

The persistent agitation for the creation of an additional state for the people of southern Kaduna has been growing over the years, with the people believing that they have what it takes to get it.

Perhaps, the major opposition to this demand is whether such agitation will get the support of the National Assembly, which has the constitution to attend to matters of state creation.

Rain, Thunderstorm Kill One, Leave Two In Critical Condition In Port-Harcourt

port-harcourt-rainstormTragedy struck on Monday evening in Port-Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, when a heavy rain with thunderstorm brought down at least two masts, destroyed bill boards and some roofs in Ikoku Mile 1 community.

A 16-year-old girl, who was said to be with her mother, was killed.

While two others, including the coach of the Community Football team were left with broken skulls and are currently battling for survival at the hospital.rainstrom-in-port-harcourt

The acting Managing Director of the Rivers State Signage and Advertising Agency, Chukwudi Dimkpa, told Channels Television that, “the state government was currently conducting integrity test on poles and bill boards”.

“Those found to have failed to obtain government approvals or to do maintenance will be made to face sanctions,” Chukwudi said.

Lassa Fever: Eight More People Under Surveillance In Delta State

Lassa feverAbout eight people have been placed under surveillance in Delta State after being suspected of being in contact with a doctor killed by Lassa Fever.

They are members of staff of the hospital a medical practitioner died of the disease in Delta State.

The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Nicholas Azinge, gave this update, adding that authorities will be moving into the hospitals to carefully go through their records for more people that may have had close contact with the deceased.

He said it would help in tracing the source of the outbreak

This makes a total of 40 persons quarantined since the outbreak in the state.

On Monday, August 22, Dr. Azinge confirmed a fresh case of Lassa fever and the death of a medical doctor who resides and owns a hospital in Asaba, the Delta State capital.

NYSC Promises To Provide Manpower To Rebuild Yobe

NYSCThe State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps, Yobe State, said they are ready to supply the state with the required manpower that will accelerate development after the invasion by extremist group Boko Haram.

The NYSC Coordinator, Mr Abubakar Mohammed, also said the scheme will solidly support the rebuilding process, as relative peace returns to the North East.

Mr Mohammed, who recalled the role the scheme has played in the development of the state over the years, assured that with improved peace, NYSC will supply the needed manpower that will help.

He revealed that most of the stories being heard about the Northeast are not true and urged intending corps members to come and contribute to the development of the state and called on employers of labour to provide the enabling environment for the corps members.

The Coordinator said since he assumed duty in the state, the number of corps members serving in the state has not been encouraging but at the moment, the number has risen appreciably to over 1000.

Some corps members serving in the state recounted their experiences and applauded their decision to serve their fatherland in the troubled state.

They called on other corps members to accept their postings to Yobe so as to contribute their quota in rebuilding the state, which is relatively peaceful at the moment.

 

Internal Security: FG To Set Up Committee On Prison Reform

DanbazzauThe Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazau, on Monday said that a committee on the reformation of prisons will be soon inaugurated.

This according to him, is part of efforts by the federal government to decongest and secure such facilities across the country.

Mr Danbazzau disclosed this at Kaduna Government House during a meeting with the state governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai.

He explained that the committee will come up with ways of rehabilitating the prisons in line with global best practices.

He also disclosed that the ministry will collaborate with Kaduna State Government on the decongestion and rehabilitation of the Convict Prison that was built more than 100 years ago.

On security, Danbazau said the Ministry of Interior under his leadership, will partner with the state government to tackle the menace of cattle rustling, kidnapping and herdsmen attacks.

On his part, Governor El-Rufai, while commending the support and contribution of para-military agencies in the fight against crime in the state, requested for the relocation of the Kaduna Convict Prison from its present locationto a more suitable place in the outskirts of town.

He also disclosed that his administration has been conducting periodic jail delivery and granting of amnesty to prisoners with minor offenses as part of efforts to decongest the prisons in the state.

Herdsmen Attacks: Benue State To Prohibit Open Grazing

herdsmen, herdsmen attacks, Benue State, GrazingThe Benue State Government has forwarded a bill to the State House of Assembly to outlaw and ban open grazing of cattle in the state in order to curb clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

Governor Samuel Ortom disclosed this to the people of Sankera in the Benue North East senatorial district at the ongoing state-wide town hall meetings to engage the people in participatory democracy.

Mr Ortom spoke to journalist shortly after the town hall meeting and explained that the move became necessary following the incessant herdsmen attacks and recent killing of over 10 persons in Logo and Ukum Local Government last week Saturday.

Mr Ortom, while responding to the demand for protection, disclosed that an executive bill prohibiting open grazing has been sent to the state assembly.

Governor Ortom also met with the Jemgbagh clan of old Gboko province, the Igede people of Oju and Obi council areas, where he held the former administration responsible for looting and plunging the state into indebtedness.

The Sankera people are known for large scale farming of rice and yam. They came together in Katsina-Ala to demand action from the federal and state government over the killing of their people.

Herdsmen Attacks: Benue Communities Demand 100bn Naira Compensation

Herdsmen AttacksRepresentatives of Benue communities are demanding the sum of 100 billion Naira as compensation for victims of suspected herdsmen attacks in Benue State.

They put up this demand at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs.

The one day public hearing was to look at the alarming influx of unidentified herdsmen into Benue State and the threat to life and property in the state.

Different community groups from the state, the Police IG and the Deputy Governor of Benue State gathered to make their contributions.

The efforts of the Police so far and the intervention of the federal government in combating the situation was on the front burner.

The committee heard from the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, who highlighted some of the steps being taken to address the crisis.

He said that they have apprehended some persons and investigations were ongoing.

While representatives of the community groups suggested how the situation can be managed, the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu, also put forward the measures recommended by the state government towards resolving the issues.

The lawmakers sympathized with the people of Benue State and appealed to the representatives of the community groups to let peace reign while efforts are being by the government made to bring the situation under control.