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.


Herdsmen Attacks: APC Governors Endorse Cattle Ranches

Herdsmen Attacks, APC Governors, Cattle RanchesThe Progressive Governor’s Forum on Thursday endorsed cattle ranching against the proposed grazing reserve areas, to minimize the conflicts between farmers and herdsmen across the country.

The APC governors arrived at the decision in Makurdi the Benue State capital where a delegation from the forum paid a solidarity visit to the Benue State Governor over the killings of farmers by armed herdsmen operating in the state.

Community and opinion leaders gathered to listen to the much need message of hope and ways of ending the armed herdsmen killings of Benue farmers in the villages.

The host governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, briefed the APC governors on the criminal activities of the herdsmen and lamented the inability of the security agencies to make a single arrest of the invaders.

Moved by the agonizing stories of how human lives were being wasted in the state, the APC governors, asked Nigerians to hold them responsible if the government fails to secure their lives.

Chairman of the forum and Governor of Imo State, Mr Rochas Okorocha, said this as he warned against the consequences of ignoring the herdsmen attacks on Benue communities.

The Governor of Niger State, Abubarka Bello, also added the forum’s voice to the campaign for the establishment of ranches instead of the proposed grazing reserve areas.

He said that ranches will minimize frictions between farmers and herdsmen.

Before the visiting Progressive Governors left the state, Governor Ortom treated them to a change of clothes into the Benue unity attires to underscore the need for peace across the country.

Residents Protest Herdsmen Attacks in Benue

Residents Protest Herdsmen Attack in BenueThe attacks on nine council areas of Benue State by herdsmen have continued to attract reactions from the Agatu community.

Civil rights activists and survivors of the attack have gone on a protest in Makurdi, the Benue State capital to air their grievances.

They are calling for the intervention of the state and federal authorities in the crisis.

The children of the community also joined their parents to protest against the violence which had left hundreds of people dead and others displaced.

One of the protesters accused the Benue State Police Command of bias, an allegation the Commissioner of Police denied.

“We invited the young man to this office and I told him (that) from the security information we had at hand, he should postpone this disposition until next week because hoodlums are going to catch down on the situation,” the Police Commissioner said.

As the residents of Agatu community drew attention to the situation to prevent re-occurrence, they also requested for the deployment of special security forces to maintain peace in Benue State in Nigeria’s central region.

Forget About Finding Chibok Girls, Obasanjo Tells Nigerians

ObasanjoFormer President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on Nigerians to jettison the thoughts that the 276 girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok town of Borno State in 2014 ‎could ever be rescued.

The former President said this while addressing a crowd of the students, lecturers and the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole, at the university’s Staff Club in Ile-Ife, Osun State, in southwest Nigeria.

In his speech on the “Reflections of an Elder Statesman”, he stressed that the major problem affecting the development of the nation was lack of continuity.

Mr Obasanjo also pointed out that if the fight against corruption must be entrenched, it has to start from the top government functionaries down the ladder.

He noted that the present organs that was being used to fight corruption – the Economic Financial Crimes Commission – was put in place because of the prevailing existence of corruption when he was in power.

Before his arrival at the venue of the lecture, the former President had visited the palace of the Ooni of Ife‎, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunmuko, Ojaja II, to pay homage to the monarch.

House Of Reps To Investigate $470 Million CCTV Contract

reps-2015-budget-house of repsAn ad-hoc committee of the Nigerian House of Representatives is to investigate the $470 million contract for the installation of CCTVs in Lagos and Abuja, which was awarded in 2010. The committee is expected to report back to the house in four weeks time.

This is in the wake of recent bomb blast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Lawmakers, during a debate, said this investigation is necessary considering the security concerns confronting the nation.

The motion is urging the Federal, State and Local Governments to install CCTVs and other security gadgets across the country.

The House also resolved to mandate all business establishments in Abuja, both Federal, State and Local Governments, to install CCTV cameras and other security gadgets in their premises.

Orelope-Adefulire Seeks End To Assault Against Girl Child

Orelope-AdejokeThe Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, on Monday, made a clarion call for collective commitment towards putting a stop to all forms of sexual harassment, assault and abuse particularly rape cases against the girl- child.

She added that everyone must be ready to break the culture of keeping silent on rape cases and violence. She recalled the 700 black high school children who were massacred in Soweto South Africa that led to the celebration of the International Day of the African Child.

She explained that the objective of the media briefing was to call for more action to raise the tempo of awareness and sensitize the society on the measures to safeguard the rights of the child as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989.

Mrs Orelope-Adefulire said that various forms of abuse such as sexual harassment, domestic violence, forced marriages, kidnapping, rape, abduction, child trafficking, neglect and denial of education have become rampant and to address this situation, she called for the introduction of stringent sentences.

The Deputy Governor also reiterated the call for the rescue of the schoolgirls who were abducted from Chibok in Borno State in April and appealed to the nation’s leaders to do everything possible in ensuring that the innocent girls were brought back alive as soon as possible.

According to the Deputy Governor, parents and guardians, especially the mothers should be more vigilant, available and committed to the welfare of their children by balancing their careers with their duties as mothers.

She reiterated her call for the conduct of psychiatric tests on perpetrators of rape and sexual harassment, which she said has been on the increase, adding that some of the cases are simply inexplicable and calls for concerns.