The Taraba state Governor Darius Ishaku has stressed that judicial and legislative autonomy is a necessity for a strong democracy in Nigeria to excel.
The Governor said he will not hesitate in joining his counterparts across the nation in implementing the financial autonomy of both arms of government in Taraba to provide justice for the common man.
He made the comment while inaugurating a new Grand Khadi of the state Dahiru Ahmad on Friday in Jalingo.
While appealing to JUSUN to suspend its ongoing strike action in the interest of justice especially those in detention, the Governor urged them to imbibe the virtues of equity, moral uprightness, live above board and fair.
”Permit me to use this rare opportunity to reiterate that I am not opposed to judicial and legislative autonomy, rather I believe that financially independence for judiciary and the legislature is essential for a strong democracy,” Ishaku said.
”Therefore we shall not hesitate to join other states of the federation in implementing the financial autonomy of both arms of government.
”Let me also reassure the judiciary of our determination to maintain and expand on the existing synergy to provide better justice to the common man.
”I will also like to take this opportunity to strongly urge JUSUN to suspend their ongoing strike action in the interest of justice even as the negotiations are ongoing.
”Hopefully, an amicable resolution to all of their demands will later be met.
“This call has become urgent in the light of the fact that many innocent people are languishing in detentions without trials and several law suits have been allowed to drag on unnecessarily.
”In the meantime, I urge the bar and the bench to imbibe the virtues of equity, moral uprightness and fairness, so that justice can be delivered to the masses in an effective, efficient and timely manner.”
He also encouraged serving judges to live above board as their actions and inactions have reaching consequences in the lives of others.
”They should see their jobs as a way to serve God and humanity,” he said.
While inaugurating the new Grand Khadi, Governor Ishaku said his appointment is based on merit following the demise of the former occupant of the office.
”The late Grand Khadi did not only serve faithfully, but was an epitome of justice and fairness,” he said.
”Government has always ensured that we have appointment of judges wherever the vacancy exists.
”As the new Grand Khadi you are expected to uphold the constitution by doing justice to all manner of people in order to reflect the tenets of the oath you have just taken as the judiciary is the last hope of the common man of which I Darius Ishaku standing here is a beneficiary.”
The Governor assured the new Grand Khadi of his support in all ramifications.
A minute silence was also observed in honour of the late Grand Khadi.
Gunmen have abducted a lecturer from the staff quarters of the Taraba State University in Jalingo, the state capital.
The lecturer, identified as Umar Buba and Head of the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management (Faculty of Agriculture), was kidnapped in the early hours of Sunday, said Professor Vincent Ado-Tenebe who is the Vice-Chancellor of the university.
Ado-Tenebe, who visited the scene of the incident, told Channels Television that the assailants fired sporadic gunshots to displace the security officials attached to the staff quarters during the attack.
“This is a very sad story, and it has not happened in the past two to three years ago when we had our Director of Information kidnapped after which we put so many strategies on the ground to prevent ugly situations in the future.
“I am so surprised that this happened again, and I know that we have police personnel, that of NSCDC, our security outfit, and vigilante group members hired by the institution to keep the place safe and despite all of these, the former Dean of Students Affair has been kidnapped,” he said.
The vice-chancellor, however, gave an assurance that more efforts would be put in place for more security operatives to be deployed, and stressed the need for more arms and ammunition to fight the hoodlums.
He stated that staff and students living within the confines of the school cannot challenge armed men with bare hands, noting that the management would engage concerned authorities to grant licences for staff to have their guns for their protection and that of the students.
He said, “If you have a licensed gun and you are trained, then you will be able to defend your family and the immediate community of students.
“We have grown past this, and I don’t think there is going to be any other solution than for us to apply for licencing of arms so that these bandits will know that we are equal to the task to defend the defenceless.”
Narrating how her husband was abducted, Umar’s wife, Samira, explained that they had just switched off their generator at about 12:15am when they heard a noise which they believed was a windstorm.
“When I met one of them, he asked me where my husband was, and I understood immediately that they were kidnappers. After I understood their plan, I offered myself to be taken as their target instead of my husband and I pleaded that I have a little baby whom I needed to go with and they rejected my offer, insisting that my husband was the target.
“When they gained access … they struggled to go with him (the victim) because he resisted. We have never heard that kind of gunshot in our entire lives,” she recounted.
The victim’s wife added that shortly after the incident, some security operatives arrived at the scene and went after the kidnappers through the bush paths but found nothing but charms, alcoholic drinks, and some clothes abandoned by the gunmen.
She stated that the abductors of her husband have not made any contact with the family to know what their demands were.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer in Taraba, David Misal, said the police were on the trail of the kidnappers to rescue the lecturer.
He also called on the residents to provide the police with useful information that would aid the rescue of the abducted lecturer.
The Taraba State Government has granted approval for the lifting of its embargo placed on the transfer of service into the state’s civil service.
Governor Darius Ishaku granted the approval on Monday during an Executive Council meeting in Jalingo, the state capital.
The move is to ensure that civil service in the state is sustained in view of the dire needs of certain categories of staff especially the senior staff.
Briefing journalists shortly after the approval, the Head of Service of the state, Suzy Nathan, disclosed that the transfer of service could be expected from tertiary institutions, the federal government and local government service.
“We observed that there is a huge shortage of senior civil servants in the state and so we want to fill in the vacant position,” she said. “This category of senior civil servants can be welcomed on the basis of transfer.”
She explained that the criteria include those on grade levels 12, 13, 14 and 15.
The state government also approved the procurement of farming inputs for the
2021 farming season across the state to enhance food security.
Also in its quest to be the leading producer of rice across the country, the state government has given the approval to secure the services of consultants to enhance rice production in the state along river Donga basins.
Over One thousand farmers are expected to benefit from it.
According to the Commissioner for Agricultural Development and Natural Resources, David Ishaya, the state government will procure, listed improved varieties of maize, soya beans and rice faro 44 variety.
He said, “Usually when we get inputs, we distribute to local government areas and there are stakeholders in the sector to sieve true farmers from fake ones and that’s the criteria we will use.
“Despite the unprecedented shortage of rainfall last year we recorded bumper harvest last year. We are in fact feeding the entire northeast and so many parts of this country with our agricultural produce.”
He added that the gesture will be sustained to help nip in the bud issues of food scarcity.
The Justice Christopher Awubra Judicial Panel on Restitution of Victims of Police Brutality and other security agencies has concluded its sitting in Taraba State with no compensation awarded to any individual.
Inaugurated on October 22, 2020, the panel received and listened to a total of 34 petitions since its inaugural sitting on November 26 last year.
The state governor, Darius Ishaku, had given the panel two months to complete its task but later extended it to six months, considering the task involved.
Out of the 34 petitions received, six were withdrawn and struck out while 28 were successfully heard.
Twenty-six of the petitions were against the Nigeria Police Force, one against the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), two against the vigilante group, and three against the Nigerian Army.
A further breakdown of the figure showed that there were eight murder cases and the remaining 26 petitions bordered on torture, illegal arrest, extortion, and detention.
The challenges of the panel, according to a source, include the inability of respondents to honour summons and the paucity of funds.
He explained that most of the petitions were determined on the strength of the petitions of the petitioners and the absence of the respondents was deemed to be a waiver of their right to be heard or defend themselves.
The source added that only the NSCDC, among the security agencies, never defaulted from honouring summons.
At the last sitting of the panel, three petitions were heard, and the first petition had to do with four siblings who were accused of stealing, tortured, and killed.
Narrating the ordeal, the petitioner and a sibling of the deceased, Kabiru Jibril, said they were having a chat in front of their house when officers of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) approached them and picked his four siblings, leaving him to inform his parents about the incident.
He added that the SARS officers threatened to shoot him and his mother if they approached their office to find them.
Jibril told the panel that they later summoned the courage to approach the office the day after and on getting there, they were told his siblings were not there, hence they should go and look for them.
On their way home, he said a relative asked them to stop at the Jekadafari Cemetery in Jalingo, where they found the remains of the four victims with bullet wounds all over their bodies.
According to the petitioner, they sought to find out who brought their corpses and were told that the police did and gave the undertakers N10,000 to get all the necessary materials to bury them.
The victim’s family demanded N800 million as compensation – N200 million each to the four deceased victims.
One Abdullahi Manu also filed a petition against the Nigerian Army, alleging that two soldiers killed his elder brother and dumped his body at Bornon Kurkur community in Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.
He asked the panel to grant the family of his deceased brother N100 million compensation for the damage caused.
Another petitioner, Jayi Auta, called on the police to return the corpse of his elder brother whom they shot, killed and took away.
He identified the policeman who killed the victim as Ezekiel Chimbe, adding that his father has died as a result of the shock of his son’s death.
Like others, Auta demanded N50 million as compensation for the death of his father and his elder brother.
In his response, Justice Awubra said the panel would use the remaining 13 days to write and submit its recommendations to the state governor for implementation.
No fewer than ten persons have been confirmed killed by suspected herdsmen in Bornon Kurkur community, Bali Local Government Area of Taraba State.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television on Sunday via a telephone call, the Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said the attack occurred today, adding that the situation has been brought under control.
According to him, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Azare, has ordered for deployment of more hands to comb the area as well as protect the victims.
In a related development, six persons have been found dead between Jatau Kungana and Gazabu communities of the Bali local government area.
This is according to the Chairman of the local government, Mahmud Musa, who spoke to Channels Television during an interview.
Musa said the fracas started in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State which shares a boundary with Taraba State.
He said some Fulani herdsmen were chased from the axis and ran into Bali local government where they were partially resisted and the fight escalated which led to the death of six persons in the axis.
Musa added that he has summoned the leadership of both Fulani herdsmen and the Tivs tribe to talk to their subjects and put the situation under control.
He insisted that calm has been restored and security agencies are manning the nooks and crannies of the local government to avert any uprising and asked those using the opportunity to destroy or steal from houses to desist from such act.
Taraba state in Northeast Nigeria has been in the news lately for one communal crisis or the other.
On April 15, gunmen suspected to be bandits killed four people in separate attacks in the Wukari local government area of the state.
The gunmen in their number first attacked Tor-larshager a suburb community of Wukari local government area killing a 70-year-old man and setting ablaze his residential apartment at about 9:00 PM on Wednesday.
At about 2:00 am on Thursday the gunmen struck again at Rafinkada village killing three persons.
The attack is coming barely one week after bandits killed three farmers in Assa village of Wukari local government area on the 7th of April and two Mobile police officers also killed at a checkpoint in Takum LGA on the 6th of April in Taraba state.
Observation by Channels Television indicates that the farmers vs herders and farmers vs farmers crisis always come to be at the beginning of each year’s rainy season.
These crises have also in one way or the other devalued the peace agreement entered into by the two governors of Taraba and Benue States as well as the warring tribes to sheath their swords and allow peace reign.
Former Minister of Women Affairs of Nigeria, Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.
Her media aide, Bala Maina, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via the telephone on Friday.
The ex-minister was said to have passed away at an undisclosed hospital in Cairo, Egypt.
She was 61 years old.
Al-Hassan was appointed the Minister of Women Affairs by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
She, however, resigned her position on July 27, 2018 and thereafter dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the United Democratic Party (UDP) where she emerged as the party’s governorship candidate in the 2019 general elections in Taraba State.
The ex-Minister however lost to the incumbent, Governor Darius Ishaku who ran for a second term in office under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Prior to her ministerial appointment, Al-Hassan was a former Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing the Taraba North Senatorial District under the PDP.
Governor of Taraba State, Arc Darius Dickson Ishaku reacted to Alhassan’s death on Friday.
He said he received the news with deep shock.
Gov Ishaku described Aisha Alhassan as a woman of great courage, noting that her death was a personal loss for him.
He said he and Alhassan had enjoyed a robust political relationship and had kept in touch even while both of them contested for the same seat of Governor of Taraba State from different political platforms in 2015 and 2019.
A press statement by the Governor’s media aide Bala Dan-Abu described Alhassan as an asset, one which death has robbed Taraba State and Nigeria of.
He added that as minister of Women Affairs, Alhassan contributed immensely towards social and political emancipation of women.
He urged her family to take solace in the fact that Alhassan lived a life of service to humanity and prayed God to grant her soul eternal rest.
The industrial action by the organised labour and resident doctors in Taraba in the time past has hampered the resolve of the state government to meet its target of vaccinating over 50,000 people against COVID-19 in the state.
Mr Hassan Mafindi, the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, told reporters on Monday in Jalingo, the state capital that they have so far vaccinated over 23,000 residents.
He disclosed that the state has received 40,020 more doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, in addition to the 56,250 doses earlier received.
The agency boss stated that not until the first phase of the vaccination was over, they cannot commence the second phase.
He said frontline workers in all facets of human endeavour would be considered because about 90 per cent of the health workers in the state have taken the vaccine jab.
“The factor for the second jab is the completion of the first batch of the vaccination and also for people that have been able to access the first jab.
“As I speak to you, we are no longer talking about frontline health workers but frontline workers because we have successfully vaccinated over 90 per cent of our health workers and what our target is now are the frontline workers, who include media workers, drivers, teachers, lecturers, and others,” said Mafindi.
He, however, decried that some residents have developed a nonchalant attitude towards their health by refusing to observe the non-pharmaceutical measures against COVID-19.
“People mingle freely without taking cognisance of the use of facemasks and other safety measures. We need to be proactive in dealing with COVID-19 – it is a pandemic and not an endemic.
“We have seen what is happening in India and other countries where lives are lost as a result of the ailment and none of us would like to have a similar scenario in our country and for us to achieve that, we need to adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical approach,” he health agency boss said.
He added, “It is not cost-effective and we as an agency will continue to educate our people at different levels to ensure compliance.”
The organised labour in Taraba State has suspended its industrial action declared over the N30,000 minimum wage to workers in the state.
Chairman of the Taraba State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Musa Buhari, announced the suspension of the strike on Thursday at a press conference in Jalingo, the state capital.
Members of the organised labour in Taraba, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) began the strike on March 22 over the failure of the government to implement the new national minimum wage.
Musa explained that the decision to suspend the strike was as a result of an agreement with the state government to work out modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage within three months – from April to June.
He called on civil servants in the state to resume work immediately, but report any attempt of victimisation on account of compliance with the industrial action.
Read the full text of Musa Buhari at the briefing below:
Fellow workers of Taraba State,
We bring you fraternal greetings and appreciation for your commitment to the struggle for the Implementation of the New National Minimum Wage of Thirty Thousand (N30,000.00) Naira only in the State.
Recall that the Organized Labour under the auspices of SJPSNC directed Workers to resume Industrial Strike Action on the 22 March 2021 over non-implementation of the New National Minimum Wage the State which you fully complied.
During the period of the strike action, the organized labour has had series of meaningful dialogue with the Government.
Modalities for implementation of the New National Minimum Wage within three months (i.e., April to June 2021) are being worked out.
Consequently, the Industrial Strike Action is hereby suspended, and all workers are directed to resume work immediately.
Workers are equally enjoined to report any attempt of victimization on account of participating in the strike action from any quota to the Organized Labour.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits have killed three farmers in the Wukari local government area of Taraba state.
The attack took place in the early hours of Wednesday in Assa village a suburb of the Wukari local government area.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview, the Chairman of the council, Adi Daniel, said the attackers came in their number through a bush path and orchestrated the mayhem.
Daniel noted that five other farmers who escaped the attack were badly injured and are currently receiving treatment at the General Hospital Wukari, adding that the farmers were residing in their farmstead when they were attacked unprovoked.
The attack is coming barely 24 hours after two mobile policemen were killed at a checkpoint in Dogon-Gawa community, a suburb of Takum local government area which is also in the Southern zone of Taraba state.
The Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku says addressing the high rate of drug abuse in Northern Nigeria and Nigeria, in general, will go a long way in addressing the disturbing trend in criminal activities in the region.
Ishaku also called on Governors of the 19 Northern States to throw their weight behind the campaign of their wives to check drug addiction and rehabilitate victims.
He made the statement when he received in the audience a delegation of Wives of Northern States Governors Forum led by Amina Bello, wife of the Niger State Governor, in Jalingo, the Taraba state capital.
Only four out of the nineteen governors’ wives were present for the occasion and they include that of Niger, Sokoto, Adamawa, and Taraba state who is the host.
Members of the Forum arrived in Jalingo on Tuesday for a strategic meeting on their campaign against drug abuse.
Governor Ishaku described drug abuse in the country and particularly in the North as endemic and alarming and said the role being played by the Northern Governors Wives Forum is noble and must be encouraged if insecurity must be crushed.
While commending them for their unique approach towards tackling the endemic problem of drug abuse and for the achievements recorded in the Northern States so far, the Governor says posterity would be kind to them for making efforts to solve the teething problem of Nigeria as a nation.
” What is being commissioned today is life to some human beings and its not the building but actually transforming somebody who was derailed and I think that is very key to societal development ”
” Drug addiction has damaged and destroyed many people, but thank God we are trying in addressing the situation”
” Most people who go into drug addiction is either because they lack what to do or deceived into it ”
In her address, the chairperson of the Forum, Amina Bello, said the Forum’s approach of sensitising and rehabilitating drug addicts has given hope to thousands of youths in the North.
She said they were in Taraba State to support the efforts of Barr Anna Darius Ishaku, wife of the state governor, to do more in rehabilitating victims of drug abuse.
”At the Northern Governors wives forum, we ensure that every state has a functioning drug rehabilitation centre ”
” We advocate to our Governors and good spirited individuals to make it possible in each state and we have been doing that for the past four years ”
” For us we consider drug addiction to be a disease that has to be treated and anyone who is addicted has a problem that will remain with them for the rest of their lives except when checked ”
In her opening remark, the brain behind the rehabilitation centre Anna Ishaku says drug abuse was partly responsible for most of the crimes threatening the country today and calls for support against it.
She thanked members of the Forum for coming to Taraba State to give support to her efforts at taking addicted youths out of the drug debacle.
”Drug abuse has been identified as a leading factor of very violent crimes including domestic violence, armed robbery, banditry, rape, and spread of HIV/AIDS among several infectious diseases ”
”Despite all these evidences and reality of the menace of drug abuse, the number of youth involved remain very high”
” We are therefore calling on all and sundry to please assist to help them grow out of this drug dependency and into self-worthy dignified and self-respectful individuals ”
Anna Ishaku had raised funds and built the drug victims rehabilitation centre in Jalingo which was commissioned by Gov Ishaku and handed over to the state government during the visit of the Northern Governors Wives.
Chairman of Takum Local Government Area, Shiban Tikari who confirmed the incident said the colleagues of the deceased police officers went to a nearby town to get foodstuff for all of them before the gunmen struck.
He condemned the incident and added that the gunmen came in motorbikes
”This is indeed unfortunate and uncalled for. They came on motorcycles, opened fire on the two police officers unexpectedly, killed them, and took away their rifles.
“The two police officers that were killed were left by their colleagues to man the checkpoint who went to a nearby town to get foodstuff for all of them.
“The gunmen came on motorcycles, they open fire on the two policemen, killed them, and took away their rifles.
“This has caused tension, but I have tried my best to calm the situation down,” he said.
The council chairman however revealed that the bandits usually disguise in special joint tax force uniforms to commit such heinous crime.
The police public relations officer David Misal when contacted by Channels Television said the state command is yet to get any information regarding the attack for now but promises to give more details as soon as possible.