Strike: Northern Students Protest In Jalingo, Ask FG To Meet ASUU’s Demands

 

Students from the nineteen northern states of Nigeria, on Friday, protested the lingering ASUU strike in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.

Under the auspices of the Coalition of Northern Groups’ Students, the undergraduates are asking traditional rulers, civil society organisations, and government at all levels to urgently intervene and end the strike.

The protest followed the inability of the Federal Government to resolve the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has entered its fifth month.

Northern students protest against the lingering ASUU strike in Taraba on July 1, 2022.

 

To air their grievances, they carried placards bearing several inscriptions like ‘FG, end ASUU strike now’, ‘Incessant ASUU/FG face-off, a demonstration of craziness,’ etc.

READ ALSO: I Walked For Three Days To Escape, Says Chibok Girl Held For Eight Years In Sambisa Forest

The exasperated students while rallying for their cause barricaded the ever-busy Jalingo Expressway, a situation that caused gridlock for motorists.

Speaking to journalists, the National Secretary-General of the Coalition, Emuseh Gimba, accused the Federal Government of meeting the demands of the striking lecturers.

“The Federal Government has refused to listen to ASUU or even consider their plea. This is something we are supposed to be responsible for,” she said.

“These same people in government have once been students. These people have enjoyed free education in the past. They are the same people that call themselves our parents. If they will not listen to the plea of our lecturers, why won’t they listen to the plea of the Nigerian students?

“Why won’t they consider the fact that they enjoyed free education and the students in this time are not enjoying free education they enjoyed?”

According to her, students schooling in Kaduna, Katsina, and other northern states are worried by the worsening state of insecurity.

Gimba further bemoaned the high spate of kidnapping and banditry activities in the region, accusing the government of making life miserable for students by compounding their woes with the lingering ASUU strike.

She further asked the authorities to resolve the impasse with the striking lecturers so that students’ welfare can be prioritised.

APC Primary Committee Members Escape Mob Attack In Taraba

Map of Taraba
A map of Taraba, a state in Nigeria’s north-east region.

 

Police in Taraba have rescued members of the Primary Election Committee of the All Progressive Congress (APC) sent to conduct the elections for the party’s senatorial tickets in the state.

The members were reportedly ambushed and almost lynched by aggrieved party members on Saturday for allegedly conniving with a faction of the party to manipulate the outcomes of the exercise.

Channels Television gathered that the committee members led by Muhammad Alkali were on their way from Yola in Adamawa when they were stopped at a point – some a few kilometres to Jalingo –by a faction of aspirants who allegedly asked that the election result sheets be handed over to them.

Some party members who got a wind of the incident were said to have rushed to the scene and threatened to lynch the members of the committee, but the quick intervention of the police who came to their rescue.

READ ALSO: EFCC Arrests Ex-Zamfara Governor Yari

Shortly after the incident, the secretary of the committee, Yahaya Suleiman, read out a resolution reached by the aspirants while addressing reporters at the police headquarters in the state capital.

“We are not under duress to address you, but here are the resolutions reached; that result sheets were not made available to us from the APC National Secretariat,” he said. “That the results were sent and received by Taraba State APC Chairman earlier and on arrival, we were informed that the result sheets were vandalised and that soft copies were consequently sent to us for the primary election.

“That indirect mode of primary elections be adopted for northern and central senatorial zones, while the southern zone shall use the direct mode for senatorial primary elections.”

Elsewhere, two results emerged at the just-concluded House of Representative primary with losers threatening legal action if internal mechanisms of resolution fail.

While a former Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, Mark Useni, was declared the winner of the primary for Donga, Takum Ussa, and Yangtu Special Development Area in one of the results, one Abubakar Umar emerged as the party’s candidate in the same constituency in another result.

Bwacha Declared Winner Of Taraba APC Gov Primary, Election Chair Alleges Threat To Life

Former Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha.

 

Former Deputy Senate Minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha has emerged winner of All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary election in Taraba State.

The Chairman of the APC Governorship Primary Election in the state, Lawrence Onuchukwu, declared Bwacha winner at a press briefing in Jalingo, saying he defeated all the other eight aspirants to emerge as the party’s candidate for the 2023 general elections.

Shortly after the declaration on Friday, the Committee Chairman alongside other members boarded a private jet and exited the north-eastern state.

Onuchukwu alleged that his life was under threat, adding that members of the committee were held hostage.

According to him, he was forced at gun point to declare that he has not authorised the governorship primary to commence across the state due to unresolved issues.

READ ALSO: APC Postpones Presidential Primary To June 6

“What happened yesterday was quite unfortunate. However, election was conducted, few aspirants were happy with the conduct of the election,” he said.

“My members and I were held hostage at a particular location where we could not raise our legs up and we were at gunpoint, under duress to address the press that there was nothing like election which was actually held and after that they allowed us to leave which was the only condition for us to be alive.

“For me it is only a tree that can be cut down and its still there, but we as humans we have to run for out dear lives by doing what they want us to do, but that was not the real position of the truth.

“The result of the exercise was won by one Senator Emmanuel Bwacha and we have declared him the winner of the election.”

On his part, Senator Bwacha reiterated that his victory is valid and called on other contestants to close ranks and sheath their swords.

“I accept this offer from my party and pledge to work in harmony with those who contested with me and I am calling on them to close ranks and define a new road map for the APC which has for long been in the opposition,” he stated.

“At a designated time, I will reach out to those who lost out individually and collectively, because one person must emerge among many contestants and it is not a do or die matter, but one done to restore the lost glory of our state.

“If I say Taraba State is not sitting down on the precipice, I will be economical with the truth, but what we will do if victorious, we will redefine governance and dignity of civil service.”

This however did not go down well with six other aspirants of the party as they alleged that no APC governorship primary was conducted. They also asked the party’s national headquarters to intervene.

Speaking on behalf of the six other aspirants in the state, the Senator representing Taraba Central, Yusuf  Yusuf asked the party to conduct a governorship primary in Taraba or risk losing them to another party.

“We are surprise to know what has happened after the chairman of the committee said he has not authorized any election, only for us to be told he announced a result at the airport and jetted out,” he stated.

“We affirm that there was no election, no approval given, no duress whatsoever because we were there when he announced at the police headquarters that he has not authorized any election to hold in Taraba State.

“Due process of the law will be followed to ensure that internal dispute mechanism is judiciously used, and it will be followed by litigation in accordance to the electoral act of 2022.

“We will hold APC National accountable for whatever that happens to its followers in Taraba state and If the leadership of the party at the national headquarters are not prepared to accommodate our interest we will exit and think of other means of solving our issues.”

Insecurity: Terrorists Kill Six Soldiers In Taraba State

Suspected terrorists abducted an unspecified number of traders travelling along the Kaduna- Birnin Gwari Road
A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Authorities of the Nigerian Army have confirmed that six soldiers have been killed in an ambush by terrorists who launched an attack on Tati community in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.

In a statement by its spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the army disclosed that six terrorists were also killed by its troops during the gunfight that ensued.

General Nwachukwu further revealed that one soldier is still missing after the encounter.

READ ALSOBuhari Orders FEC Members With Political Ambitions To Resign

According to him, the troops had received a distress call that the community was under attack and razed by suspected bandits on Tuesday.

He added that “while in pursuit of the bandits, troops fell into an ambush staged by the criminals.

“The troops fought fiercely through the ambush neutralizing four of the bandits,” Nwachukwu narrated.

The General also stated that a reinforcement team from six Brigade deployed against the fleeing bandits at Ananum village in Donga Local Government Area of the state, neutralized two additional bandits, and recovered one AK-47 rifle, one pistol, one locally fabricated gun, two AK-47 Magazines, 19 rounds of 7.62 mm special, seven rounds of 9 mm ammunition and three motorbikes.

He assured Nigerians that troops are in pursuit of the bandits and will leave no stone unturned in the ongoing search and rescue operations for the missing personnel.

The army urged residents of the state to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement to security agencies.

Six Soldiers, Police Officer Killed As Terrorists Invade Taraba Community

A file photo of soldiers on a military vehicle. Photo: Channels Television/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

No fewer than six soldiers and a police officer have been reported killed in an ambush by gunmen in Tati, a community in Takum Local Government Area (LGA) of Taraba State.

Chairman of Takum LGA, Shiban Tikari, confirmed the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview on Wednesday.

Narrating how the killings occurred, Tikari said the first victim was the police officer who sighted the terrorists approaching his checking point on foot and opened fire.

Several minutes after he opened fire, his magazine got exhausted and took to his heels. But the gunmen went after him and killed the policeman.

READ ALSO: Buhari Orders FEC Members With Political Ambitions To Resign

The council boss explained that moments later, a convoy of the Commanding Officer 93 Battalion, Takum was passing by while gunshots were fired, so decided to stop and engage the terrorists.

In the process, the commanding officer was abducted and six other soldiers in the convoy were killed with their bodies recovered.

“These terrorists are well trained,” said Tikari. “If you hear of their mode of withdrawal and attacks, you will know that they are well trained. When the army got to Tati community, they heard the sporadic gunshots and because the terrain is a difficult one, they followed them up with motorcycles.

“The commanding officer is still at large and that is why the soldiers went into the bush in search of him. We recovered six corpses of the army personnel with the exception of the commanding officer. We are still waiting for them to come out so as to know more.”

Although the Commissioner of Police in Taraba, Abimbola Sokoya, has confirmed the incident, he said cannot speak for the Nigerian Army.

In addition to Tikari’s account, Sokoya revealed that the slain policeman was attached to the 67 Police Mobile Force (PMF) team in Takum.

He added that the incident left an unconfirmed number of locals killed and several houses razed, while a reinforcement had been sent to Takum to ensure a robust joint operation.

“There is a joint operation going on right now – i.e between the military and other security agencies and normalcy is being restored,” the police commissioner stated.

He explained that there has been an existing communal crisis between the Fulani herdsmen and the Kuteb-speaking tribe before the advent of the terrorists.

Sokoya also confirmed the bomb explosion that hit the 6 Army Brigade Headquarters in Jalingo on Tuesday night.

According to him, the Police Anti-Bomb Squad is investigating the incident and will soon update him on its findings.

Again, Explosion Rocks Taraba

Map of Taraba
A map of Taraba, a state in Nigeria’s North-East region.

 

An explosion has rocked the headquarters of Six Brigade Nigeria Army located in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital. 

The incident took place late Tuesday night in the backyard of the building but no casualty was recorded.

The Army has so far barricaded the roads leading to and fro the axis of the Six Brigade Nigeria Army headquarters to forestall further attempts on their lives.

No statement has emanated from the Brigade commander as to what transpired.

READ ALSO: At Least Five Injured As Explosion Rocks Taraba Again

‘Ungodly, Inhuman, Barbaric’

A file photo of Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku.
A file photo of Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku.

 

Tuesday’s explosion adds to the increasing cases of bombings in the northeastern state.

Late last month, there were two bombing incidents in a space of four days in Taraba State. One of them, which the terrorist group ISWAP took responsibility for, killed at least six persons.

Irked by the development, Governor Darius Ishaku ordered a stop and search operation across the state as part of efforts to firm up security.

“Governor Ishaku described the incident as ungodly, inhuman, barbaric, and a deliberate attempt by evil people to destabilize the state,” a statement signed by his spokesperson, Iliya Bekyu Akweh, said.

“He directed security agencies in the state to a network through proper investigation to fish out the terrorists whom he said are working relentlessly to destabilize the peace of the state

“The Governor further directed security agencies to immediately introduce operation stop and search across the state especially in the state capital to checkmate the nefarious activities of terrorists and their cohorts who have infiltrated the state recently.”

According to the governor, who lamented the loss of lives in the state,  “his administration would not allow evil people and their sponsors including those harbouring them to destabilize the peace he had worked hard to restore in the state”.

Age Falsification: Court Orders WAEC To Clear Taraba APC 2019 Guber Candidate

Man Bags 15 Years In Prison For N5.2m Fraud
A court gavel.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo the Taraba State capital has ordered the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) to within 48 hours, correct the wrong date of birth used for the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate in the 2019 General elections in the state.

This follows the disqualification of the APC gubernatorial candidate Sani Danladi in the 2019 General elections for age falsification in his details tendered to the party as well as his WAEC certificate.

Delivering his judgment on Wednesday, Justice Simon Amobeda granted his application, compelling WAEC to correct the wrong date of birth and issue him with another certificate within 48hrs of the service of the orders on it.

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The Judge cited similar judgments which involved errors and corrections of Certificates in many places in Nigeria, insisting that the correction of the error is one of the fundamental human rights of the complainant.

Counsel to the defendant Barr Chia Elijah says it is the public duty of WAEC to issue him a new certificate correcting his date of birth.

”The court has looked at the case brought before it and has resolved that he is entitled to an order of mandamus compelling WAEC to correct his date.

”If you ask me in my own opinion, the court has death effectively and accordance to legal principles as all the issues raised by WAEC was tackled.

”They alleged principally that their was a delay, but the court has firmly held that there is no law specifying the time within which WAEC can make corrections on their certificate.

”By the verdict of the court, it permits him to contest the 2023 General elections because it has established that it was a mistake, which was not made by him and cannot be held responsible for the mistake of WAEC”.

In the year 2001 the 2019 APC gubernatorial candidate Sani Danladi sat for SSCE at the WAEC center located at the Government Secondary School, Karim Lamido Local Government Area.

He was issued with a certificate on which his date of birth was wrongly stated to be April 3, 1977 instead of April 14, 1968.

In 2007 when he contested on a joint ticket with Danbaba Suntai as Deputy Governor, he was challenged because all other documents submitted by him except for the school certificate bears his correct date of birth.

Realizing the consequences, he wrote to the WAEC zonal office in Yola and Government Secondary School, Karim Lamido local council for the correction of his date of birth.

Apart from 2007, he wrote several other letters to which WAEC did not respond.

The school also wrote admitting that the error was that of it’s center and consequently requested for correction of the error.

WAEC in 2020 invited him to fill a form for correction of the error. He was also asked to pay a fee of Ten Thousand Naira and submit the original certificate which he did.

In December 2020, WAEC wrote refusing to effect the correction. He then commenced Suit No. FHC/JAL/CS/2/2022 against WAEC for an order of Mandamus.

Today, the Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, granted his application for mandamus compelling WAEC to correct the wrong date of birth and issue him with another certificate within the next 48 hours.

Ishaku Condemns Taraba Bomb Attack, Pledges Aid To Injured Victims

A file photo of Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku.
A file photo of Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku.

 

Taraba State Governor Darius Ishaku, on Thursday, condemned the bomb attack that claimed several lives in Ardo-Kola Local Government Area, describing it as unprovoked aggression against innocent people.

In a statement, the governor’s media aide, Bala Abu, extended the condolences of his principal and the state government to the victims and families of those who died during the attack.

READ ALSO: Bomb Explosion Rocks Cattle Market In Taraba

The governor asked security agencies “to go after the perpetrators of this heinous crime and to make them pay for their sins”.

While sympathising with the families of those killed in the attack, Ishaku promised that his administration would assist the injured and those receiving treatment in hospitals.

He equally asked residents of the state “to be vigilant always and to report strange visitors to their communities promptly to security agencies and traditional authorities in their communities”.

The governor’s comment comes about two days after the explosion rocked a drinking bar in Mashaya market, Iware Community in Ardo-Kola.

Shortly after the attack,  the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) claimed responsibility, saying it was behind the “killing and wounding nearly 30 Christians and damaging the bar”.

What We Will Do To Win Elections In Taraba – APC

A file photo of the APC flag.

 

The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Taraba says the party has repositioned itself to win the elections in the state come 2023.

It also warned that it would not allow defectors who lost their relevance in other political parties to control the affairs of the APC in Taraba.

Mr David Kente, a chieftain of the party and member of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Board, stated this on Saturday while briefing reporters on behalf of the APC state executives in Jalingo, the state capital.

He confirmed the release of a former governor of the state, Jolly Nyame, saying the party would work closely with him considering his political figure in Taraba.

“Yes, I can confirm to you that it is no longer rumour that Jolly Nyame has been set free and plans are in top gear to bring him back home,” said Kente. “He is our son whom we think committed no crime; maybe he only lost out in haphazard approach to issues.

“He is a political figure in Taraba State and going forward, our team will meet to review his stand and work closely with him.”

According to the party chieftain, the APC unlike the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is sticking to competence rather than zoning arrangement.

“We in the APC do not believe in zoning arrangement; we are looking for the best in the state and the country,” he stated. “Therefore, we do not need zoning arrangement that will give us people who will lead us nowhere.

“Things are so bad that you just need to close your eyes and forget about zoning and get somebody with capabilities and competence to come and put Taraba together with a roadmap that will lead to economic success and progress of the state.”

The NEDC board member also seized the opportunity to declare his intention to contest for the number one seat of the state, saying he had consulted widely before taking the decision.

Elsewhere, the PDP in Taraba believes the APC is bound to fail again as the ruling party has blocked all the loopholes which gave the opposition a sigh of relief in previous elections.

PDP Chairman in the state, Agbu Kefas, insisted that there was no anointed candidate for the party, adding that the PDP has commenced reconciliatory processes to maintain its winning streak.

He, however, hinted at giving a nod to zoning arrangement which he described as a process that gives equal representation without bias to all the senatorial districts of the state.

Gunmen Attack Taraba Mosque, Kill District Head

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Gunmen have attacked a mosque in the Maisamari community in the Sardauna Local Government Area of the Taraba State, killing the district head.

The district head,  identified as Abdulkadir Safiyanu, was said to be observing an Islamic night prayer at the mosque when they attacked Monday night.

A friend of the deceased and a Special Adviser to the Governor On Political Matters Abubakar Bawa disclosed that they came on motorbikes shooting sporadically to scare residents.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Swears In ICPC, NPC Commissioners

In retaliation, the residents used their den guns to confront them, a situation that made them flee through a nearby mountain.

Though no person was kidnapped, the remains of the district head have been laid to rest in accordance with Islamic rite.

According to the Taraba Police Public Relations Officer, all measures have been set to commence an investigation into the matter as well as unravel the perpetrators of the nefarious incident.

He also urged residents to feed the police with relevant information, go about their normal businesses and remain calm as it is on top of the situation to restore normalcy.

Meanwhile, the State governor Darius Ishaku recently inaugurated a judicial commission of inquiry into the Kamkam and Nguroje chiefdoms to know which of the two will exercise its traditional jurisdiction over the Maisamari area.

The move was to avert a repeat of what transpired in 2017 where lives were lost and properties destroyed given the volatile nature of the said area.

It is expected that going forward, the judicial commission of inquiry set up by the state governor will find the root cause of the feud with a determination to know who administers them going forward.

Ishaku Directs Political Appointees Seeking Elective Offices To Resign

A file photo of Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku.
A file photo of Taraba state Governor, Darius Ishaku.

 

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, has directed all political appointees willing to contest for various positions in the forthcoming general elections to resign on or before Friday.

He gave the directive in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Iliya Bekyu, on Tuesday in Jalingo, the state capital.

Apart from members of the State Executive Council, the directive also affected political appointees serving in various local government areas.

READ ALSO: I Am Yet To Declare Interest In Kebbi Governorship Seat, Says Malami

These include appointed supervisory councillors, special advisers, and secretaries to the local government areas.

Governor Ishaku commended the contributions of the affected persons to the progress of his administration and the development of the state.

He wished them success in their future endeavours as they go forth to pursue their political ambitions.

Seven Officers Injured, Vehicle Damaged As NDLEA Arrests Taraba Drug Kingpin

A file photo of an official of the NDLEA backing the camera.

 

Seven officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have been injured and one of its vehicles damaged following the arrest of a drug dealer Micha Godwin.

The suspect was arrested on Tuesday at Nukai market, along Jalingo-Wukari road in the Taraba State capital, Jalingo.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary of the agency, Nathaniel Ikyur says, following intelligence, the operatives stormed the market at about 2.30 pm to arrest the drug dealer and evacuate illicit substances in his warehouse.

READ ALSO: Suspected Herdsmen Kill Seven In Taraba Reprisal Attack – Police

“Soon after the arrest of Micha, miscreants mobilised from the community to attack the officers and vehicles with dangerous weapons.

“Despite the attack, the officers however managed to arrest their target after recovering some quantities of illicit drugs from the suspect and thereafter retreated to take the wounded to the hospital for treatment.”

Mr. Ikyur disclosed that reinforcement from the state command of the agency and other security agencies moved in to rescue the operatives from the scene of the attack.

In custody, the drug dealer said “what happened today is bad because this is the second time I have been arrested and brought here but the first arrest was not like this. I don’t know who invited the boys who attacked the NDLEA officers”.

While reacting to the incident, Chairman/Chief Executive of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (Retd) condemned the attack and directed an immediate switch to new operational guidelines that will make officers and men well-positioned to defend themselves adequately in the course of carrying out their duties.

He again warned that henceforth any obstruction or attack on NDLEA operatives in line of duty by suspects or their supporters would receive a commensurate response.