North-west Governors Move To Stop Boko Haram Infiltration

North-west governors in Nigeria on Boko HaramThe governors of states in Nigeria’s north-west have met to discuss how to stop the Boko Haram activities in the north-east and also prevent the terrorists from entering their states.

At the end of the meeting, the Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, told reporters that they could not stand and watch the Boko Haram terrorists continue to attack their people.

He said that the meeting also discussed the activities of cattle rustlers in some forests in Kaduna and how to reduce such activities in the region.

Governor Masari said that they reviewed the various military operations in the region and decided that it should continue beyond the month of October.

“We have met to review the progress of the special operations that are going on within the areas and we have agreed that the operations should continue.

“We noted the infiltration from north-east and north-west and measures are being taken to ensure that Boko Haram does not find any safe haven in north-west or any part of the country.

“With regards to cost, we will not know the cost until it is over,” he said.

The states at the meeting were Niger, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna and Kano.

Also at the meeting were top officials of security agencies, which the Katsina Governor said they would hold further talks with to map out the modalities of the operations.

Hajj Stampede: NAHCON Confirms Death Of 54 Nigerians

hajj-nahconThe National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has confirmed the death of 54 Nigerians in the deadly stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, during this year’s Hajj.

The Chairman of NAHCON, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, said that 42 out of the 54 that died were from states pilgrims welfare board including two NAHCON officials, while others were among those on the pilgrimage by private tour operators.

He made the confirmation in Makkah on Monday.

He also listed 15 states of Bauchi, Borno, Zamfara, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Sokoto, Taraba and Yobe, as those that lost pilgrims to the stampede.

The incident is said to have claimed at least 720 lives.

Northern Governors Consider Practical Approach To End Insecurity

Kassim-Shettima
Governor Kassim Shettima said political leadership of the northern states seem poised to reverse the negative trends

The governors of the 19 northern states in Nigeria on Friday considered practical and integrated regional approach to combat the Boko Haram insurgency and other challenges facing the region.

At a meeting in Kaduna the governors resolved to deal decisively with the problems to ensure the development of the region that had faced over five years of terror attacks.

The meeting held behind closed doors at the General Hassan Usman Katsina State House. It had in attendance governors of Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Borno, Zamfara, Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa, Bauchi and deputy governors of Kogi and Kwara among others.

Good Governance

Addressing reporters before the closed door meeting started, the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Borno State, Mr Kassim Shettima, expressed the urgent need for the northern leaders to adopt far-reaching strategies in tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy, Boko Haram insurgency and other criminal elements in the region.

He urged the governors to come up with a common agenda for the speedy transformation of the north and the country in general.

While lamenting the failure of the present crop of leaders to sustain the legacies of the founding fathers of the northern region, Governor Shettima said the leaders must act fast to reverse the negative fortunes of the people of the region.

According to him, “no amount of lamentation will solve the devastation in the region”, except for the leaders to rise up and live up to the expectations of the people through good governance.

Some other governors at the meeting gave an assurance of their commitment to ensuring an end to insurgency and pledged to redevelop the region that has been devastated by acts of terrorism.

Apart from the Boko Haram insurgency in the north-east, some other states are battling to contain the activities of cattle rustlers, who have had several clashes with farmers.

This is the first meeting since Governor Shettima was elected to chair the forum.

Beyond the assurances made by the governors, what is expected now is for them to hit the ground running and bring about the needed change to their respective states.

Troops Kill 10 Suspected Terrorists, Arrest 64 in Kaduna

troopsTroops of One Division of the Nigerian Army have killed no fewer than 10 bandits and suspected terrorists in various joint operations tagged “Operation Restore Peace II” in the Northwest zone of the country.

During the operation, 64 suspected terrorists and bandits were arrested and handed over to the Police and the Department of State Security (DSS) for further investigations and prosecution, while 119 cattle, sheep and goats were also recovered from rustlers and bandits who have been terrorising people from the zone.

The zone comprises of Jigawa, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna, and Kano, while the operation has extended to Niger and Kogi states in the north-central.

According to a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations of the One  Division Headquarters in Kaduna, Colonel Usman Abdul, the operation was carried out by a combined team of Nigerian Army, Nigeria Air Force, Police, DSS and Customs Personnel among others.

Colonel Abdul said: ” In Kaduna State and its immediate environs, the expanded security outfit involved in the operation have made recovery of 2081 animals like cattle, sheep and goats. 27 suspects were arrested and lots of weapons were recovered from the bandits.

“In the axis of Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi States over 3027 animals which included cattle, goats and sheep were recovered. 33 suspected bandits were arrested with 11 weapons seized in the course of the operation.

All the suspects were handed over to Zamfara DSS and the Police Command while the animals were handed over to Zamfara State government officials.

“Similarly in another joint operation,  covering Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States, the troops recovered a total of 2011 animals ,4 suspects arrested and 10 bandits were killed during encounters and 8 assorted weapons recovered.

“Arrested suspects were handed over to Katsina Police Command, while animals recovered were handed over to Katsina state government officials.”

Colonel Abdul noted in a statement that since the commencement of the operation calm has been restored to the area, farming and commercial activities has commenced.

He said the Army and other security agencies in Kaduna have through various operations been able to reduce and subdue activities of bandits and insurgents, warning supporters and sympathizers of bandits to desist in their activities as the Division is poised to uproot them from the zone.

Six Northern Governors, Security Agencies Discuss Solutions To Cattle Rustling

Cattle RustlingSix governors from the north-west and north-central geo-political zones on Saturday met with the heads of security agencies of the affected states to appraise the ongoing war against cattle rustling and cross border crimes.

The meeting was held behind closed door at the Kaduna State Government House and had in attendance the governors of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto and Niger States.

Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, of Zamfara State, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said the States were in close collaboration with the Federal Government towards finding a lasting solution to the problem.

He said that the security operations would be expanded to focus on the forest areas where the notorious rustlers and bandits operated from.

Governor Yari, however, gave the assurance that the affected state governments were ready to provide logistic support to enhance the operations of security operatives in their effort to dislodge the rustlers that have been terrorising herdsmen and farmers over the years.

Besides the plans to enhance the security in the region, the governors have also come up with a plan on youth empowerment and job creation that will be implemented by various states to train the youth on skills acquisition in order for them not to get involved in criminal acts.

The menace of cattle rustling in most states in the north has become a nightmare for residents of the region, with over 30,000 cows and other livestock stolen by armed bandits in the past one year.

It is expected that regular meetings of this kind would go a long way in stemming the recurring cases of cattle rustling and other associated crimes in the region.

Residents Protest Proposed Demolition Of Buildings By Kaduna Govt.

kaduna protestSome aggrieved residents of Lokoja, Gwari and Muri roads in Kaduna metropolis have held a peaceful protest against plan by the Kaduna State Government to demolish their buildings.

The residents, mostly artisans, said they were served notice of eviction through the Chairman of Kaduna North Local Government Council, to vacate their shops and residential buildings within two weeks, after which they will be demolished.

Spokesman for the aggrieved residents, Mr Abiola Eneja, said the two-weeks ultimatum given to them to vacate their shops was too short, and more-so they had all valid papers for their shops.

He appealed to the State government to provide them with an alternative land where they could build new shops, or at least give them sufficient time to relocate.

Reports says the area is home to majority of the commercial printing houses in the state capital, with over 300 shops being marked for demolition.

Carrying placards and singing protest songs, the shop owners marched along the roads to show their anger over the proposed demolition.

In the copy of the eviction notice obtained by Channels Television’s correspondent, dated August 5, 2015, the council based its action on the state’s 1958 township building rules and Environmental Protection Law of 2010.

The notice, however, warned that any violator of the eviction order would be dealt with.

In reaction to this, the printers said their opinions were not sought on the planned demolition and they were only presented with a fait accompli.

They also explained that the land was allocated to them by the government to build their shops more than 25 years ago, wondering why the government wants to evict them from the same land.

The Senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, described the ongoing demolition exercise by the State government as harsh and anti-people.

Mr Sani advised the government to trade with caution, in order not to plunge the citizens into severe hardship.

While addressing a coalition of youth groups and Civil Society Organisations, who marched to his office to support the ongoing demolition exercise, Governor Nasir El-Rufai said his administration would continue to resist any attempt by land grabbers to take over schools and hospital lands in the state.

He added that those with genuine papers and had obtained valid building permits would be adequately compensated.

Two weeks ago, about 93 private buildings illegally erected within a government secondary school premises in Zaria were demolished by the Kaduna State Urban Development Authority (KAPSUDA), while over 700 others including shops, hotels and worship centres have been marked for demolition in Zaria and the state capital for being illegally erected on government lands.

Over 1,000 Cows, Other Livestock Recovered From Rustlers In Kaduna

cattleA combined team of Security operatives in Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria, have recovered over 1,000 cows and other livestock from cattle rustlers in Birnin, Gwari Local Government Area of the state.

The combined team of military, Police and State Security Service operatives recovered the stolen animals and also arrested some of the armed rustlers during a raid inside the deadly Kamuku and Kuyanbana forests in the Local Government.

The forests are located within the borders of Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger, Kebbi and Sokoto States.

In a statement issued on Sunday by the spokesman for the Kaduna State Governor, Samuel Aruwan, a total number of 295 sheep and 14 donkeys were also recovered inside the two forests during the raid.

The statement further said that most of the recovered animals had been released to their owners after satisfying the necessary conditions.

Security Operatives Recover 2,000 Cows, Kill Three Rustlers In Kaduna

rustlersA combined team of security operatives have recovered at least 2,000 cattles from rustlers in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria.

On Tuesday, the security operatives killed three and arrested eight suspected cattle rustlers during a routine operation at a forest, which served as their hideout in the area.

Speaking to reporters after visiting sites of the assembled rescued cows in Birnin Gwari, the State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, commended the security operatives for the successful operation that led to the arrest of the hoodlums and rescue of the stolen cows.

While stating that the problem of cattle rustling and other criminal vices had lingered in the area for too long, Governor El-Rufai said that similar joint security operations were ongoing in neighbouring states like Niger, Katsina, Zamfara and Kebbi.

He, however, called on the people of Kaduna State to assist and pray for the security agencies towards ending the activities of bandits in the state.

Parading the arrested hoodlums at the operational base in Damari, a town in Birnin Gwari, the leader of the Joint Task Force, Captain Ujah, gave an assurance that the days of the remaining criminals terrorising the area were numbered.

In 2013, armed robbers attacked Birnin Gwari, killing 13 people, including two soldiers and some vigilante members.

As a result of the spate of killings and cattle rustling by gunmen in the community and environs, a combined team of soldiers and other security operatives were deployed to the forest bordering the community to flush out the bandits.

No Bailout For State Governors Owing Salaries

Buhari_Governors

The meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the 36 state governors on how to offset over 100 billion Naira salaries of Nigerian workers ended without an offer of a bailout plan by the Federal Government to the States.

At the end of the meeting held on Tuesday, the Governors were only able to reach an agreement that the Federal Government should pay debts it owed the states over jobs they executed.

Zamfara State Governor and chairman of the Governors Forum, Abdullaziz Yari, who briefed reporters after the meeting, said that instead of a bailout, the state governments were told to look inwards and generate needed funds to clear their debts.

Poor Management Of The Economy

The State Governors also requested that the Nigerian Liquefied Gas Company’s tax should be paid into the Federation Account and be shared.

They also asked the Federal Government to ensure that monies accruing from the Federation Account should be shared, as stipulated by the constitution.

It is the first time the President will be meeting with the Governors to find a solution to the financial crisis that has made no fewer than 22 of the states owe salaries to their workers to the tune of 100 billion Naira (about $5,000,000).

The Nigerian Governors, whose lot has always been to come to Abuja to share in the Federation Account, through their chairman said they were pleased to meet with the President but that it was beyond a bailout as reported.

After a meeting of the All Progressives Congress Governors Forum last week, the chairman of the forum, Governor Rochas Okorocha, called for a bailout for states which have been unable to pay workers’ salaries.

He said that the current situation was a product of poor management of the economy.

“On the economy of the nation, we are concerned and worried by the dwindling revenue of the states which today has affected negatively, the lives of our people.

“The matter has become so serious that urgent action must be taken for a bailout for the states, as things are not getting better either.

“We have sat down to review steps that should be taken and we are calling for total overhaul of the system to block all the leakages in our nation’s economy,” Governor Okorcha said.

Other issues in the front burner include how to curb insurgency in Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa states and what the president is doing in collaboration with the international community.

The Governors also expressed concerns over the decision to dismantle military check points, stressing that it was not the right time for such decision.

Some of the governors present include those of Nasarawa, Imo, Gombe, Benue, Delta, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kogi, Borno, Jigawa, Rivers, Ogun, Kebbi, Kwara, Taraba, Ekiti, Ondo, Kaduna, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Anambra, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Lagos, Adamawa, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Yobe, Plateau (Deputy), Bayelsa (Deputy).

INEC Hits 75% PVC Distribution

pvcThe six-week postponement of the 2015 elections may have given INEC more boost in its quest to making sure that more Nigerians are able to participate in the polls.

This is because the commission says it has now distributed over seventy five percent of the PVC for registered voters across the country, leaving about sixteen million voters yet to collect theirs

The new figures released by INEC reveals that the umpire have given out 52.2 million PVCs out of the 68.8 million of  registered voters.

A closer look at the list released by INEC shows over 90% of voters in states like Zamfara, Nasarawa, Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna and Gombe have collected their PVCs.

While Lagos, Rivers, Oyo and Borno states still have about 30% of voters who are yet to collect their PVCs.

PVC Distribution As At 17th February 2015

Total No of Registered Voters              68,833,476

Total No of PVCs Distributed                52,275,367

Percentage of PVCs Distributed           75.94

States.            No of Reg. Voters.    No of Cards collected by voters.       

ZAMFARA       1,495,717                 1,357,531           90.76

NASARAWA   1,242,667                 1,196,583            96.29

KATSINA         2,827,943                 2,620,829           92.68

JIGAWA         1,831,276                   1,706,814            93.20

KADUNA        3,407,222                  3,133,813             91.98

GOMBE          1,120,023                    1,064,577             95.05

LAGOS            5,905,852                   3,685,322             62.40

RIVERS          2,537,590                 1,923,139                75.79

BORNO           1,934,079                 1,320,667               68.28

OYO              2,415,566                    1,569,390                64.97

Sambo Tasks Muslim Leaders on Violent Free Elections

samboVice President Namadi Sambo has met with leaders of various Islamic organizations in the North West Zone, desirous to ensure a peaceful free and fair elections in Nigeria.

The meeting which took place in Kaduna on Sunday was organized by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Islamic Matters in collaboration with coalition of Islamic Organizations in Nigeria.

The meeting was aimed at sensitizing Muslims in the zone on how to ensure that peace reigns before, during and after the elections.

Addressing the gathering, Vice President Namadi Sambo appealed to religious leaders and the entire citizenry to desist from making inciting statements capable of disrupting the peaceful conduct of the forthcoming elections and also to ensure that peace reigns supreme in their respective domains, before, during and after the elections.

He also urged the Muslim leaders to lead their followers on the path of peace by preaching peace to them in their sermons always.

The seminar which had the theme,”Towards A Violent Free 2015 General Election in Nigeria; the Role of Religious Leaders and Parents”, attracted the presence of prominent Islamic preachers and scholars from Kaduna, Jigawa, Kebbi, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kano states.

One by one, they made their presentations where they emphasised the need for all to embrace peace and shun acts capable of disrupting the forthcoming poll.

Vice President Sambo on his part urged youths not to take laws into their hands during the elections no matter the height of provocation.

Healso assured of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration bringing a positive development in the country> He also said the administration is working very hard to end Boko Haram insurgency in the north eastern region of Nigeria.

The 2011 post election violence affected many States in the North where many lives and property were lost.

Sanusi Officially Crowned Emir Of Kano

Lamido-Sanusi2Kano residents, friends and relatives and traditional rulers across Nigeria and beyond converged on Kano Government House on Saturday for the official coronation of the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.

Emir Sanusi was selected the 14th Emir of Kano following the death of his predecessor Alhaji Ado Bayero in June 2014.

At the coronation ceremony, the Emir promised to serve the emirate with the fear of God and in accordance with Islamic Teachings.

The occasion was to officially turban Muhammadu Sanusi II and hand over a staff of office to him.

The Emir was sworn in by the Chief Imam of the Kano Central, Professor Sani Zaharadden, witnessed by the former Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Muhammadu Buhari, Governors of Niger, Zamfara, Yobe, among others.

The occasion was also attended by the Sultan of Sokoto, Oba of Lagos and the Emir of Damagaram in Niger Republic among other Traditional Rulers.

Receiving the staff of office from the governor, the Emir promised to rule in accordance with the tradition.

“I thank everyone for attending this occasion, especially the governor for selecting me. I assure you that i will lead you in accordance with Islamic teachings and with the fear of God irrespective of your tribe or religion.”

The Kano State Governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, who described the Emir as a man of humility and justice also says that his selection followed a series of consultation with kingmakers and other concerned authorities who authenticated that the Emir was a kind and generous man.

After the Emir was kitted, he was shown to the people of Kano Kingdom.

It is a major activity that follows the coronation and it gives the District Head and other Traditional Rulers the opportunity to pay homage to the Emir.