I didn’t sack Bauchi head of service – Bala

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi state has debunked a news report insinuating that he sacked the state head of civil service Ahmed Abubakar Ma’aji.

The governor in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on media Mukhtar Gidado Sunday clarified that Ma’aji was not sacked but he attained his retirement age having served Bauchi state for 35 years.

According to him, the government has appointed new acting head of service in the person of Dr Bala Lukshi who is the most senior permanent secretary in the state.

“Our attention has been drawn to what we consider a mischievous story by an online Newspaper to the effect that Governor Bala Mohammed has “sacked” Alh Ahmed Abubakar Ma’aji, as Bauchi State Head of Civil Service.

“For the avoidance of doubt and in order to put the records straight , it is imperative to clarify  that at no time  did His Excellency , Governor Bala Mohammed sack the immediate past Head of Civil Service. Alh Ahmed Abubakar Ma’aji, has reached the normal retirement age  on Friday 25th September, 2020  having meritoriously served the State  for 35 years.

“The news report is therefore a misrepresentation of the press release earlier issued conveying the appointment of the Acting Head of Civil Service Dr Bala M Lukshi.

“Finally , we call on media practitioners to always cross check their facts before going to press for proper and effective information dissemination”. The statement reads.

WAEC to release 2020 SSSCE results late October

The West African Examinations Council has said that it has a 45-day timeline from its last paper to release the results of the 2020 Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination . This indicates that the results should be released by late October .

The council told one of our correspondents on Saturday that it would keep to 45 days after the last paper was written to release the results and work to meet the deadline .

This is just as the Lagos State Ministry of Education through the State Examinations Board stated that from 2021, entrance examinations into the Lagos State Model Colleges and Upgraded Junior Secondary Schools would be done through the Computer -Based Testing .

The West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination was taken between August 17, 2020 and Saturday, September 12, which means that the council would release the results latest by October 27– 45 days after.

The Head of Public Affairs , WAEC Nigeria , Demianus Ojijeogu, in a text message to one of our correspondents on Saturday, said , “ Before the outbreak of COVID -19, we usually released it 45 days after the last paper on the timetable must have been taken. We are working on meeting that timeline . ”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Commissioner for Education , Mrs Folashade Adefisayo , said on Saturday at the launch of the CBT at the State Examination Board headquarters that the entrance exercises would be conducted through CBT from 2021.

Only 210 pupils seeking admission into Lagos State Model Colleges and Upgraded Junior Secondary Schools in the state opted for CBT in 2020.

Adefisayo, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education , Mrs Abosede Adelaja , said , “ The examination will be strictly CBT by next year since the world is a global village . Moreover , you need to add and embrace modern technologies.

Some APC chieftains supported Obaseki because of 2023 –Tinubu’s aide

Mr Tunde Rahman, the spokesperson for the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu , has alleged that some chieftains of the party supported Governor Godwin Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party in last Saturday’ s Edo State governorship election because of the politics of 2023.

Rahman said this in an article titled, ‘ Asiwaju Tinubu and Edo Election, ’ published on an online medium , TheCable.

Tinubu is rumoured to be eyeing the Presidency in 2023 but he has neither denied nor confirmed this .

However, many politicians within the APC who are also eyeing the Presidency are said to be doing everything possible to ensure that Tinubu’ s ambition is truncated.

Contributing to the debate , Rahman stated, “ Indeed, it must be pointed out clearly that beneath all the shenanigans that trailed Edo poll, underneath all of that rabble -rousing , rumour-mongering, campaign of calumny , character assassination, deceit and double- dealing is the matter of 2023.

“ Rather than first helping their party solidify its stronghold and strengthen it for future elections and re -commit themselves to the party’ s ideals and principles , the APC chieftains were tearing at the party’ s fabric , destroying its foundation and preparing it for eventual disintegration in the name of playing politics of 2023.

“ But like Asiwaju rightly observed , he is but a mere mortal who does not foresee tomorrow. What tomorrow holds, indeed what 2023 holds , is within the province of God Almighty. ”

Rahman also explained why his boss recorded a video in which he called on the people of Edo State to not support Obaseki.

Tinubu had a few days to the election put out a video calling on the people of the state to reject him at the poll, accusing the governor of not being a democrat .

Pundits had stated that the video was counterproductive as it helped foster the narrative that Tinubu wanted to run the affairs of the state by proxy as a godfather and further helped the ‘ Edo No Be Lagos ’ campaign culminating in the defeat of the APC candidate , Osagie Ize -Iyamu.

However , Rahman said Tinubu did not intend to order the people of the state but was only trying to appeal to their sense of democracy.

Rahman wrote, “ The opposition PDP and their agents made heavy weather of Asiwaju ’ s video on social media. Now , Asiwaju did not seek to dictate to the people of Edo . He was not out to oust their rights to choose by themselves.

MJTF troops rescue 8 children from terrorists’ enclave

Troops of Sector 2 of the Multinational Joint Task force (MJTF) in Republic of Chad have rescued 12 people, including eight children, held captive by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists, after they laid ambush against the insurgents near Barkalam, an area along Lake Chad near the Nigerian border.

During the operation three canoes belonging to the terrorists were capsized, which led to the death and arrest of some ISWAP fighters and injuries of others, according to Col. Mohammed Dole, spokesperson of MJTF, in a statement.

“In line with its policy of safe transfer of surrendered insurgents and rescued hostages, the Headquarters, MNJTF used helicopter to facilitate their movement from Baga Sola to N’Djamena Chad,” Dole said.

He said the Chadian Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Lt. Gen. Abakar Abdelkarim Daoud received the rescued persons at Air Force Base, and reiterated the  “absolute commitment and determination of the National and MNJTF forces to combat the menace of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin.”

Dole said the military had  transported the rescued hostages to a military medical facility for medical attention, thereafter they would be reunited with their families.

ISWAP fighters ambush Borno gov’s convoy, kill 15 security personnel

Jihadist fighters linked to the Islamic State group on Friday killed 15 security personnel in an ambush on the convoy of the Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, three security said.

Sources told AFP that eight policemen, three soldiers and four members of a government-backed militia were killed in the attack on vehicles carrying Zulum near the town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad.

The insurgents opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades as the convoy was passing through a village close to the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), a military coalition of troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

“The governor escaped unhurt but 15 security men on the convoy were killed in fierce battle with the terrorists”, one source said.

Zulum was on an assessment tour of Baga in preparation for the return of thousands of residents displaced from the town by the jihadists in 2014, the sources said.

The governor flew on a helicopter into the garrison town of Monguno, 60 kilometres (40 miles) away, and headed to Baga in a convoy under tight security, one of the sources said.

All three sources were talking on condition of anonymity.

The IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group maintains most of its camps on islands in Lake Chad and the region is known as a bastion for the jihadists.

The militant group has recently intensified attacks on military and civilian targets in the region.

In July Zulum’s convoy came under gun attack from ISWAP outside Baga, forcing him to cancel his trip to the town.

Last week the group killed a Nigerian army commander along with three soldiers in an ambush near the town of Damboa.

Civilians plying highway linking Monguno and the regional capital Maiduguri said the jihadists set up daily checkpoints, robbing, killing and abducting passengers.

The decade-long insurgency in northeast Nigeria has killed 36,000 people and forced over 2 million from their homes.

Most of the displaced have been housed into squalid camps where they depend on food handouts from international charities.

Local authorities have been encouraging the displaced to go back to the homes despite concern from aid agencies of the security risks to which the returnees would be exposed.

Last week Zulum said feeding the displaced was not financially sustainable, insisting the only option was for them to return and rebuild their homes and live a “dignified” life.

ISWAP splintered from the main Boko Haram group in 2016 and has gone on to be the dominant insurgent force in the region.

Strike will worsen the economic situation, govs tell NLC

THE thirty- six state governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF have called on the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC to exercise caution in its planned nation wide strike and mass protest, warning that such an action if carried out, would worsen the deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by COVID-19 pandemic.

Rising from the 18th Teleconference Emergency Meeting, the governors have set up a seven member committee to brainstorm with the National Economic Council, NEC, the Nigeria Labour, NLC, major Stakeholders and other Nigerians to address the issue.

The Committee which is chaired by the Jigawa State governor, Badaru Abubakar, has governors Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa; Dapo Abiodun of Ogun; Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara; Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe; Okezie Victor Ikpeazu of Abia and Douye Diri of Bayelsa as members.

In a Communique signed at the end of the emergency meeting by the NGF Vice Chairman and Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the forum resolved that the NGF Secretariat will provide relevant  support to the committee on the details  of the mechanism for deregulation put in place by the federal government.

The governors said that “On the call for a national strike action by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Forum believes that the labour unions should exercise  caution on the call  for a strike  action, noting  that  any strike action  will worsen the currently deteriorating economic situation of the country brought by the COVID-19 pandemic;

“While expressing concern over the call for a national strike action by the  Nigeria Labour  Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Forum members suggested  the  provision  of a cushioning arrangement to ameliorate the effect of subsidy removal.”

The Governors have also agreed to hold an Emergency NEC meeting as soon as the committee comes up with a common position on the deregulation of both the petroleum and power sectors and the ûgures laid bare for all to peruse and then take a common position.

At the meeting, the Governors also expressed serious concern over deductions from the Federation Allocation of the 774 local governments of the country to construct and equip healthcare centres in each local government area on behalf of the  Association of  Local  Government Areas of Nigeria (ALGON).

Consequently, the Forum constituted a committee made up of Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi as Chairman, with Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi; Simon Lalong of Plateau; Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano and Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe as members to represent State and local governments on the matter.

Police probe alleged dehumanisation of hotel staff by ex-minister

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has called on members of the public, particularly the alleged victims and all interest groups in the ongoing police investigations into the case of dehumanizing treatment meted out to Signatious Hotel workers in Warri, Delta State, to remain calm as the police intensify efforts towards unravelling the circumstances surrounding the incident.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, the IGP has ordered the immediate commencement of investigations into the matter.

“The IGP, while noting that the Delta State Police Command has since commenced discrete investigations into the matter with appreciable progress made, assures that justice will prevail no matter whose ox is gored,” the statement read.

Four members of the staff of the hotel had been allegedly stripped off their clothes by the proprietor of the hotel, a former minister, over missing N5,000.

Protests from various quarters had trailed the development.

Meanwhile, two workers of the hotel have been arrested in connection with the matter.

The workers, who were arrested yesterday, were reportedly involved in the dehumanizing treatment unleashed on the four workers.

When contacted for comments, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, confirmed the arrests.

Inuwa said: “It is true arrests were made based on the report we received. The law of this country is not a respecter of anybody, so our investigations are going to be total.”

Man United still desperate to sign Jadon Sancho

Manchester United’s decision to make a take it or leave it offer for Jadon Sancho shows just how desperate they are to add the talented attacker. Jadon Sancho has been a top Manchester United’s shopping list for the duration of the summer transfer window.

The Premier League club’s last-ditch attempt to sign the English starlet shows real desperation on behalf of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his managerial team.

According to The Daily Star, United are offering Borussia Dortmund £90 million to clinch a deal for the former Manchester City starlet. Dortmund officials have been adamant that Sancho would not be sold for less than £120 million this summer. 

The German club even imposed a deadline to sell their prized asset that passed several weeks ago.

Shehu Sani Empowers Kaduna Based Journalist with Fingerlings

In his avowed commitment to encourage media practitioners to shun any form of inducement and maintain ethics of the profession, the lawmaker who represented Kaduna Central senatorial district in the 8th National Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani has donated Fingerlings to a Kaduna based journalist.

According to the former lawmaker, the decision to donate the Fingerlings was informed also by the need to help journalists overcome the devastating effect of COVID-19 that ravaged the world.

Speaking shortly after presenting the Fingerlings to the beneficiary, who is the Secretary of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Kaduna State Council, Comrade John Femi Adi on Friday, Senator Shehu Sani urged the federal and state governments to create financial pool via the Central Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Agriculture and Bank of Industry for workers and businessmen to borrow money to investment in any form of productive activities.

“Apparently, the Coronavirus pandemic has grossly affected the revenue base of government and income of individuals. So, I urge all workers, professionals and businessmen in the country to resort to any for production that can help generate revenue and income outside the contemporary salary based jobs.

“The ethics of journalism kick against any form of gratification, hence the need for privileged Nigerians to support journalists to diversify in order to have alternative source of income.” Sani said.

In his response, Comrade Femi Adi who was elated with joy said he never knew that Senator Sani picked interest in his recent Facebook post that he was diversifying into Agriculture.

“And after some weeks when I received a call from the distinguished Senator he asked me which aspect of agriculture was I venturing into, and I told him fisheries. There and then he promised to support me with some fingerlings.

“Today, I want to thank the former lawmaker and Human Rights Activist immensely for the laudable gesture and fulfilment of promise by donating to me 5000 fingerlings to boost my fisheries”. Comrade Adi said.

According to the fish farmer, though Senator Shehu Sani is no longer in government, he has again proved to Nigerians that his concern for the growth and development of the masses remain intact.

Fielding questions from his colleagues Journalists shortly after the donation on why he embraced fish farming, Comrade Adi said, “Journalism profession frowns at gratification and since COVID-19 has crippled business growth, including the media I decided to start fish farming business as an venue and means for alternative income for the family “.

He however urged his colleagues to emulate him and go into other areas of agriculture like poultry, bees keeping, snails farming, among others in order to stay afloat in the face of economic hardship.

How I intend to choose new emir of Zazzau – El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Thursday, gave an insight into steps he is taking to appoint a new Emir of Zazzau to replace Shehu Idris, who died on Sunday.

Mr Idris is expected to be replaced by a prince from any of the four ruling houses of Katsinawa, Barebari, Mallawa and Sullubawa.

Mr El-Rufai, who has the duty of deciding who occupies the throne said “he is consulting a book on the emirate to help him in making a decision”.

Keen race

Four princes are said to be on the forefront in the race.

They are Yariman Zazzau, Muni Ja’afaru; Iyan Zazzau, Bashir Aminu; Magajin Garin Zazzau, Ahmed Bamalli and Turakin Zazzau, Aminu Idris.

In a Facebook post Thursday evening, Mr Elrufai posted a picture of a seminal work on the old Hausa kingdom of Zazzau which he said he is consulting while awaiting the submission of the Zazzau kingmakers.

The book is ‘Government in Zazzau, a sociological exploration of the old emirate’ and was written by a former colonial officer.

“KADUNA UPDATE: While awaiting the recommendations of the Zazzau Emirate kingmakers, I am re-reading Prof MG Smith’s authoritative epic on the selection of Zazzau Emirs from 1800 to 1950 to guide me in taking a decision. “Government in Zazzau” was published in 1960.

“The kingmakers recommend but ultimate responsibility to choose rests on my humble. I must be knowledgeable about the process as the aspirants and kingmakers,” the governor wrote on his verified Facebook page.