Matawalle rescues 26 Katsina girls from Zamfara bandits

Twenty -six kidnapped victims from Katsina State , who were rescued by security operatives , were on Sunday night handed over to Governor Aminu Masari .

They were reportedly kidnapped from the Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State five days ago .

The victims , who are mostly females, were rescued from the forest without payment of any ransom and following negotiations facilitated by the Zamfara State Government with repentant bandits.

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State directed their return to Katsina through his Commissioner for Security and Home Affairs , Muhammad Dauran .

The victims were said to have undergone medical examination and provided with new clothes before they were brought to Katsina .

Dauran informed Governor Aminu Masari at the Government House in Katsina that the victims were kidnapped between Katsina and Zamfara border town.

Dauran said , “We are going to intensify negotiation with the bandits for dialogue because we have seen a lot of benefits and achievement in our state regarding security; so , dialogue with bandits is still relevant.”

Masari , in his response , pledged the commitment of Katsina and Zamfara states to restoring peace in the two states .

NYSC begins compulsory health insurance, mobilises 66,000 for orientation

The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , has directed the National Youth Service Corps to ensure the enrolment of corps members in the National Health Insurance Scheme , the Director -General of the NYSC , Brigadier -General Shuaibu Ibrahim , said on Monday .

Ibrahim also disclosed that the NYSC had mobilised 66 , 000 graduates from across the country for the 2020 NYSC Batch “B” exercise scheduled to begin on Tuesday ( today ) .

Ibrahim stated these during a media chat in Abuja .

The NYSC DG described the scheme as “the most critical platform for mentoring Nigerian youths as drivers of national unity and development.”

He added , “The scheme has concluded arrangement with the NHIS for the enrolment of corps members into the NHIS in line with a presidential directive . We have also expended huge resources on critical health needs of corps members , including footing of medical bills .

“As of last Thursday, a total of 66 ,000 eligible graduates had been mobilised for the 2020 Batch B service year , resuming on Tuesday , November 10 . They will participate in the orientation exercise , which has been planned in three streams for ease of compliance with the COVID -19 protocols .”

Ibrahim also warned fake graduates seeking to infiltrate the orientation camps to stay away in their own interest .

“This year , we secured the conviction of a fake corps member in Taraba . We are currently prosecuting many others . If you know you’re not a qualified graduate do not show up. If you do, we ’ ll arrest you and hand you over to relevant agencies for prosecution ,” he said .

At the event , the Director – General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control , Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu , said corps members would be tested free for COVID – 19 .

Ihekweazu said , “The COVID – 19 tests would be administered free of charge on every corps members . Above all , there would be holding areas set up for isolating and treating those who test positive in the camps .”

War against Boko Haram taking too long, Bauchi gov laments

Bauchi State Governor , Bala Mohammed , on Monday said that the war against the Boko Haram insurgency terrorists was taking too long saying that it is shameful that it had not ended .

He stated this on while receiving the House of Representatives Committee on Army during a courtesy visit at the Government House .

Mohammed said , “The House of Representatives is led by one of the most competent legislators , that is Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.

“That ’s why most of the members of committee are from the North – East , I know why he did that .

“Please , make us safe . If is not dealt with , it is a shame because it is taking too long .”

Mohammed said sophistication of criminals like bandits and cattle rustlers has forced the army to do the duty of the police .

“The Army is always yearning for equipment and manpower and they are overstretched , the ratio of citizens to Nigeria Army is very large.

“This cattle rustling , kidnapping which is the responsibility of police has become that of the army , because the criminals are armed with sophisticated weapons like AK- 47 . The hands of Nigerian Army are full ; we need to provide them with maximum facilities for improved service . ”

Earlier, the Chairman of the House Committee on Nigerian Army, AbdulRasak Namdaz , lamented that the hands of the Army was full with going one or more operations in over 24 states of the federation.

Mu’azu takes over as acting INEC Chairman

Prof. Mahmood Yakubu on Monday handed over the chairmanship of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to Air Vice Marshal Ahmed Mu’azu (rtd), a national commissioner of the electoral body from the Northeast.

Mu’azu will serve in acting capacity pending the confirmation or otherwise of Yakubu’s re-appointment by the Senate. The ceremony took place at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mu’azu was in-charge of the Electoral Logistics Committee of the commission in the 2019 general election.

President Muhammadu Buhari had, in October, reappointed Yakubu as INEC chairman for a second and final term. He first appointed him in October 2015 but he assumed office on November 9, 2015 to oversee the activities of the electoral umpire. Yakubu’s reappointment is subject to approval by the senate.

Five national commissioners also bowed out of the commission yesterday. They are Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, Prof. Antonia Taiye Okoosi-Simbine, Alhaji Baba Shettima Arfo, Dr. Mohammed Mustafa Lecky and Prince Adedeji Solomon Soyebi.

In his remarks, Yakubu explained that stepping aside was to demonstrate strict respect for and compliance with the constitution and other subsidiary laws.

According to him, it would be inappropriate for him to remain in office after expiration of his tenure without confirmation by the senate and swearing to another oath of office as provided by law.

“Pending the conclusion of the statutory process, the remaining National Commissioners have resolved that Mu’azu will oversee the affairs of the commission. It is, therefore, my pleasure to hand over to him in the interim. We have worked as a team for the last four years. Therefore, there is nothing new to any of them,” he said.

Mu’azu said he accepted the responsibility reposed on him, noting that all the national commissioners at one point or another have acted in the absence of the chairman (Yakubu). “I want to assure you that I will handle the affairs of the commission with due diligence,” Mu’azu said.

As his first task, Mu’azu sworn-in Dr. Chukwuemeka Chukwu as a resident electoral commissioner.

At the brief ceremony in Abuja yesterday, the acting chairman of INEC said Chukwu would be deployed to Ebonyi as state REC.