Bauchi Gov Commences Supervision, Revokes Zaki Palace

Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir has revoked a N75 millin, contract awarded for the renovation of Zaki District Head’s Palace which was burnt down to ashes during the previous administrations.

Governor Mohammed who commences a 3 day inspection tour across the 3 senatorial zones of the State expressed disappointment with the inability of the contractor to finish the contract despite 100 percent payment.

“We started this monitoring in Bauchi LGA, in almost all the places we have visited so far, I’m satisfied with the works of the contractors, but I’m not happy when I visited this palace.

“The contractor has failed us, although we have paid him 100 percent, he came back and complained, we added additional money to him, but unfortunately he couldn’t finish his assignment.

” For this reason, I want to tell you that we have revoked this contract and we shall get a more serious contractor to finish this project in no distant future”, Governor Mohammed who was foaming, said.

The governor said the essence of the 3 days monitoring exercise was to put an eye and ensure that contractors did not short-changed the State government.

“I’m not here to joke, I’m elected to work for the people of Bauchi State, therefore we will not tolerate instances where contractors will collect money and abandon the projects halfway”, the governor reiterated.

Some of the projects inspected by the governor Include; 250 housing units in Misau LGA, Jalam, Dambam and Misau roads, Udubo to Gamawa road, Zaki Palace among others.

​Kidnapping: Nigerians Have Lost Faith In Government — Northern Elders

The Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) has said that with the continued kidnapping and banditry especially in the northern part of the country, the citizens have lost faith in the ability of government to defend them.

The Northern Elders also said the unabated abduction of students in the region poses threat to education in the region, especially the education of the girl-child.

In a statement by its Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, NEF decried the rate of kidnapping and banditry in the region.

NEF said it is obvious that government lacks capability to limit the exposure of defenseless Nigeria to armed bandits and kidnappers.

“It has become painfully obvious that the Federal Government is unable to muster the will or the capacity to limit exposure of Nigerians to violent criminals.

“Governors have been left to quarrel over causes and strategies. Many are taking steps that have dubious legal foundations, most of which merely compound the State of Security of the citizen in the country.

“In spite of assurances from the Federal Government that it will end banditry and kidnappings, the life of the Nigerian is becoming more endangered by the day, and citizens have lost faith that Governments will reverse the successes of the criminal against defenceless citizens.

“The latest reported kidnapping of more than hundreds of female students in Zamfara State follows the abduction of student of GSC, Kagara, Niger State.
“Apart from the likelihood of similar abductions re-occurring as bandits engage in copy cat crimes in a region that is basically unprotected, these abductions will severely damage the poor state of education in the North, particularly girl-child education”, NEF noted.

The Forum, however, adviced Northern Governors to explore all lawful avenues to improve the Security of citizens.
“While they should improve their support to the Military, the Police and Security Agencies, they should also explore avenues which give them more powers to secure citizens.

“Governors should explore issues which aid the spread of banditry at local and community levels and resolve them. They should also intensify multi-pronged approaches to ending banditry and kidnappings, including measures which prevent the continuation of these criminal activities by those who show a genuine willingness to stop.

“Bandits who refuse to submit to mediation and cessation of criminal activities should be treated in accordance with the laws of the country.

Citizens should organize and raise their levels of vigilance. They should resist the temptation to take laws into their hands, and improve the manner they work with Security Agencies. Parents should not be discouraged from sending children to schools, and all governments must take firmer measures to secure learning institutions,” the statement added.

Boko Haram attacks travellers, abducts bride, escorts

Boko Haram insurgents have again struck Maiduguri-Damaturu highway and kidnapped a bride and her entourage less than two days after they kidnapped travellers near Auno, a suburb of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.

Sources say the dastardly act took place in the late hours of Friday afternoon.
The bride who is a graduate of the University of Maiduguri is a resident of the Gamboru kasuwan shanu area.

According to the only survivor of the attack, an elderly woman who was attached to the younger bridesmaids to escort them to the bride’s home in Damaturu, said they were travelling with six cars together with the bride, she passed out immediately upon seeing the terrorist who appeared in the front.

They left her unconscious there and took away all the entourage. They are to take the bride to her husband’s house who happens to be a member of the Prominent Hassan Yusuf Damaturu Family.

She was picked up by a patrol team who took her to the hospital for medical assistance. The bride’s family are unaware of the ugly scenario until after the woman who survived the attack regain consciousness and call home to inform them of the incidence.

It’s noteworthy that the Damaturu to Maiduguri highway has continued to claim the lives of innocent people, this is the second attack within two days. On Thursday there was a reported attack on travellers and an unknown number of people have been taken away by the insurgents and two cars were burnt, a driver who survived Thursday’s attack said they chased him with their Hilux vehicles but didn’t catch up with him and couldn’t shoot their guns on him as they do not want to draw the attention of the nearby military checkpoint close to the area of the attack.

Hundreds of motorist have been stalled in Jakkana as the military head out for rescue operations and clearance of the road.

” While the efforts of security operatives are highly commended for daily patrolling on the road, there is however a need for improving the current strategies as it has not eliminated the incessant attacks and kidnappings on the road.

” All hands must be on deck to salvage the situation and ensure the safety of travellers, on the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway. It is the only lifeline that connects Maiduguri to other states and all-important supplies and other essentials of Maiduguri are coming through the same route. May the bride and other victims of the road attacks regain their freedom,” a traveller said.

​UNICEF worries over another attack on Jangebe Girls Secondary School

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, on Friday expressed worry over reports of an overnight attack at the Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State, north-west Nigeria, where an unconfirmed number of schoolgirls were kidnapped.

In a Press Statement, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins, said: “UNICEF is angered and saddened by yet another brutal attack on schoolchildren in Nigeria.

“This is a gross violation of children’s rights and a horrific experience for children to go through – one which could have long-lasting effects on their mental health and well-being. We utterly condemn the attack and call on those responsible to release the girls immediately and for the government to take steps to ensure their safe release and the safety of all other schoolchildren in Nigeria.

“Children should feel safe at home and at school at all times – and parents should not need to worry for the safety of their children when they send them off to school in the morning,”

Peter Hawkins added that “UNICEF acknowledges efforts being made by the Government of Nigeria to secure the release of kidnapped schoolchildren in Nigeria and calls on the government and all concerned to make schools safe in Nigeria.”

The school attack comes just over a week after a similar attack in Niger State on a school for boys. UNICEF is working with partners to confirm the exact number of kidnapped students, currently estimated to be more than 300.

EFCC Chair: AYCF hails Buhari, tasks Bawa on performance

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum(AYCF) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a young man in the person of Bawa to head the EFCC.

In a media statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, the group said the appointment of Bawa was an indication that time was ripe for “a shift from the old brigade to young turks, who have the productive energy to turn around the fortunes of this nation, at critical point in our development history”.

The AYCF, said as a youth group it is not only happy with the integration of young people in key governance roles but has confidence in “young, brilliant and experienced men and women in today’s Nigeria, just like Bawa”.

The group, however, called on the new EFCC boss “to justify the confidence reposed in him, not only by The Presidency, but also the Nigerian youth, who see him as one proof that young people can apply special skills to boost nation building”.

The group urged the EFCC boss to deal with the challenges of financial crimes across the nation, charge suspects to court, using strong evidence and avoid trial by the media – as was case before he came in.

The AYCF noted that President Buhari’s choice of an EFCC Chairman like Bawa was also an indication that Nigeria’s future would hopefully be bright, with the elderly playing mentoring and advisory roles while youths spin the wheel of governance”.

The AYCF then declared: “We are fully prepared to protect him because he is one of our own and we urge all Nigerian youth to rally around the EFCC boss with all their legitimate might.

“Our call for the EFCC boss is to go after all criminals and ensure they get punished for their sins against the Nigerian nation, regardless of how highly-placed they are and from whichever part of the country. He should pursue justice within the ambit of the law. This is our simple prayer”.

Covid-19 Response: Women Coalition Gets Traditional Rulers Support in Kaduna


The Coalition of women for Covid 19 Response in Kaduna State, on Thursday got the nod of traditional rulers in Kaduna State as they plan to respond to the second wave of Covid-19.

The group on Monday met with the Bunu Zazzau, Hakimi Doka, Alhaji Muhammad Tijhani, who assured them of the traditional institution’s support to achieve their objective.

According to the traditional ruler, “you can count on us for your support, we will continue to partner you and the government in ensuring we get that the right development in our state.

“Am glad we have a government who understand what development is and they are doing their best. Am delighted to have you here and I know whenever there is any development issues I will be your first point of call because we have worked together in many platforms. Any time you come knocking, our doors are always open for you.”

The coalition is a United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in partnership with the UK Government Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office project on Strengthening state capacities and women’s participation in COVID response and broader peace building initiatives in Nigeria.

The programme is being funded by the UK Government, and is being implemented in Bauchi, Plateau and Kaduna State.

It is aimed at advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda and addressing key gender issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, by supporting state governments to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) and enhance women’s participation in leadership and decision-making.

Convener of the group and a Consultant with the UN Women, Dr Lydia Umar, who led members to the group to meet the traditional rulers, said their overall objective is to support Government efforts in preventing the spread of covid 19 and its impact.

“To bring women from government, business and civil society under a collaborative platform for greater synergy in responding to covid 19. The Covid 19 has had several effects on all aspects of human life, disrupting normal functioning of all people especially the lockdown.

“The Coalition of 30 women members in kaduna was formed on 3rd February, 2021 supported by the UN Women to specifically respond to the new wave of Covid 19, help curtail its spread and mitigate its impact.

“Kaduna State Government has done so much that is exemplary and deserves commendation: the impressive representation of women on its State Executive Council (7 out of 14) 50%.

“And Covid-19 Task Force not less than 6, headed by HE the Deputy Governor, timely and proactive lockdown, public enlightenment on Covid-19 protocol, distribution of Palliatives and the building of a befitting isolation center.

“However more needs to be done to strengthen collaboration with women leaders in civil society and the private sector to ensure the needs and concerns of women and girls are adequately reflected in all Covid-19 prevention, response and recovery initiatives.

“Collaboration between Government and these women will ensure that economic recovery plans target the most vulnerable groups of women and girls.” Dr. Lydia, explained

Insecurity: Northern Governors’ to Partner Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Others

By Habila Victor, Kaduna

The Northern States Governors Forum has disclosed its plans to  partner with the traditional institutions, religious leaders and all relevant stakeholders in the entrenchment of communal harmony, peace and security of the region and the country at large.

Chairman of the forum, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State disclosed this on Thursday at the just concluded meeting between the Governors, Emirs, Chiefs and other stakeholders held at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.

Lalong said the decision became necessary considering the security challenges rocking the North, hence the need to put in effort to address the challenges bedeviling the Region.

The Forum resolved to put more efforts in enhancing the security and safety of all schools within their domains and therefore, urged the Nigerian Security Agencies to collaborate with the various States Governments towards achieving this noble objective.

The Governor’s reiterated their commitment towards inclusion of the rural dwellers especially farmers and herders through the provision of equitable opportunities for socio-economic and political participation both in public and private sectors.

They however, resolved to work assiduously and jointly with the Federal Government in tackling the challenges of insecurity in the Country to create conducive atmosphere for socio-political economic growth and development of the Country.

While appealing to their southern counterparts to extend their presence in the northern part of the country in order to enable harmonious and peaceful coexistence among citizens and other ethnic nationalities, the Governors reiterated commitments to work in synergy with the Southern Governors.

The meeting was also attended by the Deputy Speaker and other Members of the National Assembly, the Chief of Staff to the President, Minister of Information and Culture, the Inspector General of Police, Director General States Security Service, Chairmen of the Northern States Traditional Rulers Council led by His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto amongst others.

​PIB will change economic fortune of Nigeria – Lawan

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, has assured Nigerians that the Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) which is before the National Assembly will change the fortune of the country by the time it becomes law.

“The PIB is going to be a piece of legislation that in our estimation will change the economic fortune of Nigeria and of course improve the earnings by our businesses who are here and we want to attract many more investments into the oil and gas industry in Nigeria,” Lawan said.

The Senate President spoke in his office while playing host to the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing CB.

Lawan said the ninth Assembly would ensure the passage of the PIB as promised even though, he pointed out, that the bill had “suffered from a demonic influence” by refusing passage since 2008 when it was first introduced to the sixth Assembly.

“We are so confident that we will be able to pass this bill by April. We want it signed into law by May and we want every stakeholder to be a winner,” Lawan said.

The Senate President was also upbeat about the passage of the Electoral amendment bill now being processed by the Assembly.

“I want to assure Nigerians that we have a target and we think it’s a realistic target. It’s doable and we have the determination and capacity to affect the ammendment(to Electoral Act) before we go on summer break in June/July and our committee has done so much work,” Lawan said.

On the security situation in the country, Lawan said the Government is doing everything possible to change the tide.

The Senate President referred to his recent meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in which “our discussion centred on ensuring that the two arms of government work closely to ensure that we win this war as quickly as possible.

“I’m of the view that because the raining season will be here in the next two, three months, we need to secure the whole environment because for the peasant Nigerian, what is crucial to him is to be alive and go to his farm.

“If the environment is not secured, farmers will not be able to go to farms and that will be a big challenge to us because it is not going to be easy for us to provide food for all the Nigerian peasant farmers.

“So we are working together with the Executive arm of government and we are going to achieve a remarkable result.”

The Senate President also spoke on Farmers/Herders clashes and cautioned on religious or ethnic profiling.

“I believe in every society or community, we have criminals…In every ethnic group, you have good people, you have bad people. Therefore, as leaders, we shouldn’t allow ourselves to fall into the temptation of ethnic profiling because it doesn’t help the fight against criminality and we need every hand on deck, North, South, Christians Muslims, to fight criminality wherever it is in Nigeria,” Lawan said.

Earlier, the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing commended President Buhari over the appointment of the new Service Chiefs and urged the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the PIB and Electoral Amendment Bill.

​Kagara kidnapping: Niger Governor accuses FG of abandonment

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello has accused the Federal Government of abandoning it to its faith in its bid to rescue the abducted 27 students and others of the government science college Kagara.

The Governor who made this lamentation when Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu paid him a sympathy visit at Government House Minna yesterday said though the Federal government sent a delegation to the state on the matter but that it has been left to shoulder the financial responsibility alone.

“The Federal Government has sent a delegation to the state and has deplored additional 300 mobile policemen to the state but the government has been left to shoulder all the financial responsibility so where is the support.

“At the moment, we have not seen any Federal support here since this incident occurred. Yes we had a delegation that came to commiserate with us but we are left to ourselves,” he remarked.

The Governor however gave an assurance that with or without the support of the Federal Government, the state government has already taken steps to rescue the abducted students, the Staff and other relatives in captivity unhurt.

“We will use whatever means and resources available to make sure the children return home safely,” he assured. Governor Bello, however, said that government cannot say when exactly the Children and others will be released saying, “we don’t have an exact day when these children will be released but I am very sure very soon”.

Earlier, the Chief Whip said he was in Minna to commiserate with the government and People of Niger state over the recent security challenges and the abduction of innocent school children by armed bandits.

Senator Kalu used the opportunity to call on the Federal government to as a matter of necessity establish a joint security committee in the state and other troubled parts of the country in order to battle the bandits to a standstill.

“We sympathize with you and we share in your grieve at the moment because we know what you are passing through and this is why I am calling on the Federal Government to set up a Joint Security Committee in the state in order to wage a total war against the bandits and defeat them, finally, “he remarked.

​Biafra: Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB must listen to us – Ohanaeze Ndigbo

The President General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, yesterday, reiterated that Ndigbo are not at war with Nigeria, stressing that Ndigbo would continue their efforts to seek justice, peace and fairness in all their dealings with everybody in Nigeria.

Obiozor who spoke at a grand reception in his honour by Ndigbo Lagos, at the Civic Center, Victoria Island, cautioned those making utterances that have tendencies to put Ndigbo in danger to refrain from it.

He said: “Everybody should stop utterances or actions that will or have the tendencies to put Ndigbo in present and immediate danger or on harm’s way. That is what my message is in this matter.

“Igbo are not at war with Nigeria. I want it to be noted very clearly. And we are not planning to have a separate existence from Nigeria. People should make no mistake about it.

“On the issue of Biafra, it is well beyond the capacity of young men to resolve. Biafra is a collective dilemma of Ndigbo and it is not a child’s play.

“Biafra is not a child’s play. It requires mature and experienced handling. Children should stop playing with fire and children shouldn’t play with fire. Nnamdi Kanu is one of us. He is our son and he must listen to some of us because he’s one of us.”

The former ambassador of Nigeria to the United States of America, described the security situation in Igboland as a matter of concern and national emergency.

“The greatest affliction of man is insecurity. With insecurity, nothing happens. It is the greatest challenge facing Ndigbo in particular and Nigeria at large. However, we thank God that the South East governors themselves shared this feeling and have started taking steps particularly, about anti-open grazing ban; a great step which we believe is the right step to take towards handling security challenges in Igbo land.”

On restructuring, Obiozor charged the Igbo to pursue it with pride and dignity, saying that Nigeria must be restructured in order to reduce hostile tension among ethnic nationalities and move the country forward.

According to him, restructuring would address the issue of hostile contacts among Nigerians and reduce tensions.

On his part, Ndigbo Lagos President, Major General Obi Umahi, rtd, described the event as home coming for Ambassador Obiozor.

He however, urged him to collaborate with south eastern governors to give considerations and attention to three key areas which are: “security of Alaigbo, requiring an urgent need for state police; . restructuring of the country and president of Igbo extraction come 2023.

“Ndigbo are not asking for too much. They are only asking for equity and fairness in a country they have contributed so much to it’s development”, he stated.