Northern Youths Accuses Yoruba Political Leader of Fanning Embers of Hatred over 2023 Presidential Ambition

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum( AYCF) has sounded a word of warning to a political leader of the South West who has been engineering violence and arson in order to further his 2023 ambition and vowed to expose him if the killings is allowed to happen again.

The group explained that its independent investigation has revealed “One South West politician and his associates, who have been fanning the embers of ethnic and regional hatred as well as igniting mindless and senseless violence, especially in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital”, stressing that “his dirty political game is up if he fails to desist”.

The AYCF, in the statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima said the group condemns in totality the violence, killings and arson in Ibadan but explained that it was improper to punish the innocent majority because of the sins of a few criminals.

The statement reads in part: “Much as we condemn all crimes and criminals themselves, we cannot fathom why the action of a view criminals should justify any form of physical attack on majority innocent citizens and their assets in any part of this country”.

Talking about the suspected South West politician, which the group fingered as the arrowhead of the recent spate of senseless ethnic profiling and physical attack, the AYCF said: “All Nigerians are living witnesses to the role of the Northern political elite in stabilizing the nation, using the democratic system of supporting the emergence of Presidents outside the North. Our philosophy of self-denial does not mean, we are not aware of our political strength.

“When the South West cried of marginalization over the annulment of June 12 polls, which the late MKO Abiola was said to have won fair and square, the North rallied behind the South West, by giving their massive votes to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and he served for 8 years.

“The emergence of another President from the North, the late Umaru Musa Yaradua was shortlived but the Northern Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) joined hands with Southern progressives to form the Save Nigeria Group(SNG) that helped paved the way for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from the South to continue as the nation’s leader.

“So, the North’s large heart in giving its total support for the emergence of political leadership outside the North should not be mistaken for weakness. We cannot be stampeded into surrendering power just because of one man’s blackmail to fuel his 2023 political ambition.

“The North is never such a weakling and let it be known that Northerners did their best in supporting the emergence of Presidents from outside the region not because of political blackmail of ethno-regional profiling”, the group noted.

The group also revealed its demand from the governors of the South West, notably the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, to ensure that compensation is paid to the families of those killed and the survivors of the violent attacks.

​Mai Tangale crisis: Three killed as Gov Yahaya sues for peace

At least three lives were lost and one policeman injured in a violence that erupted on Friday night over the appointment of new Mai Tangale of Billiri in Billiri Local Government area of Gombe State.

This is even as Governor Inuwa Yahaya vowed to make sure that the law takes its course over the incident.

The Governor in a state broadcast while extending his condolences and sympathies to the families of all those who lost their lives or properties in the incident, announced the suspension of further action on the appointment of new Mai Tangale.

Yahaya promised to do everything within his powers to protect the lives and property of the innocent citizens saying “we are a people known for our cherished peace and stability. Violence, sectarianism and extremism have no place in our culture and tradition. Those conflict merchants who seek to profit from this violence by setting brothers upon brothers, families upon families, and communities upon communities, will soon be made to face the full wrath of the law.”

He said he approached the Mai Tangale succession process with high sense of responsibility because, as part of Gombe State’s cultural tradition, any decision he takes will have far reaching implication on not only the Tangale chiefdom but the entire Gombe State.

“That’s why I undertook widespread consultations, conducted background checks and engaged in personal reflection in order to arrive at a decision that is in the best interest of the people and the state. Let it be clear that it is within my powers as governor to appoint any of the three recommended candidates to become the new Mai Tangle. Let it also be clear that no official pronouncement was made about any candidate before, during and after the eruption of violence in Billiri Local Government Area.

“The violence was orchestrated by some unpatriotic individuals who thought they could blackmail the government into announcing their preferred candidate. Let me make it clear that our administration will never cow into any blackmail, threat, intimidation or witch-hunt from any individual or group no matter how highly placed,” he said.

According to the Governor, “the violence in Billiri LGA has left us with no option than to declare a 24-hour curfew to further stem the spread of violence, loss of lives and destruction of property.

“To this end, Government is withholding any decision on the new Mai Tangale until normalcy returns to the affected communities. I have noted with dismay the dangerous campaign of incitement and polarization waged by some unscrupulous elements on social media. Government will vigorously discharge its role of protecting innocent citizens and combating criminality and violence anywhere in Gombe State.”

Yahaya who was at Billiri earlier in the day for on the spot assessment of the situation described the action of the protesters as uncivilized adding that arrests have been made and more arrests will still be made over the incident.

He added; “I am saddened by the incident and what I saw is not an action of a civilised people. The destruction is too much, as you can see a lot of houses, shops and markets were destroyed and lives have also been lost.

“So it’s really a very serious setback and a sad development. What I saw on ground is what everybody saw, if these people are peaceful they shouldn’t have resulted to violence.”

The Governor who was in Abuja when the incident happened arrived on Saturday and drove straight from the Airport to Billiri to assess the situation.

Yahaya, looking visibly angry, vowed to ensure that all those involved in the crisis are brought to book.

The state Commissioner of police, Maikudi Shehu confirmed that three people have been killed in the incident and one of his men injured.

Driving through Billiri community in company of his Deputy, Dr. Mannasa Jatau, the Governor was shocked at the extent of damage to market stalls, private businesses and others.

​But in a swift reaction, a group under the aegies of Tangale Community Overseas has urged Governor Yahaya Inuwa of Gombe State to approve the newly elected Mai Tangale.

In a statement signed by its General Secretary, Lamela Umaru Lakorok, the group said it’s not the Governor’s responsibility to appoint a Chief for the Tangale people as contained in the Gombe State Law on Traditional council.

​SouthWest govs., traditional rulers back NEC on forest mgt

Governors from the SouthWest zone of the country and some first class rulers on Saturday okayed the decision of the National Economic Council (NEC) for each state in Nigeria to manage its forest.

This took place at a closed-door meeting which was held at the executive chamber of the Oyo state governor’s office, Agodi in Ibadan.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state, who also is the chairman, SouthWest Governors Forum, said that the governors and traditional rulers supported the decision of NEC about forest management.

“We believe that all the states should be in position to manage their forest and that will give the respective state governments to power to determine who and who are in the forest and for what purpose.

“And where we have people that are illegally in the forest the state should be able to take some steps so that we can preserve the forest.

“So all of us, including the traditional rulers, supported the decision of NEC on forest management,” Akeredolu stated.

The Ondo state governor further said that they observed that the SouthWest states’ borders had become too porous and that they needed to do something urgently “to prevent foreign herdsmen coming into the country without any form of caution.

“We noted that a number of these foreign herders with their herds and cows are already in the country and what they do is something of concern to all of us and we believe our borders need to be tied.

“We need to tighten our borders so that all these foreigners, maybe from Niger or bordering states, coming with their herds and destroying farms are curbed.”

According to Akeredolu, the meeting also discussed the need for government to support cattle breeding just as “we have been supporting other areas of farming.

“One of the areas we can support cattle breeding is to change the way and means cattle breeders are adopting now.

“This can be done by finding a designated area where cattle can graze, no need of trecking far with cattle but this issue of open grazing in this modern time must be looked at.”

He, therefore, called on the states and Federal Government in particular, to look into areas of support as much as they could, for the cattle breeders.

He concluded with an appeal to the media on the need to assist the country in curbing the issue of fake news, saying newsmen had a duty more than any other person, in carrying news as they are.

NAN reports that the meeting was to be attended by the Chief of Staff (CoS) to the President Muhammadu Buhari, Prof Ibrahim Gambari; Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu and Director-General of the DSS Yusuf Bishi but they could not make the journey due to bad weather.

According to Akeredolu, the meeting was called by Prof Gambari, but unfortunately, the CoS and the two security heads were at the Abuja airport for long “but had to cancel because the weather could not allow them to fly.

“They contacted us and apologised but because we were here already we felt we should discuss a few things.”

The meeting had in attendance, Dr Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Mr Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Mr Gboyega Oyetola (Osun) the host governor Mr Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Rotimi Akeredolu, (Ondo).

Among the traditional rulers that participated in the meeting were the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi; Akarigbo of Remo, Oba Babatunde Ajayi; Olugbo of Ugbo kingdom, Fedrick Akinrutan, Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and Olugbon of Orilegbon, Oba Francis Alao.

The Deputy Inspector-General of Police, in charge of SouthWest , Mr David Folawuyo, the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, and other heads of security agencies in Oyo state were also in attendance.

​Corruption has continued in MDAs despite Open Treasury Portal – ICPC

Corruption has continued across federal government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), despite several measures to curb financial infractions in public offices, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC ), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, has said.

He spoke at a one-day forum titled, “transparency and fiscal discipline in implementation of federal government’s budget” organized for Directors of Finance and Audit, in Abuja, yesterday.

His words, “In general, our findings showed that there was budget manipulation by most MDAs which resulted in MDAs receiving both appropriation and releases beyond their actual needs. While these surpluses were open to the risk of being misappropriated as is tradition.

“Sometimes, at the end of the year, the funds tied down for non-existent personnel deprived government and indeed needy MDAs of much needed funds to apply to other critical but underfunded areas, especially overhead and capital development.”

The ICPC boss added that a review of budget implementation across MDAs, showed various forms of financial manipulations and frauds perpetuated by the civil servants.

According to him, ” In 2019 ICPC reviewed 208 agencies of government that are funded from the Federal Treasury and came up with outstanding results which included discovery of N31.8bn personnel cost surpluses for 2017 and 2018, and misapplication of N19.8bn and N9.2bn from Personnel Cost and Capital Fund respectively.

“Consequent on these findings N42bn unspent surplus allocations for personnel cost for 2019 alone was blocked from possible abuse and pilfering mostly from health and some educational institutions. This implies that if we had covered the entire civil service structure of all MDAs the figures would be staggering”, he said.

“In 2020 we extended the review with more focus on health and education sectors which touch the lives of ordinary citizens and are critical to meeting any of the internationally recognized development goals but is a major headache to budget execution.

“In addition, we commenced a review of educational institutions indicted in the 2017 Auditor-General’s annual audit report for a wider range of financial infractions. A number of investigations are on-going on this as we have instituted a mechanism for continuous review of current and subsequent annual audit reports”.

Prof. Owasanoye stated federal government’s launch of the Open Treasury Portal (OTP) in December 2019, to curb corruption in MDAs was yet to change the tide.

“In December 2019 the federal government launched the Open Treasury Portal (OTP) onto which all payments from N5m and above by MDAs are uploaded for the purpose of transparency and public scrutiny.

“We immediately began studying payment data on the portal again with focus on educational and health institutions. While at it, the issue of payments of feeding allowance to federal unity secondary schools was thrown up and we had to carry out further investigations on expenditure on meal subsidy releases that remained constant despite the lockdown during which schools were closed and students away at home.

“ In response to our findings, government set up the Transparency Portal Quality Assurance and Compliance Committee with ICPC as a member. The Committee now scrutinizes payments on the portal and periodically sends lists of agencies with serious infraction for further review and sometimes investigation and enforcement action.

“In the spirit of collaboration, we report back our findings on cases of fraud or unaccounted for funds a number of which investigations are ongoing. The review is carried out on month-by-month transactions and is therefore an ongoing exercise and despite confronting erring ministries and MDAs with federal circulars prohibiting these activities, the infractions continue thus stronger measures on the part of government and anti corruption agencies are inevitable”.

The ICPC boss said that despite the introduction of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), personnel budget was still being used by government officials to steal from the treasury.

Personnel funds, he said were usually expended on, “expenditure types including DTA (Duty Tour Allowance) and estacode, electricity, water and sewage bills, procurement of diesel and stationery, payment of transport allowance and flight fares, payment of wages for outsourced services and ad hoc (locum, visiting and at times illegal employees), as well as illegal allowances.”

​Kano govt introduces home-based care for COVID-19 patients –Committee

The Kano State COVID-19 taskforce technical Committee, has introduced a Home-based care program to reach people in remote areas, as part of efforts to curtail the spread of the pandemic.

A statement from the state Primary Health Care Management Board signed by its Information Officer Mr Maikudi Marafa, made the disclosure on Saturday.

It said that the state Commissioner of Health, Dr. Aminu Tsanyawa, who launched the program on Saturday, said that it was necessary to curtail the second wave of the pandemic.

The Commissioner stressed that health personnel had been trained and provided with motorcycles and medications to reach hard to reach areas, with a view to render home care health emergency services.

“Dr Tsanyawa charged the health workers mandated with the task, to be more committed to the discharge of their assignment,” the statement said.

The statement further revealed that the State Coordinator of the Task force committee, and also the Executive Secretary State Primary Health care Management Board, Dr. Tijjani Hussain, said that the program would use community target sampling.

Hussaini also highlighted that the program was aimed at rendering emergency services to people in hard to reach communities of the state.

He commended the state government for its support to the task force committee, in it’s effort towards eradicating the pandemic in the state, as contained in the statement.

The statement further disclosed that Dr Hussaini had appealed to the people in the state to give all the necessary support and cooperation to the health personnel, to achieve the goals of the programme.