Northern Youths Backs Open Grazing Ban, says its Threat to Environment, Security

……postpones endorsement of 2023 Presidential choice in honour of COAS, others

A frontline coalition of Arewa groups, Northern Youth Leader’s Forum (NYLF) has backed the position of the Southern Governors’ Forum, banning open grazing in their states.

National Chairman of the forum, Comrade Elliot Afiyo expressed this at a press conference in Yola the Adamawa State capital, on May 22, 2021 after the 27th Annual Delegates Conference, the group lamented the negative impact of open grazing in the country.

“We have taken time to study extensively the communique issued by the Southern Governors especially on the ban on open grazing and national dialogue.

“We want to state clearly that open grazing has been the greatest threat to the environment of the Northern region and also a major threat to security of lives and property in the entire country,” the group said.

They explained that national dialogue is also a necessity, considering the clamour and demands for restructuring and secessions.

“But we are totally opposed to the use of 2014 Constitutional Conference Report because to us generally in the North, the Report lacks credibility due to the fact that the Delegates especially from the northern part of the country, were hand-picked based on agreements of loyalty.

“To this end, the NYLF during our special delegates conference resolved to totally support the call for national dialogue and ban on open grazing,” Afiyo said.

They called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency and national interest, to consider these calls as duty calls to obey and immediately too.

“In order to enforce completely the ban on open grazing, we call for the establishment of Herder’s Commission or Agency to cater for the needs of the herders through selective programmes so as to effectively Kick-Start the ranching system.

“We also condemn the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federation on the ban on open grazing and also appeal to the President to caution his Ministers and Aides who despite being in government for either four to six years, are still having the opposition mentality,” they added.

In the text of the briefing titled, “IT IS TIME TO ACT”

27th Annual Delegates Conference
it is on record that the northern youth leader’s forum (NYLF) was formed and registered on the 12th of July 1994, by the traditional, religious and military elites of the northern extraction to guide, protect, support and encourage the northern interest within the national interest both politically and otherwise.

It is a forum that started with sixteen (16) youth organizations and a total membership of one hundred and twenty-one thousand (121,000) in 1994.

Because of the commitment of the forum to ensure justice and fairness to all sections of the country, many youth organizations decided to register with NYLF.

As at today the 22nd of May 2021, we have a total of forty-two (42) youth organizations and over four million registered and active members.

Since the inception of the forum, Annual Delegates Conferences are being held every year to take stock, identify challenges, proffer solutions and take critical decisions especially on the political direction of the north in this present democratic dispensation and we have been faithful in this course since 1999 except in 2019.

Afiyo explained that the conference was expected to announce its Presidential choice for 2023, but has shelved that for a later date, following the tragic plane clash that killed the Chief of Army Staff alongside other top officers on Friday.

“This Delegates Conference supposed to be one of the special delegates conference as it was designed or purposed to endorse and announce our own choice candidate for the 2023 presidential election but for some circumstances beyond our control.

“The death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru who happened to be a brother to our first National Chairman, which also claimed the lives of two of our members, Major Hamza and Major Hayat coupled with the security report at our disposal on the plans by two other presidential hopefuls to cause crisis if peradventure we eventually endorse and announce our own candidate for 2023 presidential elections, we decided for the sake of peace and in honor of our departed elders and colleagues to shift the endorsement to the 5th of June, 2021, at Abuja,” the group said.

They further announced that notwithstanding, their decision to endorse either Gov. Bala Mohammed or High Chief Raymond Dokpesi still stands in spite of intimdations and threats.

“We have convincing reasons to back-up our decision and it is our stand point,” they pointed out.

On the Ill fated plane crash of Friday, they said they received it with shock.

“We received with disbelief and astonishment the news of a plane crash which claimed the lives of officers of the Nigerian Army and Airforce including that of the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru.

“We sincerely and honestly frowned at the manner and rate of these plane crashes,” the group lamented.

They therefore, called for the immediate composition of an independent investigative panel to ascertain the remote cause(s) of this plane crash and the Report must be made public.

In conclusion, they appreciated their colleagues from the South-South, South-East and South-West who sent delegates to observe their Delegates Conference.

“We sincerely and honestly acknowledge their presences since Thursday.

“We want to assure you that this synergy will continue until we get to the promised land. Thank you all,” Afiyo announced.

COAS: NAF jet crashed due to bad weather, says DHQ

Defence Headquarters on Friday confirmed bad weather caused the crash of a Nigerian Air Force Beachcraft 350 aircraft at the Kaduna International Airport.

All the 11 passengers onboard the ill-fated aircraft, including newly appointed Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, perished in the crash.

DHQ Acting Director Defence Information, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said the DHQ said the sacrifices of departed heroes would not be in vain.

The statement titled, ‘Armed Forces Of Nigeria Loses Chief Of Army Staff And Ten Others In Air Mishap’ read, “It is with a heavy heart that the Armed Forces of Nigeria regrets to announce that this evening at about 1800 Hours, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru in company of his entourage, who were on official trip from Abuja to Kaduna, were involved in an air mishap.

“The unfortunate incident occurred after landing at the Kaduna International Airport due to inclement weather.”
It also said that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, directed that an Accident Investigation Board be constituted to further probe the accident.

The statement added, “As we pray for the repose of the souls of our gallant and committed Chief of Army Staff and other personnel on board with him, the AFN solicits the support and understanding of all Nigerians in the face of this tragic incident. We wish to state that the Armed Forces of Nigeria remains resolute in combatting the security challenges bedeviling our nation. The sacrifices of our dearly departed heroes will not be in vain.

“Meanwhile, the CDS urges all military personnel and their families to take heart and be condoled on this tragic loss. The CDS also reassures all Nigerians of the commitment and loyalty of the Armed Forces of Nigeria to the Constitution and Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as it continues to carry out its responsibilities.”

President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 26, 2021 appointed Attahiru to succeed Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai as COAS.

No fewer than 20 military officers have lost their lives in the last three months in three crashes involving Nigerian Air Force jets.

On Sunday, February 21, 2021, seven NAF officers died onboard a Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft when the jet crashed in Abuja.

Also, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said an Alpha-Jet aircraft involved in the anti-terror war against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province lost radar contact in Borno State.

Two officers were onboard the missing jet which was later declared crashed and the whereabouts of the two airmen unknown till date.

Source: TG news

Attahiru was determined to end Boko Haram, says Zulum as He join others for late COAS Funeral

Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, Senator Kashim Shettima and Senator Abubakar Kyari on Saturday joined top dignitaries and hundreds of sympathizers for the jana’iza (funeral prayers) of the late Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.

The funeral held around 1:30 at the national mosque in Abuja, was attended by the senate president, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, Governor of Yobe state, Mai Mala Buni, chief of staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Minister of Defence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Inspector General of Police, Comptroller General of Immigration, amongst other serving and former public office holders, top military officers, families, friends and associates of the late COAS.

Bodies of the late COAS and five others were brought by military ambulances to the national mosque for the funeral prayers that took place immediately after zuhr prayers.

The late chief of army staff had since his appointment, been to Borno state more than six times, to supervise ongoing military operations against Boko Haram. He had visited different army formations, mobilize and motivated troops in front lines in peace building efforts.

In his comment, Borno Governor, Professor Zulum said the late chief of staff was evidently committed to the fight against Boko Haram and was determined to significantly contribute to ending the insurgency.

“The commitment of the late chief of army staff to the fight against Boko Haram was very obvious. Within the short time he served, he had been to Borno on multiple occasions, meeting operational commanders and troops at battle fronts. In all his interactions, he regularly motivated troops. The people of Borno thank him and all our gallant fallen heroes for their unquantifiable service to Borno and rest of Nigeria” Zulum said.

New Incentives to Align its Interventions with Government Policies

By Victor Habila, Kaduna

​The New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE) says it will continue to align its programs with Nigerian Federal and State laws and policies, including routine immunization plans and priorities.

This was part of their resolution at the just-concluded stakeholders’ meeting of NI-ABAE program in Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara States held at Tahir Guest Palace, Kano State.  

NI-ABAE described immunization as one of the most effective public health interventions that saves about 2 to 3 million lives every year, saying there is evidence that suggests a 27 percentage points increase in the likelihood that children would be fully immunized by a conditional cash transfers for routine immunization program (NI-ABAE RCT Impact Assessment 2017-2020).

This was contained in a communique jointly signed by Health Commissioner of Katsina state, Engr. Yakubu Nuhu Danja, Health Commissioner of Zamfara state, Alhaji Yahaya Muhammad Kanoma, and the Rep. of the Perm. Secretary of Jigawa state ministry of health, Dr. Kabir Ibrahim.

After extensive deliberations and discussions on the Conditional Cash Transfers for Routine Immunization (CCTs for RI) program of NI-ABAE, it was resolved that the Stakeholders in Katsina, Jigawa, and Zamfara States will provide all the necessary support to expand the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization programs to more LGAs and health facilities.

The communique reads; “The New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative will continue to support demand creation and other components of routine immunization in the three States and at the national level.

“Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara States health authorities agreed to greater ownership of the conditional cash transfers for routine immunization program, confirming that this program is in line with its routine immunisation and public health plans and priorities.”

NI-ABAE further said “The Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development reinstated its support for the Conditional Cash Transfers for Routine Immunization program, assuring that the MoU between  Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development and New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal initiative will be signed in due course.

“The Department of Health Planning, Research and Statistics of the State Ministries of Health committed to support New Incentives – All Babies Are Equal Initiative to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation (M&E) through rapid assessment and analysis of DHIS2 data.”

The forum said it would Continue to provide transparent and regular updates, and will support stakeholders on routine immunization, health and social protection.

They promised to facilitate meetings between the Governors of their States and NI-ABAE representatives by encouraging the Governors to present the NI-ABAE program gains and successes at the federal level, adding that it will engage the Governors to speak to the relevant federal health stakeholders to support the NI-ABAE program before the end of 2021.

NI-ABAE also stated that it would provide needed guidance to ensure expansion of NI-ABAE program to at least 17 LGAs in Katsina, Jigawa and Zamfara States with a goal to exceed the target.

A total of 22 participants were in attendance including Commissioners of Health from Katsina and Zamfara States, Representative of the Permanent Secretary of SMOH Jigawa State, NPHCDA North West Zonal Cold Chain Officer, Directors of Health Planning, Research and Statistics of the SMOHs, Executive Secretaries of SPHCDAs, Primary Health Care Directors of SPHCDAs, and Program Managers of SERICCs in Jigawa, Katsina and Zamfara States. Others include Director of Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development (SFPD), media organizations, NI-ABAE Government Relations Advisors and staff of NI-ABAE

​Kaduna Speaker Mourns Chief Of Army Staff, Condoled Buhari, Army, Family

By Victor Habila, Kaduna

The Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly/Chairman Northern Speakers Forum, Rt. Honourable Yusuf Zailani has expressed shock over the death of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru,  on Friday May 21, 2021 from a plane crash in Kaduna.

Zailani in a statement signed by his SA Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani said his demise is a huge loss to Nigeria.

“The unfortunate plane crash that killed the Chief of Army Staff alongside his  aides is tragic and had thrown NIgeria into mourning,” he said.

Rt. Honourable Zailani said that besides being the Chief of Army Staff, he was a proud citizen of Kaduna State where he was born and grew up, making the loss even more painful to the government and people of the state.

The Speaker condoled President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Nasir el-Rufai,  the Chief of Defence Staff, the Nigerian Army and his family.

He charged them to take solace in the fact that he died while serving NIgeria patriotically.

“I pray for the repose of his soul and those that died with him. May Almighty Allah Grant them Aljannah Firdaus,” he prayed.