​Kaduna Abduction: 2 abducted Bethel Baptist students escape from captors

The Police Command in Kaduna State on Thursday confirmed the escape of two of the abducted students of Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Damishi, in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

ASP Mohammed Jalige, the Command’s Public Relations Officer said in a press statement that information reached the Command about the escape of the students on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that bandits had invaded the school and kidnapped an unspecified number of students in the early hour of June 5.

Jalige said that on Wednesday at about 3.30am, the Command was informed by a good samaritan that two students of the school were sighted and believed to have escaped from their captors.

He said a report was lodged with the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) Rijana, who got hold of the students, after which investigation confirmed they were victims of the bandits.”

The students said that on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at about 6pm, they were tasked by their captors to go and fetch firewood from the nearby forest where they were held hostage.”

They, however, decided to take the opportunity of not being monitored and escape to Rijana community along Kaduna – Abuja highway.”

The two boys are currently undergoing medical examination at Police Medical facility before reuniting them with their family, while tactical approach is being intensified to secure the release of the remaining students.” Jalige said.

In another development, the Command’s spokesperson also disclosed that mob lynched two unknown armed men on Wednesday in Kakuri area of Kaduna metropolis.

He reiterated the call of the Command on the people of the state to avoid taking laws into their hands but should instead, report suspicious characters to the appropriate authorities.


​2023: APC approves lobby committees for youth inclusion

The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has authorised the party’s youth wing to set up zonal strategic lobby committees at the State and Ward levels, ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Alhaji Ismaeel Ahmed, the APC National Youth representative in the party’s Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

He commended the party’s leadership for adopting part of the recommendations of the recent APC National Progressives Youth Conference which said that anyone vying for the position of a youth leader in the party in the wards, must be between 18-35 years.

Ahmed said this should form part of guidelines for the conduct of the party’s upcoming Ward, Local Government, and State congresses.

According to him, adopting the recommendation by the party’s leadership has rekindled the hopes of millions of progressive youths

He noted that until now, such youths had been discouraged from participating in the party’s activities and holding elective leadership positions, especially at grassroots level.

“On our part, we will take this further by setting up Strategic Engagement Committees which will work in conjunction with caretaker youth leaders in the various zones.

“The committee will engage Governors, Legislators, Ministers, and other leaders and stakeholders in every zone to get more young people to occupy large percentages of the executives at the Ward and Local Government levels.

“We believe that since the battle of the forthcoming elections will be fought for the youth vote, it is wise for our party to fight that battle with youth voice,” he said.

Ahmed urged young progressives to use the occasion of Sallah break to engage and sensitise youths in their wards and polling units to be part of the congresses and to advance the cause of the progressive movement.

Ahmed said the approved committees were to work in conjunction and consultation with the interim youth leaders in their respective domains for maximum impact.

“The Chairman of the CECPC has approved for the Youth Wing of the APC to set up zonal strategic lobby committees.

“The committees are to engage with party leaders, Governors, Legislators, Ministers, Elders and other critical stakeholders within their zones.

“The committee is to ensure that most party positions are manned by youths at the lower levels,” he said.

He added that this was critical to attract the energy, commitment and brains of young people in running the affairs of the party and giving them a sense of ownership.

Ahmed said a National Youth Lobby Group had also been set up to meet with the party’s national leaders for the effective delivery of the youth mandate.

He said it was expected that the congresses, either by consensus or contests, would throw up many young and committed members of the party at the ward level as leaders that would invigorate it ahead of 2023.


ASUP kicks as FG allegedly appoints 5 ‘unqualified rectors’ in new polytechnics

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has accused the Federal Government of appointing five unqualified persons as rectors in newly established federal polytechnics, in violation of the subsisting Act.

The ASUP National President, Mr Anderson Ezeibe, who stated this at the 100th National Executive Council meeting of the union in Auchi, on Wednesday, said that the Federal Government violated the Federal polytechnics Amendment Act, 2019, in the appointment of the rectors.

According to him, the law allowed for only people within the cadre of Chief Lecturer, with a minimum of five years experience to be appointed.

Recently, the Federal Government announced the establishment of six new federal polytechnics in Cross River, Oyo, Plateau, Benue and Borno States.

“Five out of the six rectors that were appointed into these newly established polytechnics did not possess the requisite qualifications,” he said, adding that the union had already gone to court to challenge the appointments.

“We have an order of court for substituted service, we also have an order to join the five persons appointed illegally,” he said.

Speaking further, the ASUP president urged the Edo state government to pay the five months salary arrears owed staff of the State Polytechnic.

In his speech, the Deputy Governor, Mr Philips Shaibu said the state government was aware of the lingering labour issues at the state polytechnic and that adequate steps were being taken to address the issues.

Represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr Jimoh Ijegbai, the deputy governor commended the union for its cooperation and patience with the government in the face of the crisis.

Mustapha Zubair, Rector, Auchi Polytechnic, expressed worry over the low ratings of polytechnics in the country, noting that the Polytechnic Act had well-established criteria which, those in charge of the sector should endeavour to uphold.
The rector urged ASUP to always adopt dialogue in seeking redress, saying, “dialogue is the best tool in making agitations”.

“The just concluded strike by the union has yielded positive results, N15 billion has been released for the development of polytechnics in Nigeria,” he said. 

Earlier, Mr Lawani Jimoh, Chairman, Auchi Polytechnic chapter of ASUP, said that industrial harmony was gradually being built between the union and the polytechnic’s management.

“We are looking forward to the implementation of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre officers in August.
“We (also) expect management to reciprocate by paying the promotion arrears of staff promoted in 2016,” he said.


​Nigeria Beach Soccer League Super 4 Kicks Off July 27 In Kaduna

The final round of 2021 Nigeria Beach Soccer League (NBSL) super four kicks off in Kaduna from the 27th- 31st of July 2021 at the Murtala Square.

The participating teams that qualified for the super four are Kebbi BSC, Kwara BSC, Smart City BSC of Lagos and Kada BSC.

Mahmud Hadeja, Cordinator Nigeria Beach Soccer League and President African Beach Soccer Union disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit on the Honourable Commissioner, Kaduna State Ministry of Sports Development Professor Kabiru Mato.

During the visit he solicited for the support and maximum cooperation of the State to make the event which will attract viewers from across the world a resounding success, adding that the matches will be covered life by Super Sports and will be live streamed.

This is just as he informed that Athletes who have made Nigeria proud particularly in the game of football and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) leadership among other dignitories will be invited to grace the matches.

” Sir, we are equally here to seek the assistance of the State in the usage of the Beach Soccer site and provision of accommodation for match officials and dignitories that will attend, and to also through the ministry invite Nasir el-Rufai to grace the occasion as a special guest of honour.

In his response, the Commissioner, Professor Mato ssured of the usage of beach soccer site at the Murtala Square and further expressed the pleasure of the State to host the event.

He informed that Murtala Square upon completion will be one of the largest centre that accommodates virtually 95 percent of all sports.

The Commission requested that a planning committee should be constituted with the staff of the ministry as members for a successful event.

“Sports is being developed in Kaduna State because if youths are not gainfully engaged, they willl engage you through social vices and become a menace on the society.

On his part, Kaduna State Chairman of Beach Soccer Association and caretaker committee chairman of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) Engr.Musa Nimrod appreciated the support of the state government through the ministry in developing sports in the State.

The Cordinator and other officials visited the beach soccer site at the Murtala Square and satisfaction with the ongoing work.

Kano-Kaduna Railway : Buhari Presides Groundbreaking Ceremony, As Ganduje Describes Action As Total Love For Kano People 

By Habila Victor

President Muhammadu Buhari has on Thursday presided over the groundbreaking ceremony to mark the commencement of the construction activities on the Kano-Kaduna railway modernization project, at Zawachiki, in Kumbotso local government, Kano.

During the occasion President Buhari disclosed that, the project is a segment of Lagos-Kano railway modernization project, “…which is adjacent to the Dala Inland Dry Port,” another federal government signature project in the state.

Adding that, “The take-off of this project represents the commitment of this administration in the revival of Nigerian railway system to reduce the deficiency in our transportation infrastructure and drive effective and more efficient transportation of passengers and freight within the country.”

Expressing his gratitude, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state described the effort as clear show of love to Kano people. 

He said, “On behalf of the people and government of Kano state, permit me to express my warm welcome to the Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari.”

After congratulating the entire people of the state he added that, “This project is a clear indication to the Buhari administration’s commitment to promoting activities and commerce, as well as creating great employment opportunities among our teeming youth in Nigeria.

We must therefore accord all necessary support and cooperation in helping the federal government realise this noble cause.”

Also commended and displayed gratitude to the President for “…bringing so many projects to the state.” He listed some of the many projects brought to the state by federal government.

“This show of love to the people of Kano by Mr President is not limited to citing projects in the state. It extended to giving the state indigenes appointments at federal level. With all sense of humility I am to intimate this gathering that based on the last count Kano state has no less 45 federal government appointees. From two senior cabinet Ministers of Defence and Agriculture to Board members at federal establishments. We must commend you for this tremendous work you have done for our people,” the governor said.

Ganduje emphasised that, what the federal government does in the state, was clearly what Kano people voted the President to do as a leader. Adding that, “It is the leadership style you promised to give Nigerians.

​Deaf students innovates electronic tractor in Katsina state

The untold story of talented students with disabilities in Katsina state, the deaf students innovated electronic tractors from scratch.

This is coming at a time Nigeria needs youth with innovations to reduced the rate of dependency, insecurity, unemployment, thuggery, cultism, and even corruption to its higher level.

Daily Episode reported that Kabir Usman Jikamshi and Ismail Ahmad Dutsinma, SS3 students of Government School for the Deaf, Malumfashi, Katsina State improvised a version of the electric tractor using an empty container.

Physically challenged students such as hearing impairment have been encountering difficulties in securing and studying in Nigerian varsity for lack of education facilities.

According to the World Health Organization’s 2011 World Disability Report, about 15 percent of Nigeria’s population, or at least 25 million people, have a disability. Many of them face several human rights cases of abuse including stigma, discrimination, violence, and lack of access to healthcare, housing, and education.

Although in January 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law the Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018,  following 9 years of relentless advocacy by disability rights groups and activists.

The deaf student faced challenges of negligence by the governments and the people in recognizing their talent or giving them required opportunities.

In 2018, the JAMB boss suggested that at least one deaf person should be employed in all ministries and agencies to employ the deaf and physically challenged.

The Katsina State Association of Deaf and the school management urge the Katsina State Government to grant the duo (Kabir Usman Jikamshi and Ismail Ahmad Dutsinma) automatic scholarships to further their education, develop their fledgling talents, and ultimately make the school, Katsina State and Nigeria proud.

Nigeria Loses $26.3bn to piracy, others annually — Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria loses about 26.3 billion dollars annually to various forms of criminality particularly piracy and sea robbery.

Buhari disclosed this while performing the inauguration of Falcon Eye Project, Nigerian Navy’s Strategic Maritime Surveillance System, on Tuesday at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.

Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said that securing Nigeria’s shipping lanes was crucial to the nation’s economic interests.

“Why is this project so important to us as a nation?

“The maritime industry occupies a prominent position in the matrix of our vital economic interests and it encompasses activities ranging from fishing and resource exploration to marine research and shipping among other endeavours.

“Of all these activities, shipping stands out as a critical link in Nigeria’s international trade engagements because it is the cheapest and most efficient means of moving large volumes of goods.

“Given our economic aspirations and our commitment to international trade, ensuring the security of shipping lanes within, and proximate to our waters, is in our national interest.’’

According to him, Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources which are largely domiciled in our maritime environment remain the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.

“It accounts for 55 per cent of our GDP, 95 per cent of our export earnings, and about 70 per cent of government revenue.

The president said that in recent years, some threats within Nigeria’s maritime environment had taken more harmful dimensions to the economy and even the safety of citizens and commercial entities which used the maritime domain.

“These include, piracy, armed attacks on ships, kidnapping for ransom, crude oil theft, smuggling, as well as Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUU).

“It is estimated that Nigeria loses about 26.3 billion dollars annually to various forms of criminality particularly piracy and sea robbery.

“On account of the escalated risks in some of our maritime areas insurance premiums for commercial vessels coming to these areas have risen sharply making maritime trade an unattractive proposition.

“This underscores the need to enhance our maritime security architecture; consequently, a critical contribution of the Falcon Eye System will be the provision of actionable intelligence for curbing maritime threats to our economy.’’

Buhari said that his administration had demonstrated a clear commitment to building the capacity of Nigeria’s strategic institutions to secure its coastal waters and the precincts of its maritime neighbourhood.

He said that on June 24, 2019, he assented to the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill.

“By this Act, Nigeria became the first country in the West and Central African Sub-Regions to promulgate a stand-alone law against piracy, which is an important international requirement, set by the International Maritime Organisation as part of measures to guarantee secure global shipping.

“The Act provides the much-needed legal and institutional framework to improve maritime security and ensure safe and secure shipping in Nigerian waters.

“Last year, we commenced prosecution and secured our first convictions under this law,’’ he said.

Earlier, Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, said that the president’s presence at the event reaffirmed his unflinching support to the Nigerian Navy’s endeavour at ensuring a secure maritime environment for legitimate economic activities.

He said the project arose out of the need for national maritime security architecture that would leverage modern technology to enhance the safeguard of the immense hydrocarbon, living and other mineral resources in the nation’s maritime domain.

In his remarks, National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno said the project was borne out of the necessity to combat the myriad of security problems within the maritime sector.

He said that the contract was signed in 2014 and designed to provide Nigeria with effective surveillance capability of its entire maritime domain.

​Zulum visits ITF in Abuja, wants specialized training for Borno youths 

Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum was on Tuesday at Abuja corporate office of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF). Zulum was at a Model Skills Training Centre in the office. 

The Governor’s purpose was to find ways of collaboration between Borno State Government and the ITF on specialized training of youths for vocational skills for entrepreneurship. 

The training, Zulum said, will cover plumbing, mechatronics and electrical installations. 

Zulum, has always combined kinetic and non kinetic measures in his approach to addressing the Boko Haram crisis. 

The Governor had in the last two years built nine different vocational skills centres that train thousands of Borno youths to make them meaningful members of the society. 

Before going round to inspect different laboratories, Governor Zulum also had a detailed meeting with the officials of the Industrial Training Fund. 

The Governor was received and taken round on behalf of the DG by the Director of Training and Vocational Studies, Mrs Lami S. Dakwav. 

The governor was accompanied by the commissioner of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Babagana Mustapha Malumbe, Special Adviser on Protocol, Ahmed Sanda and SSA on Liasson Services, Ali Abba Jato.

​Kaduna declares 12th July work-free day for late Barnabas Bantex

The Kaduna state government has declared Monday, 12th July 2021 as a work-free day in honour of the memory of former Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Barnabas Yusuf Bala (Bantex) and his service to the state.

Architect Barnabas Bala, who served as Deputy Governor of Kaduna State from May 2015 to May 2019, died on Sunday in Abuja.

Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication), said in a statement that Governor El-Rufai has sent a personal message of condolence to the family, noting that it was a blessing to know Bantex and to work with him.

The governor acknowledged his commitment to the progress of Kaduna State and prayed to God to grant him peaceful repose and to comfort his family.

We’ll occupy Dunamis church until #BuhariMustGo activists are released -Protesters

Protesters have threatened to continue to protest at Dunamis Church in Abuja until five arrested #BuhariMustGo activists are released.

The protesters under the aegis of TakeitBack Movement said this in a statement titled, ‘FreeDunamis5Now!’ by one of their leaders, Oni Ayoyinka, on Sunday.

They also condemned the arrest of a PUNCH journalist, Mr. Solomon Odeniyi, by Security operatives.

Solomon, who was covering a live event at the church, when he was whisked away by security operatives – but released hours after.

The statement read, “On 4th of July,2021 Youths dressed in #BuhariMustGo shirts attended Dunamis Church in Abuja . They came out for Altar call and were prayed for by Pastor Enenche. On their way out of the church, they were ambushed by Dunamis Church security who handed them over to the DSS after they were mercilessly tortured.

“A week later, these youths are still in illegal detention, tortured, denied access to lawyers, families and friends.

“Friends and families who have now gone to the church demanding the intervention of Pastor Enenche whose security handed the youth activists to the DSS were harassed and arrested. Journalists from The PUNCH and Roots TV who have also come to do their job were also molested and whisked away by security agents.

“The actions of the Dunamis5, including a visually impaired Samuel Gabriel at Dunamis last week Sunday is not against any law of the land. They have the right to wear what they like anywhere and they also have the right to operate their phones. We have demanded Dunamis Church to secure their release and we have also sued both Dunamis Church and the DSS.

“The reaction of Dunamis church to the protest by family and friends of the arrested youths have yet again that the church is in direct connivance with the regime in the detention of the activists.

“It is to this end that we state categorically that we’d be occupying the Dunamis Church in Lagos if the activists are not released and allowed to return to their families. And with this, we want to state categorically that mobilizations have now begun to picket the Lagos chapter of the Dunamis Church.

“Wearing BuhariMustGo to church isn’t an offense known to law. #FreeDunamis5Now.”

Punch Newspaper