Niger Government Approves 2.06 Billion Naira To Pay Pensioners

The Niger state government has approved the release of 2.06billion Naira for pensioners under the old pension scheme.

Niger state Head of Service, Mr. Yabagi Sule and the Director General Niger state Pension Board, Hon. Usman Muhammad, made the disclosure in separate addresses at the opening of a two day workshop for management and staff of the State Pension Board.

The Head of Service who was represented by the Permanent Secretary Human Resources, Mr. Yahaya Abubakar, said the 8billion Naira was domiciled with the National Pension Commission.

He described the contributory pension scheme as very germane in the whole pension business because it touches the lives of retirees.

He added that the misconceptions about the CPS is as a result of lack of training which he said the workshop was designed to arrest.

Mr. Abubakar, however, hinted that a new pension law that would ensure regular payment of pension and gratuities but did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, Hon. Mohammad made it known that over 1000 retirees had been paid over 1billion Naira while another batch of 569 retirees would be paid any moment from now.

He noted that the state and local government pensioners have been receiving their monthly pensions promptly because the governor has instructed that it should be a first line charge.

He assured that all matters “standing against the CPS will be dealt with very soon, we will have a clearer picture of it not too long from now”.


Source: Channels TV

Petrol Tanker Explosion Kills 14 In Niger State

A petrol tanker skidded off the road and exploded in central Nigeria, killing at least 14 people on Friday, witnesses told AFP.

They said eight houses were razed following the accident which happened around 8:00 am (0700GMT) in the transit town of Tegina in Niger state.

“We buried 14 people including a six-month-old baby who died in the tanker explosion this morning,” said Muhammad Sani who took part in the rescue operation.
Eight more victims were taken to hospital with burns, two of them in “very critical condition” while eight homes were burnt in the inferno, said another resident Abdullahi Egiworo.

A spokesman for Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in the state confirmed the accident, but refused to give casualty figures.

“We received reports of an accident involving a petrol tanker in Tegina this morning but we are still awaiting details,” Bitrus Max told AFP.

He said emergency officials were heading to the scene to assist in the evacuation of victims.

Accidents involving petrol tankers happen frequently on Nigeria’s poorly maintained roads because of speeding and disregard for traffic rules.

Last month, three people were killed when a petrol tanker collided with a trailer and exploded on a road linking Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos with the rest of the country.



Two Arrested for Attempting to Commit Suicide in Niger State

The police in Minna, Niger State, have arrested two people for attempting to commit suicide. It was learnt that the arrests were made at “different locations” in the state as the duo tried to take their lives.

One of the suspects, according to the findings, took some poisonous substance that was capable of terminating his life but luck ran out
for him as the poison was not as effective as he thought.

The second, it was gathered, also tried to hang himself but before he could give up the ghost, he was discovered and rescued.

Credit: thisdaylive

Niger State To Stop Payment Of WAEC/NECO Fees For Students

Niger government said it will discontinue the payment of West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO), fees for its students in Secondary Schools in the state.

Gov. Sani Bello of Niger, disclosed this on Tuesday when he visited Justice Legbo Kutigi Secondary School to inspect the ongoing renovation of the school in Lavun local government areas of the state.

Bello said that government can not continue to pay N800 million every year for students that only 5 per cent of them are able to pass with four credits.

He said government would rather invest such money in infrastructure development and provisions of instructional materials for qualitative education.

“We must review the issue of the payment of NECO and WAEC fees because at the moment, we are still owing NECO and WAEC about N800 millions .

“Government spend such huge money for students that cannot even have four credits. Only about five per cent of students will have four credits and above.

“Basically, it is like we are throwing away money. We will rather stop and invest the money on the facilities so that with time we will get good results.

“We have made efforts to pay part of the money and the results will be released.

“The Commissioner for Finance has met with NECO and WAEC officials and there is an understanding that the debt issue will be addressed, “he said.

He said that the payment of examination fees would henceforth be based on criteria where only best performing students would be selected as beneficiaries.

Credit: NAN

Niger Govt To Incorporate Sports In School Curriculum

The Niger State Government on Wednesday said it would incorporate sports into the curriculum of its primary and secondary schools.

Mamman Bosso, the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna that this would encourage talented youths to get acquainted at the early stage of their lives.

“We are making arrangements to include sports into our primary and secondary education curriculum in order to develop grassroots sports. The state government will also rehabilitate sporting facilities across the state to ensure that the policy succeeds,” Bosso said.

He said the ministry would continue to discuss with its education counterpart for a full implementation of the programme.

According to the commissioner, the state governor is passionate about the plan and has given directives to that effect.

NAN reports that the state government has already commenced rehabilitation work on the two major sport facilities in Minna to boost sporting activities.

Deadly Clash Between Fulani, Gbagyi Communities Displaces 250 In Niger State

No fewer than 250 people have been displaced due to a clash between Fulani herdsmen and Gbagyi farmers in Niger state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), report that the clash led to the death of four persons and destruction of property in Bara-kuta in Bosso Local Government Area on Friday.

Ahmed Inga, Director General, Niger State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Minna on Tuesday.

He said the displaced people were being resettled in a school in Bosso while reconciliation was ongoing toward returning them to their homes.

“The state government has established links with the herdsmen and the farmers toward restoring lasting peace in the area to enable the Gwagyis go back to their homes and attend to their farms.

“We have to do everything possible to make sure that peace returns to the community to ensure the security of lives and property,” he said.

Mr. Inga said the peace initiative was being brokered by the state’s Commissioner for Sports Development, Mamman Bosso, the Emir of Minna, Umaru Bahago as well as security agencies.

The director general added that 167 houses were burnt while 17 motorcycles and other property were destroyed during the clash.

Credit: PremiumTimes

NSCDC Arrest 3 With Human Head In Niger State


The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Niger on Saturday paraded three suspects who were caught with a human head.

Mr Philip Ayuba, the Commandant of NSCDC in the state, told newsmen in Minna that the suspects were arrested in Mokwa Local Government Area of the state.

He said that the suspects aged 34, 35 and 24 hail from Ekpa village in Mokwa.

“I invited you here to see three suspects that we arrested on the ground of possession of a human head.

“After we arrested them, they confessed to us that they own the human head,’’ he said.

Ayuba said the suspects were arrested on Thursday while negotiating the sale of the head in Mokwa.

“Our personnel pretended to be bargaining with them on how much to pay before they were arrested,’’ he said.

The NSCDC boss said that the suspects had made confessional statements in writing, adding that they would be handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.

The principal suspect told journalists that his brother had invited him to his house to see the human head and assist in getting a buyer.

“I looked for a buyer for five months. So when I approached one Isah to buy the head he agreed and said that he has a buyer in Mokwa.

“When the buyer came we started negotiating the price with him and it was in that process that we were arrested,’’ he said.

Another suspect claimed that the head belonged to a decomposing female corpse which was found during a hunting expedition.

He said that he and another accomplice decided to cut off the head and sell it to make money.

“Two of us decided in the bush that we will sell the head to scientists and make money,’’ he said.

Credit: Punch

UNICEF Signs 1.3 Billion Naira MoU With Niger State

The United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), Kaduna Field Office has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Niger State government on the provision of basic necessities of life for children and women in the state.

The Chief Field Officer of UNICEF in Kaduna, Mr Utpal Moitra, made the disclosure in Minna after the signing of the MoU.

He said that the Joint Work Plan for 2016 ensured that government and UNICEF shared commitment to accountability and transparency of the programme.

“The joint partnership is about joint commitment, sharing commitment and working together so as to deliver benefits to the large number of children and women in Niger state,” he said.

Moitra, who oversees three states including Niger State, stated that the cost of 1.3 billion Naira has been shared with UNICEF contributing 60% while the state government would provide 40% counterpart fund.

He explained that the agreement was reached following the continued partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and UNICEF as well as the states which include Niger State.

He informed that the major areas of priority in the MoU were education, health, water sanitation, nutrition and a host of others which would have direct benefits and bring development to the people of Niger State.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello signed the MoU on behalf of Niger State, while the Chief of Field Office, Mr Utpal Mostra, signed on behalf of UNICEF.

Governor Bello appreciated the partnership and promised to be supportive in the fulfilment of the state’s part of the agreement as quickly as possible.

Credit: ChannelsTv

APC Wins All Chairman Positions In Niger LG Councils Poll

The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger has won all the 24 Local Government Areas Chairmanship positions in the election conducted on Saturday in the state.



Chairman of the state Independent Electoral Commission, Alhaji Mohammad Abubakar, made the announcement on Sunday in Minna.


He said that the APC won a clear majority of the votes cast in the area councils.


He said that the reports from the commission across the councils indicated a peaceful conduct of election.


Abubakar urged the winners to be magnanimous in victory and work with those that lost.


The details of the result is as follows:

Agaie LG Abdullahi Umaru APC 2225, Yakubu Mohammed PDP 1226; Munya LG Yahuza Mohammed APC 10180, PDP Danjuma Baro PDP 4,980; Mokwa LG Idris Ndasode APC 30930, Mohammed Majin PDP 10,374; Paikoro LG John Ibrahim APC 14,169, Ibrahim Tatiko PDP 5, 618; Chanchaga LG Yusuf Inuwa of APC 16082, Danjuma Masu of PDP 7332 and Rafi LG Gambo kagara APC 23234, Zubairu Ismail PDP 8026.



Rijau LG Bello Bako APC 42984, Gambo Jibo PDP 3398; Shiroro LG Mark Jagaba APC 19774, Adamu Gogo PDP 4064; Tafa LG Ado Abubakar APC 2286, Emmanuel Ibrahim PDP 7189; Bida LG Mohammed Sadiq APC 20735, Kasim Yelwa PDP 339; Wushishi LG Mohammed Bashir APC 17935, Mohammed Isah PDP 359; Edati LG Isah Mamman Zubairu APC 17528 PDP nill and Bosso LG Abdullahi Saidu of PDP 9475 and Isah Wakili of APC 9555.



Gbako LG John Taman APC 22170, Jonah MaiGana PDP 10755; Katcha LG Mohammed Dogo APC 2889, Umaru Ladan PDP 689; Lapai LG Mohammed Mustapha PDP 11299, Usman Mohammed APC 27885; Magama LG Mohammed Auna APC 32361, Buhari Ibeto PDP 5887 and Shiroro LG Mark Jagaba APC 19,744, Adamu Kuta PDP 5484.



Mariga LG Idris Ibrahim APC 48980, Shehu Haruna PDP 4398; Gurara LG Jibrin Isah APC 14370, Isah Chansa APC 5392; Agwara LG Jafaru Mohammed APC 10858, Garba Mohammed PDP 4398; Borgu LG Suleiman Ahmed APC 20694, Muazu Jikatoro PDP 8712 and Kotangora LG Ahmed Attahiru APC 20,951, Salha Attahiru PDP 5774.




Niger Assembly Confirms Eight Commissioners

The Niger State House of Assembly on Wednesday confirmed eight persons nominated as commissioners by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.

Those that made the first batch list, are Kabiru Abbas Musa, Dan Mallam Masara, Ramatu Mohammed Yar’Adua, Mamman Musa, Jonathan Vatsa, Fatima Mudugu and Mustapha Jubrin.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honorable Ahmed Marafa, after opening the envelope containing the commissioners-nominees’ names, said that the governor submitted the list in line with Section 2 (192) of the 1999 constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
The Speaker further stated that Governor Bello in the correspondence, said that the list would come in two batches explaining that the next names would soon be made available to the State Assembly.

Fodio Ahmed: Niger State; Governor Bello And His Entrepreneurship System Of Governance

In every political dispensation the government in power often formulates or operates on one form of idealization of the other. For example President Buhari is known for transparency, accountability and discipline, these are precepts of his political trust. Narrowing one’s mind to Niger State since 1999, we have had three governors beginning with Engineer A.A. Kure who adopted Islamic jurisprudence as guiding order and of course we witnessed the introduction of Sharia Law in the state. After Kure, came Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu with his bureaucratic and socialist ideology via the adoption of the Servant Leadership System of governance and with it came the establishment Jama’a Forum where the masses participated in their own governance through quality interaction and contribution of ideas to their leaders. And of course, the Ward Development Project was another initiative towards entrenching the vision of the servant leadership objectives.

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is an entrepreneur and is certainly bringing to the fore his capitalistic ideas of administration which in itself is a positive thing. If properly managed, capitalism could open doors for favourable competition amongst investors which could lead to the emergence of a robust public-private sector collaborations that would definitely boost the economy and generate employment for the teeming youths. A keen observer may have noticed the element of capitalism being introduced into governance already. One of the fundamental principles of an entrepreneur is cutting down risks or liabilities thereby creating room for quality maximization of available resources for the sustainability of the assets.

The governor has done this through the cutting of liability by reducing the number of ministries and agencies in the state most who end up duplicating each other’s functions. The reduction of ministries also means the reduction of commissioners in the state which automatically implies reduction in government’s expenditure because it would no longer cater for non-performing agencies of government because they no longer exist. This action also implies that the budget would be tighter and available resources would be employed to more cogent developmental issues in the state such as Education, Agriculture, Employment generation etc.

Governor Bello’s slow decision in announcing or creating his Executive Council may not be unconnected with the need for caution and prudence in putting together a team that would be totally committed to the development of the state. Every business requires the best brains to succeed, so also is the case with governance, the best brains are needed to form the team that would transform the state. Planning and structuring is fundamental to the functionality of any organization and it is quite clear by the governor’s disposition that he is trying to create an organizational frame work for the state which requires quality interaction and consultation with the relevant stake holders.

The merging of ministries and agencies is a definite way of reducing government cost and enhancing metallic productivity in governance. The governor’s action is a manifestation of his entrepreneurship expertise gathered from his private business exploits in the past. His business acumen is a plus in governance because for once we have governor who appreciates the norm of value for money. In other words, we have a governor who will effectively manage our resources and maximise it for the economic development of the state. Much as the governor’s restructuring portends good omen for the state, caution needs to emphasis especially as regards the people he is going to employ to help him manage the state, the commissioners. We hope and pray he does not bring on board people who will end up mortgaging our state like others have done in the past.

Like a Senior Colleague, Public diarist and fire spitting Essayist, Gimba Kakanda will say, May God Save Us From Us !.

Fodio, Wrote in from Minna, Niger State.


 Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

I’ll Serve Nigeria With The Fear Of God – Bwari

Former member of the House of Representatives and ministerial nominee from Niger State,  Abubakar Bwari, has affirmed that he would serve his fatherland, Nigeria with the fear of God, if he is successfully screened and confirmed as minister in President Muhammadu Buhari’s incoming cabinet.

President Buhari on Wednesday, October 14, 2015, withdrew the nomination of former Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Ibeto, replacing him with Bwari Being a toP planner, Bwari, is taunted to be designated Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

While responding to question by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, on how he intends to re-design Abuja, if finally cleared and confirmed Minister of FCT, Bwari who was also a former Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, said, when he is posted to the ministry, he will carry out his assessment and make relevant recommendations.

As a former member of the National Assembly, Bwari was however, not grilled like his counterpart, Prof. Isaac Adewole (Osun), who was earlier grilled for over 1 hour by members of the red chamber. He was thus asked to take a bow and go, following a question by the Senate President.

Meanwhile, below is the full profile of Abubakar Bwari:

Abubakar Bawa Bwari, popularly called ABB by his admirers was born on 4th November 1963 in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State. He had his primary education in Sokoto and Minna before proceeding to Government Secondary School, Suleja where he obtained his GCE “O” levels in 1982.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography (1986) and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (1990) from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and is a registered member of both the Nigeria Institute of Town Planners and Town
Planning Registration Council.

ABB has had varied working experience in the public and private sectors beginning with his appointment as a planning officer with the Niger State Ministry of Lands, Survey and Town Planning in 1988 and setting up his own practice, Tropical Design Associates in 1994. ABB is a consummate and successful businessman with investment in several business ventures such
as Gamji-Tee Aluminium Company, Mercury Nigeria Ltd, Interstate Property Development Company and Unipetrol Nigeria dealership.

ABB is also an experienced and successful politician. He was elected as a member of the Federal House of Representatives representing Suleja/Gurara/Tafa Federal Constituency in 1998 and subsequently became Chief Whip of the House, a position where he served meritoriously over a period spanning 1999-2007. During his eventful period of service in the House, he was also elected as Vice President African, Caribbean, Pacific and European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly and Chairman of the planning committee ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in 2000.

He was awarded Officer in the Order of Leopold (the highest honour bestowed on a foreigner) by His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium in 2004 and Doctor of Laws (LLD) degree by the City University of Los Angeles in 2004.

ABB is widely travelled and enjoys sporting activities (he is known to be an excellent Football Match Commentator). He also enjoys reading and continues to be actively involved in environmental issues and projects that directly impact on the lives of his people.

Fodio Ahmed: Governor Bello And The Metaphor Of The Tortoise

Development does not come by accident but by practical and deliberate design of structural organization which greatly relies on the value system of the society. For instance a society bedevilled by corruption, injustice, poverty, crisis and insecurity can hardly thrive no matter the amount of devotion on the part of the government. The most stringent thing to do in such society by a new government such as that of Governor Abubakar Sani Bello’s is to undertake a critical study of the system in order to come up with strategic plans or ideas that would redefine the publics’ perception of governance. Quite alright, one would say that the new administration in Niger State and indeed Nigeria at large is undergoing the processes of self-re-evaluation so as to be able to attack the developmental challenges from a vantage position.

A public maxim says that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Judging by the strides taken so far by Governor Bello, one could say that there is promise for the state that good governance shall be obtainable within the next three years in view. This is because of the visible efforts exhibited by the government towards the state such as the reconstruction, maintenance and completion of abandoned road projects by the PDP administration of Dr. Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu. There is no gain buttressing the importance of quality roads to the social economic development of any society therefore it is worthy of commendation that the governor as part of his activity during his first one hundred days in office embarked on the development of some key road projects in Minna metropolis.

Before this administration important roads in Minna such as Sabon Gari road, Minna Ultra Modem Market road and Old airport road were death traps, most especially the Sabon Gari road, though a commercial area was a terrible sight to behold and commuters experienced hardship while using the road which links Minna and Maitumbi. All the roads completed by the Governor are strategic to the daily activities of the masses who now ply them without any hardship. The government also carried out a maintenance exercise on Kasuwan Gwari and Mobil Roundabout and all are very important roads in Minna. One can only imagine the relief that repairing of these roads has brought the people.

No doubt, the accidents on these roads are bound to reduce to minimal level as a result of the intervention on them. Everyone knows that road construction and maintenance is a capital project but nothing can be compared with the joy of having quality roads that ease the daily activities of citizens.

Although some people may say that much is still to be done and indeed there is plenty of work to be done but one cannot push aside the fact that what has been done deserves our collective commendation. These roads were in terrible shapes while the former administration lasted for eight years but very little was done to improve their condition and what couldn’t be done in eight years was done within four months by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello. The present administration may be slow in exposing its operational frame work but with the little that it has done one could say that there is hope for a brighter future for the state.

Finally, the citizenry must understand that, for quality governance to be reached, a lot of planning and re- structuring needs to be done. We must take a cue from the metaphor of the Tortoise that walks slowly and steadily but eventually gets to its destination. It is not about the pace taken but the quality of the pace so far taken. It is also said that, not all those who begin a race end up wining. As citizens we must trust our leaders to do right and bring about the needed development. Building Niger state is our collective responsibility and we can achieve the greatness that we crave for through constructive criticism of the policies and actions of our leaders.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of

State Reduces Ministries From 23 To 14

The long-awaited list of commissioners to be presented to the Niger State House of Assembly by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello is ready and ministries are to be reduced from 23 to 14, investigations have revealed.

It was gathered that Governor Bello has already directed the Office of the Secretary to the State Government to issue a circular on the reduction of ministries in preparation for the submission of the list of commissioners to the State Assembly.

It was learnt that the list of the commissioners is ready and will soon be transmitted to the State Assembly for the consideration of the legislators.

Read More: leadership

I’ll Work In Niger General Hospital – Gov’s Wife

Wife of the Niger State Governor, Dr. Amina Bello, on Thursday said she would work as a medical practitioner at the State General Hospital, Minna.

The governor’s wife, who visited the female and pediatric wards at the General Hospital, Minna, said as a consultant gynaecologist, she would want to contribute to the treatment of women in the hospital.

She said, “My visit is to see how I can contribute to the society. That is what I do. I see pregnant women, I see women with problems, I operate on women on caesarian section; that is what I intend to do as my own contribution. The hospital should expect better services.”

“I would like to contribute my own quota, visit some of these women, spend time with them, helping with their surgeries and deliveries.

“I also need to see how the premises, where I will render my services, looks like. And I am very happy because the environment is so clean despite the old structures.”

She however lamented inadequate space in the hospital.

“It is too small. In a place where you have 600 deliveries, you have only 20 beds? It is not encouraging,” she added.

The Permanent Secretary of the Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makusidi Muhammad, commended the governor’s wife for her input and readiness to contribute her own quota.

He told journalists that the rate of infant and maternal mortality in Niger State has reduced.

Ex-governor Aliyu booed In Niger

Armed military men saved former Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, from what would have been an embarrassing situation during Friday’s inauguration of the new governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello.

The military men released several gun shots and tear gas  and ferried Aliyu out of Bako Kontagora Memorial Stadium venue of the inauguration when the crowd showed their displeasure with his appearance at the swearing in ceremony.

The ex-governor was booed and stoned by the angry crowd who called him several names.

Aliyu, whose convoy arrived the inauguration venue at about 10.15am, was booed on arrival by the crowd as he climbed the podium to take the salute of the military guard.

Shouts of “Barawo,”  “Thief,”  “Ole” “Change has come,”  “Your time is past, go,” filled the air at the stadium.

Sensing the tension, the organisers of the ceremony had to drop the ex-governor from making speech as earlier planned on the programme.

The outgoing Secretary to the State government, Seidu Ndako Kpaki, spoke on behalf of the government.

At about 11am when the new governor was taking his oath of office and oath of allegiance, Aliyu who sat beside his estranged deputy, Hon. Ahmed Musa Ibeto, for the first time in the public since the latter dumped the Peoples Democratic Party, was pelted with slippers and a sachet water, forcing his security details to form human shields round him.

Niger State Lawmakers Abandon Impeachment Plan On Gov. Aliyu After Receiving N17 million Each

According to reports, the impeachment against the Niger State Governor, Aliyu Babangida, may have been dropped as members of the state House of Assembly pushing for the governor’s removal have been allegedly paid N17m each with the additional promise that their other demands would be met as well. The N17m is said to be part of the allowances they were owed since February.
The speaker said he couldn’t confirm this report.
However, one of the lawmakers said, “It was not as if the governor bribed us, it is our legal entitlements and we have a right to ask for it before the expiration of our tenure. We have been paid and calm has returned to the assembly complex.” So because they had been paid, they decided against impeaching the Governor, he said.
It will be recalled that last week, the lawmakers had sacked the leadership of the assembly and elected a new leadership over a series of allegations including non-implementation of house resolutions, poor staff and members’ welfare and non-release of the statutory allocation to the assembly for months. This, it was learnt, was done to pave the way for the removal of the governor.
To frustrate the lawmakers, the governor had headed for the court where he secured an order to restrain the legislators from making any move to impeach him.
The House of Assembly was also occupied by security operatives for so many days to prevent the members from entering into the assembly complex to carry out their legislative duties.
Due to this, Kawu had threatened to institute a legal action against the Niger State Police Commissioner, Mr. Emmanuel Amore, over what he described as the illegal occupation of the state House of Assembly by security operatives.
Calm seems to have returned and all seems to be well.
Source: Punch

Babangida Aliyu Drags Niger Assembly Before Court Over Impeachment Threat

Niger State Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, has dragged the members of the State House of Assembly before the court in a bid to stop the move of the Assembly from impeaching him.

The State High Court in Minna has fixed May 27 for hearing in the case.

This will technically hamper the process of impeaching the governor, who will serve out his second term tenure on May 29.

Details later…

Finally, Senate Swears In David Umaru

The Senate yesterday finally swore in David Umaru of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the senator representing Niger East after the Appeal Court granted him victory last month.

Senate president David Mark administered the oath to Umaru after the Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba moved a motion that Umaru be allowed into the Upper Chamber.

The seat became vacant last year following the death of Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, with David Umaru (APC) and Shem Nuhu Zagbayi (PDP) contesting the Niger East senatorial seat.

LEADERSHIP recalls that David Umaru had petitioned the tribunal seeking to be declared as the winner of the by-election having won majority of the lawful votes.

The petitioners, David Umaru and APC, had prayed the tribunal to declare the declaration of Dr. Zagbayi of PDP as winner of the by-election null and void, claiming that the election was characterised by malpractices that affected several polling units and that the first petitioner should be declared winner after counting the lawful votes cast.

On January 31, this year, the National Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Minna granted a consequential order to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Barr David Umaru of the APC as the duly elected senator for Niger East Senatorial District, after nullifying the election of Dr Shem Nuhu Zagbayi of the PDP in last year’s Niger East by-election.

Delivering judgement at the Niger State High Court 7 in Minna, chairman of the three-man tribunal, Justice Ibrahim Bako, said the order was given based on the malpractices and non-compliance established by the petitioners (David Umaru and the APC).

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then appealed the judgement at the Appeal Court.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on March 11 turned down the appeal filed by the Niger State chapter of the PDP and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against the verdict of the Election Petition Tribunal that declared Barrister David Umaru of the APC as the authentic winner of the Niger-East Senatorial by-election.

Senator Umaru who has less than two months to stay in the 7th Senate fortunately won the March 28 senatorial elections for Niger East on the platform of the APC and defeated the incumbent Governor Muazu Babangida who contested on the ticket of the PDP.

Letter To Abubakar Sani Bello; The Governor- Elect Of Niger State By Musa Yunusa

Your Excellency Sir,

I humbly rejoice with you sir as you await the official announcement and swearing in as the governor of this great state. However, I found it extremely vital to put forth some issues troubling the indigenes of Niger state.

However,I must state at this juncture that the INEC under the chairmanship of Prof. Attahiru Jega has given every eligible voter the reasons  to believe that his/her vote would count in as far as the card reader is put into use. I said this so as to remind you that our PVC will be highly guarded till 2019 when you’ll either be re-elected or be shown the way out. So, it’ll be your choice to decide whether to wake the state from its slumber or contribute to killing it the more.

History has shown that Niger state has never been lucky in getting a steward to govern it through achieving its potential. From the period of Murtala Nyako, to Engr. Kure whose administration was laden with saturation of wealths and uncompleted contracts down to the just completed administration whose candidature in 2007 brought a breath of hope even from his choice of title “Chief Servant” which people believed would be the messiah they had waited for. But it is clearthat at the end of his eight years in government he didn’t justify his name as the chief servant but rather as ”thief servant”. It is my prayer for you, that at the end of four  years, people of Niger State would not say “ Abu felo Abu Felo  Ya  wa wo bea”  which would mean “Abu go away, Abu go away, we don’t want you anymore.” It will be a replica of the song a famous local artist (Ndako Kutigi) sang for theopposition to fuel to your campaign.

Now Nigerlites have made their decision owing to the believe they have in you and the reasons flying around about why you left the present administration. You’ve got a herculean task ahead, for no Nigerlite will forgive you if you fail to meet their aspirations.

Before I pencil down some of the things Nigerlites expect from you, there is one thing the chief servant succeeded in doing and for that, I love him till he lleaves government. That single thing is the recognition he gave to writers and writing as a whole. If you haven’t known that Niger State is endowed with a lot of writers and literary activist, then you should and also note that, they hold a great weapon to either making or marring your administration. It is my kind advice that you find a way of integrating them into your government.  A lot of people have regarded the annual colloquium held by the Chief Servant as a way to siphon resources, but I see it as a major success of the administration,  for a lot of us studied texts while in school and never got any opportunity to meet with authors. For me, seeing Professor Wole Soyinka during one of the event proved a point which lives within me I urge you to make research and affirm why Niger State is the headquarters of literary intellectualism.

Coming back to what the indigenes of the state expect from you, even though some still hold their reservation about you and the change you couldn’t bring to the state as an individual being one of the wealthiest. They hope you will bring smiles to their faces.“I cant believe students still study in classes like this” sir! This is a quotation from a friend whom was invited to one of the secondary schools here in Minna. It pierces one’s thought to see a school once regarded as a “model” school suffering from lack of basic study materials like desks and instructional materials which is a basis for comprehensive learning. How well have the teachers in the schools around the state fared  to guarantee qualitative education where you find English teachers battling with understanding lexical structures and simple clauses of the course? I feel your administration should have an overhaul of the educational system of the state so as to rebuild the confidence of the people in public schools. Sir, I can bet that schools having buses  in the state that are functional aren’t up to five . I plead you look into it.

It beats imagination that, in the capital of the state, there is only a single general hospital that offers medical services.  This isn’t only epileptic, but also a death warrant. For even in the hospital there isn’t sufficient medical gadgets to cater for every need.  I crave that you find it worthy of a task to pick, once  you assume office.

I feel God has favoured Niger State with a lot of resources that are not tapped. Today football is seen as a major sport that drives a society. Niger have seen her children grow to be professional footballers amongst which is “Muhammad Alfa” who hails from Bida and now playing abroad, “Aliyu” of Minna, popularly known as “Amokachi” who also plays for the Flying Eagles of Nigeria. But each time these young men return home, they hardly find a pitch that suits the kind of football they play. Even though we have seen stadiums onbillboards, I dare to say that Niger State doesn’t have a stadium for good football. You will be doing a great deal of job if you give Niger a good footballing pitch.

Finally, as a business mogul, Nigerlites look forward to seeing you bring your wealth of experience to bear in giving us functional factories and industries. They anticipate the revival of textile industries and even sugarcane plantations that have gone extinct.

These and more, Nigerlites await. With the hope that it wont be too much to accomplish.

 Once more congratulations Sir Abubakar Sani Bello (LOLO)

Musa Yunusa Wrote From Minna

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent the views of nor its associates

Accept Defeat, Embrace Nasko, PDP Tells Other Aspirants

The publicity secretary of Niger State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Hassan Saba, has asked defeated aspirants in the just concluded PDP governorship primaries to accept their fate, saying they are wrong for saying the conduct of the elections were flawed.


In a statement issued yesterday in Minna, Saba maintained that the conduct of the governorship primaries was flawless and a reflection of the wish of the people.

He said those complaining were crying wolf where none is and therefore urged those who lost the primaries to accept their fate,

adding that they must eschew unnecessary speculation over the conduct of the election.

He said the joint press conference addressed by the contestants has the imprint of a script written in anticipation of failure borne strictly out of their inability to impress the people.

“I am indeed pleased with the outcome of the PDP primaries. I hail the leadership of the party for the smooth process, which characterised the primaries. Let me also thank most of the aspirants for conducting themselves in the best possible way during the exercise, it shows that the next general election in Niger State will be free of violence.

“For those who lost out in the last primaries, I call on you to join hands with the party candidates to ensure PDP win all elective positions in Niger State in 2015. We must not allow selfish interest erode our sense of deductive reasoning as team players and true democrats. For emphasis sake, the process was indeed flawless.”

It would be recalled that Alhaji Umar Nasko recorded victory over other candidates vying for the governorship candidacy of the PDP in the just concluded primaries, a feat which other aspirants told journalists was attained because exercise was not free and fair.

PDP Will Win General Elections Despite APC’s Propaganda – Muazu Babangida

Gov. Aliyu Babangida of Niger State said on Thursday that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would win the general elections in spite of increased propaganda from opposition parties.

Babangida said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents in Abuja.

According to him, the PDP had no problem winning the elections, both at the gubernatorial and presidential level.

“Believe me, I have no problem. While it may be tougher this time around, because of the confederation, but believe me, PDP will win Niger State without any hesitation, and I have no problem with that.

“I don’t even think twice about it. When people are very good in propaganda, sometime, they even come to believe their own propaganda.

“But believe me, we have no problem in Niger State as far as PDP is concerned.”

The governor, who acknowledged that the PDP made some forgivable mistakes during its primaries, said many of those who defected from the party would come back after the elections.

He said the postponement of the general elections had provided the party an opportunity to reconcile with aggrieved members.

“There are, may be, places where we have a few problems, particularly where people might have felt aggrieved because of the way and manner the primaries were conducted.

“But, believe me, we are doing extremely well particularly, with this time frame that has been extended.

“It has given us an opportunity to reconcile with all those who we can reconcile with. There are some who may be bitter enough, may be until after elections before they decide to come back.

“Many of them who had left, the moment we win back our seats, they will all come back again.’’

On the use of card reader during the general elections, Babangida expressed doubt over the effectiveness of the machine.

Commenting on the friction between him and his deputy, the governor said that the differences had since been reconciled.

Source – Daily POST NG

Aliyu Denies Endorsing Buhari

Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has denied endorsing the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),  Muhammad Buhari in the February presidential election. He accused Buhari of truncating his political ambition in 1983 when he overthrew the democratically elected government of President Shehu Shagari.

Apparently referring to some reports which listed Aliyu as one of the governors who was sympathetic to the candidature of Buhari, Aliyu noted that he believed in loyalty and would not leave his political party and support someone from another political party. The governor said though the APC presidential candidate may be honest, his honesty may not translate to good public policies.

Read More: NewsDay

Governor Aliyu Dissociates Self From Buhari’s Posters

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State on Sunday disassociated himself from a poster circulating on social media linking him with the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement, Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Ebije Israel, stated that the poster, which depicted Messrs Aliyu and Buhari together, were fake.

He attributed it to the antics of desperate politicians, who are out to mislead the electorate and cause friction in the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The poster trending on social media has the picture of Aliyu, as PDP senatorial candidate together with Buhari, the APC presidential candidate.

“It is indeed disturbing and very embarrassing to see a campaign poster carrying the picture of Gov. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is very clear that those behind the act of shame have gone beyond desperation as they are attempting to force a link between the Governor and the All Progressive Congress (APC).

“The Niger State Governor has categorically condemned the move, and he is calling on supporters of the PDP to remain focused, and vote overwhelmingly for the PDP during the general elections,” it stated.


Niger PDP Delegate Names Doctored or Altered ?

Fresh facts emerging from the People’s Democratic Party screening committee in charge of Niger state and other states within the North Central Zone reveals that all delegates screened and elected by the people in all the 724 wards and 25 local governments have been doctored to pave way for the Governor’s anointed candidates of all the elective posts in the state.

In a phone conversation with one of the PDP Governorship aspirants, said the singular act of list tempering if not promptly corrected can cause great damage and confusion in the party. The governorship aspirant who wants to remain anonymous wondered why the National Youth Leader of the party- Mai Basira should allegedly allow himself to be involved in these messy deals.

Meanwhile, a member of the screening committee names withheld who allegedly charged 1.5million naira before collecting a petition has been directed to refund the money to the petitioner

 Zainab Jacob 

 Views Expressed are Solely Author’s.


Who’s Afraid of Umar Nasko? By Halima Ibrahim Anaba

In this buildup to the 2015 elections, the polity in Niger State is already tensed with the usual blackmails and propagandas of the losing camps. Typical of such politics of witch-haunts and character assassinations, the subject of hate has always been the personality and aspiration of the the contender who’s shown the potentials of not only emerging as winner but also promotes politics of ideas, instead of personality. Their campaign of calumny, this term, is on Alhaji Umar Mohammed Nasko of the People’s Democratic Party. The question is: why are they losing sleep over the ambition of Nasko?

Their main case against Nasko is the widespread recognition he has earned from not just the political establishment in Niger State but also from the numerous youth and professional groups across the State. This is an understandable reason to be in the spotlight and be so unfairly criticized by those who consider such privileges a sort of a crime.
All over the world, the quests by incumbent leaders to groom successors or facilitate the emergence of candidates they consider loyal to their administration or characteristically competent as successors have been a part of the political culture. While the incumbent promotes the ideals of his preferred candidate, the delegates and even forces outside the party circle also have their rights to move against such decisions. This is the beauty of democracy.
While these bitter agents are condemning Nasko for being “anointed” by the incumbent Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, as though this is an unusual or the first of such endorsements by the establishment, one is made to question such hypocrisy. Was it not in the same Niger State that the then Governor Abdulkhadir Abdullahi Kure abandoned his deputy, Dr. Shem Zagbayi Nuhu, and endorsed the guber ambition of Alhaji Jibrin Bala Guna (now deceased)? The same people now contesting the endorsement of Nasko by Governor Aliyu were not heard crying foul when Governor Kure endorsed the late Guna. The latter would’ve been PDP’s candidate in the main election if it weren’t for the EFCC that waded in and had his aspiration cut short over involvement in declared financial scandals.
The latest of these attacks of the personality of Nasko is a grammatically and logically atrocious piece by a certain Abdullahi S. Marafa, entitled “PDP May Lose 2015 Elections In Niger State” in the Sahara Reporters online media, which sets out to predict the reign of PDP in Niger State and indict Nasko as a bureaucratically incompetent public servant.
In one sentence, Marafa claims that it’s not possible for Governor Aliyu to willingly endorse a person once dismissed from his administration. In another sentence, he wondered why Governor Aliyu wanted to have Nasko as successor. What Marafa didn’t reveal in this attempt to discredit Nasko is that, while it’s true that Nasko left Governor Aliyu’s administration in the heat of a serious scandal, he was called back when the scandal was eventually resolved, having been proven innocent of the allegations of what Marafa considers financial misconduct. I don’t know how Marafa, in his malicious mischief, missed this fact. Or has Marafa not noticed the ongoing phase of the project in question? The proposed 5-star hotel is already a dream in progress, now under construction, and if the hostile critics have bothered to visit the location, they would’ve been sincere in acknowledging that it’s on a budget even higher than the initial five hundred million Naira said to have been misappropriated.
Sadly, the court of Marafa’s public opinion is against the convention of the Nigerian legal system, which says, when charged or accused, one is innocent until proven guilty. Nasko was never proven guilty, let alone convicted of these allegations of financial misconducts. The evidences are there for all to see. And it’s this vindication that resulted in his return to this administration, serving as Commissioner again and then Chief of Staff to Governor Aliyu.
In his declaration speech, Nasko delivered a dazzling and brilliant speech in which he not only pledged to sustain some of Governor Aliyu’s redeeming initiatives, including the intellectual development policy of this administration that recognizes the place of the writers and intellectuals in the society but also promised to run an all-inclusive government, which is a commendable effort in this time of polarising and bitter politics.
What marks Nasko out, and makes him taller than other Guber contenders in Niger State now, is his strict adherence  to the politics of ideas, while others, especially those intimidated by his exemplary strategies and dispositions, are frustrated to go every ridiculous length to discredit him in their mischievous fabrications on his private and public life.
In Marafa’s spurious claims, he wrote that he’s exchanged a letter with the schools Nasko attended in Poland and that there are doubts over Nasko’s schooling at those places. This is not only outrageous, but a pathetically low point of their dirty politics that doesn’t really deserve to be honoured with a response by Nasko’s handlers who’ve been resisting the challenge to play dirty in the fashion of these inconsequential libelists. Let’s even ignore the truth that extracting information on students at an institution in places like Poland, which they ignorantly claimed to have done in a few days, is a slow, difficult and almost impossible mission because of the legal processes involved. But in their hurry to fool the people, they forgot that bit of education on the privacy rights of students at Polish institutions.
The loopholes in their claims to have contacted the schools attended by the subject of their political nightmares are glaring. In one narrative, they wrote that the school answered that it has no details on students who enrolled in the 90’s, in another narrative they misinterpreted this lack of “key information” by the school, even though, again in their tale, the school confirmed that Nasko was in deed at the university, to mean that he wasn’t there at all. This is how low detractors go in bending truths. But they can only bamboozle gullible minds who don’t pause to question obvious fabrications and falsehoods against the person of Nasko.
In a time like this, we all must brace up for the storm of mischief and propagandas coming from enemies both within and outside, known and unknown, and also, awareness of the hacks working for them must be understood. It’s even funnier how the Abdullahi S. Marafa character who’s challenging the educational history of a man of Nasko’s wits and erudition is actually in need of elementary education, considering  his pitiable abuse of basic grammar in all his sentences in that sorry secondary school composition. But it’ll be out of point and a needless distraction to advise the illiterate hack to return to school or pick up an English primer to acquire basic knowledge of grammar and, also importantly, logic.
I must commend the Team Nasko for their refusal to play along the path of disrepute being trodden by detractors. It takes a serious courage, maturity and wisdom to resist dignifying the incoherent rambling of libelous opponents. The Team Nasko has been unwavering in its mobilization and sensitization as it propagates the ideals of their principal who’s very determined to lift Niger State to the higher height. It is, thus, not unusual that those who fail to match the man Nasko’s political machinations are resorting to name-calling and whatnots to draw attention to what are actually their own failures.
By Halima Ibrahim Anaba
Articles on are solely authors opinion

#KakandaTemple ~ Still on Niger Guber Race

Image credit:

Image credit:

My expression of cynicism last week, in my take on the generational chaos that is the contest to succeed Governor Aliyu in 2015, has sparked a torrent of reactions, fierce from the devastated camps and patronising from like-minded Nigerlites. The defenders of the former group have savaged me with accusation of mine being an unfair and “incomplete” criticism of the process. I want to clarify the meat of that criticism here.

My observation that the frontrunners in the marathon to Government House, Minna, is dominated by the children of the Old Powers, the power-brokering military overlords, whose children have now come of age and are ready to re-establish and amplify their family name, pride and fortunes in a society that seems to have forgotten about them, was not a mischievous portrayal as countered. It is my honest identification of the aspirants, especially the poster-child of PDP, Umar Nasko, son of General Gado Nasko, and even of the retreating Mohammed Babangida, whose father, former Head of State General Babangida, is reportedly unenthusiastic about his bid. In APC, the frontsman is Abubakar Sani Bello, son-in-law of former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar and member of a Forbes-recognised family—his father, a former military Governor of Kano, Colonel Sani Bello, has been ranked among the 50 richest Africans.

The happiest dissenters may be the handlers of Mustapha Bello, who have insisted that their principal, who is not from a modest background either, who is the younger brother of the Forbes-recognised entrepreneur and uncle to the APC frontsman Abubakar Sani Bello – shouldn’t have been categorised amongst the younger aspirants.

They argue that Mustapha Bello does not fit into my declaration that we have no marked progressives in the race, ignoring my definition of the progressive in the context as “one previously involved, even if individually, in the struggles for liberation of the state”. That definition is in distinction from an emergency politician who only appears in the political space and in people’s consciousness at the point of seeking elective office, the sort who then self-brands himself as a “progressive”.

I also compared our present poor crop of aspirants to Governor Aliyu, highlighting the incumbent’s advantages, which unsettled them more. The reference to “credentials” in my occasional praises of Governor Aliyu was not merely a recognition of our Governor’s pre-governorship achievements—as a legislator, highflying bureaucrat and of course his Ph.D in Public Policy and Strategic Studies, which complemented his cultural responsibility as a title-holding, fanfare-sponsoring “man of the people”, an unofficial populist, as testified to by witnesses of his aristocratic tendencies and largesse in the old Minna!

Yes, it’s not praise for the man’s academic feats, and even though he’s favoured by the establishment, Mustapha Bello’s political resilience isn’t even as remarkable as that of David Umaru who, unlike fellow serial aspirants, haven’t fizzled out or joined the winning PDP since defection, and has thus remained the soul of opposition politics, becoming a political activist in his longstanding tracking and analyses of Governor’s administration. Though the zoning formula, which I don’t even endorse anyway, favours Mustapha Bello’s senatorial district this term, his handlers may not even promote his candidacy on that pedestal, for he had challenged the re-election bid of the then incumbent Governor Abdulkadir Kure, in the 2003 elections.The next two terms of the next eight years are, by the designs of our power-brokering elite, for the people of Niger North of which all foremost aspirants are constituents.

In the case of Umar Nasko, Abubakar Bello and Mohammed Babangida, and other younger aspirants, the last column wasn’t an attempt to criminalise their descents or fault their academic achievements, for they are representatives of a sidelined generation, a generation plugged into modern ideas waiting for opportunities to establish the place of the youth in a country where the redemption of the people is assumed to rest on the shoulders of frail old men. So, my column wasn’t an attack of Umar Nasko. I only set out to advise his handlers to engage competent hands in managing his personality and ideas, for in spite of any shortcomings, he’s just as qualified to vie as the rest of them.

We live in a country of deep-rooted political patriarchy where the ambitions of youthful aspirants are trivialised and mocked by fellow youths, having, over the years, been crushed to the lower rungs of our socio-political existence by a destructive gerontocracy. The youth may not be the answer for salvation of this dysfunctional system, but their audacity to vie in a system that doesn’t praise their active participations in the power game, without being dismissed as too youthful, is a triumph for our generation.

So far, the line up for the guber marathon is an amusing commentary on the biology of our politicians. While a people are discussing the audacious emergence of a 39-year-old Umar Nasko, being the youngest in the race, there is, in the race, a 73-year-old Senator Nuhu Aliyu, older than the fathers of the aspirants, older than General Babangida, older than Colonel Sani Bello, and, wait for it, born in the same year as Umar Nasko’s father. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda


#KakandaTemple ~ Niger 2015: Who Let the Boys Out?

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Niger State, without a doubt, is passing through the darkest phase in its political evolution. This is not about the failed development plans of the incumbent Governor or his foundationally flawed visions of having the economy of the state ranked among the three most developed in the country. This foreboding darkness is the chaos stirred up by the race to succeed him, in which famous families are, more than ever, actively involved, as though they’ve finally realised the need to re-establish themselves in the new world that seems to have forgotten about them.

Sadly, just a few months to the governorship election, there’s no aspirant who clearly fits into the word “progressive”, one previously involved, even if individually, in the struggles for liberation of the state; just a clique of political opportunists and politically insular children of the silent kingmakers buying off the people, in exploiting the poverty and naiveté of government-dependent civil servants, artisans and street toughs, highlighting politics of money, instead of ideas. Yet, none of these contenders is capable of matching even the current Governor’s pre-governorship credentials.

I was having a discussion with a friend the other day, and, while resisting his ploy to lure me to a candidate’s camp, I asked: “Beyond the heavy pocket, who is X?” And so also would be asked of those piggyback politicians who may end up as pawns of moneyed fathers and godfathers, all desperate to gain or consolidate political powers and relevance.

I’ve actually stopped being overly idealistic, only cautious despite my inclination to realpolitik. What, however, displeases me is how we’ve fallen even in the quality of aspirants whose cluelessness may be overlooked. This is the reason I think we’re doomed. If the Governor Aliyus fail to redeem Niger, I fear for these successors, especially the ones under their shadows.

One of them, Umar Nasko, the son of a former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, General Gado Nasko, is a marked character in the shadow of the present Governor. While some attribute this privilege to the Governor’s show of gratitude as public servant under the senior Nasko in the FCT ministry, a section has found as suspicious the renewed relationship between the governor and Nasko, for the latter, as a Commissioner, has once been reportedly dismissed by the government for misappropriating funds meant, according to several accounts, for the “proposed” 5-star hotel in Minna.

Umar Nasko’s “biography”, shared on his campaign website – – is the sorriest tosh I’ve ever tortured my senses to read; a failed attempt to romanticize several embarrassing non-events in his bid to promote himself as an achiever, the opposite of what he really is.

That biographical sketch is enough to crush the man’s political ambition even before this frustrated takeoff, and it has nothing to do with his academic hassles. Even though the constitution makes Secondary School Leaving Certificate a qualification for becoming a governor, it beats me that our politicians, especially those with no impressive records always bother to cover up their deficiency with, as is the case with Nasko, atrocious, incoherent and clearly “suspicious” rants of the semi-literate.

Nasko ought to be celebrated as a product of a generation yearning for the involvement of the youth in politics. But it’s unfortunate that, as a self-promoted representative of that same generation, he could not task a “literate” team with defining and selling his personality and ideas.Anyone close to Nasko should advise him to have that embarrassment on his website taken down or rewritten.

Obviously, we cannot afford judging the contenders based on ultra-progressive principles. If we apply that, we may end up with nobody qualified to lead the state. I will also not join the critics who have dismissed them as too youthful and inexperienced. What matters is the sincerity of their mission. What matters is our understanding of the youth who ride on destructive opportunism, and those conscious and competent, despite being beneficiaries of our systemic political opportunism. For, in Nigeria today, with every youthful Saminu Turaki, there’s a youthful Donald Duke.Youth doesn’t mean incompetence, just as old age isn’t wisdom. Which is why honest criticism of all candidates ought to be done at the launch of their aspiration.

The last fifteen years of democracy in Niger State have been a great leap backwards, and this can be understood in comparing Minna under the civilians to the aesthetically grander Minna of 1990s, under the military, with functional streetlights and flowered central reservations and vibrant economic activities and social life. This is a simple indication of our misfortune since the coming of this democracy. That a people are celebrating streetlights as achievements today, which were in existence in the same place in the 90s, is a reason to lose sleep.

As the people of Niger state roll out the drums to bid Governor Aliyu goodbye for eight years of eloquent speeches, and delightful showmanship, we all have to agree that he was a promising leader, visionary, progressive, cerebral and, very importantly, independent(!), but how he ended up even more confused than his predecessor whose administration he dismissed as fraudulent on assuming power, is a story for patient historians. That we’ve fallen from the “standard” of the Governor Aliyus of 2007 to that of the General’s children in the 2015 race is a frightening situation. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda On Twitter