Kaduna Investment Summit To Boost State Business Activities – Official

As part of efforts to boost business activities and generate huge revenue for development, the Kaduna State will be holding its second edition of Economic and Investment Summit in April 2017.

Briefing journalists on the preparations ahead of the summit with the theme “Making Kaduna the Investment Destination of Choice” the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency( KADIPA), Gambo Hamza, said the summit is organized to consolidate on the gains recorded last year.

He announced that foreign investors from the United States, European Union and other parts of the world as well as local investors are expected to attend the 2017 edition of investment Summit.

According to him, some of the 2016 achievements include $150m Olam animal, poultry and hatchery factory located in Chikun Local Government Area of the state along Abuja-Kaduna Express way, $120m Vicampro potatoes farm and processing facility in Manchok, Kaura, in the Southern part of the State.

Hamza, further said the previous summit also brought in a $10m Dangote Tomatoes production plant in Kaduna, which all the investment projects have reached advance stage of completion.

He said the summit which will begin from April 5-6 2017, would unveil Ease of Doing Business Charter:” The summit will highlight the innovative approaches such as, process mapping and digitization that the state is employing to attract and keep high value investments”

Hamza said the KadInvest 2017 will be hosted by state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, and the state’s economic agenda and development plan would also launch the Bus Rapid Transit System(BRT) during the summit.

“KadInvest is the platform for demonstrating that Kaduna State is open for business. The state has demonstrated firm commitment to achieving sustainable economic growth by legislating to make it easier to do business, and aligning its budget to capital expenditure to build human capital and infrastructure”

“Kaduna believes that private investment is the best vehicle for job creation, and is eager to bring together the private sector, international development partners and develop finance institutions to identify opportunities in the state and take the investment initiative that creates growth”

We have confirmed the participation of European Union, USAID and other international and local investors for the two-day summit” Hamza said.

 

Source: AIT

ONGOING: Osinbajo holds security meeting with community leaders over #SouthernKaduna

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is currently on an official visit to Kaduna state basically on an inspection tour of the Kaduna airport in a last preparatory bid for the closure of the Abuja airport which is slated for March.

On his arrival at the Kaduna airport, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was duly received and welcomed by the Executive Governor of the state, Mallam Nasir Elrufai.

Osinbajo will also inspect the Abuja-Rigasa Railway terminal link road to the airport constructed by the Kaduna State Governor in less than one month as stated in a tweet by the Kaduna State Government’s Official Twitter Handle below;

Osinbajo arrived Kaduna in the company of the honorable minister for information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and also the minister for transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.

As at the time of filing this report, Omojuwa.Com has it on good authority that the acting president is currently holding a meeting with community leaders and representatives of the JNI and CAN which bothers on the security of Kaduna state with regards to recent unfortunate attacks in Southern Kaduna.

The Abuja airport will be shut for six weeks to enable engineers work on the repair of the expired runway.

The Nigerian Police has however promised to provide adequate security to cover travelers who will be plying the Kaduna-Abuja road as a result of the closed airport.

All flights within the six weeks period of the Abuja airport closure will be directed to the Kaduna airport.

VIDEO: Governor Nasir El-Rufai denies paying herdsmen to kill in Kaduna

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has denied paying Fulani herdsmen to instigate the Southern Kaduna crisis.

His media aide Samuel Aruwan, at a news conference yesterday, reiterated that El-Rufai did not pay the herdsmen, to either appease or arm them, as widely reported in the media.

The Senator representing Kaduna South, Danjuma La’ah, accused El-Rufai of paying the Fulani herdsmen for killing his constituents.

According to Aruwan, El-Rufai has continued with the peace efforts of former Governor Patrick Yakowa, and will do whatever is legitimate to secure lasting peace in the area.

He noted that the late Yakowa tried to foster reconciliation with affected Fulani communities, to stem the spiral of vengeance and reprisals.

“Yakowa’s efforts were not sustained after his death and violence persisted. When it became our responsibility to provide security for the state, we re-established these contacts so that those who felt they lost in the 2011 violence could let go.

“The quest for peace and the imperative of stemming human suffering require leaders to explore conventional and unusual means to build peace. That is why the Kaduna State government is combining security action with dialogue and peace-building efforts in Southern Kaduna,” Aruwan said.

 

New military formation ‘will check’ violence in southern Kaduna – NCYA

A group known as the Northern Christian Youth Assembly has expressed delight over the formation of a military formation in Kanfachan in in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna state.

Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, and Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, laid the foundation of the military base on Saturday.

Commenting on this, Peter Bawa, coordinator of the group, said security personnel deployed to the barracks will give “marauding killers a hot chase”.

“Laying the foundation for the building of a military barracks in Kafanchan is a development that we know would go a long way to curtail the menace of maurading killers that have plunged too many communities in the area into mourning,” Bawa said in a statement.

“We see the building of a military formation in the area as a way of shortening troops’ deployment time and ensuring that troublemakers within that vicinity are given a hot chase and no longer have anywhere to torment the peace of the people.

“The prompt implementation of the barracks project is a demonstration of the administration’s sincere commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property of all citizens irrespective of political or religious leanings.

“It has gone a long way to again show that we truly have responsible and decisive leadership that is willing and able to confront any emerging evil to ensure Nigerians can live in peace to enjoy their own country.

“While we remain confident in the ability of the Nigerian Army which is one of the best in the world to bring perpetrators of all the deadly attacks around that vicinity to justice within the shortest period of time, the subsequent completion of the barracks would further boost the confidence of the people in the neighborhood in the military of their country.”

Police arrest 17 suspects ‘involved in’ Southern Kaduna killings.

Nigeria police say they have arrested 17 suspects involved in the recent killings in Kafanchan, Kaduna state.

 

Jimoh Moshood, police spokesman, made the disclosure on Thursday in Abuja when he presented the suspects before journalists.

 

He said that 29 assorted firearms were recovered from them.

 

He explained that the suspects were arrested after discreet and sustained investigation, adding that they would be charged to court on completion of investigation.

 

Moshood also said they would be charged for inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, causing mischief by fire, culpable homicide, theft and unlawful possession of prohibited fire arms.

 

He added that the inspector-general of police assured communities in Southern Kaduna of adequate security and protection of their lives and property.

 

Source: The Cable

Governor El-Rufai vows to prosecute those behind the pogrom in southern Kaduna

Governor Nasir El-Rufai has vowed to prosecute those behind the pogrom in southern Kaduna, just as he exonerated himself of any complicity, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

The governor, who spoke while receiving the Kabiru Gaya-led Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Southern Kaduna yesterday at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, described his accusers as mischievous. He noted that no patriotic chief executive would allow his state to be on fire.

He regretted that the impasse was prolonged by the non-prosecution of the sponsors over the years.

His words: The reasons the southern Kaduna crisis has continued unabated is because those involved have neither been punished nor prosecuted in the 35 last years.”

The governor charge the committee “to see the reality of what is happening in southern Kaduna as against the fiction,” advising it not to believe anyone “based on his credibility or apparent credibility,” including the statement credited to the Catholic Church in Kafanchan, which he described as “totally false.”

He further told the panel that there were several “irresponsible comments on the crisis by people who should know better.”

According to him, even the figures released by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the impasse were those of six local councils and involved trapped Christians, Muslims and traditionalists.”

El-Rufai also accused some traditional and community rulers in the area of perpetuating the crisis for selfish ends, pledging to prosecute them.

Gaya had told the governor that their target was to investigate and find a lasting solution to the crisis.

“Our mission is to interact, discuss with government, stakeholders, community leaders, security agencies on the remote causes of the continuous crisis in the southern part of the state,” he stated.

Also yesterday, the founder of Resurrection Praise Ministry Worldwide, Archbishop Samson Benjamin, sought restraint in order not to overheat the polity following the spate of killings in parts of the country.

The cleric, who gave the charge during an audience with the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, in Abuja, appealed for peace. He commended the police and other security agencies for being alive to their duties.

Meanwhile, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim, has warned residents against resorting to jungle justice in the face of slightest provocation.

Giving the warning against the backdrop of the recent killing of herdsmen by some youths in parts of the state, noted that the lawless exercise was uncivilised, criminal and anti-justice, peace and security.

He cautioned the nomads against provocatively grazing their cattle on people’s farmlands.

 

Source: Guardian

El-Rufai swears-in new Kaduna Head of Service, wants more women in public service.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Friday urged more women in the country to join public service in order to move the nation forward.

Mr. El-Rufai made the call in Kaduna when he swore-in the state’s new Head of Service, Bariatu Ibrahim.

The governor said he believes that women have always had exemplary carrier in the public service and pledged that his administration would always give them the chance to excel.

According to him, the new head of service has contributed immensely towards improving and revamping the state civil service.

“Before we came into office, we were informed by the UK Department for International Development that Kaduna State civil service is the most competent out of the 19 Northern states; that was some reassurance.

“But still there are a lot of work to be done to renew and revitalise the civil service.

“I am happy that Bariatu has done previous work in this area and she will now take charge of this vital duty of ensuring that our public service is young , energetic, ICT compliant and gender balanced.”

In her remarks, Ms. Ibrahim thanked the governor for the appointment and promised to pursue ongoing reform of the state civil service.

Responding to questions from journalists after the event, the head of service said she would focus on the training of personnel to drive the reform process.

According to her, absence of training was identified as one of the major inhibitions to an effective result-oriented civil service.

“We had selected few people who are competent in various cadres in the civil service, we put them together and did a workshop and we identified our weaknesses and our strength.

“One of such weaknesses is absence of training, and we expect that the training of all cadre of staff will be the beginning of the reform programme in the state.”

She solicited the support of all civil servants and the guidance of Allah to enable her succeed in “this big task” as head of the state civil service.

 

Source: NAN

#SouthernKaduna: The Vanguard Newspaper Lied, College of Education Students Were Not Killed.

Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya is in receipt of a report on unfounded news going round the media especially the social media that five (5) students of the College were ambushed and killed by Fulani Herdsmen on their way to the College along Kagoro-Gidan Waya road on Sunday, 22nd January, 2017.


The College wishes to categorically state that the story is totally false and unfounded. Similarly, the College is not aware or in receipt of any report of such incidence from the Police.  Moreover, the College does not run any Department of Mass Communication and all her students of the Gidan-Waya campus are presently on break.


We are surprised that such insinuation is being patronised and perpetrated by certain reputable media outfits such as Vanguard. 

Members of the general public are therefore, called upon to totally disregard such stories as they are mere attempt to compound the security challenges being experienced in Southern Kaduna and the State in general. 

Governor El-Rufai and key members of his cabinet hosts World Bank officials

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and some key members of his cabinet, on Wednesday, played host to World Bank officials at the state government house.

 

This was made known in the pictures shared on social media few minutes ago by one of the governor’s aide.

 

The early morning meeting with the World Bank officials was aimed at strengthening partnership on the development of the state.

 

Details of the meeting would be made public soon.

 

See photos below:

 

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Melinda Gates commends Kaduna Government on child health, others.

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has been commended for his leadership in improving child health. Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, BMGF, gave this assessment when she visited Kaduna on Wednesday.

 

Mrs. Gates, whose plane landed at the Kaduna Airport, told the governor that the Gates Foundation also lauded Kaduna State’s drive to improve the range and credibility of data collection.

 

“Your commitment to data collection is really admirable. You can’t make decisions without data. We are pleased to help you with that”.

 

She assured the governor that the Gates Foundation has a joint interest with the Kaduna State Government to reduce infant mortality.

 

Assessing the progress on routine immunisation, Mrs. Gates said the BMGF is impressed by the scale of the polio surveillance mounted by the Kaduna State Government.

 

Speaking further on the healthcare segment of the partnership between her foundation and Kaduna State, Mrs. Gates said that the primary health centres will continue to be supported so that they can offer a broad range of services to patients.

 

Mrs. Gates also promised that the BMGF will invest more in agriculture and in promoting access to financial services.

 

Mr. El-Rufai expressed gratitude to the Gates Foundation for supporting Kaduna State. He proposed that the partnership between the foundation and the state be strengthened by making it to better cohere with the state’s priorities. These include maternal and child health, child spacing and nutrition. He further suggested that the BMGF should support the state’s data revolution, its state residency identification system and efforts to promote security and justice, and to address the root causes of poverty and development.

The governor noted that Mrs. Gates’ direct flight to Kaduna Airport is a welcome endorsement. He added that Kaduna State looks forward to strengthening the relationship between the two partners.

Kaduna crisis: You’ll be shocked by calibre of people we’ll arrest, says el-Rufai

Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says people will be shocked by the calibre of “perpetrators” his government will arrest and prosecute for the violence in Southern Kaduna.

 

Speaking on Tuesday when he received Abubakar Mahmoud, president of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the governor said previous governments had failed to prosecute anyone for crises in Kaduna.

 

El-Rufai said about 20,000 people had lost their lives to crises in the state since 1980 while noting that his administration is determined to put an end to violence.

 

“Since 1980, about 10,000 to 20,000 were killed in Kaduna State during crisis and government did not prosecute anybody. We are determined to end the killings in Kaduna,” the governor said.

 

“Henceforth, the law will fully apply without fear or favour. We have made some arrests and you will be shocked to see the calibre of perpetrators that we are going to arrest and prosecute.

 

“No matter highly [placed] the person is we will bring him or her to face the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to others whom may want to sponsor crisis. Some of the things you are hearing are not true. Some people have made up their minds to spread hatred and falsehood especially in the media.”

 

The state government had declared a 24-hour curfew in three local governments in a bid to curb the persistent killings in the areas.

 

The curfew has been relaxed to 12 hours in Zangon-Kataf and Jema’a while the 24-hour curfew is still in force in Kaura.

Soyinka knocks Buhari, El-Rufai’s “lethargic” handling of southern Kaduna crisis

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s and Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s handling of the southern Kaduna crisis. “If you ask why Gen. Buhari did not act fast enough when these events took place, which degrade us as human beings, it was perhaps he had been waiting for the governor of that state to send money to the killers first for them to stop the killing,” Soyinka said.

This was the first time that Soyinka who supported Buhari’s bid for the presidency last year would openly criticise him. This shows how the president’s handling of the crisis over which he did not comment for a long time despite the carnage is alienating him from his support base.

Soyinka said at the launch of a book, Religion and the Making of Nigeria in Abuja yesterday that he was not astonished by the admission of El-Rufai that he paid out money to foreigners to stop the carnage on Nigerian soil.

“There was nothing new about it. Has appeasement to religious forces not become a Nigerian face of justice and equity? First lethargy and then appeasement. Was Boko Haram’s Muhammed Yusuf not a beneficiary of appeasement in a similar fashion?

“What, however, concerns the rest of us, no matter the internal wrangling, rivalries or controversies within any religion, is that the innocent are often those who pay the highest price. The non-adherents to one line of belief or another,” Soyinka said.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was also at the launch lamented the hypocrisy displayed by Nigerians on the issue of federal character, wondering why cases related to religious violence were not brought to a logical conclusion.

His words: “Very few people have been prosecuted for religious violence but none has ever been brought to conclusion. Why is it that such cases are never concluded? Too many cases of high-profile murders that are not concluded in this country.

“National character is very hypocritical. When we are playing football, we all clamour for the best legs because we want to win. We don’t ask how many Muslims or Christians are on the team. When you are sick, nobody asks the religion of the doctor, we only ask about competencies.”

Meanwhile,? Buhari yesterday met with security chiefs over the prevailing insecurity in southern Kaduna, the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.At the meeting held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Dan-Ali, disclosed that troops had been moved to southern Kaduna while negotiations were ongoing to end the killings in the area.

The military also said it had concluded an arrangement to launch an operation as part of measures to completely restore peace in the wake of the insecurity in the area.The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who gave the indication at the end of the security meeting, yesterday disclosed that the exercise would also cover some parts of Plateau and Kano states. He said the operation was akin to the other military endeavours in the Niger Delta, among others.

It was alleged that no fewer than three persons were feared killed in the incident leading to the heavy presence of security operatives around the community.
Eyewitness told The Guardian that the problem started on Tuesday night when a Hausa scrap dealer carrying a generator in a wheelbarrow was accosted around the Udo Udoma area of Itiam Etoi by some local residents.

“They asked him for settlement , and when he refused to pay, the youths resorted to confronting him. The minor misunderstanding led to a brawl and forced a reprisal attack from the Hausa/Fulani settlers in the area,” he said .The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Cordelia Nwawe, confirmed that there was a crisis but denied that there were casualties.

Kaduna State Government Announces Killings’ Masterminds

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has announced the arrest of some of the people behind attacks in the southern part of the state.

The governor disclosed the names when he visited the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Agyle Abeh in his office.

He vowed that his administration would ensure all those involved in the attack in Southern Kaduna would be fished out and prosecuted in accordance with the law.

Governor El-Rufai stressed that his administration would not condone any form of criminality and lawlessness in the state.

Earlier, the Police Commissioner while parading some of the suspects before the governor, said that they were arrested for various offences, ranging from involvement in Southern Kaduna violence to armed robbery and kidnapping.

He assured the governor that the command, under his watch, would not relent until criminals were chased out of the state and until normalcy returned to all troubled areas.

The governor also took out time to address the suspects with a view to know their involvement for the crimes which they were accused of.

Speaking to reporters, Governor El-Rufai called on citizens of the state to embrace peace and tolerate one another for the interest of peace and development of the state.

In the meantime, Muslim clerics under umbrella of Council of Imams and Ulamas have called on Federal and Kaduna State governments to arrest and prosecute the Senator representing Kaduna South in the National Assembly, Danjuma Laah, and few others for making inflammatory statements and instigating the recent Southern Kaduna crisis.

Addressing journalists on state of affairs in Southern Kaduna, the Chairman of the Imams and Ulamas, Sheikh Abubakar Babatunde, said the council was in support of Federal and Kaduna State government in taking any measures legally to deal with any individual or group of persons found guilty in the attacks without fear or favour.

Between Fayose, El-Rufai and Fulani Herdsmen – By Niran Adedokun

I can imagine the self-righteous indignation in the minds of many Nigerians at the attempt to draw a comparison between the two gentlemen whose names appear on this headline. I cannot say I don’t understand.

In the contemplation of the average Nigerian, having these two names in the same sentence would be akin to likening sleep with death. One man is suave, well-educated and representative of the progressive politics that we now look on to as harbinger of good governance that have eluded us forever. An archetype of the biblical Moses to deliver our country from the wilderness of stunted accomplishments resulting from the curse of recurring bad leadership.

The other man, to a lot of us, is the very example of the past that we would rather obliterate from our memories. Of no more than moderate educational attainments, sometimes garrulous and almost always impatient, even disrespectful of unpropitious constituted authority (It can be argued that the two men are similar on the last two fronts though), he is an ubiquitous memento of the 16 years of the “waste” signified by the Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP). Consequently, it wouldn’t be a struggle to understand the surprise of readers at the attempt to juxtapose these two.

But there is a sense in which both men stand out in the current scheme of things in Nigeria. In spite of the obvious divergence in their personalities, both were elected to govern their respective state of origin and are members of the elite club of the 36 governors of Nigeria’s federating states.

In this all important duty, there are also discernable differences mostly dictated by the personality types described above in their performances. Mallam Nasir el Rufai who governs Kaduna State in the North West Zone has displayed an alluring grasp of the idea of sustainable development. If you are a Nigerian in tune with trends that might define the future, you would love some of his initiatives.

Take his strides in taking children off the streets into the schools for instance, aside from incentives like a school feeding programme, which template now inspires the Federal Government stillborn identical policy, he has unprecedentedly chosen to enrol his children in public schools in the state. This step gives a measure of assurance of direct supervision of standards.

You cannot but love the man’s determination to industrialise his state, the steps he is taking to revamp the textiles industries that defined the economy of the state as well as his commitment to rebuilding health infrastructure.

The state recently signed a memorandum of understanding with global corporate giant, General Electric to equip 255 primary health centres and 23 general hospitals across the state. The programme includes the training of healthcare professionals and a three-year maintenance agreement for the equipment. The plan is to deliver at least one overhauled hospital in each of the 255 wards in the state. To abbreviate the narrative, el-Rufai has brought some sophistication to governance,

But same cannot be said of Mr. Ayodele Fayose, who governs Ekiti State in the South West of the country. This man could be called a governor on the streets. His stomach infrastructure philosophy, which comes across as dishing out fish to the citizenry instead of teaching them to fish had permanently  cheesed off a lot of Nigerians such that there can be nothing good about this two-time governor in their books. Directly awarding government contracts to peasant artisans, giving a stipend of N5, 000 to indigent people across the state and taking moments to feel the deprivations of the people, possibly in perpetual recollection of his humble beginnings further nauseates compatriots who would prefer that all governors were as dignified as el-Rufai.

In addition to what many consider as his pedestrian disposition to governance, Fayose has invited the interminable anger of lovers of President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressive Congress (APC) by becoming the loudest opposition voice to the national government.

As Nigerians mostly seem unable or disinclined to compartmentalise their assessment of the performance of public officials, it can be said that those who admire el-Rufai loathe Fayose and vice versa. Unfortunately, the former folks, even if one cannot definitely put them in the majority, clearly have the loudest voice with which they drown out contrary tunes.

This is the proclivity which the recent appraisal of Fayose’s by General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; Pastor Enoch Adeboye exposed about us as a people.

Adeboye was quoted as saying the following about Fayose: “We thank God for your life, we thank God for your courage and your boldness. We thank God for your being willing to take risks so that your people can be protected. You are a governor who knows when to say enough is enough in defence of his people..,” Fulani herdsmen were perfecting the plans to attack defenceless citizens of the Southern part of Kaduna State.

As scurrilous attacks mounted from all quarters about Adeboye’s comments, bodies of children, women and men killed in the senseless attacks piled up in Kaduna. At a press conference last week, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) hinted that over 800 innocent souls were lost in the herdsmen conquest. Lands, homes and other possessions of the victims were also taken over with the smooth governor of the state sending contradictory vibes on the cause and effect of the killings.

While el-Rufai’s immediate response to the Christmas attack on southern Kaduna  smacks of one of incompetence or an reluctance to nip the issue in the bud,  his comments while explaining previous attacks can be said to have encouraged the marauders.

Earlier last month, the Kaduna Governor was quoted as owning up to having set up a committee that followed the lead of late Governor Patrick Yakowa and traced perpetrators of previous attacks to Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.  He thereafter sent a warm message of ethnic solidarity to the effect that a Fulani man like these criminals had become governor of the state as a likely form of appeasement.

The governor further suggested that these attacks were a revenge of  2011 post electoral violence in which some herdsmen lost cattle. He then indicated that he was considering compensating the aggrieved herdsmen by paying for cattle that they allegedly lost in 2011.

Now, aside from the opacity surrounding the killing and stealing of cattle six years ago, el Rufai’s disposition here shows the abdication of his authority and deference  to the dictates of  the same invaders who are killing the people he swore to protect. The people over whose wellbeing, the 1999 Constitution holds him accountable.

The governor would thereafter scamper to Abuja asking for belated assistance after he had laid a background for cross-country disaffection by alleging that the attacks were likely to be perpetrated by Niger Delta militants! Such duplicity would explain incessant herdsmen attacks in which innumerable lives have been over the past few months

Compare that to the reaction of Fayose, who after the death of two residents of Oke Ako in the Ikole Local Government Area of the state in May last year, initiated and signed the Prohibition of Cattle and Other Ruminants Grazing in Ekiti, 2016, which regulates the operation of cattle herders. All of these were done within three months.

This law has been tested on at least one occasion and that has led to a meeting of minds between the governor and the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). Even if this does not provide an impeccable solution, no single account of life loss has been recorded in the state thence, lives have been safe and peace reigns in the land.

So while one governor is being apologetic to killers of his people, literarily validating their right to avenge cows that were killed or stolen six years ago, another is saying without equivocation that “the lives of 5000 cows cannot be equated with those of human beings killed daily by herdsmen…” Yet both governors are empowered by the country’s constitution to protect the lives of their people, without which every developmental initiative would be a waste.

Life is for the living and effective governance is fundamentally about protecting the lives of citizens. It is a lesson that all our leaders should promptly imbibe.

Happy New Year, dear readers

Twitter@niranadedokun

Peace gradually returns to southern Kaduna as residents reach truce with herdsmen

A milestone for the cessation of attacks and killings in Southern Kaduna communities was achieved at the weekend, when Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), the umbrella body of the Fulani herdsmen, agreed to a ceasefire, and embraced peace.

This is as indigenes of Southern Kaduna, under the aegis of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), described the Fulani group’s decision as a welcome development, provided they are sincere about embracing peace.

At a press conference in Kaduna, yesterday, where the herdsmen also stated their grievances, they claimed that they were not the aggressors in the unending crises.

That notwithstanding, the Assistant National Secretary of MACBAN, Ibrahim Abdullahi, called on the people of the area to forgive what had happened, stressing that both parties should learn to forgive one another.

“This crisis will never end if you think you would go and revenge what happened to you. So, we are appealing to all parties to sheath their swords and embrace peace. We want to also support the steps so far taken by the government of Kaduna State, and all the security agencies in order to return normalcy to the area. We call on leaders in particular, political, religious and otherwise to desist from making inflammatory speeches that could escalate the situation. There should be no hate speeches … We inherited a peaceful Southern Kaduna and I don’t think we are sensible if we bequeath to our children and grandchildren a Southern Kaduna that is fighting itself.”

Abdullahi commended the role played by Governor Nasir El-Rufai, in ensuring that the crises come to an end, including resuscitating the peace process started by the late Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa.

Responding to MACBAN’s ceasefire, President of SOKAPU, Solomon Musa, told The Guardian that the people of Southern Kaduna are ready to embrace peace, provided the peace move is not deceptive.

Musa explained that any development that calls for sincere dialogue or ceasefire is welcomed by his people In a related development, Chairman, Nigerian Catholic Diocesan Priests Association, Kafanchan Chapter, Reverend Father Williams Abba, has described the killings in Southern Kaduna as efforts aimed at ethnic cleansing.

According to him, the killings are sustained in an effort to drive the people away from their communities, and forcibly grab their lands for grazing. Abba, who alleged that religious conquest, political relevance and economic benefits were some of the hidden motives behind the attacks and killings, expressed worry at the level of sophistication of the attackers, and weapons deployed.

He also flayed the state and federal governments for failing the people of region by not quickly intervening saying: “The primary duty of government is the protection of lives and property. The state government has been slow, lackluster and lackadaisical in its response, whenever there is an attack. On many occasions, the governor will not visit the affected areas after the crises.

“The victims are internally displaced without adequate relief materials from the state government. They have not been compensated or resettled till date. Their children are still wandering without schools to attend. Their farm produce are being stolen by the herdsmen because our people are too afraid to go to the farms for fear of attacks by the Fulani herdsmen.”

Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), yesterday, described as reckless, irresponsible and worrisome, the statement by El Rufai that Niger Delta militants have been hired to carry out attacks in troubled Southern Kaduna.

He said: “It could lead to a breakdown of law and order, as some will perceive Niger Delta people as troublemakers. It is a reckless statement and we must put the record straight.

“Our issues have no business with their ethnic cleansing that is going on in the North. The Niger Delta issue is about the economic engagement of our people. We have no business with ethnic cleansing. We want to participate in any activity going on in our environment, period. And that is what led to the agitation today for which we have been labeled as terrorists and all kinds of names.”

Afenifere: Governor El-Rufai should disclose perpetrators of southern Kaduna killings

President Muhammadu Buhari was yesterday advised to exhibit respect for the sanctity of life and speak up on the countless attacks and killings across the country, especially in southern Kaduna.

The Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, said the wanton killings believed to have been masterminded by Fulani herdsmen was not like every other issue that the president was not expected to comment on.

In a statement by its leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere therefore demanded that Buhari speak to the people of Southern Kaduna with comforting words as their President on the mindless horrors that have been visited on them.

The group urged the president to set up an inquiry into the killings to identify the remote and immediate causes, identify the perpetrators and also compel Governor Nasir El-Rufai to disclose all the killers he has interfaced with and compensated so that they can be brought to trial.

Afenifere which asked Mr. President to instruct security agencies accused of taking sides in the conflicts to perform their duties fairly, also sought government compensation for the victims of these barbaric attacks.

The statement read in parts: “It grieves us that the Federal Government has been quiet on these killings, relying on the governor of the state who has openly confessed that he looked out for the killers to compensate them because they are of the same ethnic stock with him.

“A state of emergency ought to have been declared in Kaduna as the governor, by that claim, can no longer be trusted to perform his constitutional duty of protecting the lives and property of all citizens.”

Afenifere described as embarrassing a statement credited to the spokesman of the President, Mr. Femi Adesina that Buhari had been quiet on the killings because he could not speak on every issue.

“How can the killings of citizens in hundreds be ‘every issue’? Has our President not sent messages to other countries where tragedies of lesser proportion occurred?

“When Mr. President was to visit Bauchi a few days ago and couldn’t make the trip because of bad weather, did he not speak directly to the people in Hausa language?

“The disappointment the people of Bauchi experienced over cancellation of a visit cannot be compared in any way to the sorrows, pains and anguish of the people of Southern Kaduna.”

Afenifere’s reaction was based on the report by the Catholic Diocese of Kafanchan in Kaduna, which disclosed that a total of 808 people were killed in 53 villages across the four local governments in the crisis-ridden states.

Giving statistics of the killings and destruction in a statement in Kafanchan, the church leaders said 57 people were injured while farm produce estimated at N5.5 billion were also destroyed.

The statement disclosed further that a total of 1,422 houses and 16 churches were burnt during the attacks which spread across Kaura, Sanga, Jama’a and Kauru councils where there had been persistent attacks on communities by gunmen believed to be Fulani herdsmen.

Also, the Bishop of Kaduna Diocese of Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Timothy Yahaya yesterday urged Buhari to declare a national day of
mourning over the killing of innocent citizens while fielding questions from journalists shortly after the New Year service at the Saint Michael Cathedral Church, Kaduna?. “Killings in Nigeria is almost ?handled with levity, death in a nation attracts national mourning. The President must see to his constitutional responsibility of protecting lives and properties of the citizens,” the cleric said.

“2016 was a year of attainments, challenges for Kaduna.” – El-Rufai.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, has described 2016 as a year of attainments and challenges for the state.

In his new year message to the people of the state on Saturday in Kaduna, he said his government has confronted its difficulties with the same decisiveness it used to produce results across sectors.

The governor said amidst the successes, the state has experienced security challenges especially in parts of Southern Kaduna.

He welcomed the assistance of the Federal Government in deploying additional security asset to the area.

“We have imposed discipline on the finances of our state, increased IGR and ensured that we pass our budget well before a new calendar year. We must uphold hope and a common humanity,” he said.

“We invoke the blessings of the Almighty on all our people, that harmony will prevail in our land and that the apostles of violence and division will be shamed.

“We have high hopes for 2017; that it will be a year of peace and growth for our state, and our country, Nigeria.

“For us in Kaduna State, 2016 was a year of attainments and challenges. We made tangible progress in implementing our governance agenda. Much has been done, but much more remains to accomplish,” he added.

UPDATE: The Kaduna State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew.

The Kaduna State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew that was imposed on three local government areas in the state ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The state government on Wednesday imposed a 24-hour curfew in Zango Kataf, Jemaa and Kaura local government areas following last Monday’s violent protest by indigenes of southern Kaduna over the frequent killing of their kinsmen by suspected herdsmen.

A statement by the spokesman for the state government, Samuel Aruwan, said the adjustment of the curfew was made to enable residents have a hitch-free christmas celebration.

He explained that the 24-hour curfew would be relaxed to 12 hours from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time with effect from December 25 and 26 while the 24-hour curfew in the three LGAs would continue from December 27.

The statement also announced that more troops had been deployed to all parts of the state ahead of the festivities.

“In order to strengthen security in Southern Kaduna and the state at large, more troops and operatives comprising the Nigerian Army, DSS and other intelligence personnel/investigators have been deployed to ensure the security of citizenry and maintenance of law and order.

“The Nigeria Police has also deployed various units of Mobile Police, Counter Terrorism Units (CTU) as well as many units of both conventional and undercover police to adequately provide security to the people.

“You may recall that the Governor had met Mr President regarding the security situation in the areas and the intelligence reports at the disposal of security agencies,” the statement read.

To ensure adequate information gathering to check any security issue that may arise, the state government has asked residents to contact security agencies via emergency numbers – 0703-967-5856, 0807-539-1105.

It says Area Commanders can be reached through – Kaduna Central Senatorial District: 0803-385-0043 or 0803-433-1872, Kaduna North Senatorial District: Zaria: 0803-317-4270 and 0806-128-6619 and Kaduna South Senatorial District: Kafanchan: 0813-262-0315 and 0803-632-9263.

Police investigate attack on Kaduna Governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

The Kaduna state police command has commenced investigations into attack on Nasir el-Rufai, governor of the state.

 

Aggrieved youth in Kanfacha pelted the convoy of el-Rufai with stones on Tuesday.

 

Some women also destroyed vehicles belonging to the governor after holding a meeting with him.

 

But addressing reporters on Friday, Agyole Abeh, the state’s commissioner of police, said an investigation team, headed by an assistant commissioner of police, had been dispatched to Kafanchan.

 

He vowed that perpetrators of the heinous act would be brought to justice, and warned people of the state not to take the law into their hands.

El-Rufai on Kaduna crisis: We’ll overcome these forces of darkness

Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has expressed confidence that normalcy will soon be restored in Southern Kaduna.

The area is currently tensed as a result of religious crisis.

On Monday, One Aliyu Muhammad, a driver, was murdered in Kafanchan. The convoy of el-Rufai was also attacked by aggrieved residents of the community, while the residence of Bege Katuka, chairman of Je’ma local government, was torched.

Responding to the volatile situation, el-Rufai said “by the special grace of God, the forces of darkness” would be subdued.

He appealed for calm, describing the attack on him as one of the burdens of leadership.

“In the name of God, I am begging you. No one should take the law into his or her hand over what happened in Kafanchan,” read a statement issued on the governor’s behalf by Samuel Aruwan, his spokesman.

“Although it is unfortunate, but we must rise above induced prejudice and hatred. We must defeat hate with patience, love and dedication to duty and not eye for an eye.

“It is also a burden of leadership and we will, by the special grace of God, overcome these forces of darkness who are dividing our citizens using religion, ethnicity and politics. I commend high the sense of professionalism exhibited by security personnel.

“I listened to three of the women who led the protesters as they asked me questions. I answered them and even invited them to a larger meeting, but they went on rampage and burnt the residence of the local government chairman.

“The government of Kaduna state and the security council sympathise with the chairman of Jema’a local government, Dr. Bege Katuka and his family over the unfortunate incident that led to the burning of their home. Our prayers and support go with them.”

The statement said the governor will update the people of the state on the steps being taken to improve security in the state in a state-wide live radio interview between 8pm and 10 pm.

Video: Southern Kaduna Indigenes Intesify Protests Against Continued Herdsmen Attacks.

Southern Kaduna Indigenes have continued to protest the incessant attacks on their communities by alleged Fulani herdsmen.

 

Southern Kaduna had over time witnessed persistent killings with the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, recently revealing that he paid some Fulani herdsmen to forestall peace, a disclosure that resulted in heavy criticisms.

 

Hundreds of youths, women and children have continued to pour out on to the streets to protest the continued attacks and killing of residents by suspected herdsmen.

 

READ: El-Rufai’s speech at the signing of Kaduna State 2017 budget.

Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the signing of the 2017 State Budget at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna, on Tuesday, 13th December 201.

 

PROTOCOLS

 

It is with utmost delight that I welcome you to Sir Kashim Ibrahim House this morning. Our purpose today is to sign the 2017 Budget that was passed by the Kaduna State House of Assembly on 1st December 2016. It is worth noting that our legislature is the first to pass an appropriation bill into law for the next fiscal year.

 

This feat is the product of hard and diligent policy work, and cooperation across the government. We signed the 2016 Budget on 22 December 2015. We have done better this year by presenting our draft estimates on 12th October and getting the 2017 Budget passed and signed faster. I hope that this marks the institutionalization in Kaduna State of a disciplined budget process that aligns the fiscal and calendar years.

 

The 2017 Budget size is N214.921bn, made up of N83.46bn in recurrent spending and N131.45bn in capital expenditure. This is a capital to recurrent ratio of 61:39. This budget is deliberately structured to be expansionary, rising from the N172bn approved for 2016, precisely because we need to increase spending in a recession.

 

The budget retains our commitment to pro-poor programmes that directly address our commitment to improving access to education, healthcare, infrastructure, jobs and security. It puts the needs and interests of our people first. In 2017, Kaduna State will spend N44.84bn on Education; N10.49bn on Health; N24.50bn on Infrastructure and N8.1bn on Water. Agriculture, one of our areas of comparative advantage, will get N4.58bn.

 

All these investments are meant to ensure that in 2017, we deliver the Zaria Water project, begin a school rebuilding and equipment programme that is unprecedented in the history of the state; complete the refitting of 278 primary health centres and hospitals and improve our investment profile and job-creation capacity with the establishment of an agro-industrial zone. In addition, we will expand our programme to rebuild and maintain township roads and kick-off the first phase of the Kaduna mass transit scheme. An Emergency Nutrition Intervention Programme to reduce malnutrition and hunger amongst our poorest citizens and children will also be implemented.

 

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I wish to commend the honourable members of the Kaduna State House of Assembly for the thoroughness of their efforts in passing the budget. Our legislators actually reduced the draft estimates we presented by N1bn when the temptation might have been to pad it. We welcome their commitment to a partnership in the interest of our people, and the hard work they have demonstrated in passing 20 laws in 19 months. The B+ Fitch Ratings Kaduna State recently got owes a lot to the policy and legal framework created by legislation such as the Tax Codification, Public Procurement, Fiscal Responsibility and Public Finance Management laws.

 

I wish to inform our legislators that we shall be submitting a Supplementary Budget to enable us capture the debt refunds we have just received from the Federal Government. Fifty-five percent of these funds belong to the state government, and the balance is for the local governments. We propose to apply 50% of the funds to settling the inherited arrears of gratuity and death benefits for state and local government workers. Some of these unpaid arrears date from as far back as 2010. Mr. Dan Ndackson, the Executive Secretary of the Bureau of Pension, has done a great job of sorting out these records and we will be ready to pay once the supplementary budget is passed. This is unprecedented, but we are happy to clear the problems created by those before us. The balance of the funds will be dedicated to rural and urban roads.

 

I wish to acknowledge the contributions that our Commissioners and heads of MDAs made to the budget process by abiding with the budget preparation schedule. Now that the budget has been signed, our MDAs are expected to be quicker with procurement processes so that in 2017 we can record vast improvements in the performance of the capital budget. This is of vital importance if the goals of the expansionary budget and the needs of our people are to be met.

 

We note that the retooling of our MDAs is continuing, with many departments now complying with their new, streamlined establishments. This ensures that MDAs carry optimal personnel and makes possible a service-wide refit and matching of personnel to skills and opportunities.

 

I am happy to inform you that I have received reports that the Judiciary is making great progress with the e-judiciary project. When completed, this project will make it unnecessary for our judges to take down court proceedings in long hand, making the lives of our judges easier and improving the pace of the administration of justice.

 

Permit me to conclude by thanking the Federal Government for its support to Kaduna State. We assure our investors that we will continue to improve the ease of doing business in Kaduna State. The 2017 budget contains items that reflect our increased investment in security and appropriate technology for deterring and detecting crimes, and enabling the prosecution of criminals.

 

Having laid the structural foundations in policy and legislation, restructured government to cut waste and redirected resources to serving the people, 2017 is the year to realize the many tenders, procurement and projects we have initiated. Our governance agenda is broad, but focused on providing public goods and enabling an environment to promote investments and job-creation. We have made steady progress on all these, and we are on  course to achieve more.

 

Mr. Speaker, honorable members of the State House of Assembly, and the Executive Council, let us continue to work together to make Kaduna great again.

 

Thank you for listening.

NLC, TUC reject El-Rufai’s eviction order on civil servants; vow to fight to death

The Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria are at loggerheads with the Kaduna State Government over a directive for all civil servants living in government quarters to quit the premises within seven days.

At a joint press conference in Kaduna on Monday, Adamu Ango, and Shehu Mohammed, state chapter chairmen of NLC and TUC respectively, on Monday in Kaduna, said the notice was not only an abuse of the right of the civil servants, but violated the known laws between a tenant and a landlord.

According to them, the law establishing Kaduna State rent tribunal, where all matters relating to tenancy is settled, stipulates that three months’ notice be given to any tenant before any eviction can be carried out.

The unions called on all its members occupying government quarters in the state to disregard the eviction order and remain in the premises.

“We have taken all diplomatic steps to ensure that the governor sees reason but all in vain. So we are calling on all our members to stay put at the same time calling the state government to prepare their arsenal because we are ready to sacrifice our lives to protect our members,” the unions said.

The labour unions also expressed dismay over the recent retrenchment by the state government, saying it is a ploy to kick some civil servant out of service.

Speaking on this, Mr. Mohammed said the Kaduna State Property Development Company which had 60 personnel, now has 14, while SUBEB with staff strength of 300, now has only 34 staff.

“Some of our members have already been sent to the office of the Head of Service where they are doing nothing, and in the end the government may decide to terminate their appointments saying their services are no longer needed.

“Therefore the restructure is not acceptable to us and cannot hold because we are going to fight against it,” he said.

Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant on Media and Public Affairs to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, did not respond to calls or text messages on Monday.

El-Rufai appoints new MD for Kaduna media corporation

In a bid to reposition the Kaduna State Media Corporation (KSMC) to continue to serve the people of the state and beyond, the Kaduna State Government has announced the appointment of Ibrahim Ismail Ahmed as the new Managing Director of the corporation.

His appointment is coming at a time that the State Government is working to digitize and enhance the corporation with state of the art equipment.

The announcement was contained in a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan.

The statement said “that Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai, had, while presenting the 2017-2019 multi-year budget proposal to the state House of Assembly on Wednesday, 12th October 2016, disclosed that the State Government would send a Bill to the State House of Assembly to create a neutral public service broadcaster that will educate, entertain, inform and enlighten the public, devoid of partisanship and that can operate in a commercialized environment”.

He said the newly appointed Chief Executive of KSMC, Ibrahim Ismaila Ahmed, is expected to use his wealth of experience in broadcasting to achieve these goals.

The new MD is an experienced broadcaster who has traversed radio and television.

Ibrahim Ismaila Ahmed is currently the Assistant Director, Director General’s Special Unit at the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) headquarters, where he has been Assistant Director (News) and Manager/Head of News and Current Affairs on News 24.

He holds a first degree in Language Arts from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, and a Master’s Degree in Media and Communication from the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.

He has attended several professional and leadership courses in his 26-year career in broadcasting.

INTERVIEW: El-Rufai speaks about the Southern Kaduna bloodshed.

Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State spoke to journalists recently on a wide range of issues, notably on the deadly Kaduna South and Shiite IMN crises in the state.

The governor’s comments admitting to paying Fulani herdsmen who raided communities and slaughtered many in the state were earlier reported as brief quotes.

Omojuwa.Com brings you the full transcript of what Mr. El Rufai said on the two crises bedeviling his state.

QUESTION: There have been a lot of hues and cries over the banning of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) as activists argued that their human rights have been violated. Why did the government decide to infringe on the Shiites’ freedom of association and the freedom to practice their religion? 

Gov. El Rufai: The issue of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and their declaration as an unlawful society is something that we did with all sense of responsibility. Many media outlets have presented what we did in various ways which are misleading.

What we did was not to ban any organization; we have no power to ban an organisation if it exists, we cannot ban religion or religious practice. What we did is to say that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is an unlawful society and we derived the powers to do this under the Penal Code that was passed in 1963, so it is not a new thing that we did. The governor can declare any organisation an unlawful society, if it poses a threat to the security, peace and governance of the state. And we concluded, after receiving the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that looked into the clashes between the IMN and the army, that the IMN poses a threat to the peace, security and good governance of Kaduna state. That is what we did.

We did not ban Shiism, we did not ban Shiites. We did not say they cannot practise their religion, because in Kaduna state, there are at least two Shiites organisations that we know. There is Al-Thaqalayn Foundation, there is Rasul A’azam Society. These are all Shiites organisations and they are not outlawed. They are not outlawed because all they do is to preach their brand of Islam and they practise their brand of Islam and they are free to do so. Both of them are registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), they recognise the constitutional order in Nigeria, they recognise President Muhammadu Buhari as president of Nigeria. They recognize Nasiru El-Rufai as governor of Kaduna state and they obey the laws of Nigeria and Kaduna state. They have no paramilitary arm, they do not carry arms, they do not block public highways, they do not occupy schools.

The IMN does not recognise the constitution of Nigeria, they do not recognize Buhari as President of Nigeria, they do not recognise me as governor of Kaduna state because they had their governor in Tudun Wada. They have their para military wing, the call them ‘Hurras’. They train them in violation of our laws. They do not accept that any law in Nigeria applies to them. They block public high ways, they occupy schools when they are doing their processions and they feel that to practice their religion, they have to infringe on the right of others. That is completely wrong!

There is also a misconception that IMN is the same as Shiites, IMN is only one out of many Shiites organisations. There is a prominent Shiite organisation with its headquarters here in Kaduna that is headed by Sheikh Hamza Lawal.

Because IMN doesn’t recognise Nigerian laws, they are not registered with CAC, so they cannot be sued or held responsible. They build anywhere they want without approval. They don’t even bother to acquire title to land. Their allegiance is not to Nigerian government, their allegiance is to somewhere else.  I want to ask you, if you put all these facts together, what does IMN look like? IMN looks like an insurgency waiting to happen.

The report of the commission of inquiry recommended that we should proscribe IMN because they are not registered, they can’t sue or be sued in their own name. The media should stop referring to the IMN as Shiites because they are just one group out of many others. I will like you to speak with other groups to hear what they think of IMN. The IMN is a political organisation. The objective of El-Zakzaky is to gather enough followers to effect an Iranian type Islamic Revolution in Nigeria and you know what that can cause! Nigeria is not 100 per cent a Muslim country that you can do Islamic Revolution, it is a recipe for crisis.

I laugh when some people that are not informed on this subject are sympathetic to him, talking about human rights. What he has in plan for you, you will not have any human rights. Anybody that tries to say Nigeria will be an Islamic country, do you know how much crisis he is trying to create? That is the agenda. So let us understand this problem.

We remain open to talk to their members like any citizen, not as IMN because they are unlawful and if you claimed to be a member of IMN, it is seven year imprisonment. That is why we are looking for Ibrahim Musa who has signed a statement as their spokesman. We are raising the reward for exposing him to N500, 000. Anyone that knows where he is should tell us so that the police can collect him, we are going to try him for signing a statement that he is a spokesman for IMN after the publication of an order outlawing the organisation.

QUESTION: The crises in Southern Kaduna have been recurrent and there seem not to be an end in sight. Recently, the Centre of Humanitarian Dialogue started a peace-building effort. Will this initiative make any difference? 

Gov. El-Rufai: When we came to office, the two problems we faced in the area of security were cattle rustling in Birnin Gwari/Giwa axis and this communal killings in southern Kaduna. We were very concerned about both and we did two things. We needed to understand what was happening in southern Kaduna. We understood cattle rustling and we convened a meeting of all the north-west governors because the problem was centred around the forest ranges of Kuyambana and we felt state cooperation was necessary. We came together and launched an operation to deal with cattle rustling. We were successful because we degraded their ability to do cattle rustling, even though that created a problem of kidnapping, because they moved from cattle rustling to kidnapping we are still facing.

For southern Kaduna, we didn’t understand what was going on and we decided to set up a committee under Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) to find out what was going on there. What was established was that the root of the problem has a history starting from the 2011 post-election violence. Fulani herdsmen from across Africa bring their cattle down towards middle belt and southern Nigeria. The moment the rains starts around March, April, they start moving them up to go back to their various communities and countries. Unfortunately, it was when they were moving up with their cattle across southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 took place and the crisis trapped some of them. Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with the cattle. So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.

So, a lot of what was happening in southern Kaduna was actually from outside Nigeria. We got a hint that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa got this information and he sent someone to go round some of these Fulani communities, but of course after he died, the whole thing stopped. That is what we inherited. But the Agwai committee established that.

We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people, trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger Republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging you to stop killing. In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, some we paid. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger Republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they do every year with a message from me.

So this was the problem, we knew this by August last year and we started taking steps. But what is happening now, I don’t want it to be restricted to southern Kaduna. I noticed that some people are trying to bring religion or ethnicity into it. What about Zamfara State? Are there southern Kaduna people in Zamfara? That is why I considered the statement by the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as regrettable. Some people don’t understand the burden of leadership. The same Fulani are killing Fulani in Zamfara, it is not about religion or ethnicity, this is a pure case of banditry! They are criminals, their ethnicity, their religion does not matter. Let’s fight the problem, let’s not bring sentiments, sensationalism and division into it. What is happening in southern Kaduna today, in my opinion, has roots in banditry, it has nothing to do with what has happened in the past to a large extent.

It was a small problem that started in Ninte village, Godogodo that could have been handled better by the local communities; but the leaders of the Fulanis and the leaders of the communities did not do it well. I was very sad, I went there. Any life lost in Kaduna state is a burden on me because as the governor, I have to defend the life of every one. As a government, we regret the loss of lives. We regret the destruction of property.

Today in Kaduna State we have arrested 400 people for kidnapping and cattle rustling and armed robbery. All except about five of them are Fulanis. I am Fulani, does it mean I should not have them arrested and prosecuted? I don’t consider them Fulani, I consider them criminals. Whenever I sit with Fulani leaders I tell them that we arrested over 400 suspects and 99 per cent of them are Fulanis and they should ask themselves why is it only Fulanis that are doing this. Is that part of the culture of the Fulanis? Since when did they start carrying AK47 rifles and so on?

From a small problem in Ninte, some people found a way to add fuel to the fire, because it is politically expedient to do so not caring how many people get killed. Over time, the culture of impunity has permeated all segments of society, people think they can do anything and get away with it. There is very weak law enforcement or uneven law enforcement. If you are from this ethnic group or religion, you can do something and get away with it but the other one cannot. There is a mindset that you can take the law into your hands. This is what has been happening and escalating the problem. So it is most unfortunate, but honestly the whole challenge is that of banditry and it has to be addressed.

Secondly I think that those that preach the message that this one is a settler, he shouldn’t he here or this one is of different tribe and religion, he should not live with you, are more responsible for what is happening than anything else. How can you look at somebody that has stayed in a place for 200 years and say he is a settler. How long have you lived there? We all came from somewhere.

The media should not give these kind of people the oxygen that they need to propagate this. Those that think that there is any profit to be made from this kind of narrative and division should go to Plateau State and ask. Jos is quiet, peaceful, because after years of killing each other both sides realised that it doesn’t make any sense. That is why when we went to Samarun Kataf for the unveiling of the apology, we invited the Gbong Gwom Jos, His Majesty Da Buba Gyang, because he has been through it, he has seen it.

We must have peace for any progress and there is no problem in the world that you can solve through violence. Even if you go to war, the war doesn’t end until you come to a table and discuss peace. Why not start with the peace?

For some of the politicians from the southern Kaduna that are trying to politicise this, they should go to Plateau State and find out or talk to former Governor Jonah Jang and find out what happens when you add fuel to the fire of this kind of division.

We are deploying more and more security to the crisis prone areas. It is costing us tons of money at a time when we don’t have resources, but we have to do it because security is the foundation of everything.

There are people that are sending a message, defend yourselves, we will get them; defend yourself is hate speech. You can’t defend yourself if there is a government. We are going to arrest and prosecute all those that pass that message.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) has done a lot and they have been very successful in helping bring peace to Plateau State, this is why we asked them to come and help us in Kaduna. We have made a lot of progress with the Kafanchan declaration, but there are people bent on frustrating that and we know them and they are being monitored by the security agencies.

Lawyers disagree with Kaduna govt. labelling Shiite IMN “insurgent group”

Nigerian lawyers have expressed divergent views on the legality of the action by the Kaduna State government designating the Shiite group, IMN, an “insurgent group.”

While one of the lawyers who spoke in interviews with PREMIUM TIMES said the declaration was constitutional, others said it was not.

The Kaduna State government in a White Paper released on Monday said “for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such.”

The government also vowed to prosecute the group’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for “crimes” committed by him and his followers for the past 30 years.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December last year after soldiers killed over 300 members of his group.

The soldiers accused the IMN members of blocking the road and plotting to kill the Army Chief, Tukur Buratai; a claim the Shiites denied.

The killing was condemned by local and international rights group.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on December 2 declared the detention of Mr. El-Zakzaky as unconstitutional and ordered his release within 45 days.

The judge, Gabriel Kolawole, also awarded a N50 million fine in favour of Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife, against the State Security Service, SSS, and the Attorney General of the Federation.

He ordered that a safe place of residence be created for the cleric and his wife in Kaduna State, and that the IMN should not be demonised.

“I am of the view that the applicant need not be demonised, but that they should be allowed to practice the faith they choose,” said Mr. Kolawole.

Three days after Mr. Kolawole’s judgement, the Kaduna government announced its decision to label the IMN an insurgent group. The state government had earlier banned the group.

LAWYERS REACT

In his reaction, Akin Olujimi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the Kaduna government acted based on law, and therefore the declaration was constitutional.

“The terrorism act contains provisions empowering government to declare an organisation a terrorism organisation. These are security issues that rely in intelligence which you and I may not be privy to. So when they have those intelligence they can now come out to say the group is a terrorist group,” he said.

“But we must also know that the court has a power to determine a matter before it. If the court has enough evidence before it that a group is a terrorism organisation the court will make such a pronouncement. But if it does not have enough evidence to make such a declaration, it will not make such a pronouncement. It will only ensure that the fundamental rights of parties are respected.”

In a contrary opinion, another senior advocate, Simon Ameh, said the declaration is null and void.

“The people are entitled to peaceful assembly, it is their constitutional right. He (the governor) has no right to ban them. The Kaduna State government just has a duty to ensure compliance to law and order. But this declaration in law is null and void,” said Mr. Ameh.

Similarly, another lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, said the declaration is a complete aberration of the provisions of law and an invitation to disaster.

“Even without a positive pronouncement of a court order, the act by the Kaduna State government is illegal and unconstitutional,” Mr. Ogunye said.

“The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution and government ought not to make it a habit to infringe on that right.

“The Shiite are a religious minority in northern Nigeria and the invasion by the northern part of Nigeria including the Nigerian government is that they are using state authority to wage a sectarian battle. Nigeria is not an Islamic state, so whatever problem the Shiites and the Sunni Muslims might have, ought to not be the problem of Nigeria. So when you use state apparatus to destroy the lives and homes of these people, declare them an insurgent group and then ban them; what impression are you creating.

“The attack of December, 2015 did not result in the death of one military officer; innocent Nigerians were reportedly killed in that incident. You cannot use state apparatus to wage sectarian battle against a religious group. When the Boko Haram issue started, that was how it was poorly managed till today it has become a Nigerian problem,” Mr. Ogunye said.

Why we stopped school feeding programme — El-Rufai

Malam Nasir el-Rufai is the governor of Kaduna State. In this interview with journalists in Kaduna, he speaks on his stewardship so far, especially the free feeding programme, the increase in revenue and budget implementation.

 

Excerpts:

 

You submitted the 2017 appropriation bill to the State House of Assembly. Can you give a breakdown of the implementation of this year’s budget?

 

Our budget implementation has been satisfactory. I will not say it is very impressive by our standard. But if we compare it to what has been done before, this administration has done very well. As at October 2016, we had about 50 per cent budget implementation with the following breakdown: 85 per cent of personnel cost has been drawn; 77 per cent of overhead cost has been drawn; and 32 per cent of capital expenditure has been drawn. So, the overall in percentages, amounts to about 50 per cent implementation.

 

In specific terms, as at October this year, we have spent about N29 billion on capital projects compared to N27.5 billion in 2013 for the entire year; N17 billion in 2014 for the entire year; and N27.6 billion in 2015 for the entire year. So, we have already spent more in the first 10 months of this year than the previous three years, two and a half of which were under the PDP government.

 

The bulk of this spending was on emergency education intervention, water supply, road construction and health care. We are spending money in areas that we think add value to the society and create jobs. We have seen a drastic reduction in recurrent expenditure, though we have employed more than 5,000 people in the public service since we came in. As you recall, we employed 2,550 into Kaduna State Traffic Enforcement and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency (KASTELEA) and we also employed over 2,250 science teachers in our secondary schools. Yet, our personal expenditure has been going down. As at October this year, our recurrent expenditure clocked N43.4 billion.

 

In 2013, the PDP government spent N56 billion on recurrent expenditure. So, we are much lower. They spent N66.7 billion in 2014 and N64 billion in 2015. But so far, we have spent only N43.4 billion with only two months of the year to go.

 

Of course, you cannot spend money without income. You recall that for the first time in the history of the state, we hit monthly internally generated revenue of N1.6 billion in July this year and this has remained more or less around this level up till today. We are moving away from reliance on federation account, to more on self-sustenance based on what we have. By the end of the year, we hope to achieve 50 per cent capital budget implementation and 65 per cent total budget implementation.

 

Why did you stop free feeding in schools?

 

Part of the packages of the reforms that we introduced in education includes not only the free basic education for nine years, but the primary school feeding programme. It was costing us N1.1 billion a month and we believe in it. We felt that even if you make education free, if a child cannot get pocket money to eat while in school, the parents may decide it is better to withdraw him or her from school. But we didn’t want that. This is why we introduced this programme. For the 1.8 million children in schools in Kaduna, this is what we were spending.

 

We were encouraged to start the programme because the office of the Vice President, under the Social Investment Programme, promised to subsidise 60 per cent of the cost of the programme. So, we started spending our money in the expectation of being reimbursed. We have spent, nearly N8 billion on this programme this year and the office of the Vice President is supposed to pay us back in the region of N6 billion to N7 billion.

 

Since we made education free, the enrolment in class one was huge. We have not been paid this money. The amount we earmarked for the programme in the 2016 budget has been exhausted. So, we cannot continue with the programme. We are expecting the reimbursement from the office of the vice president. We have been assured over and over that we would be reimbursed. But we didn’t think that we had the resources to continue without that reimbursement. We had exhausted what we budgeted for it. We will do well in education generally. I cannot prove it because it takes time before any investment in education matures. But I can give you some statistics to show that we are doing well.

BREAKING: Kaduna Government declares war on Shiite IMN, officially labels group ‘insurgent’

The Kaduna State Government has officially labelled the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, an insurgent group.

 

This is contained in a White Paper released by the state government on Monday in Kaduna.

 

“For all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such,” the government said n the white paper.

 

The government also said the detained Shiite leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, will be held responsible for all acts carried out by the group’s members.

 

“Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky,” the white paper states. “He therefore bears responsibility for all the acts of lawlessness committed by the organisation and should therefore be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.”

 

In the white paper, the state government also indicated it may not prosecute the soldiers involved in the killing of over 300 members of the IMN in December last year, but may leave their prosecution to the federal government.

 

Details later…

JUST IN: Shehu Sani blames El-Rufai for attack on campaign office

Kaduna State senator, Shehu Sani, on Saturday said the attack on his campaign office in Kaduna was carried out by men working for Governor Nasir el-Rufai.

The office was invaded by armed men on Saturday morning.

Witnesses said police arrived quickly and stopped the attackers from torching the building.

The senator said the attack took place as his social media aides held a meeting.

No casualties were immediately reported.

Mr. Sani blamed the attack on Mr. el-Rufai in a statement on Saturday afternoon.

“Some few minutes ago I received a report that some heavily armed thugs raided and attacked my constituency office located at Stadium Roundabout by Constitution Road, Kaduna.

“They unleashed terror on my social media team whom where meeting in the office. They vandalized the office in their violent act.

“We have the lead and the information that Thugs were fully recruited and paid by political appointees of Governor Nasiru el-Rufai,” Mr. Sani said in a post on his Facebook page.

The two leaders have had a prolonged political battle. A faction of the ruling All Progressives Congress loyal to the governor announced Mr. Sani’s indefinite suspension last week.

The governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, could not be reached for comments Saturday afternoon. Calls to his phone did not go through.

Mr. Sani, a former civil society leader, said he had forwarded the names of those he believed were responsible for the attack to the State Security Service and the police.

“We have the names of the political appointees and we have the names of those they are funding. Right now their details are given to the SSS and the police for investigation.”

Mr. Sani said a similar attack was attempted on his family home in downtown Kaduna only a few days ago.

“Two days ago attempt to burn down my family house in Alkalawa Road, Tudun Wada, Kaduna, by sponsored thugs was thwarted by vigilant residents and neighbors, which led to the brief deployment of policemen in the area,” the senator said.

Mr. Sani said the governor sponsored the attack against him to silence him.

“I wish to state it categorically clear that I hold Governor Nasiru Elrufai personally responsible for whatever happens to me or any of my family members or supporters.

“After the use of financial inducement on APC executive committee in the state to silence Shehu Sani in the name of suspension, which never worked,they have now taken the road of violence.

“We are men of ideas, of ideals and of peace. Those who take to the road of violence have no place in a democratic society.”

BREAKING: Gunmen attack Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani’s campaign office

The campaign office of the senator representing Kaduna Central District, Shehu Sani, has been attacked by unknown gunmen, the police said.

Suleiman Sule, the senator’s aide, said some supporters of the lawmaker were meeting at the campaign office on Saturday when armed men invaded the property.

There were immediate reports of casualties.

“Police officers have already cordoned the office area,” Mr. Sule told PREMIUM TIMES.

Residents of the area said the attackers came in large numbers.

“They were all with dangerous weapons and all headed across the road where Shehu Sani’s office was. They dispersed some people who were holding meeting in the office,” one resident said. “Thank God it is a busy area and there is always the presence of police officers. Before it could get out of hand they thugs ran away.”

A police spokesperson who identified himself as Abba Danjuma, an Inspector, confirmed the incident, but called for clam.

“The Kaduna police are on top of the situation as our officers have arrived the scene and investigation has begun. There was also no report of casualty at the moment,” the police said.

Mr. Sani has been enmeshed in a running political battle with Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.

Last week, a faction of the party loyal to the governor announced the indefinite suspension of the Senator.

Mr. Sani fought back calling the governor a “dubious progressive”.

Kaduna inaugurates first sexual assault referral centre

The Kaduna State Government on Thursday inaugurated its first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) that would provide psycho-social counselling, forensic examination, medical treatment and legal services for victims of sexual assault.

Inaugurating the centre located in Gwmna Awan General Hospital, Kakuri Kaduna, the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mrs Amina Sijuwade, said the development was the initiative of the Justice Reform Committee.

Sijuwade said that the centre would be run by the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Social Development, Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders.

She said that the Ministry of Health would provide forensic examination and treatment, the Nigerian Police would investigate, and the Ministry of Justice would provide legal services.

Sijuwade added that the Ministry of Women Affairs would equally provide psycho-social counselling for the victims, making it a complete package in response to the increasing cases of sexual assault in the state.

“The Ministry of Justice has already designated a gender desk officer who will prepare all legal documents for legal action for victims.

“Also, all the officials that will work at the centre have already been trained with support from the Department For International Development (DFID).

“This initiative will greatly help in curbing the alarming rate of violence and sexual assault against minors in the state,’’ she said.

The commissioner said that three additional centres would be established, one in each of the three senatorial districts in the state, for victims to increase access to the services.

She commended DFID for supporting the initiative through Justice For All project.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Rabi Abdulsalam, said that the centre would serve as a convergence ground for all stakeholders to act in addressing the scourge of sexual assault in the state.

Abdulasalam, represented by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs Mary Sawok, said that the services to be provided at the centre would equally help in addressing trauma and stigmatization.

On his part, the Chairman of the Justice Reform Committee, Justice Darrius Khobo, said that the centre would serve as a healing ground for victims.

Khobo, represented by the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Kaduna Chapter, Sherif Sule, noted that a larger percentage of sexual assault in the state have remained unreported.

The representative of the DFID at the occasion, Mr Godwin Ode, called on all relevant stakeholders to support the initiative and contribute to ending sexual assault in the state.

Kaduna Assembly approves N214.9 billion 2017 Budget

The Kaduna State House of Assembly on Thursday passed into law, the state’s budget of N214.9 billion for 2017.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the figure is N1 billion less than the budget proposal forwarded by Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i to the assembly on October 12, for approval.

 

The Speaker of the assembly, Aminu Shagali, who read the content of the budget clause by clause, said N83.46 billion was approved for recurrent and N131.45 for capital expenditure.

 

He said the budget would cover from now till December 31, 2017.

 

The Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, Ahmed Mohammed, later told journalists that the N1 billion cut from the original proposal was from the expected revenue of two agencies.

 

He said that revenue projection of the state Geographic Information System and Internal Revenue Service was reduced by N500 million for each of the agencies, “in view of current economic realities.”

 

He assured that the assembly would monitor the implementation to ensure that it serve the people better.

Seven party chairmen endorse Senators indefinite suspension from APC

Seven local government chairmen of the All Progressives Congress in Kaduna State have endorsed the controversial suspension of a senator, Shehu Sani, from the party.

The local governments, LGs, represented by the seven chairmen make up the Kaduna Central senatorial district which Mr. Sani represents in the Senate.

The APC council chairmen who endorsed the suspension are Magaji Bala, Chukun LG; Abdullahi Jariri, Birnin Gwari LG; Musa Shehu, Kaduna North LG; Ibrahim Musa, Giwa LG; Halidu Bature, Igabi LG; Bala Wahab, Kajuru LG; and Ibrahim Soso, Acting Chairman of the APC in Kaduna South.

“We have received information from Ward 6 in Kaduna South LGA of our great party the APC, on the indefinite suspension of the erring Senator Shehu Sani from the party at those levels,” the party chairmen said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

“Subsequently we wish to hereby endorse this suspension by the ward chapter…”

The chairmen said they endorsed the suspension because Mr. Sani was disrespectful to the “party and its leaders,” and because of “his various attempts at causing divisions within the party in the state, by sponsoring frivolous petitions and troublemaking.”

Source: Deltabreed
Source: Deltabreed

The senator was also suspended for “his continuous refusal to show remorse for his actions and seek forgiveness from any level of the party in the state,” they said.

They said Mr. Sani’s actions constitute “serious offenses against the party as captured by article 21 section (A), sub sections i, ii, iii, v, vi and vii of the constitution.”

“We recommend that the state party executive committee make haste in also endorsing this appropriate indefinite suspension,” they said.

The initial suspension by a faction of the party in Mr. Sani’s Ward 6 of Tudun Wada was opposed by the chairman of the party in the ward.

The chairman had accused a political adviser of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, of offering N3 million bribe to the ward officials to suspend the senator, who has been critical of the governor’s performance. Though the alleged beneficiaries denied receiving any bribe, the governor’s aide has kept mum on it.

el-rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

On Wednesday, in reply to the suspension by the ward, Mr. Sani released a scathing statement attacking Governor El-Rufai.

It was hours after the senator’s statement that the APC council chairmen met to endorse the suspension.

In his reaction to the council chairmen’s endorsement, Mr. Sani’s aide, Abdulsamad Amadi, said the signatories were coerced to sign the document.

“The document was already prepared in the government house. They were being practically forced to sign that document. When they see that people are trooping to the government house, they became apprehensive and later took them to the Seventeen hotel to sign the document.

“The suspension letter was never written on a letter headed paper which could mean that anybody could have written that. I am assuring you that by tomorrow or next, some of the chairmen who were claimed to have signed the document will speak with you people.

“The people that signed the letter were not properly constituted as most of the zonal exco members were not consulted and were not carried along. The zonal chairman was not part of the meeting also.” Mr. Amadi said.

You are a disgrace, Kaduna APC replies Shehu Sani

The rift in the Kaduna State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, worsened on Wednesday as the party slammed the senator representing the state’s central district, Shehu Sani, over his diatribe against Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

The party described the senator as uncouth, shameless and disgraceful.

The fresh harsh words were in response to Mr. Sani’s reaction to his “indefinite suspension” earlier announced by a faction of the party in his ward.

The APC faction in Mr. Sani’s Tudun Wada, Ward 6 led by the ward secretary, Awwal Abdulhamid, had announced the suspension on Tuesday. The move to suspend the senator was opposed by the chairman of the party in the ward, Abbas Ani.

The acting publicity secretary of the party in Kaduna State, Salisu Wusono, in a statement issued in Kaduna on Wednesday lashed Mr. Sani as representing “the politics of fraud and deceit”.

Mr. Wusono stated: “As if determined to prove that he is beyond redemption, Shehu Sani penned a pathetic response to his continued suspension from our party that testifies that he is a denizen of the gutter.

“Anyone that harboured any doubt about the morass in his mind and the decadence of his conduct would now have those uncertainties wiped away. Crassness of language is a twin to crass of conduct.”

The party said Mr. Sani’s “outburst is a confirmation, that he has no sense of shame.

“He is a man full of tantrums, a busker who simultaneously entertains and distresses people with his shameless antics.

“He has since lost focus and why he was elected to the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the good people of Kaduna Central under the banner of the APC.

“He represents fraud, deceit in the name of Nigeria’s masses. We suspended him indefinitely following his various anti-party activities and utterances aimed at tearing the party to pieces.

“The masses of Kaduna Central have since unravelled his deceit. His heart and mind are in the PDP whose agent he has been in our party. We wonder when he would gather the courage to publicly move to the party he hobnobs with in private.” the statement said.

But in a swift reaction at a press briefing by his aide, Suleiman Ahmed, Mr. Sani said the state governor was being deceived by one of his advisers, Uba Sani.

The senator alleged that Mr. Uba Sani was using his office and the governor to pursue his personal ambitions and vendetta.

He said it was “painful and disheartening” that public funds were being used to sponsor “miscreants” to cause trouble in the society.

“While states like Sokoto and Boko Haram-ravaged states like Borno and Yobe are commissioning mass housing projects, all our governor does is to paint roundabouts in Kaduna State”, the senator said.

The aide said despite Mr. Sani’s suspension by the party, he “has been up and doing in the Senate, proposing and supporting bills that will bring succour to our people.

“On the other hand Governor El-Rufai has been busy wasting state funds on a useless fight against an individual, leaving the state in a state of despair and hopelessness.

“Our health sector is in decay, education has collapsed there is pervasive insecurity everywhere you go in the state,” he added.

Just In: APC suspends Shehu Sani indefinitely

The representative of Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Senator Shehu Sani, has been handed an indefinite suspension by his party, the All Progressives Congress.

The indefinite suspension was contained in a letter addressed to Sani, dated November 29 and signed by 15 executives from his ward.

 

The letter reads: “As you are aware, your suspension from the party for a period of eleven months elapsed today, being Tuesday 29th November, 2016.

 

“The suspension which was in line with the constitution of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), was to enable you to defend yourself against illegalities committed by you against the party as well as breach of its constitution.

“We expected the period of your suspension to give you the grace of being remorseful, but you rather choose to play otherwise, and this made our party to be vulnerable to disunity, disharmony and further shattering the existing peace mechanism within our ward and the state at large.

 

“Therefore, in consideration of the constitutional provisions as contained in Article 21 (A) i, ii, iii, v, vi, and vii of the constitution of the All Progressives Congress (APC), you are hereby suspended indefinitely from active participation of APC activities. This is in conformity with article 21 (D) i-(F) which provides punishment for any erring member of the party.

 

“With this letter, you are hereby warned to abide by the party’s decision.”

 

Sani has been having a running battle with the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai.

Kaduna killings prompt indefinite shutdown of College.

Following persistent attacks on villages bordering the Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, by unknown gunmen, authorities of the institution have suspended academic activities indefinitely.

 

A statement issued on Tuesday by the Public Relations Officer of the college, Danlami Aduwu, said the suspension of academic activities was informed by the need to safeguard the lives and properties of staffers and students.

 

The statement directed staffers and students to vacate the campus.

 

It urged all staffers to report to the temporary site of the institution at Kafanchan.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all staffers and students of the college have since deserted the Gidan Waya campus for fear of losing their lives.

 

Villages surrounding the institution such as Godogodo, Pasakori, Mile One and Tudun Wada, have been serially attacked by unknown gunmen.

Why we declared Shi’ite group illegal – Nasir El-Rufai

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state has said that he decided to declared the famous Shi’ites group, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) an unlawful society because its activities was an insurgency waiting to happen.

 

Governor El Rufai who spoke to a select-group of journalists Monday, said that IMN leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El Zakzaky was not practicing the doctrine of Shi’ism but was gathering enough members in order to stage an Iranian-type Islamic revolution in Nigeria.

 

The governor clarified that he neither banned the Shiite sect nor Shi’ism in Kaduna state but merely invoked the powers conferred on him by the penal code which was enacted in 1963, to declare IMN an unlawful society.

 

According to El Rufai, the government only declared IMN illegal but there are two other Shi’ite sects that are carrying on with their activities freely in Kaduna state. He argued that it is wrong to equate only IMN with Shi’ism, adding that IMN is just one group that professes the doctrine but there are several others.

 

‘’There is also a misconception that IMN is the same thing as Shiites; it is only one sect out of many Shiite organizations. There is one Shiite group that is headquartered here in Kaduna, which is headed by Sheikh Hamza Lawal. He used to be with IMN but he left them when he realized that IMN is more interested in political struggles than religious development, ‘’ he said.

 

El Rufai said that Sheikh Hamza appeared before the Justice Lawal Garba Judicial Commission of Inquiry and gave evidence by saying that ‘’there is nothing in Shia doctrine that says that you should not recognize the government of your country.’’

 

He pointed out that the government cannot ban any religious organization or practice in the state but that the penal code gives him the powers to declare any organization as an unlawful society ‘’if it poses a threat to the security, peace and governance of the state.’’

‘’We concluded, after receiving the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry that looked into the clashes between IMN and the army, that IMN poses a threat to the security, peace and governance of the state,’’ he said, adding that ‘’we did not ban Shiism, we did not ban Shiites, we did not say that they can’t practice their religion.’’

 

Adducing more reasons why he declared IMN an unlawful society, the Governor said that the group ‘’does not recognize the constitution of Nigeria. They do not recognize Buhari as president. They do not recognize me as governor of Kaduna state, they had their own governor in Tudun Wada.’’

 

According to him, IMN have their own paramilitary personnel which they call ‘’Hurras’’ and they used to bear arms in violation of the Nigerian laws. ‘’And they do not accept that any law in Nigeria applies to them,’’ he further said.

 

The governor pointed out that ‘’because they do not recognize any law in Nigeria, IMN is not registered with Corporate Affairs Commission. So, they cannot be sued or held responsible for their actions. They build anywhere they find land, they do not even bother to apply for land titles.’’

 

El Rufai also said that IMN used to block public high ways and occupy schools during their processions. ‘’In the practice of their religion, they infringed on the rights of others and that is completely wrong in Islam.’’

 

‘’So, if you put all these together, you will realize that IMN was an insurgency that was waiting to happen. IMN was a political organization. The intention of El-Zakzaky was to gather enough followers to effect an Iranian-type revolution in Nigeria. Nigeria is not a 100% Muslim country that you can do that kind of revolution,’’ El-Rufai said.

 

In spite of the fact that IMN has been declared an unlawful organization, El-Rufai however said that it is wrong for citizens to take the law into their hands by attacking them.

 

He said that those who attacked some IMN members during the last Ashura celebrations have been apprehended and being prosecuted in court.

Gurgur Japheth: Lessons From El-Rufai And Fitch Rating of Kaduna.

Fitch ratings is an international credit rating agency based out of New York City and London. The company’s ratings are used as a guide to investors as to which investments are most likely going to yield a return. It is based on factors such as how small an economic shift would be necessary to affect the standing of the bond, and how much, and what kind of debt is held by the company.

In a document released by the rating agency Link to Fitch Ratings’ Report: Kaduna State – Rating Action Report, November 25 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has assigned Nigeria’s Kaduna State Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of ‘B’ and a National Long-Term Rating of ‘A+(nga) see: fitchratings.com

The Outlooks are Stable. The ‘B’ ratings reflect Kaduna’s dwindling revenue prospects in line with declining statutory allocations from the central government as a result of weak oil prices. Oil-related revenues account for 70% of Nigeria’s current external receipts and Kaduna’s current revenue. The ratings also reflect the region’s fast growing debt although servicing requirements will be moderated by government subsidies, concessionary terms and a long grace period.

They further take into account the state’s developing economy focused on agricultural activities and low per capita revenue by international standards. The ‘A+(nga)’ rating reflects Kaduna’s low risk relative to the country’s best risk given strong financial and revenue support from the central government. The Stable Outlooks factor in Fitch’s expectation that a flexible expenditure framework and a sustainable borrowing capacity will allow Kaduna to weather volatile statutory transfers in the medium term.

Along with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, Fitch is one of the top three credit rating agencies. Its rating system is very similar to S&P’s in that they both use a letter system.

Some examples of letter ratings include:
AAA – reliable and stable
AA – quality with a bit higher risk
A – economic situation could affect finance
BBB – middle class-an acceptable risk
BB – more prone to economic changes
CCC – vulnerable, dependent on current economic situation
D – has defaulted before, high risk to again

A bond rating is a grade given to bonds that indicates their credit quality. Private independent rating services such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings Inc. provide these evaluations of a bond issuer’s financial strength, or its the ability to pay a bond’s principal and interest in a timely fashion.

Credit quality is one of the principal criteria for judging the investment quality of a bond or bond mutual fund. As the term implies, credit quality informs investors of a bond or bond portfolio’s credit worthiness, or risk of default.

An individual bond or bond mutual fund’s credit quality is determined by private independent rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. Their credit quality designations range from high (‘AAA’ to ‘AA’) to medium (‘A’ to ‘BBB’) to low (‘BB’, ‘B’, ‘CCC’, ‘CC’ to ‘C’) (Milan/London Report, 2016).

Investors interested in the safety of their bond investments should stick to investment grade bonds (‘AAA’, ‘AA’, ‘A’, and ‘BBB’), while other investors willing and able to accept a higher level of risk could consider lower credit-quality bonds.

In 2015, N166billion was approved as Kaduna State 2016 Budget for the year under review. The budget was quantitatively primed on the ratio of 60:40 in favor of Capital Expenditure.

The yearly fiscal projections are a microcosm of a medium term crowd-sourced Five-Year Development Plan for social and economic advancement of the State, tagged “Restoration Development Strategy”.

The 2017 Estimates, also on same Budget-flow Quadrant of 60:40 is already in the House of Assembly for legislative imprimatur.

How far has the 2016 budget been deployed toward Capital is subject to national enquiry as it appears Mallam El-Rufai is a prototype model for the 2 tier of the Nigeria federacy.

The estimate for the 2017 fiscal year included N85.5bn for recurrent expenditure and N130.3bn for capital projects.

The first phase of the intra-city Kaduna light rail project will link Rigachikun with the refinery.

The government indicated that funds for the rail project would be sourced through a loan from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The state government has also voted N2, 445,160,730.00 for the ongoing state trunk road project, while township road projects will gulp N7,705,788,694.58 in the fiscal year.

It is therefore instructive to note that with the rating so far, investors and creditors like the CBN etc will not have doubts whatsoever for the Value for the Money (VfM).

Kaduna is a microcosm of the needed Government by Objectives across Nigeria, it is therefore hoped that other states would follow this simplification of governance out from the realms of Rocket Science.

Gurgur Japheth MP is a Public Policy Analyst, writes from Gboko, Benue – Nigeria

El-Rufai, Shehu Sani go to war amidst bribery allegations.

Some officials of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have accused an aide to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of offering a N3 million bribe for them to suspend a senator.

The APC executives of Ward 6, , Kaduna South Local Government Area, said this on Sunday at a press conference.

They accused Uba Sani, Mr. El-Rufai’s political adviser, of offering the bribe to some of their fellow executive members to suspend Shehu Sani who represents Kaduna Central in the Senate.

Messrs. Sani and El-Rufai are both leaders of APC in Kaduna but are political adversaries.

Abbas Anni, the chairman of APC, Ward 6, spoke on behalf of his colleagues. He called on the anti-graft agency, EFCC, to investigate the bribery allegation.

The party official also linked the new allegation to a previous one in December last year when some of his fellow executives were accused of receiving N500,000 bribe to suspend Mr. Sani from the party.

Mr. Anni has since said that suspension was void.

“It is very unfortunate that this ugly move is propping up again after the disgraceful episode of a N500,000 bribe that was purportedly given by the same set of people to instigate the alleged suspension of Senator Shehu Sani about a year ago,” he said on Wednesday.

Mr. Anni called on the APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, and other leaders to intervene in the Kaduna crisis. He said they should act fast “before the Kaduna State Governor and his cronies destroy APC in Kaduna State.”

In reaction, another official of the APC in the ward, Auwal Abdulhameed.

Mr. Abdulhameed, who said he is the ward secretary, said Mr. Anni got a car from the senator while “the other eight (executive members opposed to Mr. Sani’s suspension) got motorcycles.”

“We have petitioned to the Commissioner of Police and we shall sue for defamation of character over these accusations that we received N3 million from SA on Political to Governor El-Rufai,” he added.

Mr. El-Rufai’s political adviser, Mr. Sani, declined comment when contacted to speak on the allegations.

“We Are Not Owing Workers Salaries” – Kaduna Government insists.

The Kaduna State Government has dismissed allegations saying it is among the 33 States in the country that cannot pay workers salaries.

 

In an interview with Channels Television, the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Abdul Kwari, explains that civil servants in the state under the present administration have been receiving their salaries on the 25th of every month after the verification of workers was conducted. He however described the report as inaccurate and misleading.

 

The Finance Commissioner further explains that in spite of the challenging economic situation in the country, the state government is embarking on many people oriented projects that align with his campaign promises to alleviate poverty and ensure wealth creation.
He also said that with the improvement of Internally Generated Revenue and the plan to obtain loan from financial institutions, government will be able to complete some of the ongoing projects across the state.

 

“It cannot be true because we have been regular in our salary payments, we owe no worker any salary as today that i speak to with you.

 

“The 25th of every month, has been our salary date, and we have been keeping fate with that coming into this government, is the undertaken of the governor that he would try as much as possible to meet up with the obligation to workers, and he has been keeping fate with that.

 

“We have no issues of salary whatsoever the state level and also at the local government level. Because we make sure that whatever is due to local government is giving to them, and they also discharge that responsibility with utmost care. This has been the story of the state, and we are not in any way owing salary. And we shouldn’t have been listed among the states that owe salaries of workers.

 

That report, wherever it came from is false, we pay salaries even before FAAC allocation comes in, while other states wait for money to be received from the Federal Government, we have been judicious enough in our management of resources. We are a 1.6 bIllion Naira IGR state and this we have celebrated, and we make sure that salaries receive topmost priority.

 

” This is the directive of the governor, Nasir El-Rufai and the Ministry of Finance has been discharging that responsibility , and 25th of every month like i said, is salary day. I don’t think that being indebted is a crime as far as you make judicious use of the funds received.

 

” We may be exposed to loan in the future and we will make sure we complete ongoing projects. So I don’t think it will be a bad idea and there is nothing wrong with taking loan so far that you can make judicious use of it.

 

“The best way to deploy government resources is to plan ahead of time and I think Kaduna state is a shinning example of that”

2019: El-Rufai Not Stupid, Will Not Contest Against Buhari – Associate

As the permutations towards 2019 presidential race hot up, a fresh insight has been given into the political calculations of Mallam  Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor who many expect to join the race.

Those who expect to see El-Rufai in the race are however being told that he is not blind to the political realities. El-Rufai will not join the 2019 presidential race if President Muhammadu Buhari is going for a second term, one of the close associates of the governor has told Newsdiaryonline.com.

“Look,El-Rufai is not stupid, he will not contest if Buhari is in the race. That is the way he is. He is with Buhari as I’m talking with you,” the associate said.

The governor’s political ally spoke in the light of the on-going media war between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and  El-Rufai. There is the growing belief that  media war part of the efforts the two politicians to checkmate each other in the race for 2016.

But the governor’s long term associate said, “If you attack  El-Rufai like Atiku did, you know he is a stubborn person, he will fight back to defend himself. But he is not like Atiku who wants to run for election in 2019 whether Buhari is in the race or not.”

It must be stated that Atiku has not officially, openly declared his ambition towards the 2019 race yet. One of the former vice president’s aides said there is nothing wrong with anyone having an ambition,anyway

‘Buhari Is in the 2019 Race Already’

Newsdiaryonline.com was also told that politicians are becoming increasingly convinced  that  Buhari is in the 2019 race already. And they believe he has the ace.

“Things may not be as easy as it was in 2015,but he has the advantage of incumbency. It is not going to be easy to fight Buhari. It does not make sense, the way thing are going” a politician watching unfolding events revealed.

He added, “we know Buhari wants to run. All these endorsements of his efforts even by Christian groups are not for nothing”, another politician said.

The clearest hint that Buhari will contest in 2019 came through a statement Monday by Presidential Spokesman Garba Shehu while responding to an assertion by Engineer Buba Galadima. According  to Shehu, Buhari will not be alone in 2019 as the masses, he said, will back the president.

Political insiders however insist that Buhari may face opposition  as there is an on= going realignment of forces. Whether such moves can stop Buhari is unclear.

Policies, Partnerships and Projects: Lessons in Healthcare Reforms From Kaduna State by Ibrahim Jato

Our programs are structured to ensure that a pregnant woman does not die due to her inability to access quality services during pregnancy and childbirth, that a child is not lost from preventable diseases that communities are not overburdened with endemic diseases, and that community linkages are harnessed and promoted. – Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.
 
 
With less than 100,000 qualified medical doctors to a population of about 180 million, oil-rich Nigeria has one of the worst doctor to patients ration in the world. This explains, in part, why Nigeria is among the seven countries with the lowest life expectancy in the world, averaging just 54 years. For perspective, countries like South Sudan and Afghanistan, ravaged by war in recent years, have higher life expectancy rates than Nigeria.
 
 
Nigeria also has the 7th largest infant mortality rate in the world, as well as one of the highest maternal mortality rates. If the statistics are disheartening, the reality is even more depressing. A typical 70 percent of health budget is spent in urban areas where about 30 percent of the population resides. Thus, there is a conspicuous absence of health facilities in many rural communities across the country. Where any exists, the absence of a qualified health professional or lack of drugs and other essential medical supplies hamper service delivery.
 
 
With a population of 6.4 million, Kaduna is the third most populous state in Nigeria and the situation of public health system there is hardly any deviation in from the trend observed in the country. As at 2013, only 40 percent of the over 1,000 primary health centres in Kaduna were functioning. A general lack of political commitment to health development coupled with poor funding, corruption has led gross inequity in the distribution of health facilities and personnel.
 
 
Today however, that trend has been completely reversed. A change in political leadership in the state eighteen months ago ushered in a new regime under renowned technocrat and Harvard alumni, Nasir El-Rufai. In a clear departure from the old, and rather retrogressive, style of administration, El-Rufai’s healthcare reforms in Kaduna is built on a foundation of solid policies. In an environment where the construction of a handful of hospitals counts as major achievements, El-Rufai has ditched mediocrity for excellence by instituting remarkable reforms with wide-reaching impact in Kaduna’s health sector.
 
 
Just three months into El-Rufai’s administration, the Primary Health Care Under One Roof Bill was signed into law. Essentially, the law permits the state to operate its primary healthcare activities on the same platform. The law also enables the transfer of workers in primary healthcare centres from local councils to the state civil service.
 
 
It is not uncommon for governments to bridge social welfare gaps by introducing subsidies. Unfortunately, however, subsidies schemes are often fraught with corruption and gross mismanagement. Kaduna State has managed to subsidize healthcare in such an efficient manner that other states in Nigeria should certainly learn from. For example, patients pay as little as N20,000 for dialysis treatments that cost as high as N200,000. This was achieved by supplying eight dialysis machines to four hospitals.
 
 
The sum of N180 million was committed to routine immunization through the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to ensure no child eligible for immunization in Kaduna is missed. Also, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS selected Kaduna as the best performing state in Nigeria. Kaduna State won the prize because its hospitals counselled and tested 84,000 pregnant women for HIV during the period and referred everyone that tested positive to a treatment facility.
 
 
The decision in April to transfer all doctors, nurses, drugs and equipment at the Government House Clinic in Kaduna (used by the Governor and other top officials) to Dantsoho Hospital in Tudun Wada (used by the public), effectively eradicated the culture of privilege in Kaduna’s public health system. Policies like this make Kaduna the pacesetter in healthcare reforms in Nigeria and worthy example for not just other states but also the federal government to emulate. Kaduna’s people-centric and cost saving government house clinic policy contrasts sharply against the federal government’s decision to allocate 2 billion for capital projects as the State House Clinic in Abuja, an amount which far exceeds the combined allocations for capital projects in all teaching hospitals in the country.
 
 
To reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in Kaduna State, the El-Rufai administration re-engaged 800 retired nurses and midwives after a gap analysis revealed huge personnel shortage. This move has boost service delivery at primary health centres across the state and made quality and affordable healthcare accessible to people at the grassroots.
 
 
In Kaduna State, pregnant women, children under five years and the elderly have access to free health services at state-owned facilities. To widen the net of coverage and ensure all residents of the state have access to healthcare without incurring out-of-pocket expenditure, the El-Rufai administration approved the establishment of a Contributory Health Scheme. Under the scheme, a pool of funds contributed by residents will be supplemented with funds from the state coffers and the federal government through the National Health Insurance Scheme.
 
Thus, the financial barriers to healthcare that often exclude the poor and vulnerable will be removed. The corruption that often trails bills payment and out-of-pocket expenditure by patients at government hospitals will also be completely eradicated. This contributory model of universal healthcare coverage has proven to be successful in more advanced economies and is also being considered by Lagos State.
 
In what could be considered a leap towards stronger primary healthcare services in rural communities in Kaduna State, the government signed a strategic partnership with UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The four-year partnership will no doubt transform the primary healthcare system in Kaduna State and advance ongoing efforts in polio eradication, routine immunisation, family planning and maternal and child health services.
 
The biggest ever refit of public healthcare infrastructure in Kaduna State is the recent partnership agreement signed with global corporate giant, General Electric. Under the agreement, 278 healthcare facilities in Kaduna State will be equipped and units of relevant medical technology including ultrasound, heart monitors, neonatal incubators and anaesthesia machines will be made available to medical professionals. into the hands of our health workers.
 
The partnership, which includes a training package for the healthcare professionals and a three-year equipment maintenance agreement, is poised to deliver a comprehensive solution to the healthcare challenges in the state, including maternal and infant mortality, communicable illnesses and the problems caused by the growth of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
 
Governments at state and federal levels in Nigeria often focus on projects as a vehicle for healthcare delivery. As such, emphasis is placed solely on building hospitals, even when such are not properly equipped and capacity gaps are not bridged. This explains why major health indices in Nigeria remain poor despite billions budgeted annually for health, in addition to donations from international organisations.
 
The Kaduna State approach of blending sound policies with strategic partnerships to birth meaningful projects is on course to deliver at least one refitted hospital in each of the 255 wards in the state. This is in addition to 23 well equipped and staffed general hospitals. With all these in place, all residents of Kaduna are assured of comprehensive and affordable healthcare coverage for the years ahead.
 
This innovative approach should no doubt be a model for other states desirous of accelerated development in healthcare services.
 
Ibrahim Jato is a public finance expert based in Kaduna.

U.S Justice Department Issues Statement On Atiku’s Criminal Case Allegation

The United States Department of Justice has addressed the alleged criminal case involving the former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

Recall that speculations had been flying around regarding an alleged pending criminal case in the United states.

Addressing the allegation, the United States Department of Justice in an email sent to Punch through its spokesperson, Peter Carr said: “Thank you for reaching out to us. I have checked the public court records, and they do not show cases filed against a defendant named Atiku Abubakar.”

The statement came in reply to a request by the news source demanding confirmation on the wanted status of the ex-vice president in the United states.

The statement further cleared the former vice president of the alleged money laundering case involving a former United States lawmaker, William Jefferson as the US DOJ denied ever banning Atiku Abubakar’s entry into the US.

In reply to the request seeking to confirm if the All Progressive Congress chieftain has been banned from entering the US, the US DOJ replied: “Visa issues are confidential under section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. If your question is specifically about entry – not about visas per se – I would refer you to the US Customs and Border Protection.”

The speculation surrounding the wanted status of the former Vice president stemmed from the allegation levelled against him by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

“Use your N100M to reinforce security not build churches”, Christian clerics to El-Rufai’s

Christian clerics in Kaduna have faulted the plan by the Kaduna State government to spend N100 million on the rehabilitation of churches and mosques destroyed by armed Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna communities.

 

They urged Governor Nasir El-Rufai to rather use the money meant for this purpose to reinforce the security of lives and property in the affected areas.

 

Governor El-Rufai had announced plans by the state government to provide N100 million for the reconstruction of damaged churches and mosques in some communities in Southern Kaduna after the violence unleashed on the area.

 

During a press conference by the 19 District Church Council (DCC) fellowship of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Church yesterday, the clerics said instead of the state government rehabilitating churches and mosques in the crisis-ridden communities, efforts should be made to secure the lives and property of the people against further attacks by Fulani herdsmen.

The Chairman of the 19 DCC of ECWA Church, Rev. Zachariah Gado, said: “We acknowledged the gesture of the governor in offering N100 million for the rebuilding of churches and mosques destroyed in Southern Kaduna, but we wonder who would worship in these churches since most of the worshippers have fled for fear of their safety or they do not even have homes anymore to live in.”

 

He said the only way the government could ensure normalcy in Southern Kaduna communities was to reinforce security so that the people could live in peace and return to their normal businesses.

 

“We appeal to the state government, in the interest of justice, peace and security to respect the wishes of Southern Kaduna and their elected representatives and stop the creation of grazing reserves in the area, especially since this is tantamount to rewarding perpetrators of murder, arson and destruction of property,” he stated.

Court cleared me of corruption charges cooked up by OBJ, El-Rufai, Ribadu – Atiku

The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has given himself a clean slate from corruption tag, saying that court has cleared him of the corruption allegations “cooked up” by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and gazetted by a government white paper during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

 

Atiku stated this in the interview granted to the editorial team of the EFCC, which was published in the latest edition of their in-house Magazine, “Zero Tolerance”.

 

He noted that he is one of the strongest advocate of the anti-corruption war, having pioneered the establishment of the major anti-graft agencies including the EFCC and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

 

He said: “Well, if Atiku Abubakar was corrupt, he would have been found guilty of corruption by all the panels and probes and cases that were brought before the courts.

 

“I remember the only corruption indictment against me was a white paper which was cooked up by our own administration overnight including the very EFCC that I helped found, and other cabinet ministers, which I challenged in court. The court rightly dismissed all those indictment as being mere political; and till today nobody has ever indicted me of corruption.”

 

The Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), also spoke on his relationship with the then Chairman of EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu, saying he has rested their differences.

 

He said that Ribadu apologised to him on several occasions and that he has forgiven him despite the fact that he refused to do so publicly as he demanded.

 

“I can recall when he (Ribadu) came to ask for my forgiveness, I said if you want me to forgive you Nuhu, go to the same television stations where you said I was corrupt and say you now realised that I am not corrupt. Then he said sir, ‘you have forgiven so many people who have offended you publicly, without them going to TV stations to apoligise to you. Why is my own case different?’ I said, ‘your case is different because first of all I helped to found the EFCC; I made sure that even when you had no budget, I took money from the privatisation council and gave you as a loan so that you can function before the National Assembly approved your budget. I was instrumental to your appointment, so I believe I had contributed to your development and that is what you are paying me back with’.

“In any case, he kept apologising and I said ‘okay’, no problem’. That closed the chapter”.

 

Atiku however, insisted that it was Ribadu and the then Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and current Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, that Obasanjo “used in cooking up the indictment that was eventually thrown out.”

 

“So where is the evidence of corruption? Its not just fair for you to say somebody is corrupt without substation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV that he worked with me as Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) for four years and there was never a time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those years. So, how am I a corrupt person? This is the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as Vice President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them officially to it was unethical of me to have accepted those offers. So, where is the corruption toga coming from?,” he queried.

 

Atiku debunked the allegations made by El-Rufai in his book: “Accidental Public Servant”, that he spearheaded the N50 million bribe scandal involving Senators Ibrahim Mantu, Jonathan Zwingina and others during his ministerial confirmation screening.

 

He said that the former DG of BPE might have “misconstrued what happened”, saying “He actually ran to me to say that he was denied confirmation by the Senate”.

 

“Of course, I called Mantu and others and confronted them, and they admitted that yes they denied him because they do not see him as a Minister. It is also on record, because I controlled the campaign funds; and el-Rufai now went and said those campaign funds were meant to be a bribe. This is how he came about concocting that story. Of course, my boss, the President (Obasanjo), investigated the story and found out that indeed every Senator got contributions from the campaign fund which I was managing.

 

“So where is the corruption in that? Had he discovered that there was corruption, he would have used it against me because he was looking for anything to nail me. But he couldn’t get it because I brought him evidence of all those that benefited from the fund”, he explained.

Kaduna govt donates N100m for rebuilding damaged churches, mosques.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai has donated N100 million to support the rebuilding of damaged churches and mosques destroyed during ethno-religious crisis in Southern Kaduna communities.

 

Announcing the donation during the unveiling of public apology billboards by five communities from Jama’a, Kachia, Kaura, Sanga and Zangon Kataf, El-Rufai said his government had drafted a bill to set up the Kaduna State Peace Commission in fulfilment of the promises he made in 2015.

 

He said that the commission, which is expected to be established after the endorsement of the state House of Assembly, would promote harmonious co-existence among all indigenes.

 

He added: “In recognition of the vital importance of showing concrete manifestations of peace, the government has decided to support civic efforts to rebuild damaged churches and mosques with a seed fund of N100 million.

 

“The challenge of achieving peace and justice is a complex process that requires imagination, wide consultations, technical support, research and time. I have promised you change. I will not be derailed from the legacy of peace that Southern Kaduna deserves from my generation.“This state belongs to everyone that has chosen to make it home. Let us respect each other.”

 

Abide by the law, do our duty to uphold harmony and firmly reject division and violence. Today, we are here to launch a public apology billboard, as we grief over the lives sadly taken in the recent violence in the Godogodo chiefdom.

Governor El-Rufai to distribute 20,000 free prepaid electricity meters.

Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State would flag-off the distribution of 20,000 electricity prepaid metres for customers in the state.

This is contained in a statement issued by the company’s Head, Corporate Communication, Mr Abdulazeez Abdullahi, and made available on Monday in Kaduna.

Abdullahi said the metres are part of the 50,000 the Kaduna Electric metres earmarked for distribution in its franchise states of Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi.

“After the successful flag-off of the mass deployment of 50,000 prepaid smart metres in its franchise states at a ceremony in Sokoto in October, Kaduna Electric is set to launch the deployment of the metres in Kaduna state.

“The Kaduna Launch, which is expected to be flagged off by State Governor, Malam Nasiru El-Rufa’I, is scheduled for Wednesday.’’

“The company is expecting the delivery of more metres before year end which shall also be deployed to its teeming customers in Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi, its franchise states,’’ the spokesman said.

He urged customers to embrace the installation of the metres in their homes as it is a better way of accurately reading the amount of energy consumed by them.

According to him, customers will be sure to pay for what they consume.

It will be recalled that the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, flagged off the mass metre deployment in October in Sokoto.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the company, Mr Garba Haruna, has assured of the company’s commitment to metering its customers through a five-year metering plan.

El-Rufai lauds Arewa CF over Security Summit.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has commended Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) for its contribution towards addressing the security challenges being experienced in the region.

El-Rufai stated this when he received a delegation from Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) who paid him a courtesy call at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna.

He said, ACF’s plan to organise the Summit in Kaduna is coming at a time the north is battling with the spate of insecurity ranging from cattle rustling, kidnapping, rural banditry and reprisal attacks in different parts of the region, saying the summit will help in finding solutions to the unfortunate circumstances the region is facing.

He assured the ACF delegation of the support of the state government towards the success of the summit because of its importance.

The Deputy Chairman of ACF, Alhaji Liman Kwande, who led the delegation, told the governor that ACF as a socio-cultural group for all northerners is worried by the rise in security challenges in the region. The group has therefore seen the need to organise the Security Summit in Kaduna towards finding a solution to the security challenge in the region.

“The recent attacks by suspected herdsmen on some communities in the Godogodo chiefdom, where lives were lost, properties destroyed, and most importantly trust among the communities severely damaged, are most condemnable. The rampant kidnapping of innocent people along Kaduna-Abuja expressway among others is great concerns to us.

“These threats to our peace, as a region and collectively as a people, must be addressed by both the government and socio-cultural groups like ACF. Therefore, to respond to these serious security challenges, the ACF thought it necessary to organise a Northern Security Summit, where stakeholders will be invited to openly discuss the various forms of insecurity and proffer workable solutions.

ACF said they are in Kaduna to seek the support of the state government towards successful hosting of the Summit, asking the governor to also canvass for support from other state governors.

Kaduna residents to pay N3,000 monthly for waste collection.

The Zoom Lion Global Alliance, a waste disposal company, says residents of Kaduna state will soon begin to pay between N200 and N3,000 monthly levy for door to door waste collection.

The company’s Managing Director, Mrs Abiola Bashorun, disclosed this during an assessment tour of dump sites and transfer station in Kaduna on Wednesday.

Bashorun said her company had been given the approval by the Kaduna State Government to embark on smooth waste management as well as improve the state’s internally generated revenue.

According to her, the rate of waste generation in the state is extremely high when compared to other bigger states, hence the need for strategic intervention to meet up with the challenge.

“The levy will be based on property, location and income cadre.

“People in GRA with the biggest house will be paying N3,000 while in places where we have low income earners will be levied as low as N200 monthly,“ she said.

The managing director said the door to door waste evacuation would help in generating money for the state.

Earlier, State Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Shehu Giwa, said residents would equally make enough money from waste they generated to augment the monthly levy.

According to him, when the three dump sites and 10 transfer stations currently under construction are completed, it will make the state to become one of the best in terms of environmental friendliness in the country.

“When the three dump sites in each senatorial zone and 10 transfer stations; six in Kaduna, three in Zaria and one in Kafanchan are completed, our state will be the cleanest.

“The second stage is where we will begin recycling and we will be transforming waste to wealth.

“ We will be recycling both organic and inorganic fertiliser, industrial materials and energy,” he said.

All these plans, he added, were two sides of the coin, adding that while government was trying to make the state better, residents who were beneficiaries should also play their own role.

“We can have the state we all dream of when all of us can cooperate with the government by carefully disposing our waste,’’ the commissioner said.

Just In: Kaduna upholds religious freedoms and all constitutional rights – ElRufai

The Kaduna State Government wishes to reiterate its respect for the right of every resident to practise the religion of their choice. As it has often stated, the government has a duty to uphold fundamental rights and the security of everyone. This involves ensuring that nobody or group exercises their rights in ways that restrict the rights of others or subjects them to danger, distress or the diminution of their humanity.

 

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Every resident of Kaduna State is free to practise the religion of their choice. This is a fundamental, constitutional right. The freedoms that are so guaranteed by the constitution, including that of worship, thought, association, and movement are enshrined in Sections 38 and 40, and their exercise is limited only by considerations that they do not infringe on the rights of others or constitute a danger to public order and public safety.

It is not the place of government to assess or certify any creed. That is strictly the purview of the individual. But it is a fundamental obligation of the government to preserve security and uphold the rights of all citizens, both to practise faith and not to be imperilled or distressed by others’ exercise of faith.

The Kaduna State Government did not, and cannot, ban any religion. At every moment, the government is guided by its duty to prevent threats to the peace and security of the state. In discharge of this obligation, it has acted to declare unlawful a specific group that continues to threaten public order in the state. The IMN was never a registered organisation and it refused to conduct itself with adherence to the laws of this state.

 

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Other groups in the Shia tradition are active in Nigeria. Like adherents of all other faiths, they are free to practise their creed, and like everyone else must take care not to injure the rights of others.

Kaduna State Gazette No. 21 of 7th October 2016 has declared the IMN an unlawful society. The reasons are clearly set out and the laws on which it is anchored are spelt out, mainly Section 97A of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State and Sections 5(2) and 45(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The Gazette noted that:
1.      The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clashes between the group with the appellation ‘’Islamic Movement in Nigeria’’ (IMN) and the Nigerian Army in Zaria between Saturday 12th and Monday 14th December 2015, found as facts inter alia that:

i.      The Islamic Movement in Nigeria is an unregistered society and recommended that immediate steps be taken by the Kaduna State Government to proscribe it.

ii.     The members of the movement have over the years engaged in acts of aggression and violence against individuals and communities resulting in clashes with security agencies which culminated in the recent deaths of at least 347 persons.

iii.    The Movement has constituted itself into a parallel government with a uniformed paramilitary wing in complete disregard to the Constitution and Laws of Nigeria.

2.      The Movement has overtly continued with unlawful processions, obstruction of public highways, unauthorized occupation of public facilities including schools without regard to the rights of other citizens and the public peace and order of the State.

3.       These acts, if allowed to go unchecked will constitute danger to the peace, tranquility, harmonious coexistence and good governance of Kaduna State.

Gentlemen of the Press, these are the facts.

There is a common law in Nigeria, and it serves to protect everyone. The law courts are the appropriate platform for any citizen to challenge any legislation or order they consider improper. No citizen or group of persons can decide to disobey a valid law, without expecting that law enforcement will do its work. The day individuals choose which law to obey and proceed to violate the laws with which they disagree and get away without any sanction, then the rule of the jungle will have triumphed.

But the Kaduna State Government insists that only law enforcement agencies have the authority to act to prevent and deter violations of the law, or to arrest violators. We have warned that mob action will not be permitted under any guise. The duty of every citizen is to report every illegal action or suspicious activity to the security agencies.

Kaduna State has suffered and endured too many calamities, triggered by persons and groups that insist on foisting their faith or political preferences on others. It is a hallmark of civilisation that every assertion of rights by a citizen is done with full acknowledgement of, and respect for the rights of other citizens. That is the norm in a free society that is anchored on the equality of persons. We have a duty to build a state that upholds lawful conduct.

Thanks for your kind attention.

19th October, 2016, Kaduna.

Aruwan is Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s Spokesperson.

24-hour curfew imposed in Kafanchan, environs relaxed.

The 24 hour curfew imposed in Kafanchan and environs in Jema’a local government area of Kaduna State following the incessant attacks, killings and destruction of property in the area has been relaxed.

The Interim Management Committee Chairman, Dr Bege Katuka, said the curfew would commence from 6pm to 6am until the security situation improved in the area.

He disclosed to DAILY POST in a telephone interview on Tuesday that ”Going by seurity reports, if the situation improves, the curfew hours will be reviewed further on the basis of recommendations from the heads of law enforcement agencies in the local government.

“Residents are advised to co-operate and stay indoors as effort is in top gear to ensure that normalcy returns to the area so that people can go on their daily activities.”

It would be recalled that the incessant attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen had become the order of the day in Southern Kaduna in recent years, leading to the killing of hundreds of innocent souls and destruction of properties.

Independence: Governor El-Rufai pardons three prisoners

Kaduna State governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has granted state pardon to three convicted prisoners in the state.

The compassion extended to the convicts was part of 2016 Independence Day anniversary.

The convicts have been granted amnesty and subsequently released.

Malam el-Rufai announced the pardons in his address to the residents of Kaduna State to mark the country’s 56th Independence anniversary.

This followed recommendations from the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy.

“As is customary, we mark this day of liberation with a gesture of compassion,” the governor said.

“Following recommendations from the Advisory Council, I have therefore approved the release of three prisoners based on guidelines which include the convicts attaining the age of 60 with good conduct and convicts suffering from ill-health likely to lead to death. I have exercised powers conferred by Section 212 of the Constitution and endorsed the release orders for three convicts.”

The convicts, Mohammed Usmanand Hassan Saidu were left off on account of being over 60, good conduct and having only a little part of their sentence remaining.

Ill-health accounted for Zaro Dickson’s pardon, who has hypertension and diabetes.

Malam el-Rufai urged Nigerians to be confident that our country will overcome the current economic challenges.

He asked residents of Kaduna to continue to uphold peace and harmony, and to shun any recourse to self-help and vendetta.

To mark Independence Day, the Kaduna Golf Club staged the Governor’s Cup. Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Hadiza el-Rufai, performed the tee-off at the event which attracted golfers from across the country.

Gambo Hamza, Executive Secretary of the Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), said that the golf event was organised to showcase Kaduna’s investment and tourism potentials.

Mrs. Hadiza el-Rufai also hosted an independence party for children. Staged within the grounds of the Government House, the party was attended by Malam Nasir el-Rufai, Mrs Ladi Bala, wife of deputy governor, Barnabas Yusuf Bala and Hajiya Rabi Abdusalam, the commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development.

Governor El-Rufai wants cut in cost of governance

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has kicked against the call by the National Council of State (NEC) as well as some senior government officials, including Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, for the disposal of national assets.

El-Rufai, one-time Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), spoke at World Pension Summit ‘Africa Special’ co- hosted by The Netherland-based World Pension Summit Organisation and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) in Abuja.

He rather called for solutions from experts, just as he argued that instead of selling assets, the cost of governance should be reduced or what was not necessary eliminated.

He maintained that only national assets that were not doing well should be disposed off with the aim that buyers would turn them around for viability and job creation.

He added: “Yes, we are in a crisis. And it’s a short-term crisis. We should proffer solutions on how to solve it. Don’t say don’t do this, don’t do that without preferring solutions because Nigeria needs to have $40 billion in her reserves for our currency to stabilize. Unless our currency stabilises, we cannot even plan anything. But there is a middle to long-term restructuring challenge. And we are not going to do that unless we stabilise the macroeconomic indices now. We have to tame the tide of exchange rate, we have to lower the interest rate. We have to stabilise the economy first before we can plan for the future.

“ In my opinion, the solution we have is to look at our non-productive assets, put them out in the market in a way that is sensible and sequence them properly.”

Oshiomhole, El-Rufai behind Edo poll’s postponement – Edo PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party, Edo State chapter, has accused Governor Adams Oshiomhole of allegedly using his Kaduna State counterpart, Nasir el-Rufai, to influence the postponement of the governorship election in order to buy time to rig the poll.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had, last Thursday, postponed the election from September 10 to September 28, citing security reports received by the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Security over threats by insurgents to cause violence during the exercise.

The Edo State PDP chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, at a press briefing on Wednesday in Benin, claimed that the party received information from the Government House that the Kaduna State governor allegedly influenced a national commissioner of the INEC to postpone the election.

El-Rufai is the Deputy Chairman of the National Campaign Council of the APC for the Edo State governorship election.

However, the Edo State Government has denied the allegations, adding that the PDP is jittery over the election.

The spokesperson for INEC in Edo, Mrs. Priscilla Imoudu-Sule, also dismissed the allegations.

Imoudu-Sule, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone said, “I want to say that the electoral oficers have been very busy retrieving their materials from their camp. Also, they have brought their card readers for fresh reconfiguration.

“So, all those things anybody is saying are not from here; they are just their imagination. I would rather advise that they go and campaign for the remaining two weeks and make up for that time. They should leave the administrative issues for INEC alone.”

Kaduna School Enrolment Rises By 39% Since Start Of School Feeding Program

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna says that school enrolment figures in public primary and secondary schools have risen 38.9% from 1.1million to 1.8million since the commencement of the school feeding program in the state. The figures, according to the governor, is expected to rise to 2.2 million by September 2016 when the new school session begins.

 

The governor has restated the commitment of the Kaduna State Government to girls education and guaranteeing nine years of free education in the State. The Governor stated this when he attended the Influencers Screening of the documentary ‘He named me Malala’ which was jointly organized by YouthHubAfrica, the Centre for Girls Education and the Kaduna State Government and hosted at the Council Chambers of the Kaduna State Government House.

 

Speaking during the panel session at the Screening, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Hadiza el-Rufai expressed her commitment to continue to support efforts that guarantee access to education for young girls, as it is the surest way to lift them and their families out of poverty and ensure they live fulfilled lives. ‘During the course of my work with young girls, I have come to realize that they are very rich in ideas. Unfortunately, being ‘idea rich’ does not cut it anymore, it is integral to complement these ideas with opportunities’ and we who are influencers in society, owe it as a duty to create these opportunities’, she said.

 

Mr. Rotimi Olawale, Executive Director, Youthhubafrica who spoke at the event highlighted some of the challenges faced by young girls especially in Northern Nigeria in completing their secondary education. He also cited the high dropout rates among girls, saying it is high time to encourage girls to aspire to higher education levels.

 

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Responding to questions on why the state Government hasn’t extended its free education program to cover 12 years of education until the end of secondary school, Governor el-Rufai attributed it to the paucity of funds. He promised to extend the free education to 12 years as soon as the state’s financial position improves.

 

The screening was also attended by the state’s commissioners for education, health, women affairs and youth as well as traditional leaders, community leaders, women leaders and representatives of non-profits working in the state.

 

The screening of ‘He named me Malala’ is part of a Youthhubafrica initiative, in collaboration with the Malala Fund and with support from Participant Media and to screen the documentary to school girls, community and traditional leaders; and policy makers in the country. The documentary chronicles the remarkable story of Malala Yusufzai who defied all odds, including a terrorist attack in pursuit of her dream for education. The project has so far screened the documentary to up to 10,000 persons in 30 cities across Nigeria as part of efforts to encourage girls education and build stakeholder support for girls education in Nigeria.

 

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Gov. Yero Running Religious Campaigns In Kaduna, Says El-Rufai

The All Progressive Congress governorship candidate in Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, on Monday accused the state governor, Ramalan Yero, of breaching the peace accord in the state.

Speaking through his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, Mr. El-Rufai said the governor was running a dangerous religious campaign in the state.

He said the governor was not interested in the peace accord signed by the two candidates only speaking of peace through lip service.

According to him, Kaduna was a sensitive and complex state that could easily be set alight.

He said the PDP cannot use religion to manipulate people and harvest votes the way people get cash out of ATM machines.

“We are here to let the people of the state know that the state government is not interested in peace,” Mr. El-Rufai said. “They are already breaching the peace accord signed under the auspice of the state commissioner of police.  Going by our activities you will agree with me that our campaign has been based on issues unlike that of the ruling party.

“The state government now are running a very dangerous religious campaign. They are at present inciting religious sentiments in the state in order to tarnish the good name of Malam El-Rufai. They are presently circulating text under the name “Breaking news” and pamphlets in churches against us.

“We are not bothered with that because we are Kaduna state indigenes and we know the history of the state. We know that the state is sinking and dwindling. They just need to stop inciting people if not they will end up setting the state on fire.”

Mr. El-Rufai added that if the state governor was really convinced he had developed the state, he would not focus his campaign on promoting religion and sentimental issues.