Bandits Shoot Imam, Abduct Worshippers In Katsina Mosque

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Bandits have attacked a mosque in Maigamji village along Funtua-Dandume road, Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina, disrupting Isha’i prayer that was being observed by worshippers on Saturday.

A former councillor of Maigamji ward in Funtua LGA of Katsina, Alhaji Lawal Maigamji, said when the bandits came, they opened fire on  two people, including the Imam leading the prayers.

He identified those shot as Malam Yusha’u, the Imam and Hussaini Jamo, a worshipper, disclosing that they were both receiving treatment at a hospital in Funtua.

“They surrounded the mosque when Ishaa’i congregational prayer was being conducted, after shooting Imam Yusha’u and Hussaini Jamo, they abducted 18 people and made away with them into the bush,” Lawal Maigamji said.

He added that four of the abducted victims escaped from their captors while in transit.

In a related development at least 31 people were reportedly abducted in Karare and Kokiya villages of Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State in the early hours of Friday.

The terrorists, which were said to number about 40 riding on motorcycles, invaded the village where they killed one person and abducted the people including women and children.

Daily Trust gathered that some of the abductees were students heading to the Government Day Secondary School, Karare from Kokiya village.

As of the time of compiling this report, residents of Karare and Kokiya villages were yet to ascertain the number of abducted victims.

Some residents who spoke to our reporter in Katsina expressed worry over the increasing spate of kidnappings for ransom, cattle rustlings and heinous killings of innocent people.

When contacted for confirmation, the police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, said he would contact the DPO of the area and get back to our reporter.

However, while admitting the abduction of some residents the chairman Batsari Local Government area, Yusuf Yanji, however, refuted the allegations of the students’ abduction, saying the story was unfounded.

El-Rufai will leave Kaduna a poorer person — Uba Sani 

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The 2023 governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, has said that the state Governor, Mallam Nasir elRufai will leave the government seat a poorer person.  

Sani, however, said that there was no shying away from the fact that el-Rufai made some mistakes while governing the affairs of the state because he is human.

The governorship hopeful stated this while interacting with journalists, yesterday, at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna State Council. Sani also said he will continue from where el-Rufai stopped in administering Kaduna State if elected governor. He said as a lawmaker he sponsored several bills, some of which he said had been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari.

On insecurity, Sani called for the creation of State police and licensing of vigilantes to carry arms to complement the efforts of conventional security agencies.

He charged journalists to always endure to interrogate those running for the 2023 political positions, saying most of them are out to enrich themselves than working for the good of the larger society.

“Government alone cannot create jobs for the people. We need the private sector to complement government efforts. We will continue from where our governor stopped.

“The government of Kaduna State has done a lot. When the governor came in 2015, we rehabilitated all dilapidated primary and secondary schools.” He abolished school fees, which increased pupil enrollment. 

“Kaduna State government has employed more teachers in primary and secondary schools than the ones sacked. We looked at the quality of teachers now, and we say prosperity will reward El-rufai for doing what he did. Only teachers that were not qualified to teach were sacked.

“The critics take their children abroad to attend school. But here in Nigeria, El-rufai was the first governor to take his children to public primary schools.

“We will continue with an open door policy so that every segment of the society that is key to participating in our government will be engaged. We will even appoint some of them to work with us and move the state forward.”

A 20 MEGAWATTS INDEPENDENT POWER PLANT HAS BEEN COMMISSIONED AT THE USMANU DANFODIO UNIVERSITY, SOKOTO

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As recent as Monday, October 28, 2022, do you know that the Buhari administration commissioned a 20MW Solar Hybrid Power Plant, which his administration installed at the Usmanu Danfodio University in Sokoto?

Represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, the President said the power plant was meant to provide sustainable and reliable electricity to the entire campus, improve education and create a better university experience for both students and staff.

Remarkably, the Buhari administration is installing the same Solar Hybrid Power Plants with the same capacity in all the 37 federal universities and 7 affiliated Teaching Hospitals under its Energizing Education Programme (EEP), which is an excellent initiative that will enhance learning.

Yes, Nigeria is on track!

Tragedy: 5 die, 5 others injured in Bauchi road crash – FRSC

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Tragedy struck on Friday when five persons died in a road crash in Zaranda village, on the Bauchi-Jos road.

Yusuf Abdullahi, the Sector Commander, FRSC, disclosed this in a road traffic crash report made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi on Saturday.

The FRSC boss added that five other people were seriously injured in the crash involving one articulated vehicle and one commercial Galaxy Ford car around 7:05 p.m.

He said it took the personnel of the corps barely 11 minutes to arrive at the scene of the crash to clear the site.

The sector commander attributed the crash to speed violation, loss of control and overloading.

“Twelve people were involved in the fatal road crash and they were all male adults.

“Five of them lost their lives on the spot and five others were seriously injured with bruises and fractures while two were unscathed,” he said.

Abdullahi also stated that both the injured person and the remains of the deceased had been taken to the General Hospital, Toro in Toro Local Government Area for treatment and confirmation.

The commander, however, advised road users to always be conscious of traffic rules and regulations while plying the roads.

Ganduje alleges fraud, urges FG, Assembly probe of hajj 2022

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Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has faulted the operation of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on the conduct of the 2022 Hajj exercise.

Besides, Ganduje accused the commission of gross misconduct and mismanagement of resources that led to NAHCON’s failure to airlift over 700 intended pilgrims from Kano to Saudi Arabia.

Receiving the operation report of the 2022 Hajj exercise from the state Pilgrims Welfare Board, Ganduje said the 2022 Hajj was the worst ever witnessed in the last seven years, calling for an immediate probe of NAHCON.

Ganduje challenged the federal government and the national assembly to investigate the operation of NAHCON with special reference to the 2022 Hajj to save the nation from needless national embarrassment in the future.

“The last 2022 Hajj operation was the worst I ever witnessed during my tenure as the governor of Kano state. It was mismanaged, with a number of dishonest attitudes, fraud and anomalies.

“Due to the inefficiency and mismanagement of the National Hajj Commission, many Pilgrims suffered severely without any remorse from the national agency.

“The airline we chose was not the one they gave us. I went there personally to lodge our complaint and they promised to abide by our choice. But unfortunately, they gave us another airline entirely different.” Ganduje lamented.

The Governor however lauded the state pilgrim’s welfare board for untiring efforts to convey Kano passengers to the holy despite heavy bottlenecks.

A crisis between the Kano state government and NAHCON ensued when the state rejected AZMAN allocated to convey her intended pilgrims for the 2022 Hajj. Kano state government insisted AZMAN lacked the technical capacity and made a former request to replace the carrier.

Although NAHCON promised to replace AZMAN after the visit of the Governor to the Hajj Commission in Abuja, the pledge however failed to actualize with a fresh directive from NAHCON mandated AZMAN to airlift Kano pilgrims.

Earlier, the Executive Chairman of the board, Ambassador Mohammad Abba Danbatta submitted a 12-volume report containing the activities of the board in the just concluded Hajj.

Danbatta reported that Kano was denied the opportunity to select and choose an airline in line with tradition. Emphasized that Kano rejected Azman Airlines because of the limited capacity to convey the magnitude of Kano pilgrims, a development that letter led to over 700 intended pilgrims missing the operation.

The Danbatta told the Governor despite the challenges, the board is prepared to embark on hitch-free exercise for 2023 while making official approval to enable the board to commence operation for next year’s Hajj.

Again, Buhari turns heat on Governors, clarifies derivation fund controversy

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Reveals Nine Oil-producing States Received N625.43b For 13% Derivation, Subsidy, SURE-P Refunds
•Re-assures Refunds To Oil Producing States Will Continue

A day after President Muhammadu Buhari declared that the stunted development being experienced at the local council level was caused by state governors and council officials who “pocket” public funds, the Presidency has again turned the heat on state governors, this time providing details on fund releases to oil-producing states in the last two years.

The move was an apparent reaction to the controversy trailing the remittance and deployment of the 13 per cent Derivation Fund and other funds by the Federal Government.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike had during the inauguration of the Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, Port Harcourt, penultimate weekend, revealed that one of the reasons his administration has been able to embark on several projects was because the Buhari administration had graciously approved the payment and release of unpaid 13 percent derivation deductions since 1999 to all states in the Niger Delta.

Wike had also followed up his claim by throwing a challenge at his colleagues in the oil-producing region, asking them to show Nigerians what they have done with their own funds.

Thus, governors of the nine oil-producing states have been engaged in efforts to defray reactions trailing revelation.
However, in a statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, yesterday, the Presidency revealed that nine oil-producing states received a total of N625.43 billion 13 per cent oil derivation, subsidy and SURE-P refunds from the Federation Account in the last two years (2021-2022).

According to the statement, the states that received the refunds dating from 1999 to 2021 are Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

“Data obtained from the Federation Account Department, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, show that a total of N477.2 billion was released to the nine states as refund of the 13 per cent derivation fund on withdrawal from Excess Crude Account (ECA) without deducting derivation from 2004 to 2019, leaving an outstanding balance of N287.04 billion.

“The states also got N64.8 billion as refund of the 13 per cent derivation fund on deductions made by NNPC without payment of derivation to Oil Producing States from 1999 to December,” he said.

The statement explained further that the benefitting states still had an outstanding balance of N860.59 billion windfall from the refunds, which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“According to the figures, under the 13 per cent derivation fund on withdrawal from ECA without deducting derivation from 2004 to 2019, Abia State received N4.8 billion with outstanding sum of N2.8 billion; Akwa-Ibom received N128 billion with outstanding sum of N77 billion; Bayelsa N92.2 billion, leaving an outstanding of N55 billion.

“Cross River got a refund N1.3 billion with a balance N792 million; Delta State received N110 billion, leaving a balance of N66.2 billion; Edo State received N11.3 billion, with a balance of N6.8 billion; Imo State, N5.5 billion, with an outstanding sum of N3.3 billion; Ondo State, N19.4 billion with an outstanding sum of N11.7 billion while Rivers State was paid 103.6 billion, with an outstanding balance of N62.3 billion,” the statement added.

Shehu further disclosed that, “the states were paid in eight instalments between October 2, 2021 and January 11, 2022, while the ninth to 12th instalments were still outstanding.

He added: “On the 13 per cent derivation fund on deductions made by NNPC without payment of derivation, the nine oil producing states were paid in three instalments this year, with the remaining 17 instalments outstanding.

“Under this category, Abia State received N1.1 billion; Akwa-Ibom, N15 billion; Bayelsa, N11.6 billion; Cross River, N432 million; Delta State, N14.8 billion; Edo State, N2.2 billion; Imo State, N2.9 billion; Ondo State, N3.7 billion and Rivers State, N12.8 billion.

“Meanwhile, the benefitting states shared N9.2 billion in three instalments in April, August and November 2022 as refunds on the 13 per cent derivation exchange rate differential on withdrawal from the ECA.

“The three largest benefitting states were Akwa Ibom (N1.6 billion), Delta State (N1.4 billion) and Rivers State (N1.32 billion).

“Similarly, all the nine states received N4.7 billion each, totalling N42.34 billion as refunds on withdrawals for subsidy and SURE-P from 2009 to 2015. The refund, which is for all the states and local government councils, was paid on November 10, 2022.

“The Federation Account also paid N3.52 billion each as refund to local government councils on withdrawals for subsidy and SURE-P from 2009 to 2015 on the same date in November.”

The statement noted that President Buhari considers it a matter of honour and decency that debts owed to states or anyone for that matter be repaid, and in time, without regard to their partisan political affiliations.

“The President will continue to render equal service to all the states of the federation and an acknowledgement of this by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and the others is not out of place. The refunds to the oil-producing states will continue,” the statement assured.

Insecurity: Don’t Incite Nigerians Against Govt, DSS Warns Religious Leaders

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The Department of State Services (DSS), on Saturday, warned religious leaders of both Islam and Christianity from inciting Nigerians against the present administration in the country.

The secret police also warned political leaders to do away with the usage of thugs when carrying out their activities, urging the youths not to make themselves a willful tool for politicians.

The Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi, handed down this warning in Abuja during the graduation ceremony of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 15 at the National Institute for Security Studies.

Bichi specifically said those making negative comments about Nigeria both online and offline should be circumspect, noting that the country is not bad security-wise the way they are portraying it.

“The DSS has come of age and we are going to partner with security agencies to make sure we reduce the insecurity in the country. I believe Nigeria will overcome all the obstacles enveloping the nation.

“People are saying Nigeria is a failed state, but we have indices that show Nigeria is of a great state if only we can make the best out of the situation we find ourselves in now. That is why the DSS always thinks ahead of our opponents, our operations nowadays are driven by technology and we shall sustain that.

“Those commenting negatively about the nation, especially religious leaders, many of them have forgotten what is written in their books. If you are inciting people then, you are not adhering to what God asked you to do,” he said.

The spymaster lamented that human rights organisations are discouraging security agencies in the country, saying their action is a disservice to the country and that they have not been fair to security agencies.

He said, “The people who are canvassing for human rights, let me tell you, they are just discouraging the security agencies. The person that was killed has a right, you that is claiming human rights when the security agency goes after them and you are now saying human rights, you are not being fair to us.

“You are doing a disservice to a sovereign nation. We are not saying we will go and torment innocent people but at the same time, don’t support criminals. Let’s look at what we have. My service will not allow anybody to mess up this country. You attack our structures, and individuals, we will attack you.”

He, however, vowed that the days of those fueling insecurity and believing they cannot be caught are numbered.

Speaking earlier, the Commandant of the institute, Ayodele Adeleke, urged the graduands to deploy the knowledge acquired to help their countries in tackling various security challenges. He also called on them to be good ambassadors of the institute.

Kaduna Will Miss El-Rufai After Leaving Office – Uba Sani

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The All progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Kaduna State, Senator Uba Sani, has said the state governor, Nasir El-Rufai, will be missed after leaving office.

The El-Rufai-led administration will come to an end in May 2023 after eight years as the governor of the state.

Sani described El-Rufai as a “sincere and very trustworthy” person who served the state well.

According to him, the governor has done a lot in the development of the state even though he “might have committed few mistakes as a human being.”

Senator Uba made the comment at the Media Paley organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists for all the governorship candidates in the state.

“Governor El-Rufai is sincere and cannot be accused of corruption. He served in Abuja as FCT minister about 15 years ago but he is still being missed. He will be missed in Kaduna after leaving office,” he said.

He added that the governor had done a lot in the area of urban development, education, health and other areas of human endeavor.

On security, Sani said the creation of state police is the solution to banditry in northern Nigeria, Kaduna in particular.

He also described Nigeria’s arms law as weak and obsolete, saying the law must be amended to allow local vigilantes the rights to hold firearms.

He explained that as a senator representing Kaduna Central at the red chamber, he had done a lot to ensure the amendment of the law to enable the local vigilantes bear arms.

According to him, for any state to address the killings perpetrated by bandits in rural areas, state police must be created.

He also cautioned that security issues shouldn’t be politicised if the country is serious in addressing the problem.

ARISE Townhall: I Won’t Succumb To Blackmail – Tinubu

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has taken a swipe at ARISE TV over its constant broadcast of an advertisement about its scheduled town hall meeting.

On November 25, the broadcast media announced that its presidential town hall will hold on December 4, with four presidential candidates expected to attend on the said day.

However, the Bola Tinubu campaign organisation said its presidential candidate will not attend, citing a lack of prior discussion on the matter with ARISE TV, as a reason for the non-attendance.

The campaign organisation had also warned ARISE TV against using its candidate’s photograph on advertisements for the town hall meeting.

But in another poster announcing the town hall meeting on Tuesday, ARISE TV listed Tinubu as one of the invited candidates, and quoted section 22 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria in its defence.

The television station said candidates participating in the 2023 presidential election must respect the constitution and ensure they respond to questions from the media on their manifestos.

Reacting, the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr Bayo Onanuga, in a statement on Saturday, said it was shocking and that the station had continued to broadcast the participation Tinubu, despite the party’s earlier statement that the former Lagos state governor will not be available.

The statement, which was titled, ‘Tinubu won’t succumb to Arise News blackmail,’ reads, “We find it shocking and downright anomalous that Arise News continues to broadcast the participation of All Progressives Congress Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in its Presidential Town Hall meeting scheduled to hold on 4 December, 2022 despite our earlier statement that our candidate will not be available.

“We noticed that Arise News has also been running a campaign on the so-called constitutional duty of the presidential candidates to participate in its debate by dubiously citing section 22 of the Constitution of Nigeria on the obligation of the Mass Media.

“While it is trite that the media has clear constitutional duty to hold public office holders accountable to the citizens and its role as the watchdog of the society, there is no part of the Constitution and the section 22 that says a presidential candidate of any political party and least of all, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu must participate in Arise News Town Hall event or any media organised event at all.

“The same Constitution grants all citizens of Nigeria including, Asiwaju Tinubu the right and freedom of choice and association. The APC Presidential candidate has a right to decide where he goes and events to participate in as he seeks the mandate of Nigerians to be elected as the next President of our country.

“We want to make it abundantly clear again that Asiwaju Tinubu will not participate and will not attend the Arise News Town Hall meeting slated for Sunday, 4 December, 2022 and any other ones it may plan before the February 2023 presidential election.

“The APC Presidential candidate has his own schedule of campaign activities and other engagements within and outside Nigeria. One of such events is his scheduled event for Monday , December 5, 2022 at Chatham House in London where he will speak on Security, Economy and Foreign Policy.

“Asiwaju Tinubu travelled to United Kingdom early today (Saturday) for this earlier scheduled engagement. We want to reiterate for the umpteenth time that no amount of blackmail, intimidation and media bully and innuendos by the owner and management of Arise News will change the position our campaign has taken on this matter.”

ONGOING FLOOD CONTROL PROJECT IN MAKURDI, BENUE STATE

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To assist residents of Makurdi who are often distressed by flood, especially when River Benue overflows, do you know that the Buhari administration is currently constructing flood control measures in the city?

The project, which is being executed through HYPPADEC will ensure that cases of land erosion and property losses which often occur whenever flooding occurs will be drastically reduced when completed. This will also result in reduction in economic losses.