El-Rufai Blast Critics, Denies Nominating Sister For Ministerial Position

Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has taken a swipe at his critics for accusing him of running a vendetta government, saying such people should not expect appointments from his administration.

The governor also refuted claims  that he nominated his foster  sister, Zainab Ahmed as the ministerial nominee representing Kaduna state.

He dismissed the allegation as a figment of the imagination of some elements who are not pleased with the drastic changes going on in the state.

Zainab Ahmed was until her nomination the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI).

Governor El-Rufai who spoke on a wide range of issues at the 4th Town Hall Meeting to interface with the people of the state on Saturday, said he has discovered that some elements are carrying the face of the All Progressive Congress Party, APC, but deep in their hearts, they represent the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

He insisted at the meeting which took place at the Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex, Rigachikun, Kaduna, that he neither submitted anybody’s name as ministerial nominee nor that of his sister.

President Muhammadu Buhari acted on his own wisdom by nominating the Executive Secretary of NIETI as minister, El- Rurai stated.
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DSS Dismisses Marilyn Ogar’s Sister, 64 Trainee Officers

The Department of State Services (DSS) on Friday dismissed 65 trainee officers from training, among them a lady identified as a sibling of former Director of Information, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar.

The affected cadet officers were undergoing training at the State Services Academy (SSA) in Lagos.

They belonged to the Cadet Officers Basic Course 28 of 2014 codenamed COBC28/2014.

The 65 officers had been in the academy since December 2014 for a 10-month training programme, categorized into three distinct sessions.

It was gathered that the affected officers were among 420 trainees in the academy and had gone through the three categories of their training before they were flushed out.

They were due for commissioning into the service as Senior Intelligence Officers (SIO) on October 26, 2015.

The affected officers had done the basic training in the academy and the three months attachment at the DSS state commands nationwide for practical, including the essential foreign intelligence programme, which took them to various countries where they were exposed to handling of high caliber weapons, detonation of bombs and all sorts of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).

Some of the trainees returned in August from their foreign intelligence training in Israel, where they undertook special skill and intelligence gathering courses in counter-terrorism and insurgency.

Nobody in the academy had an inkling of the impending sack until a special squad from the national headquarters in Abuja arrived at about noon and called out the affected officers, a source told Daily Independent.

They were handed their letters of dismissal and marched to their various quarters to pick their bags and baggage as the squad from Abuja saw that they all left the academy’s premises immediately.

Some of the trainees who spoke under anonymity said they had no idea why they were sacked. Even the letter of dismissal, sighted by our reporter, gave no reason for the mass sack of the trainees.

The letter dated 4th September, 2015, and signed by GK Mohammed on behalf of the Director-General of the State Services, Lawal Musa Daura, reads as follows:

“I am directed to inform you that the Director General, State Services (DGSS) has approved the termination of your appointment from Service with immediate effect.

“You are, however, required to hand over all Government property in your possession, including your Study Guide/Note Books to the Director of Studies, State Services Academy (SSA), Lagos, and obtain appropriate clearance before your final exit, please.

One of the trainees wondered the wisdom in sacking persons that the service had exposed to all manners of sensitive intelligence operations, including handling of offensive weapons. He said that having gone through the specialized training, government should have sent them to other security agencies in need of skilled manpower.

He made particular reference to the Nigeria Police, considering that President Muhammadu Buhari had recently directed that 10,000 personnel should be recruited to strengthen the force.

Another trainee, who lamented the nine-month stay in the academy, said it was regrettable that all the knowledge and skills acquired in the academy would come to naught after the government had wasted their time.

Meanwhile, the dismissed personnel have said that they would take their cases to the National Assembly.

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Ambode Sacks Fashola’s Sister, 75 Others

Lagos state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode yesterday hit his predecessor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola hard below the belt with the sack of the immediate past governor’s sister, Ms Yinka Fashola as the General Manager of the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency, LASRRA.

Ms Fashola was not the only target of the sack, other family members, friends and associates of the former governor appointed into various agencies and parastatals were equally booted out in an order sacking 76 of them at a go. A statement to that effect yesterday said the governor approved the dissolution of all Boards of Parastatals and Agencies of Government in the State.

“The Governor while stating that the dissolution takes immediate effect, however disclosed that the Civil Service Commission, Judicial Service Commission and the State Independent Electoral Commission are exempted.

“Governor Ambode commended the modest contributions of the members of the dissolved Boards, just as he wished them well in their future endeavours”, the statement added.

Meanwhile, the Governor has also approved the appointment of Mrs. Abimbola Shukrat Umar as the new Accountant General of the State. Mrs. Umar, prior to her new appointment, was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

A holder of the degree of Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Economics (1983) from the University of Ibadan and Master of Science in Corporate Governance (2013) from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds United Kingdom, Mrs Umar is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and Nigeria Economic Society.

She also cut her teeth for over 15 years in the private sector, particularly with the renowned KPMG International before joining the Lagos State Civil Service as Chief Accountant in 2002. Her appointment, according to the statement, takes effect immediately.

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