Customs Distributes Seized Items To IDPs, Orhanages In Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Monday began the distribution of seized items to the internal displaced persons (IDPs) and orphanages in Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi States.

Briefing journalists at the NCS Area Command headquarters in Sokoto on Tuesday, the chairman of the committee set up by the Comptroller General of Customs Yakubu Salihu said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), to distribute seized items which are perishable to IDPs and orphanages to ameliorate their suffering.

According to Salihu, the committee has finished the distribution of the items in zone A for phase one, which comprised Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti and Osun States.

The committee was in Sokoto Tuesday to commence distribution for zone B. He added that the distribution would continue till the committee goes round the four zones of the country.Salihu said the criterion for the distribution is to screen and accredit genuine or registered orphanages with the administrators of those orphanages or IDPs would come forward for collection.

He warned people to beware of unpatriotic elements who went around deceiving people that they were mediating between the committee and the recipients, stressing that there is no third party in the distribution process.

He further urged the media to sensitise the people about the distribution process.Salihu said so far, over 300 jerrican of vegetable oil, 450 bales of used clothes, 2,675 used shoes, 155 cartons of tomatoes paste, 56 cartons of soaps/detergents, 45 cartons of spaghetti, and 65 cartons of mosquito coils have been distributed.

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Sokoto APC: We’re Ready For Guber Rerun

Ahead of the March 23 gubernatorial supplementary elections in Sokoto State, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, on Monday said he is ready for the exercise.

Alhaji Aliyu, in a chat with newsmen, said “I, and my party, have accepted the outcome in good faith. If you recall on the day of election, I made it clear after casting my vote that, I will accept any outcome in good faith.”

Similarly, Chairman of the Northern Senators Forum and Coodinator, Northwest APC Presidential Campaign Council, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, also noted that “The party, its leaders and supporters are law abiding citizens and, as such, we have accepted the decision by INEC, in good faith.

“The action of the Chief Reurning Officer, who declared the election as inconclusive was in line with the nation’s constitution, as well as the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended.

“The declaration of the elections as inconclusive came at a time when the party was leading and we have won more than the two-thirds majority of the votes, as required by the law.

“Apt and accurate figures in our possession have shown that, I was already coasting to victory, yet, we directed our peaceful and lawful supporters to halt their celebrations.

“We have since directed them to embark on immediate and massive mobilisation of our supporters and the patriotic electorate, in readiness for the forthcoming rerun elections in 136 polling units across 22 local government areas to be conducted by INEC later”,  Sokoto  added.

“There is no cause for alarm, victory is ours, Insha Sha Allah,” he said.

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INEC Declares Sokoto Guber Poll Inconclusive As PDP Maintains Lead

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared March 9 Governorship election in Sokoto state inconclusive.

It said the decision was because 75, 403 votes were cancelled which were higher than 3, 413 margin difference.

The State’s Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Muktar, made the declaration on Sunday in Sokoto, stating that 51 Candidates contested the election.

Muktar, who is the Vice Chancellor, Federal University Dutse (FUD) , Jigawa, declared that it was based on the consideration of cancelled votes that emanated from 136 polling units in the state.

”From the forgoing, the election is declared inconclusive as I cannot take a decision in recognition of the narrow margin according to electoral law,” Muktar said.

She added that the total registered voters were 1, 887, 767 while 1, 033, 081 voters were accredited.

She said the total valid votes were 987, 952 and the total rejected votes were 30, 082, while the total votes cast were 1, 018, 024 at the concluded election.

According to the results declared, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has won the election in 12 out of the 23 LGAs results announced with 3,413 votes margins.

NAN reports that Tambuwal polled 489, 558 votes while his close rival, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 486, 145 votes.

According to her, the PDP has the higher votes in 12 LGAs while APC has 11 LGAs with a margin of 3, 413 votes difference between them.

She said the figure of cancelled votes was 75, 403 at different polling units across the state due to various reasons.

She further explained that other parties shared the remaining percentage of votes cast.

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Leave Our Sacred Dynasty Out Of That Toxic Space, By Usama Dandare

“Sokoto is the place with an extraordinary history of faith, of tolerance, and scholarship in all of it forms. And it is special because the teachings of religion and ethics are prioritized alongside the virtues of reading, writing, math and science”-

The above quote is the words of John Kerry former US Secretary of State & the first US foreign Secretary in history to visit Sokoto Caliphate, on the 23rd of August 2016.

I decided to use his words to introduce this piece as a flash back and a reminder of the status of the Caliphate in the mirror of not only Nigeria, Africa or the Islamic world, but the world over. However, this noble history is about to be tainted negatively by desperate politicians in the state who want to hide in the garment of the Sultanate to score some political points, albeit baselessly.

Because never in the history of Sokoto politics has the Sultanate dominates political discuss in the state than this moment of uncertainties accusations and counter accusations against and in support of the Sultanate.

That’s why as a citizen and a concern Muslim, I penned this piece to warn politicians against dragging the palace into politics, because it is a negative trend that will not augur well with the qualities and the history of the Caliphate as accurately captured by Secretary Kerry from the above quotation.

Politics it is said, is a dirty game embedded by lies, deceit, mischief, mudslinging and all other evil associated with fierce contest for power. Power that is not founded in anyway on the doctrine of Islam or morality which the Caliphate is famous for advocating throughout history.

Therefore, politicians must leave that noble and sacred palace out of their discuss. Every politician must campaign on their merit, not on the pretence of defending the sanctity of the Sultanate. For it is palace respected by all and sundry globally. There is no question of who is in support or against the Caliphate.

Since the return of democracy in 1999, Sokoto state has had successive administrations that came and go, but never has the Sultanate and it sanctity become a subject of electioneering on the podium, until now that some unscrupulous elements deemed it fit to use the Sultanate as cover for what they did or did not do to seek election victory at the polls.

And it all started with the buying of a guest house in Abuja for the Sultanate by the present administration in the state, a process that was initially shrouded in secrecy before it leaked out, which forced the government to go on the defensive over the decision. That singular act didn’t resonate well with the people in the state, because of the way the whole thing was handled and executed by the state government. Then came the issue of education levy. A monthly deductions of worker salary introduced by this administration to fund education.

From its inception, many people started raising eyebrows regarding the accountability and transparency of how the funds will be utilised. That too, generated a heated argument that compelled Governor Tambuwal to intervene during a press conference, to shed some light on the status of the funds and how it is intended to be use. And at that time, the Governor informed journalists that the account has so far, some 500 millions, which he said when it reached a billion by the end of the year in 2017, the money will be handed over to the education intervention committee that is headed by the His Eminence, Sultan.

However, this year, when the Governor was asked on the status of the levy account during BBC Hausa organised Gubernatorial debate, he replied by claiming total ignorance of the account and how it is been utilized. He therefore, impliedly refer the questioner to the Sultanate. But his respnse generated scepticism among people and again, the levy became a subject for public discuss on various social media platforms. People were wondering how a Governor who clear statement in 2017 acknowledge that his following progress of the account, will all of a sudden turned around in 2019 to claim ignorance of it?

And now few days to Gubernatorial and house of assembly elections, some crop of politicians are alleging that their opposition are making derogatory comments about the Sultanate. A move to sow the seeds of discord between them and the palace, just for political gains. Which I interpret as nailing the coffin of the Governor, because he is the one that brought the Sultanate in this whole quagmire. An experience we never had before during his predecessors.

In this regard therefore, I urged both the ruling party and the opposition to shun the Sultanate and sell their candidates based on their own merit. Because, the Sultan is a father for all, regardless of political party affiliations.

And the consequences of dragging the palace into politics, if not immediately halted, could be dire and the resultant effect could go a long way in damaging the image of that sacred dynasty.
A stitch in time, save nine. As the saying goes.

Usama Dandare, a social commentator write from Sokoto.

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Sokoto Assembly Passes Budget

The Sokoto State House of Assembly has passed the 2019 Budget of N169.652 billion as proposed by Governor Aminu Tambuwal.

The Appropriation bill was passed following a motion moved by the Assembly Majority Whip Alhaji Habibu Modachi representing Isa constituency.

The motion came after consideration of a report by the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation.

Presenting the report, the Committee Chairman, Alhaji Malami Muhammad, said that the amount proposed for both recurrent and capital expenditures remained the same as submitted by the governor.

Alhaji Muhammad said the sum of N70,468,519,058.00 representing 41.53 per cent is for recurrent expenditure while N99,184,252,425.00 representing 58.47 per cent is  for capital expenditure and both remained the same.

He also said based on the genuine request of the Sub-Committee, the Committee moved resources to accommodate some important demands and interest of the people.

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Sokoto Governor Declares Public Holiday To Pray For Shagari

Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal has declared Monday, Dec. 31, as public holiday in the state to enable residents offer special prayer for the repose of the soul of former President, Shehu Shagari.

This is contained in a statement by the Governor’s Director General, Media and Public Affairs, Malam Abubakar Shekara in Sokoto.

Tambuwal said that the declaration followed consultation with the Sultanate Council.

“The state government therefore, requests Imams across Sokoto and the general public to dedicate the day for special prayers for the repose of the soul of the former President and for peace and progress of the nation at large.

“The government also directs all flags at public and private premises be flown at half mast in honor of the late former President, Shehu Shagari,” it said.

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NAF To Establish Additional Response Unit In Sokoto

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Baba Abubakar, says  additional Quick Response unit will be established in sokoto for the success of the ongoing Operation Diran Mikiya targeting bandits at Dajin Rugu,Zamfara

Air Marshal Sadiq  Abubakar, stated this in Gusau while speaking to newsmen shortly after an assessment tour in Zamfara State .

He gave an assurance that more personnel and equipment would be deployed to Sokoto in order to support operations in Zamfara from Katsina and Sokoto axis.

The Chief of Air Staff also assured the government and people of Zamfara state that the activities of bandits would soon be a thing of the past adding that intelligence is the key in dealing with present security challenges.

According to him, smaller outposts would be created in Sokoto for fuelling and landing of Aircrafts.

The Acting Governor and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Sanusi Garba Rikiji assured the security agents of the state’s support to end activities of bandits.

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We Have Lost Confidence In The Nigerian Police, Says PDP

Sokoto State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said yesterday that it has lost confidence in the Nigerian Police Force.

The State Publicity Secretary of the party, Abdullahi Yusuf Hausawa, stated this yesterday a press conference.

He said: “From all indications, they have become partisan, segregated and partial, by dancing to the tune of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose cards they play at will.”

Hausawa alleged harassment, intimidation, molestation, unlawful arrest and unwarranted detention of its esteemed members without arraignment in court for over one week.

According to him, the ill treatment being meted out by the police was at variance with the promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari on fairness, equality and justice to all Nigerians, without fear or favour.

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Re: Sokoto PDP Flag Off: Gainers And Losers. A Rejoinder To Abu Shekara, By Usama Dandare

I read with adore an article with the above caption published on Page 43 of Daily Trust of Tuesday, December 11, 2018, written by one Abu Shekara, the Director General, Media and Public Affairs to Sokoto State Governor, on the recent PDP flag off campaign launched in Sokoto last week. I initially intended not to respond to that academic suicide but for the emphasis education, I think it’s imperative to set the records straight.

In the said piece, Abu Shekara opined that the campaign rally left an impression that portend a number of implications for the political landscape of the Northwestern region and the nation as a whole. Which according to him gainers and losers emerged in the aftermath.

Like a clever monkey who always dances when given some banana, Mr. Shekara attributed the major gain to the PDP basking on the euphoria that a mammoth crowd stood at Kangiwa Square venue of the event for over six hours, wanting to catch a glimpse of the event. This in all ramifications is more or less a blatant lie, I was in Sokoto when the flag off campaign was held and didn’t notice any of such crowd that Abu Shekara was pointing at. In fact, I didn’t even knew there was an event of sort going on in the state until a friend of mine informed me that Atiku Abubakar was holding a campaign rally at Kangiwa Square. I quickly rushed to the said venue to see things for myself and to my dismay, all I saw were thugs carrying all sorts of weapons and destroying people’s vehicles who they perceived to be opposition members while others were busy selling hard drugs at the main entrance of the square. I had to parked my car at a nearby building belonging to FOMWAN for fear of being attacked and trekked several metres to the venue. And alas I saw, I saw an empty field with half filled canopies and some jobless youths roaming about while others were busy playing football. If what I saw was what Abu Shekara meant by “an unprecedented crowd”, then I am sorry but he need to see an ophthalmologist for cross-examination.

Mr. Shekara always cited Governor Tambuwal as an individual who stood to gain more from the gathering but unknown to him, Tambuwal only succeeded in blowing away his last remaining political goodwill by hosting a corruption tainted Atiku Abubakar in a state that’s yet to heal from the scores of perpetual corruption inflicted upon it in the last three to four years due a gross maladministration. The event also highlighted Tambuwal’s imminent political demise as he failed to galvanised support for his unmarketable commodity. His showing at the rally has indeed casted no doubt that he’s not in control of Sokoto politics as people are seen going about there daily activities while the rally was been held.
Over the last three to four years since Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal became Governor, not much can be said about his achievements as governor of the state. For the most part, until people began to complain, the Governor was always out of the state. The local governments today has been made moribund, and we haven’t seen or heard anything interesting going on in Sokoto State.

Another personality who Abu Shekara claimed to have gained more from the jamboree was Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa, the former state governor who currently cannot deliver even his own local government. One would be left in doubt if Bafarawa received a rousing welcome at the occasion, this is someone with little or no electoral value, a man who in 2007 was overwhelmingly defeated despite the power of incumbency and a man whose greed made him to field his son as the PDP flag bearer for Isa/Sabon-Birni federal constituency in 2015 but was unable to secure the seat for him. If not for Abu Shekara’s lack of reasoning, how do you expect an expired politician who failed to impose his son on only two local governments to deliver 23 LGAs for the PDP. I think something must be wrong with this guy upstairs.

To Abu Shekara, APC is the main loser considering the fact that the Sokoto flag off was an exhibition of the kind of support and popularity the PDP is currently enjoying in the state which according to him can be measured with the mammoth crowd that greeted the occasion. I still wonder if Mr. Shekara really understand the full meaning of ‘mammoth crowd’ but however, the PDP outing can only be compared to the reception given to Sowore in Kano, as far as crowds go.

Abu Shekara ended his verbal masturbation with the usual attack on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that Nigerian masses are without argument, worse off in the last three years than they can ever recall. It’s baffling or sometimes laughable to see Governor Tambuwal or any of his foot soldier accusing the Buhari government of underperformance, it’s hypocritical and absolutely deceitful for any Tambuwal supporter to accuse someone of underperformance. This is a government that claimed to have spent over N400billion in the last four years without a single visible project to show on ground, a government that cannot pay tuition fees for students not to mention of any infrastructural development. No wonder, they called Tambuwal a ‘silent achiever’, a leader whose achievements cannot speak for themselves must be named a silent achiever.

Just like Abu Shekara said: “there is a limit to how far a people can be taken for granted.” We also the people of Sokoto State would not allow any unproductive politician to toy with our future again, we are patiently waiting for Tambuwal at the polls to hand him the greatest surprise of his life. A monumental electoral humiliation awaits him and his cohorts come 2019 general elections. Only a fool make same mistake twice and I believe the good people of Sokoto State are not fools and will never be.

Instead of testing his vocabularies on national dailies and writing blatant lies, it will be very logical for Abu Shekara to use that avenue to market his boss by telling us what they have done in the last three years and what they are planning to do for the future. Governor Tambuwal would not be judged by the number of crowd he rented to dupe Atiku but by what he has done for the masses.

Usama Dandare, a social commentator write from Sokoto.

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Atiku Is The Man That Can Bring Food To The Table – Saraki Tells PDP Supporters

Senate President Bukola Saraki says the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is the one capable of bringing food to the table.

Saraki said this on Monday during the launch of the 2019 PDP presidential election campaign in Sokoto.

His words: “The man that can bring food to the table, the man that can fight security, the man that can unite Nigeria is Atiku Abubakar.”

He added that the PDP has come to make situations better and uplift the life of Nigerian citizens.

“Now, they will deceive you to say that this election is about Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari. But, the election is not between the two of them. The election is about you, it’s about you women, it is about you, the young people of Nigeria. It is about every Nigerian citizen who is suffering untold hardship on account of lack of leadership.

“So, we want to review a lot of things. For instance is your lives better now than in 2015? Is security better now than it was in 2015? Are we more united now in Nigeria than we were in 2015? So, these are the things that are on the ballot paper.

“It is not a contest between Atiku Abubakar and President Muhammadu Buhari.”


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2019: NBC Warns Politicians Against Hate Speech

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has advised Nigerian politicians to guard against hate speech and negative behaviours that might affect the outcome of 2019 general elections.

Its Board Chairman, Mallam Ikra Bilbis, gave the advice at a two-day workshop for broadcast media organisations on Monday in Sokoto.

He identified some of the challenges that could mar peaceful elections to include hate speech and attacks on personality of contestants rather than issue-based political campaigns.

Prof. Jubril Ibrahim, in his presentation on“Presentation of Tapestry Hate Speech Research”, urged NBC to review the laws to guard against hate speech.

Ibrahim urged media organisations against spreading hate speech as it could destroy the election and the country if not well checked.

Prof. Umar Pate, who delivered a paper on “2019 General Elections: Divisive Rhetoric and Use of the Broadcast Media”, said media organisations should be watchful and not air or participate in the spread of hate speech.

The Sokoto State Commissioner for Information, Mr Bello Goronyo, praised the media for playing vital role in the continued unity of the country.

“I appreciate your cooperation and encourage you to continue to be the watchdogs for success of the forthcoming 2019 general elections,” he said.

The theme of the workshop is ‘Media coverage of 2019 elections: challenges, regulatory framework and the way forward for a more democratic society.”


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2019: Tambuwal Appeals To PDP Supporters To Abstain From Gossips, Idle Talks

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has urged supporters of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state against gossips and idle talks.

Tambuwal spoke on Thursday night during a PDP stakeholders’ meeting in Sokoto.

The governor said that avoidance of gossips and idle talks by the PDP members was necessary in order to consolidate the recent popularity attained by the party in the state.

“Our meeting today was convened to dispel insinuations of an imaginary rift among the party leaders in the state.

“Such rumors were being circulated by the opposition in order to create doubt in the minds of the people of Sokoto state against the PDP.

“I therefore wish to generously clarify that the leaders and the leadership of PDP in Sokoto state are united and focused,” Tambuwal said.

He said that his administration was committed to running an open door policy and welcomed constructive suggestions, pointing out that this could lead to the party’s victory during the 2019 general elections.

Earlier the former governor of the state Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, reaffirmed that the party remained united in the state.

Bafarawa explained that there was no misunderstanding between him and Tambuwal, adding that rumors of such a misunderstanding were false and baseless.

He appealed to the people of the state to continue to support the governor in his efforts to preposition the economy of the state.


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