Buhari’s Approval: Sokoto Allocates Land, Structures For Army’s New Division

Weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the take-off of the new 8 Division for the Nigerian Army in Sokoto, the state government said it has allocated land and structures to serve as temporary headquarters for the division.
Inspecting ongoing renovation works at the site of the new division in Kalambaina area of the state capital, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said the state government is delighted to host the new formation and will give all the necessary support for its take off. .
The Governor expressed satisfaction with the level of work and hoped that the project will be completed within the stipulated time for the smooth take off of the Division.
Tambuwal also thanked the Federal Government and Nigerian Army for the actualization of the project.
He equally assured of the state government’s support and cooperation to the Nigeria Army and other security agencies in the state for sustenance of peace and stability,
While conducting the Governor round the project site, the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Division, Colonel Murtala Muhammad Abu, said the project is going on schedule.
He thanked the state government for  allocating the site to them.
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Sokoto Becomes First State To Initiate Bill For Right To Education

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state has initiated the Right to Education Bill 2016 in recognition and protection of right to education for children between six and 18 years in the state.

This is the first time any state in Nigeria will seek to legally make education a fundamental human right of all children.

The bill is one of the major component of the policy on the state of emergency in education declared in the state in December 2015.

“Sokoto will be the first state in Nigeria to provide right to education, thereby bringing it in comformity with status of fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy under chapter two of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999,” Justice  Commissioner Suleiman Usman stated this while fielding questions from reporters in Sokoto.

He added that it would consolidate the declaration of emergency in education by the administration in concrete terms.

Usman described the bill as one of the major achievements of the  Tambuwal administration, adding that in view of the high premium the administration  had given to rural transformation and delivery of social services to the people especially at the grassroots,  the Social and Community Development Agency Bill 2016 has also been initiated by the Executive and is before the state House of Assembly.

“This Bill seeks to create Social and Community Development Agency ?for the execution of social and community development projects throughout Sokoto state,” he explained.

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Tambuwal Approves Recruitment Of 96 Science Teachers, 20 State Counsels

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has approved the recruitment of 96 new science and technology teachers 20 lawyers to serve as counsels in the Sokoto state ministries of science and technology and justice respectively.

A statement issued in Sokoto Monday by the Governor’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, said the new recruits will improve the manpower needs of the two ministries, and enhance productivity in the state civil service.

“Those to be employed as teachers will have the necessary qualifications for teaching and will be posted to secondary schools under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

As for the lawyers, they will augment the existing 56 lawyers in the ministry of justice. They will serve as replacement for state counsels who retired or died while on duty, as well as those who joined the federal judiciary,” the statement added.

Reports from Sokoto indicate that so far, the state civil service commission has received no fewer than 300 applications from various candidates seeking to fill in the vacant posts announced.

Few days ago, the state government announced the recuritment of 21 fresh doctors for the state ministry of health, while last year, 500 teachers were recruited to teach in various secondary schools across the state.

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Governor Yahaya Bello will make corruption a taboo in Kogi State – DG Media 

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NBA Declares State Of Emergency Over Judges’ Arrest

The Nigerian Bar Association on Saturday declared a state of emergency in the judiciary following the midnight arrest of some judges by the Department of State Services.

The declaration of the state of emergency was made on Saturday evening in Lagos by the NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN).

Mahmoud addressed the press alongside four past presidents of the association – Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); Mr. J.B. Daudu (SAN) and Augustine Alegeh (SAN).

Others in attendance at the declaration, which held at Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, were Prof. Kayinsola Ajayi (SAN), Mr. Yusuf Ali (SAN), Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN), among others.

Mahmoud said two Supreme Court justices, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta were “abducted”, with their families, adding that he had yet to have the full detail of other judges who could have been involved.

Mahmoud said the NBA condemned what it termed the Gestapo-style operation of the DSS.
He announced the constitution of an emergency or crisis management team, comprising past NBA presidents to engage with the government.

Mahmoud, who said it was not the responsibility of the DSS to arrest judges, described the DSS action as an unconstitutional means of intimidating the judiciary and undermining its independence.

The NBA President called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the immediate release of the arrested judges, vowing that there would be consequences should the demand be ignored.

Mahmoud said, “I want to emphasise again that we are not under military rule and we cannot accept this unholy event and Gestapo-style operation.

“We, therefore, call on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately caution all the state security agencies and to respect the rule of law and to respect due process.

“Any issues affecting the judicial officers, there are established procedures for handling them and we demand that this constitutional process must be obeyed.

“Given the unfolding nature of the event and the seriousness of the situation, the NBA hereby declares a state of emergency as it affects the affairs of the judiciary and I hereby constitute a crisis management team, comprising all past presidents of the association.

“I want to, on behalf of the association, make the very following clear and unequivocal demands: we demand the immediate and unconditional release of all the judges abducted from about 9pm yesterday (Friday).

“The release must be done immediately and without any conditions. Two, we demand that the Department of State Services should limit itself to its statutory and constitutional responsibilities.

“I’ll be meeting with the CJN later tonight or tomorrow. There will be consequences should these demands are not met.”

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Life Continental Beer Rewards 30 Businesses With N7.5 million In Abia State

Entrepreneurs in Abia state were rewarded with a total of N7.5 million
by Life Continental Lager Beer during the Progress Booster Show on
Friday 30 September 2016 at the City Global Hotel, Aba.  Prior to this,
the beer brand had presented N15 million Naira to 30 entrepreneurs in
Enugu and 30 entrepreneurs in Owerri in June and August 2016
respectively.

Life Progress Booster is an entrepreneurial talent hunt and mentoring
radio programme initiated by Life Continental Lager Beer, from the
stable of Nigerian Breweries targeted at helping talented innovative
businessmen and women in the South-east.
For the Aba grant presentation, 20 winners were pre-selected during the
monthly radio program while the other 10 entrepreneurs were selected
from among those given the opportunity to present their business ideas
to judges through a live interview at the venue.

“Progress Booster is a programme we started to support the people of the
South-east who have good and innovative business ideas, we want to
encourage the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of the South-eat.
Last year we empowered 50 entrepreneurs. Our goal for 2016 is to empower
200 entrepreneurs and so far, we’ve funded 96 businesses through the
Progress Booster platform.” Said Emmanuel Agu, Portfolio Manager
Mainstream Lager and Stout brands, NB Plc, while addressing the audience
at the event.

The past winners of the Progress Booster show shared stories of how the
money given to them by Life Continental Beer has secured growth for
their businesses.  They also encouraged the new winners to make good use
of the support given to them by the beer known for promoting progress.

Interested participants aged 18 years and above can submit their
business proposal on www.life-nigeria.com

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Gunmen Kill Four APC Members In Rivers State

Four members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were killed in the Gokana local government area of Rivers state on Monday.

Davies Ikanya, chairman of the party in the state, identified the deceased as Boris Neenwi (pictured), Manager Nkoba, Nornubari Loveday and Cecilia Loveday.

He accused Nyesom Wike, governor of the state, of masterminding the killings.

Ikanya said Neewi, who was a loyalist of Magnus Abe, a senator, was a staunch critic of the administration of Wike.

“Monday, 3rd October, 2016 was another sad day for members of the Rivers state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as a prominent member of the party, Hon. Boris Neenwi, was felled by the bullets of assassins in Nonwa Tai. Killed alongside Hon. Neenwi were Manager Nkoba(M), Nornubari Loveday(M) and Cecilia Loveday(F),” Ikanya said in a statement.

“Late Boris Neenwi, a strong ally of Senator Magnus Abe and staunch APC member, was a former Councillor who hailed from Yeghe community. He recently finished his law programme from the University of Maiduguri.

“Until his assassination, late Neenwi was a known critic of Gov. Nyesom Wike and Wike’s ex-militant leader and collaborator, Solomon Ndigbara, who also hails from Yeghe community.”

He said the killing of Hon. Neenwi shares similarities with how another Vincent Eebee, APC chieftain and ally of Magnus Abe, also from Yeghe, was gruesomely murdered by suspected agents of the PDP and Gov. Nyesom Wike six months ago.

“APC unequivocally holds the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and his ally, ex-militant leader, Solomon Ndigbara responsible for the killing of Hon. Boris Neenwi and his companions in Nonwa Tai yesterday,” he said.

“We call on the security agencies in Rivers State and at the federal level to ensure that Solomon Ndigbara and all those who have a hand in the killing of Hon. Boris Neenwi and the young people who were gruesomely killed alongside him are apprehended and made to face justice.

“This is yet another senseless killing that must not be swept under the carpet as has become the pattern in Rivers State especially when APC members are the victims.”

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25-year Old Hindatu Umar Appointed LG Chairperson In Kebbi State

25 year old Hindatu Umar has been appointed as a care-taker chair-person of Arugungu local
government of Kebbi state.

The young lady was appointed after the tenure of the past caretaker management had
come to an end.

The appointment makes her the youngest female to ever occupy such position in Nigeria.

However, the people of Argungu local government have voiced their rejection to the appointment of this young lady as the caretaker chairperson of the L.G., citing her age and lack of experience as reason.

Her educational qualification is also one of the factors used in the rejection of her appointment as she only had completed her secondary education and has never held any position prior.

The people of the local government believe Hindatu, a 25 year old secondary school graduate lacks what it takes to govern them.

 

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Our Facts Against Their Falsehood – Kogi State Govt

Our attention has been drawn to a labour of fiction manufacturing by some disgruntled elements, who have been ceaselessly attempting to sail their ship on a shallow water in their attempts to impugn on the integrity of the Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration in Kogi State.

Having mastered their trend of scampering for sympathy every time a tribunal judgement is at hand, we would not have necessarily wasted our time responding to their falsehood. But we owe the Nigerian public an obligation to set the record straight and expose the fictitious pawn of the detractors, who assume everyone who finds himself or herself in public office would act like them.

The characters behind the campaign of calumny are in the least, disgruntled by the radical change in leadership approach in the State, in which the people, and not political dealers, are served.

These are leaders who have had the opportunity of being Governors, Senators, Members of the House of Representatives, Commissioners and House of Assembly Members in the past without any iota of impact on the people they lead or represent. They were breeding thugs to win elections and use the proceeds of their representations and other fraudulent practices to build hotels and petrol stations in choice areas around the country in such a shameless and selfish manner. They did not add any value to the lives of the people.

It is heart-warming to note that the people of Kogi State have already read through their classic hypocrisy and evil intentions. Their sponsored attacks against a government that has institutionalized anti-corruption in the State is an antithetical opprobrium. The Governor is being hunted for blocking their filthy lucre through strict adherence to accountability.

As at the time of writing this report, no government official has been given official vehicles. The Governor has made service to the people priority over servicing his appointees despite the grave need of appointees to be able to move around in order to be able to carry out their duties effectively.

The renovation of offices and residential quarters in Government House was imperative to give the State a facelift. As the first point of call for investors and development partners, the Government House should represent our drive for excellence. Where government business is conducted matters to those who may wish to conduct business with government. It is gratifying that nobody has accused the Governor of renovating his personal house with government resources. The Kogi State Government House is not a property of the Governor, but that of The Kogi people. All the contracts for the renovation went through due process.

Against their antics, the following are some of the giant strides of the Governor in the different spheres of governance and sectors:

Ø The administration of Alh Yahaya Bello has been able to mobilize The Kogi people in an unprecedented manner, for a common action. Replica of his campaign tour, the New Direction Blueprint Team, went around the entire State to make findings on the immediate need of the people. This is the first time in the history of the State that such connection will be effected by the government with the people. Implementation of the document has commenced in earnest to take the State to new heights. The youth, women groups, artisans, farmers and many others now feel incorporated by government.

Ø Secondly, good governance has remained the bulwark of administrative excellence in a democratic setting. The administration of Alh. Yahaya Bello has institutionalized stringent anti-graft bumps to ensure transparency and accountability. Government spending is now based on adherence to budgetary provisions. Leading by example, the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello is angling the record of becoming the most transparent Governor in Nigeria.

Ø Similar to the second point is the respect for the rule of law and supremacy of the constitution. All the arms of government in Kogi State are given free hand to ensure effective delivery of governance. For the first time in the history of the State, the people are central to government decisions and policies.

Ø While many have continued to hail the Governor for the spread of his appointments since assuming office, other critical thinkers have read deeper meanings to the structure of the appointments. Sons and daughters of ordinary Kogi people now decide the direction of governance. The decision of the Governor to appoint people of capacity but without any affinity to powerful forces in the State, has no doubt, sparked a class war. In the past, appointment was based on favoritism, parochialism, ethnicity and godfatherism. The sharp departure from that ugly past is stirring power abrasion in the State.

Under the Governor and in loyalty to capacity, the Chief of Staff to the Governor comes from a different zone to the Governor. To underscore the impact of leadership by example, the Deputy Governor also appointed the Deputy Chief of Staff from another zone.

Aminu Kano of blessed memory captured the intent of Governor Yahaya Bello succinctly thus: “Nigerian will know no peace until the son of a nobody, can become somebody, without knowing anybody”. This is the story of Kogi State in the New Direction.

Ø Before the advent of the present administration, insecurity was frightening in Kogi State. The State was almost a jungle of anomie where lawlessness, robbery and kidnapping were the order of the day. The situation that led to the insecurity was created by some of the politicians crying wolf today. They armed our youth for election and abandoned them as soon as they won elections, leaving the youth to use their arms for criminalities while the political lords built hotels in Abuja and Lagos.

Governor Yahaya Bello has been able to stabilize the situation by beefing up security across the State with the unimpeachable cooperation of Mr. President to provide necessary logistics to combat crime in the State. Also, the procurement of about 110 Ford Vans, hundreds of motorcycles and many other crime fighting gadgets by the Governor, remains the heaviest investment by any government in Kogi State since 1991 on security. Today, though we still witness flashes of these crimes occasionally like any other society, the situation has stabilized.

From Idah to Okene to Egbe, these vans and security men have taken the fight to those who were antisocially threatening the peace of Kogi State.

Ø Agricultural development has been one of the strongest points of the Yahaya Bello Administration in the State. The Governor has initiated a number of agricultural program such as the Government House Farm, School Farming Scheme and a lot of others to express his determination to use agriculture as the springboard for economic renaissance. In no distant future, Kogi State will become the food basket of the nation.

Ø During his electioneering, Governor Yahaya Bello promised the people a reformed and more respectable civil service that will be efficient and disciplined. The crassness of the Civil Service inherited by the present administration cannot drive the dream of New Direction. More importantly, the Civil Service is over-bloated and top-loaded, a situation which made it impossible for government to do any other thing aside payment of salaries. As a Governor who will not be just a salary-paying Governor, removing unintended beneficiaries from the wage bill is inevitable. The staff verification exercise has exposed the rot of the past. But instead of the past corrupt leaders to apologize to the people of the State, they are busy sponsoring falsehood against the man who has taken it upon himself to clean the mess of the past. Thousands of ghost workers were discovered.

In the period of the verification, it became expedient for government to pause payment of salaries until genuine workers were ascertained. As soon as that was done, government paid all their outstanding salaries. Civil servants now call the Governor 8/8. Eight months in office, eight months’ salaries! How the dreamers came up with their arithmetic was not only baffling, but incredulous.

Beyond salaries, government is striving to reposition the civil service and make it pragmatic and dynamic to contribute meaningfully to the development of the State. The Governor is committedly growing the economy to make it attractive to civil servants and further reduce the wage bill of government.

Ø Furthermore, the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello has built an iron-cast synergy with the Organized Private Sector. The biggest economies around the world are private sector-led. Kogi State is blessed with world class mineral resources such as Iron Ore, limestone, coal and many others. The State has the potential of becoming the industrial capital of Africa. But this will not happen without creating an enabling environment for the private sector to help explore the mineral resources as well as our tourism potentials. Between January 2016 and now, many local and foreign firms have signed MoUs with the government to help develop some of these potentials. Quality leadership, global trust. The implications of a robust private sector led economy of Kogi State are numerous. Some of them are benefits from business social responsibility, employment, more revenue to the State as well as expensive market.

Ø Governor Yahaya Bello has been able to mobilize contractors back to sites in order for the State to witness development. Revelations from some of these contractors showed how some of those dreaming of coming back to govern the State siphoned funds meant for projects with direct bearing on the lives of the citizens. This prompted the Governor to be working on a Judicial Panel of Enquiry to unravel the graft which surrounded a number of failed contracts around the State.

Ø The Government of Kogi State under the leadership of Alh. Yahaya Bello has been able to improve on water supply to the people of the State. There are also collaborative efforts aimed at exploring the bountiful opportunities in some of the biggest dams across the State.

Ø Governor Yahaya Bello has turned around the face of Lokoja. In January 2016, Lokoja was one of the dirtiest state capitals in Nigeria. The roads were mere death traps. But today, the capacity of the State Sanitation Board has been raised to ensure a cleaner Lokoja. This truth is self-evident. Also, the township roads have been fixed for smooth ride across the state capital.

Ø As a part of the anti-corruption initiative of The Kogi State Government, monument frauds have been discovered at the Local Government Education Authority. Millions of naira were paid to people who sleep in the comfort of their homes without going to any office. With this, millions of naira has been saved to provide amenities to the people of the State.

Ø The Kogi State Sustainable State Development Goal team lead by Architect Ahmed Okara has also gone around the State to ascertain the development needs of the people. Having contributed her own counterpart fund, Kogi State is now set to start rolling out projects that will impact on the welfare of the people.

Ø The recent hosting of The Chief Justice of Nigeria Games at our Confluence Stadium in Lokoja is further testimony of the rising prominence of the State in national reckoning. Delegates from across the nation were in Lokoja to catch a glimpse of the beauty of our State and feel the direction the present administration has chosen. Successfully hosting a tournament of such magnitude within the first eight months in office shows the sign of greatness of the present administration.

Ø The directive of the Governor to all political appointees to always visit their constituents at least, twice a month, also serves as a revelation of the intent of the administration not to lose touch with the people at the grassroots. This has helped the administration built a chord with the people.

Ø The success story of The Graphic newspapers have shown the essence of great leadership. The appointment of a veteran journalist, Mr. Dayo Thomas as the Managing Director of the outfit has turned the fortunes of the paper around. The Governor no doubt, has eye for excellence.

Ø The landmark achievement recorded in granting Local Government Autonomy in the state has been plausible. The Governor, few weeks into his administration, announced full financial autonomy for Local Government Councils. He went further to cancel all obnoxious deductions from their allocations, charging the Councils to justify the autonomy by being accountable to the people they serve. Before the Governor’s assumption of office, allocations meant for Local Government Councils were knifed by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs. The advent of the present administration has led to the resolution of many litigations surrounding chieftaincy titles out of court. This has restored peace and harmony to rural communities across the state.

It is expedient to know that the people of the State are resolutely behind their Governor. He has pulled down the walls of ethnicity and replaced it with the rope of connectivity. He has stopped corruption. He has built a strong connection with the people. He has given hope to the hopeless.

Though this government is not under any illusion that it is there yet, but the momentum has given hope of limitless potential. Governor Yahaya Bello is gradually translating our potentials to realities.

He has provided pontoons on which the people of Kogi State can rely and work with to sail their ways to excellence.

The embossed ignorance of the godfathers who have lost out in the power game in the State remains an advantage to the people who are benefitting immensely from the blockade of the drains of the state’s resources.

Have they told us where they got money to build hotels with billions of naira whereas they entered politics poor? Have they told us where they got money to buy jets? How can people who are perennial cankerworms on the resources of the State turn around to attack a reformer? The people have refused to be fooled.

Trying to blackmail the judiciary as always by the same set of jesters has become monotonously disorienting. It failed at the lower tribunal, it failed at the Appeal Court, and it will surely not work on the respected jurists of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court will determine the cases before it based on the point of law and not the peddling of falsehood. The little lesson for the Gathering of Failures is: Do not stick to a failed strategy. Try something new.

The government of Alh Yahaya Bello will not be coerced into giving the Commonwealth of the people to a desperate, failed few.

In the words of the Governor, “Kogi’s resources will work for Kogi people!”

The people of Kogi State believe in the administration of Alh Yahaya Bello to rebound the economy of the State and make it a catalyst for middle-level economic empowerment. He cannot afford to fail the people.

It is our year of Silver Jubilee and our people deserve nothing less than a Silver Lining through our Silver Bullet.

Kogi, it is beginning to be good here.

God bless the Confluence State.

Signed

Kingsley Fanwo

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Kogi State

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Kogi State: Continuity In Line With The Law, Key To Its Liberation, By Williams Charles Oluwatoyin

Different and rabble-rousing articles have littered the cyber space of late, posted on news blogs whose integrities and popularities are questionable and nothing to write home about, written by dubious, contentious and controversial personalities whose ink only flow as money flows and the argument is who should be or should not be the real occupant of Lugard house after 2oth of September. Majority of these articles are spurious with clear intent to blackmail the sensibility of the Supreme Court, twisting its arms of Justice into submission, thereby delivering judgment in favour of the same political cabal who have constituted themselves as nuisance and supreme Lords over Kogi politics and has held the stage captive for over 16 years.

It is a fact that before the swearing into office of Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Kogi state was at a metastasis cancerous state of collapse and comatose. It was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode at the maturity or expiration of the accumulated mess that previous government has created. The whole polity was in a disorder. The civil service was grappling with Ghost worker syndrome, while its Local Government arm was not left out of the horrifying state of muddle. There were abandoned projects littering everywhere, a few set of families, people and groups, lorded over the majority of the people. Poverty was palpable all around Kogi state and coupled with the famine of physical development or a way forward out of the malignant and bleak state.

It was based on the above premises that the people of Kogi state haven reached their Witt ends said NO to oppression, suppression and retrogression and for the love of the state and waited to revolt at the polls with their thumbs and Alhaji Yahaya Bello opted to run for the Office of the governor of Kogi State. Prior to the primary elections, Alhaji Yahaya Bello went round the 21 Local Government areas of Kogi State, not just canvassing for supports but taking into cognizance the myriads of problems that beleaguered various areas and harmed with these facts, he had a clear idea of what the problems of the people were. Unfortunately as it was, he came runner up and most unfortunately also, the man who was to lead Kogi state out of doldrums and shackles of deprivation of the peoples common patrimony from this group of cabal answered the call of nature. There after the sole responsibility to continue the race naturally from where Late Prince Abubakar Audu Stopped fell on the laps of Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

On assumption of office, Alhaji Yahaya Bello hit the ground running. Before any business, a committee was set up to go round the 21 Local government areas to have a comprehensive assessment and NEEDs of the people. The report was thereafter packaged as the states #NewDirection blueprints, which comprises of 5 core thematic areas that this government intend to make giant stride in:
1) Education for all
2) Health is wealth
3) Job creation and youth engagement
4) Infrastructure and utilities development
5) Productive civil servants and pension reforms
This is unprecedented in the history of Kogi state, as no previous government in the last 25 years had drawn up a one page road map for development, but the administration of Yahaya Bello. The next important action is sanitizing the civil service with an over bloated wage bill due to the activities of ghost workers. It is note worthy that various governments before this had embarked on civil service staff verification exercises, of note is the Sally Tibbot screening exercise that spans over 8 months but remained inconclusive and here, screened ghost workers like demon came back in their droves. To be able attain the plan of the Alhaji Yahya Bello’s for a productive civil service reforms, the ghosts have to go off the payroll. A scenario where a civil servant has been promoted 3 consecutive time without corresponding increment in his or salary because monies meant for increments have either been light-fingered away of leaked out of the system, this and others were source of worry, the ghost were having a field day over the real civil servants, choking and stagnating them from developing and putting in their best to the system. Hence the need to do a thorough weeding of ghost workers became imperative. The government went into it not minding stepping on toes of cabals. It has not been easy for Kogi civil servant, courtesy Ghost workers, the government is mindful of these but according to Late Aminu Kano, One must scratch that part of the body or mind that itches.

Within these 8 months alone, the government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello aside from progress made with the staff verification exercise and hundred of million of naira saved, had blocked all forms of financial drains and leakages within the State where people pilfered income that ought to be accrued to the state treasury from private accounts, notably is the indiscriminate Forestry activities and the none remittance of government dues from produce to Kogi state coffers by cabals.
The government is also making concerted efforts in bringing in foreign and local investors so as to boost our Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and rely less on Federal Allocations that is bringing the state to its knee and backward developmentally. Worthy of mention is the financial autonomy granted to the Local Government Areas and the Kogi State Board of Internal Revenue (KSBIR). Of key note also is the remobilizing of contractors of abandoned projects back to site across the state. Sequel to this is the compilation of a comprehensive Blueprint and the bottom up approach of people need as in the New Direction Blue Print. Lastly, before assumption to office and the early stage of assuming office, Kogi state was notorious and known as den for robbers and kidnappers, due to its nodal nature and borders to many states. Kidnapping and robbery happens on a daily basis but as it stands today as I write, there have been no report of robbery or kidnapping because Governor Yahaya Bello has equipped the military and paramilitary with state of the art gadgets and hardware and charged them to combat crime to zero level

Change is painful but inevitable to achieving greatness and if we must grow, we stop malingering around the same vicious circles and deceit that has not paid off in 16 years. Late Aminu Kano said “The road to freedom is full of thorns and fire, yet happy is he who follows it!” For Kogi state to be liberated from shackles of stagnation and oppression, continuity of the Alhaji Yahaya Bello government is very pivotal to getting it right in Kogi. Scuttling the giant strides already achieved by this administration would set the state many years backward. Tthe cabal and hoards and battalions of ghosts workers will take over the civil services of Kogi and continually milk the state dry till it no longer become viable to run as a state.

The good people of Kogi state should as a matter of urgency refuse the desperations of these cabals, who have made governance their birth rights, in their eyes; no man is good enough to be governor hence they would frustrate him or her who emerges. Late Aminu Kano must have foreseen that this ugly trend would be a political bane in Kogi state of today when he said “Nigeria will never ever know peace until the Son of Nobody becomes somebody without knowing anybody”.

For as many who may not make it through the appeal committee, the government has made a promise to make the primary beneficiaries from the skill acquisition and empowerment schemes that would take off shortly, as it has promised to carry everybody along! The people of Kogi state and the Supreme Court must say no to these horrendous professional blackmailing of the vultures waiting in the offing to feast on our collective patrimony.

Williams Charles Oluwatoyin
wlmcharles@yahoo.co.uk
Writes from Lokoja

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Buhari Backs Constitutional Amendment To Free LGs From State Control

President Buhari has advised local governments to produce a bill that would make them free from the control of states.

Speaking on Thursday when he hosted officials of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) at the presidential villa in Abuja, Buhari said the freedom of local governments from the stranglehold of states would better the lot of Nigerians at the community level.

He described the frosty relationship between states and local government as “a very serious constitutional problem”,  saying a constitutional amendment was urgently required to address the issue.

“The relationship between the three tiers of government is not a very nice one, especially that between the local governments and the states,”he said.

“The states feel like they own the local government, if they are of the same party. It is worse if they are not.

“This is a very serious constitutional problem and unless there is absolute clarity and transparency, the relationship will continue to be exploited against the interest of the ordinary people of the country.”

Buhari also acknowledged the request by ALGON for the release of $3.2 billion “wrongfully” deducted by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the settlement of foreign debts in 2005.

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EFCC Declares Former Katsina Governor, Shema Wanted For ‘Embezzling State Funds’

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared wanted, the immediate past governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema.

The anti-graft commission in a statement by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said Shema is wanted in connection in with a case of criminal conspiracy, inflation of contract, abuse of office, diversion of funds, and embezzlement of state funds.

“The public is hereby notified that Ibrahim Shema, a former governor of katsina state, is wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  in connection with a case of criminal conspiracy, inflation of contract, abuse of office, diversion of funds, and embezzlement running into billions of naira,” the statement read.

“The former governor ignored several invitations by the commission since December 1, 2015 when he was first summoned by the agency.

“All efforts to locate him at his known address in Abuja and Katsina were futile. The 59-year-old hails from Dutse-enma local government area of Katsina state.

“Anybody having useful information as to his whereabouts should contact the commission or report to the nearest police station.”

Shema, who is married to one of the daughters of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, was elected governor in 2007, the same year his father in-law became the nation’s number one citizen.

He ended his second tenure in 2015.

Shema has denied the allegations of corruption levelled against him, accusing Bello Masari, his successor, of witch-hunting him.

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