The House of Representatives has called on the Federal Government to collaborate with the Niger State Government to secure the rescue of over 130 students of Islamiyyah students of Salihu Tanko Islamic School Tegina in Rafi Local Government Area of the state abducted on May 30, 2021.
While calling on the government to rejig the security architecture to combat the growing insecurity in Nigeria, the House urged security agencies to deploy aircraft and drones to in hotbeds of crimes in the country especially Niger.
The call was sequel to a motion unanimously adopted by the lawmakers at the plenary on Thursday, which was sponsored by members from the state.
The motion was sponsored by Saidu Musa Abdullahi and the co-sponsors were Messrs Abdullahi Garba, Mohammed Bago, Abubakar Suleja, Mamudu Abdullahi, Jafaru Mohammed, Barwa Beji, Usman Abdullahi, Saidu Doka and Salihu Salleh.
It was titled, ‘Urgent Need to Secure Release of 136 Abducted School Children from Tegina in Rafi Local Government and Rejig Security Architecture to Curb the Worsening Insecurity in Niger State.’
Consequently, the House urged the “National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs, Inspector General of Police and other security agencies to re-jig security architecture with a view of putting in place effective strategies and counter-measures to curb escalating insecurity across Niger State.”
The House also urged the Federal Government to “maintain constant collaboration with Niger State Government to secure the immediate release of 136 students abducted from Islamic School in Tegina, Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.”
Furthermore, the lawmakers called on security agencies to “deploy drones and helicopters in the insecurity prone areas of Niger State to identify illegal camps of bandits to defeat them permanently.”
They also urge the Federal Government to “develop a mechanism that will ensure effective interagency collaboration, coordination and mutual synergy especially at ensuring that the Department of State Services provides actionable and timely intelligence to the sister agencies in the fight against banditry, insurgency and terrorism.”
In addition, the House called on the National Emergency Management Agency; Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; and Border Communities Development Agency to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the affected communities, with a view to determining the extent of the destruction and providing relief to the affected persons.
The Niger lawmakers decried that two weeks after the abduction, the children were still in captivity.
They said, “The House is worried that these elements have been gruesomely torturing and killing innocent lives; destroying critical infrastructure and properties; carting away foodstuffs, rustling cattle and domestic animals; and instilling fears, tensions and anxieties in the minds of people across the State and country.
“The House is concerned that the huge investments of this administration in the agricultural sector across the state have been practically frustrated as the farmers can no longer farm for a living as a direct result of the fear of attacks. The aftermath is an aggravation of food insecurity and threats to the peaceful co-existence and socio-economic stability of the country.
“The House is further informed that only for these few days, a prince from Kontagora Emirate and others were killed; about five people were abducted from Batati, in Lavun Local Government Area; serial abductions of innocent people from Suleja Local Government Area were reported; and bandits were seen operating along Zungeru, Tegina and Kontagora axis of Niger State for days and nights without resistance.
“No fewer than 50 communities across Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas of Niger State were sacked and over 3,000 people were displaced from their ancestral homes to seek refuge in IDPs Camps recently.
“The military camps in Allawa, Bassa and Zagzaga in the two Local Government Areas were overrun by the insurgents in their renewed attacks recently.”
The lawmakers said the bandits now strike mostly in the daytime and operate “without any challenge from the security agents.”
They noted, “The mode of operations remains the same: riding on motorcycles with not less than two to three of them on each motorcycle and fully armed. Sounds of gunshots rent the air to herald their arrival and scare the villagers and anybody that comes across them are felled by their bullets.”
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Van Used To Kidnap Kebbi Students Belongs To High Court Judge -Police
The police in Kebbi have said the command is not the owner of the vehicle used to kidnap students from Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi.
Nafi’u Abubakar, the Kebbi police spokesman, said the van belongs to a high court judge in the state.
He added that the van was hijacked by bandits on Birnin Yauri road.
Abubakar said the police are yet to determine the number of students kidnapped from the school located in Ngaski LGA of the state.
He said the reports making the rounds that 50 students were kidnapped from the school were false.
“The attention of the police has been drawn to reports made by some media stations that a police vehicle was used in kidnapping about 50 students of the FGC,” he said.
“A White Hilux Van with registration No. kBSJ 29 belonging to a High Court judge with the inscription of Kebbi State Judiciary, hijacked by bandits on Birnin Yauri road was the one used in the kidnapping and not a police vehicle as stated by some media stations.
“The command wishes to make it clear and set the records straight that yet to be ascertained the number of students are still missing as rescue operation is still ongoing.”
Abubakar said the command will continue to brief the media with updates of the efforts to rescue the students.
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Prison Service Reacts To Detention Of Woman Who Delivered In Prison Following Arrest During EndSARS
The Nigerian Correctional Service, Ondo State Command has reacted to the case of Kemisola Ogunniyi, a woman who had a child in prison following her arrest by the police 8 months ago for allegedly participating in EndSARS protest.
A statement by the command through its public relations officer/legal officer, Babatunde Ogundare, said Ogunniyi was remanded on the orders of the court.
It said, “The lady in question was remanded in the female custodial facility by a court of competent jurisdiction on the 24th November, 2020, for conspiracy, arson, riotous assembly, stealing, and malicious damage and the matter was subsequently adjourned to 8th December, 2020 for hearing, and further adjourned to 9th March, 2021.
“She was 2 months pregnant when she was remanded in the facility and all necessary medical cares and legal attention needed was accorded accordingly within the ambit of the operational orders of the service. Her families and legal representatives were given access to visit her as well.
“She fell into labour on Tuesday 15th June, 2021, and she was immediately moved to the Ondo state basic health centre for delivery and she delivered her baby on the 16th June, 2021 around noon.
“She was hale and hearty with the baby and subsequently discharged and was taken back to the facility for further care.
“It is very expedient for the general public to know that the Nigeria Correctional Service will not unlawfully hold down any inmate without the order of court and the need to disregard the viral pictures and deceitful information emanating in the social media in other to discredit the service.
“While assuring the public of the commitment of officers and men of the command to the care and support for Inmates in custody, the state controller Barr. Suanu D Kinane wishes to state that the service is community friendly and will not act contrary to the operational orders and constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“She is hale and hearty with her baby in the facility pending the determination of her case before the court of competent jurisdiction.”
#EndSARS: Ondo Government Delays Release Of Nursing Mother Who Gave Birth In Prison Eight Months After Arrestâ@YeleSowore | Sahara Reporters https://t.co/VQog2wPDHP pic.twitter.com/2AMo4ejkFb
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) June 17, 2021
Ogunniyi was arrested in Akure and has been imprisoned since October 24, 2020, while going to a pharmacy to buy drugs for her mother.
She was arrested by the police who said she was one of the participants of the #EndSARS protest in the state.
The police claimed she was one of the #EndSARS protesters who burnt the office of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the state last year, about eight months ago.
Sowore and other well-meaning individuals had called for the immediate release of the young lady, who was arrested in Akure and has been imprisoned since October 24, 2020, while going to a pharmacy to buy drugs for her mother.
However, in a recent post on his Twitter handle on Thursday, Sowore stated that the Ondo State government has insisted on holding the baby and mother in custody.
He said the lawyer of the lady had filed an application for bail on request of the government, but a date had yet to be given for hearing.
The human rights activist also noted that the prison guard who accompanied Ogunniyi to the hospital was being accused of taking her photos, those of the baby and releasing the same to the public.
He wrote, “UPDATE on #FreeKemisola: Since revealing the horrible/inhuman condition to which #Endsars Kemisola Ogunniyi and newborn baby has been subjected since yesterday many public-spirited individuals and groups have tried to get @RotimiAkeredolu to free her unconditionally but as it is typical of power-drunk wicked politicians, Ondo state government is insisting on holding Kemisola and the baby in state custody.
“They are requesting that her lawyer file an application for bail, which is already done but they’ve refused to give a date for hearing and stalling all day.
”I had a chat with the Attorney Gen of the state, Charles Titiloye (formerly a Human Rights lawyer), he insists that his office will not end the case but will be willing to work on granting bail. He claims there are nominal complainants that won’t let him file a nolle. I was shocked!
”Meanwhile, they’ve now begun to persecute the prison guard who accompanied her to the hospital accusing the fellow of taking her photos, those of the baby and releasing same to the public. These people are heartless. We insist on the unconditional release of Kemisola and three others.”
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El-Rufai Sacks 99 Political Appointees
Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has approved the disengagement of 99 political appointees.
The governor made revealed this at a media chat with journalists in Kaduna on Thursday night, explaining that the disengaged political appointees constitute 30% of political officeholders.
He said his government would reduce the size of civil servants in the state but maintained that government appointees will go first.
“So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” the governor said.
“We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees and we have done that.”
The governor who spoke in Hausa during the interview said that rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues accruing to the state.
The governor said that his government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.
He also disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of Kaduna State Government.
“In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion, aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights and other personnel costs. So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,’’ he said.
Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by this shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.
‘’Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84% to 96% of our revenues to pay salaries of less than 1% of the population. The rest of our people, all 99% of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets and support for agriculture to make a living outside government,’’ he said.
The governor however promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.
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