The governors in the northern part of the country yesterday commended Federal Government’s efforts to check security challenges and pledged to end the spate of violence in the region.
The Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, announced this at the opening of the forum’s meeting in Kaduna.
Babangida said: “The Federal Government should be commended for its readiness to dialogue on security issues with various interest groups. ’’
He pleaded with the governors to find a means of getting a solution to end the crises and allow peace to reign in their states.
He said individuals and groups seeking to restore normalcy should be encouraged to do so.
“It is unfortunate that the situation has not abated; rather, it is worsening and attaining alarming dimensions with attendant negative implications for the economic growth and development of our nation; and indeed, our national image.
“We are passing through a very difficult phase in the history of our nation, a period that puts our patriotism, nationalism, sincerity and responsibility to test.
“This is the period that we have to demonstrate, individually and collectively, our abiding faith in our nation.
“When we must confront the common enemies of the nation, those who are sworn to destroying the spirit of nationhood through wanton destruction of lives and property,’’ he said.
Babangida also lauded the Federal Government’s initiative on promoting the Almajiri education system and advised the governors to domesticate the programme.
He enjoined his colleagues not to be distracted by political campaigns for 2015, telling them to put their faith in God and redeem their electoral pledges.
Babangida announced that the Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation, designed to accelerate development in the region, had collected N2.3 billion as donations and on investments.
He assured that the proceeds would be reinvested in social development projects to improve the living standards of the people.
The chairman commended member states and individuals that redeemed their pledges and appealed to defaulters to honour their promises in the interest of the region.
The meeting which would consider reports of the committees on education, agriculture and New Nigerian Newspapers, will culminate in the election of a new chairman for the forum, discuss the need to rejuvenate the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation and adopt the position paper of the secretaries to the states governments for action.
The governors of Kaduna, Sokoto, Borno, Adamawa, Kebbi, Katsina, Benue, Plateau and Niger attended the meeting, while those of Nasarawa, Kwara, Bauchi, Kano, Gombe, Kogi and Zamfara were represented by their deputies but Yobe, Jigawa and Taraba were absent.
Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has pledged to back President Goodluck Jonathan to put an end to the security challenges posed by “Boko Haram”.
A delegation of the Northern umbrella body led by former FCT Minister, Gen. Jeremiah Useni, said this at an interactive session with the President late Wednesday at the State House.
In an interview with the State House correspondents after the closed door meeting, Useni said they suggested some solutions to the President on the ways to curb the security challenges.
Useni said that ACF had already taken actions by setting up a committee on the issue and would make its report available to government in due course.
He said the body was in support of dialogue as a practical means of resolving the problem.
On the Forum’s reaction to the statement credited to former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari on 2015 general elections, Useni said that power belongs to God.
It will be recalled that Buhari, the Presidential candidate of CPC in 2011 general elections, had reportedly warned that the 2015 general elections would be a “fierce bloody battle’’ if the elections were not transparent.
Speaking in the same vein after the meeting, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said that Jonathan welcomed ACF and thanked the members for their support.
He said the President shared the optimism of the Forum and told members of the delegation that Government doors would remain open to them.
In attendance at the meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen Anyim Pius Anyim, Ministers and Presidential aides.
IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms
Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”
30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.
FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.
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