Islamic Movement in Nigeria has confirmed the killing of 15 Shi’a Muslims during yesterday’s Ashura processions by the sect across the 19 Northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
A statement by IMN’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said three persons died in Kaduna, six in Bauchi, another three in Gombe, two in Sokoto, and one in Katsina during the processions.
According to Musa, the 15 Shi’ites were killed by armed policemen who allegedly attacked the worshippers in a bid to disperse them during the sect’s street demonstrations.
He said, “These casualty figures may, however, rise due to the fatal gunshot wounds sustained by some of the peaceful mourners.
“Today’s (Tuesday) show of shame and rage by the police across the states was sequel to the tragic orders given to it by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu to brutally attack the peaceful Ashura mourners.”
It was gathered, however, that the Ashura processions ended peacefully in the cities of Abuja, Jos, Kebbi, Minna, Lafia, Yola, Gusau, Zaria, Kano, Jalingo, Damaturu, Hadejia and Potiskum.
Speaking further, the IMN Spokesman said: “That the Ashura mourning procession ended peacefully in places not attacked by the police is sufficient evidence as to who the instigators of violence are whenever we are carrying out our legitimate religious duties.
“We are grateful to Allah the Almighty that has granted us the courage to come out in several cities and villages across the country to commemorate the brutal killing of Imam Hussein (AS), the Grandson of Prophet Muhammad (S) as it is done in several cities across the globe, despite intimidation and threats by the Federal Government and its agents, acting on behalf of the Saudis by proxy.”
Three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) were killed in the early hours of yesterday as police dispersed a procession of members of the group to commemorate Ashura day.
The Shiites are demanding the release of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention for alleged murder since December, 2015.
It was gathered that about one hundred members of the group had gathered at Hayin Danmani Junction along Nnamdi Azikiwe Bypass in Kaduna where they were to proceed on the procession.
Members of the IMN came out at about 6 am, ostensibly to beat the police who had earlier vowed to enforce the ban on public procession in Kaduna State.
Halfway into the procession, it was gathered that a detachment of policemen tried to disperse the gathering, leading to a clash between them and members of the group.
It was gathered that at the end of the encounter, three members of the group were killed while about ten others sustained various degrees of injuries.
However, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Yakubu Sabo, said no casualty was recorded as the police “dispersed the protesters professionally”.
He claimed that it has become the standard practice by members of the IMN to claim that police killed their members even when such incidence did not take place.
The IMN popularly known as Shiites, have defied the directive of the Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, not to hold further protest in the country.
Adamu had in a statement cautioned the group to withdraw it planned protest, noting that the activities of IMN remained proscribed in line with the Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice of July 26.
He said that the procession is targeted at disrupting public peace, order and security in the country.
Adamu directed the commissioners of police in all the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to avert any planned procession and/or disruption of public peace by IMN members.
He equally directed all supervisory assistant inspectors general of police to put in place concrete measures to prevent the procession.
But the group, yesterday, defied his order and stormed the streets of Wuse, in Abuja, to carry out its Ashura mourning procession.
The Ashura procession is an annual religious ritual carried out by the Shia Islamic sect all over the world on September 10.
Recall that the group had on Monday said that noting would prevent it from holding its peaceful protest, yesterday.
In Bauchi State, there was tension as many scampered to safety when the Nigeria Police Force in the state clashed with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
The incident was said to have occurred about 10am, yesterday at the Central Market Roundabout and Tashan Babiye area of Bauchi, the state capital.
The police reportedly fired teargas and gunshots to disperse the protesters causing people to scamper to safety.
Most shops in the popular Central Market were shut as traders immediately closed their shops and ran for their lives.
Although there has not been any detail of deaths from the incident, eyewitnesses say that several people were injured.
An eyewitness, who refused to be mentioned, said that many of the Shiites were arrested and by the police.
He said: “Early in the morning, the Shiites gathered to embark on their usual procession, but the Police blocked the road and fired teargas to disperse them.
“They (police) also fired gunshots and many were injured. Several others were arrested and taken away in police vehicles to the hospital. I heard that the Shiites also threw stones at the police, although I didn’t witness that part, I was only told.
Another eyewitness, the Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Bauchi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Mallam-Goje, was also caught in the incident.
He told newsmen that he also suffered from the teargas that was fired by the police around Tashan Babiye around Bakin Kura area.
“Actually, I came out of my house and was on my way to the office this morning when I ran into the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria who were carrying out their procession.
“You know they were protesting today being the 10th day of Muharam, the new month of the Islamic Calendar. Without my knowledge that the Police were there and as I arrived there, the Police teargassed the entire area and all the people there were affected, including myself, we were affected by the teargas,” he said.
Also in Potiskum, Yobe State, members of the IMN, yesterday, observed their annual Ashura procession.
Potiskum is one of the strongholds of the Shiites in the north apart from Kaduna, which is the headquarters of the movement.
Our correspondent, who monitored the situation, observed that the procession, which was led by the leader of the group in Potiskum, Malam Ibrahim Lawan, started at Misau road at Yaro Damboa junction through other streets in Potiskum and terminated at Ari-Kime junction where the Shiites dispersed to their homes.
A huge crowd of followers, including women and children, were sighted during the procession which was carried out without any breach of law and order.
No incident of violence was recorded during the procession as the security came after the procession was already winded up.
The spokesman of the group in Potiskum, Ibraheem El–Tafseer in told newsmen that the procession in the state was successful.
SPDC, Belemaoil Resolve Dispute Over OML 25 …Resume Operations In 10 Days
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with its joint venture partners, Shell Production Development Company, has resolved the protracted dispute with Belemaoil over the operation of Oil Mining Lease (OML) 25.
The feuding group at the signing of the dispute closure agreement in Abuja, yesterday, agreed that operations at the oil well would take off in the next 10 days.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Silva, while signing the agreement, thanked all the parties for their understanding, stressing that the step signified the beginning of a new chapter in the industry.
Silva said that the aim of the ministry was to ensure an oil industry that worked and operated in harmony and in unity.
“When I came into the office, the issue was one of the problems that came on the table; there were so many letters from communities complaining about the problem.
“I just decided to invite Shell to hear its own part of the story but fortunately, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mele Kyari, had intervened in the matter.
“So, I have the honour now to thank him for this great intervention.
“And also thank Shell and Belemaoil for cooperating to ensure that there is closure on this matter that has bedevilled the industry for so long,” he said.
He said that one of the aims of the petroleum industry was to ensure zero loss in the industry and that production got to its destination.
He said that the biggest beneficiaries of the agreement were not the companies but the communities, especially those in Belema who had been suffering since the beginning of the dispute.
The minister commended the NNPC, Shell and the Belemaoil for agreeing to resolve the dispute.
Earlier, Kyari had said that the development was a big achievement for the corporation.
The NNPC boss said that the dispute around the OML 25 had been on for over two years, adding that the end result was that communities lacked peace.
“For us, the most important aspect of the dispute resolution is that, at least, the communities will have their peace restored.
“At the back of it, you are aware that there is a complete stoppage of petroleum operations around the OML 25 and adjoining blocks.
“What this means is shut down of production of over 35,000 barrel of oil every day in the last two years, and that is an enormous economic loss for all stakeholders, Nigeria and the communities.
“This is why we engaged all stakeholders and we are happy to announce today that the closure on the issue has been obtained”, he added.
He, therefore, directed SPDC to return to full operation of the OML 25 within the next 10 days, and urged the communities to cooperate with the government and SPDC to ensure that the benefits of crude oil production in the area get to all stakeholders, including the people.
Kwara Gov Appoints 26-Year-Old NYSC Member Commissioner
Kwara State Governor, Abdul Rahman Abdul Razaq has forwarded the names of four women to the State House of Assembly as commissioner-nominees, including a 26-year-old Joana Nnazua Kolo from Edu Local Government Area of the state.
Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, made the announcement in a statement yesterday afternoon.
Abdul Razaq also nominated a former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the FBN Mortgages Limited, a subsidiary of the First Bank, Mrs. Folashade Omoniyi, as the new Chairperson of the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS). She would succeed Prof. Murtala Awodun whose tenure expires soon.
Omoniyi, who holds a bachelor of engineering from the University of Ilorin and Masters of Business Administration from Obafemi Awolowo University, has many years of leadership experience in the banking sector, marketing, information communication technology, and business management.
She has executive education in positive leadership from Michigan Ross Executive Education (USA); Market Driving Strategies from London Business School (UK); Strategic Uses of Information Technology from Stanford Business School (USA); and Senior Management Programme (SMP18) from the Lagos Business School (Nigeria).
Omoniyi is from Irepodun local government area of the state.
Miss Kolo, the youngest commissioner-nominee in the state’s history, is a 2018 graduate of Library Science from the Kwara State University (KWASU). A grassroots mobiliser, Miss Kolo is an ardent advocate of community development.
If confirmed, she would be Nigeria’s youngest commissioner, taking the trophy from Oyo State’s 27-year-old Oluwaseun Fakorede.
Miss Kolo is still participating in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)programme in Jigawa, where she is teaching at Model Boarding Junior Secondary School Guri. Her screening for the cabinet seat would hold after she rounds off her NYSC service in the next two weeks.
The three other nominees are professionals and grassroots politicians: Mrs Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu; Arinola Fatimoh Lawal; and Aisha Ahman Pategi, according to a correspondence Abdul Razaq forwarded to the House and read at the Tuesday plenary by the Speaker, Rt. Honourable Salihu Yakubu Danladi.
A 1997 graduate of Economics from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Mrs Modibbo-Kawu also holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Ilorin and various certificates from Penn Foster Career School Scranton in the United States and Metropolitan School of Business and Management in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A member of several professional bodies like the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of Management, she is a co-founder of a number of schools and learning centres.
She is married to the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission, Ishaq Modibbo-Kawu and would be representing Ilorin South in the cabinet if her nomination scales through the House of Assembly.
Arinola Fatimoh Lawal, a 1993 graduate of Catering and Hotel Management from the Kwara State Polytechnic, is a top-rated player in Nigeria’s hospitality industry with experience as chief executive officer of several firms including Batool Nigeria Limited, Mohbalamira Nigeria Limited and MirMira Enterprise.
Hajia Lawal, who was a member of the Kwara State Transition Committee in 2019, is a daughter of former Kwara State Governor Mohammed Lawal from Ilorin East local government. Her skills cover project management, tourism and hospitality, change management, and Risk Management. A grassroots mobiliser with effective leadership skills and emotional intelligence, the nominee is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State.
A scion of one of Kwara’s oldest political families, nominee Aisha Ahman-Pategi is a professional business manager with over 20 years’ experience in communication strategy, investment/financial consulting, and marketing and motivational leadership. She is a serial entrepreneur known for a contagious passion for excellence and innovation with great resource skills in research, government and relations.
Ms Ahman-Pategi was educated at the School of Remedial Studies and FASS-International Relations in Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State in 1996; Agent and Broker License Barney Fletcher School, in Atlanta GA, USA in 2004; Capstone Institute of Mortgage Finance, also in Atlanta in 2006; Stanford University, Stanford California where she obtained a certificate in Political Science (Data Analysis) in 2013; Bachelor of Art – Mass Communication from Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma; and MBA Business Administration from American Inter-Continental University, Dunwoody GA.
Aisha was Sales Manager for J&S Auto Sales Decatur, GA 30082 before founding A-Line Realty SMYRNA, GA 30082 in 2004 as the President and Managing Broker. The agency serves more than 300 clients by providing financial planning, asset management, commercial and residential real estate transactions.
100 Days In Office: Wike Commissions GCDC, Seabed Model School
In line with his commitment to empower youths through vocational training, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has revived the Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, bringing the training facility back on stream as part of his first 100 days for his second term.
Commissioning the rebranded school, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Wike said that technical and vocational training remains one of the surest ways of reaching out to thousands of Rivers youths.
Wike announced that the state government has contracted Julius Berger to construct standard training workshops for the education of the students.
“We must develop middle level manpower. That is why we have repositioned this school to groom technicians in the state.
“We have contracted Julius Berger to equip the workshops with standard training machines. Our children must get the best training facility”, he said.
He warned the principal against hiring out the school’s facilities to outsiders, explaining that the principal would be sanctioned.
The Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, Hon Victor Ihunwo said the governor has performed exceptionally in the education sector.
He commended the Rivers State governor for reviving the dead institution and placing it on the platform to empower Rivers youths.
Principal of Government Craft Development Centre, Mr China Ameka appreciated the governor for considering it necessary to rebuild the centre into a standard institution for teaching and learning towards human capital development aimed at empowering the youths.
In his remarks, Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison said Governor Nyesom Wike has continued to showcase Rivers State as the best in terms of infrastructural development.
He said the revived institution would help in reducing crime in the society as youths would be equipped with the right skills to be self-reliant.
Member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency, Hon Dumnamene Dekor described the project as a quantum leap to give the best to Rivers youths.
He said Rivers State was the only state in the country where several projects have been rolled out for the first 100 days, adding that the governor has proved himself as a lover of Rivers people.
The Permanent Secretary of Rivers State Bureau of Special Projects, Sunny Okere, noted that the project was designed to ensure that Rivers youths get the best technical education.
He said all the key Workshops have been primed to train the youths in the right skills.
Similarly, in his commitment to the creation of access to quality basic education, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, last Monday, commissioned the reconstructed and remodeled Sea-Bed Model Primary School, Port Harcourt.
The school is one of the 253 schools upgraded and expanded by Wike in the last four years.
The Sea-Bed Model Primary School, Port Harcourt, was delivered as part of the governor’s first 100 days in office for his second term.
Commissioning the school, Wike assured Rivers people that he would continue to uplift the standard of education in the state through critical interventions.
He said: “We shall continue to engage in human capital development. And the best way to engage in human capital development is to fund educational development”.
Wike announced that the state government has awarded contracts for the construction of 69 primary and basic education schools across the state.
“We are awarding contracts for the construction of 69 primary and basic education schools for the expansion of the frontiers of education.
“These projects will be handled by people of Rivers State, who will be empowered in the process of executing the projects”, he said.
He said that the Rivers State Government would continue to develop the education sector as a way of securing the future of Rivers State.
The governor reiterated the abolition of fees and levies for all primary and secondary schools in the state.
He said: “We shall sanction any school administrator or principal that collects any type of fee. We have made provision for the funding of all schools in the state”.
Wike said that while other states celebrated their first 100 days through press conferences, the Rivers State Government has continued to deliver projects to the people.
In a project description, the Permanent Secretary of Bureau of Special Projects, Mr Sunny Okere said that the school was remodeled and expanded, adding that the new school now has computer laboratory, e-library, new classrooms and a generator house.
In his remarks, Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Ven Fyneface Akah said that this was the first time the school was witnessing upgrade after 106 years of existence.
Mrs Inko-Tariah of Christ Church thanked the Rivers State governor for delivering on his promise to the church.
He said that the project is a testament that Wike was a man of his words.
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