The Kebbi State Governor, Dr Abubakar Bagudu has said that all the Northern states have been mandated to take steps to return Almajiri children to their states of origin.
Bagudu explained that the repatriation of these children was part of concerted efforts by the Northern governors, the Federal Government and other stakeholders to curtail the spread of the novel Coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) in the area.
The governor, who disclosed this in Birnin Kebbi while interacting with the State Task Force on Covid-19 at the Kebbi Medical Centre, Kalgo, yesterday, said that the resolutions were reached at the meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Kaduna on Tuesday.
He explained that some of the Almijiri children from the state have since been returned to Kebbi from Kaduna State, adding that “some states have already started implementing this decision by taking back such Almijiri children to their own states of origin.
“I do believe that all the states in the region would soon commence the repatriation and this is for the common good of the states and Nigeria in general.”
Bagudu also expressed happiness that the state has remained COVID-19 free, and assured that “Insha Allahu, it would remain so.”
He, however, cautioned against complacency in the face of the state’s current COVID-19 negative status.
Bagudu maintained that efforts are in gear to collaborate with the management of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) in the state to convert the orientation camp in Dakingari to an isolation centre as directed by the Federal Government, while promising that the state will do what is necessary to improve the camp to serve as a befitting facility.
The governor added that the Presidential Flood Committee had availed the Internally Displaced Camp at Kalgo for the state to use as an isolation centre or quarantine facility in case the need arises for its use.
“This is in addition to the ones already designated by the Task Force on Covid-19 at Kalgo Medical Centre as an isolation camp and fully functional Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for COVID-19 victims.
“The Task Force has also identified and dedicated ward at the Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, and Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, also in Birnin Kebbi, as additional facilities for COVID-19,” he said.
Bagudu told Task Force members that the Federal Government, in its efforts to ensure that testing is taking place in all the states of the federation, has taken steps to convert and upgrade the ‘gene’ machines used for tuberculosis to test for the Coronavirus.
According to him, the Kebbi State Government has four gene machines at Zuru, Kamba, Yauri and Argungu, in addition to the one at Federal Medical Centre, Birnin Kebbi, and that the Federal Government was engaging manufacturers to upgrade them.
He urged task force members to take advantage of the Ramadan fasting period to engage religious leaders so that they can educate people on the necessary measures to take against the spread of COVID-19.
The Commissioner for Health and the Chairman of the State Task Force on COVID-19, Jafar Muhammed, enumerated some of the activities of the task force since inception to include sensitisation campaigns, designation of Isolation centres at Kebbi Medical Centre, Kalgo and Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital, Birnin Kebbi, meeting traditional leaders and religious leaders, leaders of trade unions, women groups and youth groups on advocacy for personal hygiene, social distancing and environmental cleanliness.
Fubara Set To Create New Cities In Rivers
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has disclosed that arrangements are at advanced stages to achieve the development of new cities in the state that would help to decongest Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.
Fubara said that the new cities would end the one city status of Rivers State and attract more investors into the state.
The governor stated this when he inspected the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority’s (GPHCDA) office and project sites in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
Fubara said: “I can assure you that in our time, we might not achieve the dream of that big city in four years, but we will add a few things that would also help us in getting at that target.
“This is because, we are thinking of decongesting the present one city state that we have, which is Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor. We are thinking of developing other parts of the state and our coming here is to see what the agency has been doing, what you have done already and what we can also do to make us achieve more new cities in our state.”
Fubara noted that despite the challenges the agency has been facing, there would be remarkable difference in what it would achieve within his tenure if the agency’s development ideals are aligned with those of the state government.
He, however, charged the agency to be self-sustaining by attracting investors as outlined by its establishment law.
Also speaking, the Sole Administrator of GPHCDA, Amb Desmond Akawor, said that since its establishment in 2009 by the Greater Port Harcourt Law, the agency has been slowed down in creating more cities because of its operational structure and the nature of the Public-Private Partnership it adopted.
Akawor, who is the Rivers State chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), explained that a new legal framework has been fine-tuned by the last GPHDA board, which the current management would present to the governor.
He said: “I am sure that with your directives, we will be able to reschedule some of the projects so that we can move forward with all of our partners, especially in the area of reforming or strengthening the public private partnership arrangements.”
Majority Leader Seeks Immortalisation Of Slain DPO
The Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Edison Ehie, has appealed to the Police High Command to consider the immortalisation of the murdered Divisional Police Officer(DPO) in charge of Ahoada East Divisional Headquarters, SP Bako Angbashim, and commiserated with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Emeka Nwonyi; officers and men of the Police Force; and the family of the deceased over the brutal murder of the DPO.
Ehie, who made the appeal in a statement said the slain DPO deserves to be immortalised as he was a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, adding that the calamitous killing and decapitation of the DPO by Mr Gift David Okpara Okpolowu, alias 2 Baba and his criminal gang is “an unprecedented low which shocked me beyond words and threw my constituents into an endless mourning circle”.
As the Honourable member representing Constituency 2 at the Rivers State House of Assembly and the incumbent Leader of the House, Ehie said he is using this medium to unreservedly condemn the senseless killing and decapitation of the DPO, and also to reiterate the call for the immediate apprehension and prosecution of his killers and everyone associated with the condemnable act.
Describing SP Angbashim as a gallant, fearless and courageous police officer who distinguished himself in the fight against criminals and bandits in the State, the lawmaker said the slain DPO was the one who single-handedly restored peace and order in Ogoniland.
“Even within the few months he spent in Ahoada East Local Government Area, the results of his gallantry were visible for all to see and appreciate.This is why his killing is not only calamitous and lamentable, but an affront to the government of the day in the State”, he said, adding that no government worths its salt will fold it’s arms and allow criminals and bandits to freely prey on its citizenry in order to make the State ungovernable.
On this score, therefore, Ehie thanked the Governor of the State, Sir SiminalayiFubara for prompt response to the situation which he said has already started yielding wonderful fruits, with some of the criminals associated with the killing of the DPO now under police detention and interrogation.
He also thanked and commend the officers and men of the Police Force as well as operatives of other sister security agencies in the State for their uniquely stellar efforts in fishing out the killers of the DPO.
The Majority Leader, however, called on all Ekpeye people, traditional rulers, chiefs, political elites and the general public to gratuitously assist and work with the police and other security agencies in ensuring that the killers of SP Angbashim are fished out, apprehended and made to face the full weight of the law, saying, “May our State never again witness this type of murderous orgy and life wastage”.
Ehie also appealed to the Police High Command in the State to consider the immortalisation of the slain DPO, while also appealing for meaningful and deserving support to his family and dependants.
While conveying his heart-felt condolences to the Nigerian Police, especially the officers and men of the Rivers State Police Command, the lawmaker prayed the Almighty God to grant them the fortitude to bear the monumental loss. He equally extended his deepest condolences to the family of the DPO, and prayed God to console them and heal their wounds.
Ehie further noted that “the biggest debt we collectively owe SP Bako Angbashim is to redress his killing by arresting his killers and subjecting them to justice.”
Appeal Court Upholds Banigo’s Senatorial Election Victory
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, yesterday, upheld the judgment of the Rivers State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal that declared Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) winner of the Rivers West Senatorial District Election held on February 25, 2023.
The Appellant Court, in her judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial Candidate, Hon. Asita O. Asita as “lacking in merit”.
In her reaction shortly after the verdict at the court premises, the Banigo hailed the judgment, describing it as an “incontrovertible victory of irreversible Senate seat”.
She expressed gratitude to the Almighty God, the leaders/stakeholders of the PDP and the entire members of the Rivers West Senatorial District for their unflinching support.
Banigo assured them of her loyalty and total commitment towards realising the tenets of her Kingdom Mandate.
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