Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, lambasted Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, over the killing of residents by Fulani bandits and terrorists.
HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, lamented that Kaduna has become a killing field for marauders under El-Rufai’s watch while the governor has failed woefully as the chief security officer of the state with the cardinal responsibility to protect lives and property.
The group also expressed stark dissatisfaction that despite the unprecedented and callous murder of residents of the state by vicious, AK-47-wielding non-state actors, especially in Southern Kaduna, the El-Rufai government and security agencies have failed to arrest or prosecute any suspect to logical conclusion.
HURIWA described as shocking, the data released by the state government on Friday that 446 people were killed by bandits and terrorists from April to September, 2022 while 985 persons were kidnapped during the period under review across the state.
Commenting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The massacre that has been going on in Kaduna under Governor Nasir el-Rufai is condemnable and shows crass failure of the governor who is supposed to be the chief security officer of the state charged with the duty to protect lives and property.
“However, the body language of the governor continues to enable the guillotine of residents of the state, particularly in Southern Kaduna which has been the most hit victim of terrorism and banditry since El-Rufai became governor.
“For instance, in 2021, the state government said a total number of 1,192 people were killed by bandits and 3,348 abducted across Kaduna. In 2020, at least 937 people were killed by bandits and terrorists, the state government reported.
“Aside that these figures must have been doctored and reduced, yet the stark reality in Kaduna confronts any sane person. One thing is, however, certain: Kaduna is a place of sorrow, tears and blood as marauders with religious and genocidal agenda continue to hide under communal clashes to maul innocent Christians in Southern Kaduna.
“The mass graves dug under El-Rufai alone will send anyone into pains and anguish. How terrorists can have a field’s day in the state despite the heavy military presence is still unfathomable. For starters, Kaduna has no fewer than six military formations including Jaji Military Cantonment; 1 Mech.
“Division Headquarters, Nigerian Army, Kaduna; New Barracks, otherwise known as ‘Kotoko’ Barracks; Old Site of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna; Kalanpazi Barracks (Artillery Regiment). But the military have allegedly turned blind eyes to the despicable atrocities of terrorists due to alleged tribal sentiments. Infact recently, El-Ruffai had boasted of controlling the police, the Army and the DSS and that he can order for the arrest of whomsoever he wishes in Kaduna State.
“So, how come that terrorists are having field days in his state and yet this ‘bigman’ who commands the ‘armed forces’ located in his state has allowed these mass killings to thrive?
“El-Rufai is a big accidental administration in Kaduna and the people are worst off for bringing in the most allegedly divisive bigot as governor. Under him, non-state actors who are mostly of same ethno-religious affiliations with the governor feel emboldened to kill Southern Kaduna Christians at will and occupy their lands and the government is doing nothing to bring these killers to justice or take justice to them.
“History will never be kind to oppressors because for whatever has a beginning under the sun must come to an end certainly and everyone will get the full dish of what he has prepared for others!”
We’re Determined To Achieve Rivers Of Our Dreams -Fubara …Tasks Rivers People On Peaceful, Harmonious Relationship
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, says his administration is determined to enthrone an enviable Rivers that satisfies the dreams and aspirations of all residents.
To achieve the feat, Fubara charged all residents to embrace peace, exhibit mutual harmony among themselves and meaningfully contribute their quota to achieve designated developmental activities that will eventually benefit the State.
The governor stated this at the funeral service in honour of late King Theophilus J.T. Princewill, Amachree XI, the Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of the Kalabari Kingdom, which was held at the King Amachree Square in Buguma Town, Asari Toru Local Government Area, yesterday.
A statement by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Boniface Onyedi, quoted Fubara as saying, ”We are in a difficult period but just be peaceful. We cannot achieve progress in an environment of violence. We cannot grow our State to the level of our aspirations when there is trouble.”
“We can only advance to our dream State in a peaceful environment. I urge every one of you to be peaceful. Peace is the only instrument that can bring development,”
The governor applauded the level of cooperation seen between the bereaved family and the entire Kalabari people through the various stages of preparations leading to the eventual burial of their late king to the disappointment of those who had predicted crisis.
He urged the Kalabari people to continue to live in peace even after the burial of their late king, adding that nobody in the State should lose hope because his administration is committed not to disappoint, regarding all their expectations.
In his sermon, the intercontinental Youth Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Belemina Obunge, who represented the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, preached on the topic: “Don’t wait until you’re late”, harped on the need for people to seek God fervently, serve him truthfully while also living peaceably with neighbours in their various community.
Senate Leader Faults N9.9trn Recurrent Expenditure In 2024 Budget Proposal
Senate Leader, Bamidele Opeyemi, says the N9.9 trillion recurrent expenditure in the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget proposal is too high, as it constitutes 43 per cent of the budget.
Opeyemi said this at the opening of debate on general principles of the budget at plenary in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the total fiscal operations of the Federal Government would result in N9.8 trillion deficit, representing 3.88 per cent of estimated GDP, saying that this was above the three per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Opeyemi listed highlights of the budget to include oil price benchmark of 77.96 dollars per barrel and daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day and exchange rate of N750 to dollar.
He said based on the fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally-collectible revenue was N16.87 trillion in the budget, while total federally distributable revenue was N11.09 trillion
Opeyemi said total revenue available to fund the 2024 budget was N9.73 trillion, which included revenues from 63 government-owned enterprises, while oil revenue was projected at N1.92 trillion, with non-oil taxes at N2.43 trillion among others.
He said to finance the deficit would result in new borrowings totaling N7.83 trillion in addition to N294.49 billion expected from privatisation.
He said the deficit would also be financed from N1.06 trillion drawn from bilateral, multilateral loans secured for specific development projects programmes.
He, however, said there was a growing concern over continued borrowing, but the administration resorted to it to finance fiscal gaps.
“But let me state here that the debt level of the federal government is still within sustainable limits.
“Very importantly, these loans are used to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at improving our economic environment and ensuring effective delivery of public services to our people,” he said.
Contributing, Sen.Osita Ngwu (PDP-Enugu)said President Bola Tinubu had fulfilled his promises by capturing food security, poverty allivation in the budget.
He said there was need to ensure a review of Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) to ensure the continuous ramp up of oil production to fund the deficit in the budget.
Senators, who contributed to the debate, commended the President for the budget, saying it was a budget of renewed hope.
NDDC Laments Unpaid N2trn Allocation
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sam Ogbuku, on Wednesday, said the interventionist agency is being owed remittances totalling over N2trillion by the Federal Government.
Ogbuku disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Committee on NDDC, chaired by Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake.
According to him, the amount is the accumulation of 15 per cent of the allocation of the nine states that make up the region, due to the commission since 2000.
He noted that in spite of the passage of the agency’s annual budget in 2021, 2022 and 2023; the funds were yet to be remitted.
“I want to raise an important issue. When we talk about funding, the NDDC Act says the monthly allocation from the Federal Government is 15 per cent of the allocation of nine states of the Niger Delta. But I can assure you that since the inception of the NDDC, it has not got that.
“The Federal Government only budgets what it wants to give to the NDDC for that year and they give it that year. If you look at the 15 per cent, we are not getting it. Even with the removal of fuel subsidy and with the increment of state allocation, the NDDC is still where it is. So, these are issues we want you to help us resolve and we have done our calculation that from 2000 to date we can say we are being owed over N2trn from what is supposed to be due NDDC.
“We also came in at a point when the NDDC never had a budget for 2021, 2022 and 2023. These budgets were before the National Assembly and we had to fast-track the passage of those budgets and those budgets were eventually passed in April this year. However, since the budget was passed, it has not been handed over to us up till now. We pray and plead with you to ensure that as fast as possible, you also facilitate the process for us to have the budget because the budget year is already coming to an end,” he said.
In his own contribution, the Chairman of the NDDC Board, Chiedu Ebie, said the board would work together to reposition the commission in the interest of the oil-producing states and Nigeria at large.
Responding, Erhiatake said issues raised by the agency would be addressed in no distant time.
“It is very important we create a platform for synergy in the implementation of these policies and programmes for the general benefit of Nigerians and especially the people of the Niger Delta. I assure you that this committee is willing and ready to partner with you to make sure that the dividends of democracy are brought to the region and the narratives that had been set by the previous board are changed for the better.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has advised officials of the NDDC to be abreast of anti-graft laws so as not to step out of line.
The ICPC Zonal Commissioner for Rivers and Bayelsa states, Mrs. Ekere Usiere, gave the advice during a sensitisation programme organised by the NDDC at its headquarters in Port Harcourt.
A statement on Wednesday by the Director, Corporate Affairs of the NDDC, Pius Ughakpoteni, said Usiere spoke on the topic: “Understanding the Offences and Penalties Under the ICPC Act 2000.”
It also quoted the Head, Legal Department of ICPC in Rivers State, Dr Agada Akogwu, as saying, “Every public servant should take the ICPC Act as a Bible and internalise all its tenets. That is why the NDDC deserves commendation for organising a sensitization programme for its staff.”
Rivers4 days ago
MOSIEND Charges Kalabari Monarchs On Peace, Unity
Niger Delta3 days ago
PAP: Kuku Urges Ndiomu To Revive, Complete Vocational Centers In N’Delta
Niger Delta2 days ago
PAP: Kuku Urges Ndiomu To Revive, Complete Vocational Centres
Featured4 days ago
Stop Attacking Judges, CJN, NBA Tell Politicians …Say Public Sentiments Can’t Displace Law
SMEs4 days ago
Banker Tasks Entrepreneurs On Risk-Taking
News2 days ago
Fighter Plane Missing Since WW11 Found 80 Years Later
News4 days ago
Court Upholds Fubara’s Victory, Dismisses Cole, Others’ Suits
Opinion4 days ago
Driving Food Sufficiency In Unfriendly Economy