Youths Are Catalyst For Political Development, Says Kano UPN Guber Candidate

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The governorship candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in Kano state, Alhaji Abubakar Kyado has said that the youths are a global catalyst for political development.

He said during the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the party in Sokoto Thursday that while the youths, who are the leaders of tomorrow, should be properly groomed, they also should rise to the needed political change.
According to Kyado, the national political space should see to the proper grooming of the youths, who in turn would ensure a developed nation, he said adding that “the youths in Kano state should rise up for the needed political change of leadership in order to ensure quality democratic governance.”

He observed that they remained the largest single class of people capable of being used to ensure massive political growth in Kano state.

Kyado promised to strengthen the agricultural sector by introducing thorough-bred mechanization throughout the state, if elected as governor.

Assuring that the youth would be actively engaged in modern agriculture, he added that a master plan on how to ensure the provision of modern farming inputs at government-controlled price had been worked.

Kyado called on those that were yet to obtain their PVCs to do so for the overall political growth of Kano state.

Court Rules Against Deployment of Military For Elections

Judiciary/Courts, News

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Federal High Court sitting in Sokoto on Thursday ruled against the deployment of the military for elections security.

Judgement in the suit instituted against the Attorney General of the Federation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was delivered upon an Originating Summons dated October 22, 2014.

Justice Rilwan Mohammed granted the reliefs sought by Hon. Bello Goronyo and Hon. Umar Mode who are plaintiffs in the suit.

According to the ruling, the issues raised by the plaintiffs in the suit revolve around whether pursuant to sections 217(2), 218(1),(3),(4)(a) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and section 8(1)(3) of the Armed Forces Act, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can order the use of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the security supervision of elections in Nigeria without a legislation by the National Assembly.

Justice Mohammed further held that it is necessity for an existence of an act of the National Assembly that seeks to empower the president to deployment armed forces in any election process because such is a miscellaneous function.

The Judge held that since the principal functions of the Nigerian armed forces is clearly spelt out in section 217(2) of the constitution, “which are to maintain the territorial integrity of Nigeria and defend her from external aggression as well as securing its borders and to suppress insurrection, it is a usurpation of the functions of the police, which is the security outfit charged with maintenance of law and order in Nigeria.”

Delivering judgement, Justice Mohammed stated: “I hereby declare that in view of the combined provisions of sections 217(2) and 218(1) and (4) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as altered) any person holding the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria cannot, in the absence of an act of the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria unilaterally order the engagement of armed forces in the security supervision of elections in Nigeria.

“I hereby declare that any purported engagement of the Nigerian armed forces in the security supervision of elections in the federal republic of Nigeria by any person holding the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria without an act of the National Assembly shall be unconstitutional and therefore null and void.

“I hereby declare that the use of the word “officers” in section 29(1)(2) of the electoral act 2010 (as amended) does not entail the use of the officers of the armed forces by the 2nd defendant.

“I hereby make an order restraining any person holding the office of the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria and the 2nd defendant from engaging or permitting the service of the Nigerian armed forces in the security supervision of elections in any manner whatsoever in any part of Nigeria, without an act of the National Assembly,” he ruled.

It’s Unconstitutional To Deploy Military For Elections – Court

Judiciary/Courts, News

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Justice Mohammed Rilwan of Federal High Court Sokoto has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the military to be deployed for election purpose.

Delivering the Judgement today, he stressed that other than for the purposes of protecting the Nigeria’s territorial integrity, there is no constitutional provision that allows for the deployment of the military for elections.

Justice Rilwan added that the federal government to do so, it must have recourse to the National Assembly, which would enact such law.

The suit challenging the deployment of military for election duties was instituted by the Deputy Speaker of the Sokoto state House of Assembly, who also represents Goronyo constituency, Barrister Bello Goronyo.
Details later

Vigilante Group Invades Five Sokoto Villages, Kills 16 People

Crime, News

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

A Vigilante Group allegedly from Zamfara state, on Sunday invaded five villages in Rabah local government of Sokoto state.

Briefing news men at the headquarters of the Police Command on Monday, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Shuaibu Lawal Gambo the group were allegedly invited by the communities because some people there were suspected to be thieves and cattle rustlers.

According to him, members of the group invaded Tambula, Gwazzai, Gandi, Danbawai and Maradi villages in Rabah and Wurno local government of the state and killed a total of 16 people.

He explained that some Vigilante groups have turned as police, prosecutors and judges where they arrest, interrogate, prosecute and even kill people.

“Although we appreciate people’s readiness for partnership in community policing, the Police cannot condone the processes that the vigilante are recruited and the way they are used,” he said.

Gambo warned that any community that wants to establish an arm of community policing, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) and the Local government council chairman must be informed.

“The recruitment process must be conducted by the DPO with the knowledge of the council chairman. Their activities too must be under the supervision of the DPO,” he warned adding, “Anyone or community caught violating this order would be dealt with.”

Disclosing that 10 of the vigilante members were in Police custody, the CP said that perpetrators of the act would be hunted down, arrested and charged to court for murder.

Retract Your Violent Steps, Tambuwal Tells Politicians

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Speaker of the House of Representatives and All Progressive Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Sokoto state said that the current scale of violence introduced by politicians in the country must stop.

He stated this at an interactive session with the leadership of students of all tertiary institutions in the state in Sokoto on Monday.

“The culture of violence that is being introduced in this country is alien to our tradition. I don’t believe in violence and those who are into it should reconsider their steps.

“What you should do as politicians is to convince people on what you intend to do for them. Tell them why you should be elected. You must not lead unscrupulous people to unleash mayhem on people you perceive as not your supporters,” Tambuwal said.

He stressed further that it is only when politicians imbibed the culture of electioneering that is devoid of violence, that the youths would take a cue of issue-based politicking.

The Speaker also pleaded with the people of Sokoto state to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) because according to him, “Obtaining PVCs is the only by which you can elect the candidates of your choice.”

He said that governments should invest in the youths so that the country would have vibrant future. “We must invest in the youths for a better tomorrow because they represent today and the future.”

Tambuwal said that his number one priority if elected as governor of Sokoto state would be education in which majority beneficiaries are the youths.

DPR Seals Two Filling Stations in Sokoto

Business, Energy, News

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has sealed two filling stations who are major marketers in Sokoto for defying the directives issued by the Federal government for filling stations to reduce pump prices of petroleum products from N97 to N87 per litre.

According to Salihu Moriki, the Operations Controller of DPR in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi states, who spoke in Sokoto on Monday, of the 49 stations visited by the DPR in the last one weeks, only the two were found to be selling the commodity above the N87 pump price.

He added that the remaining 45 stations made of major and independent marketers and NNPC Mega stations had complied and therefore allowed to continue with their sales.

While assuring to continue with routine visits in order to ensure compliance, the Controller added that the DPR “the two filling stations will remain sealed until they comply with the order and each of them will be fined N100,000.”

He cautioned operators of the filling stations against flaunting the directives of the federal government in that line.

“We will not spare any filling station that hoards the product
or sells it above the new pump price of N87,” Moriki said.

Disappoint Prophets of Doom, UN tells FG

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mohammed Ibn Chambas has called on the local, state, federal governments and all Nigerians to be mindful of their roles and ensure the conduct of credible elections.

He spoke during a courtesy visit on Governor Aliyu Wamakko at his residence in Sokoto on Saturday.

According to Chambas, “Nigeria must conduct credible and transparent elections and as such we must be mindful of our roles both as leaders and citizens. As leaders, we should disappoint the prophets of doom by not allowing violence.”

He stressed that Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa with more than 80 percent of the GDP of West Africa must set and maintain good record.

“Nigeria should be seen conducting a peaceful and violent-free elections. And for this to happen, you must act responsibly. INEC must manage the electoral processes well; the security agencies must ensure that they operate in unbiased way. Leaders must send the right messages,” Chambas said.

He said that the UN was concerned about the February election and insurgency. “Nigeria is confronted with the Boko Haram Monster about which the UN is concerned.”

Responding, Governor Wamakko expressed his happiness for the international community’s concern for Nigeria. “Nigeria is too big a country to be ignored by the international community.”

He however said that the UN should prevail on the federal government to ensure that election was conducted as scheduled.

“Speak loudly to prevail on the FG to conduct not only free and fair elections but also for the elections to be conducted as scheduled. As it is now, FG has sent emissary to tell Emirs to support postponement of the elections,” Wamakko disclosed, visibly angry.

On security, the governor the main problem of Nigeria was bad leadership, “which informed the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

“For about four years since Boko Haram struck, only last week did the President deemed it fit to visit Borno. This is a sign of bad governance,” he said.

He advised that neighbouring countries should continue with the alliance that they had formed in order to fight Boko Haram.

JOHESU Strike: Leave Us Out, UDUTH CMD tells Union

Health, News

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The management of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) has lamented that the Hospital should not be part of the ongoing national strike of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

The Chief Managing Director (CMD) of the Hospital, Dr. Yakubu Ahmed told news men in his office on Saturday that far as the management of UDUTH was concerned, all demands of the Union had been met.

“UDUTH should not be part of the strike. We should not be part of the strike in any case. This is because we have met all the demands of the Union. We have promoted 61 senior and 48 junior workers up to 2014; we have paid all arrears to the tune of N200 million,” Dr. Ahmed said.

He added that when in 2013 the management of the Hospital got a circular from the Federal Ministry of Health instructing them to implement the demands of the Union, UDUTH included that in the budget.

“We are being punished for fault that is not ours. We shouldn’t be part of it in all fairness. Everything has stopped; all schools have been affected. If we don’t have problem with JUHESU, why should we be part of the strike?” Dr. Ahmed asked.

He observed that if the UDUTH branch of JUHESU is on strike based on solidarity, that should not have taken this long.

Dr. Ahmed appealed to medical workers in UDUTH and by extension across the country to call off the strike in the spirit of humanity.

“Based on merit, UDUTH should be exonerated. Besides in general, human life is important. Nothing should be between us and our patients. We should honour our Oath to protect human life,” he added.

APC Rejects Dasuki’s Proposal to Postpone Election

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The All Progressive Party (APC) has rejected the proposal made by the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Sambo Dasuki for the postponement of the February general elections.

Communicating the rejection through Governor Aliyu Wamakko during the Presidential campaign of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Sokoto on Thursday, the party said neither should the election be postponed nor an interim government be formed.

According to Wamakko, the generality of Nigerians were ready for the election and there was no excuse that would be given for the postponement.

“The people of the state and Nigerians in general are ready for the
elections and they must hold as scheduled,” he maintained adding that the PDP-led government was bent on doing anything possible to scuttle the scheduled election because “they have seen the clear hand writing on the wall.

“We are ready for the election; the people of Sokoto state are ready for the election and Nigerians are ready for the election. No political party can manoeuvre to get the elections postponed,” Wamakko stressed.

Gov. Wamakko, Sokoto Police Draw Battle Line

News, Politics, Security

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The rosy relationship that exists between Sokoto State Command of the Nigeria Police and Sokoto state government seem to be strained with the recent exchange of bitterness against each other.

The stained relationship got worse when on Tuesday at the Police Command, the Commissioner of Police (CP), Shuaibu Lawal Gambo responded before Journalists, allegations published on the Sun newspaper of 18th January, 2015 and credited to Governor Aliyu Wamakko that the Inspector General of Police (IGP) broke the Peace Accord signed recently signed by leaders and candidates of political parties in Abuja.

In a statement signed and read out by the CP titled: “IGP DID NOT BREAK ANY PEACE ACCORD” and made available to Journalists, Gambo stated that all the accusations allegedly made by the governor were unfounded.

“It has come to the attention of the Sokoto State Police Command, comments attributed to the Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji (Dr) Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko in the Sunday Sun Newspaper of 18/01/2015, to the effect that, the ‘IGP broke the peace accord’ signed between the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari [Rtd] both Presidential candidates of their respective political parties in the forth-coming elections.

“The Sokoto Police Command wishes to put on record that, all the accusations made by the Governor of Sokoto State are unfounded. It is on record that both political parties have been accused of attacking each other at different parts of the State and the Police have always lived up to its mandate and ensured that arrests of both sides are promptly carried out and suspects charged to court as the case may be,” the statement read in parts.

Gambo further stated that it was untrue to allege that the Police arrests the opposition on trumped up charges, adding that in all cases of arrests, there were complainants and victims of brutality, which made it easy for the Police to treat such cases with dispatch.

The CP alleged that “Both parties are guilty of allowing their supporters to attack each other’s offices and in all occasion, Police have promptly arrested the culprits and charged them to court.”

He cited a recent case that occurred on Thursday, 15th January 2015 where supporters of both parties clashed, leading to the death of an APC supporter against which “nine suspects were arrested and are helping the Police in its investigation.”

Gambo stressed that the IGP never interfered with the discharge of the duties of the. Command. “I wish to emphatically state that, at no time has the IGP interfered with the discharge of my duties as Commissioner of Police, Sokoto Command. It is therefore strange that, his Excellency would make such an unfounded statement concerning ‘breaking of peace accord’.

“It is feared that Governor Wamakko does not believe in the peace accord, hence he is laying the foundation for perpetrating violence in the State by accusing the Police in order to legitimize his actions in the forthcoming elections,” the CP retorted.

He added that of the more than two years he had been in the Sokoto, the Police Command had proven itself to be impartial in the discharge of its responsibilities.

“The Police shall not spare or consort with any trouble-maker, no matter his or her standing in society,” the CP stated.

However, a swift reaction by the Sokoto State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) described the Police statement as unfortunate. “It is unfortunate that statement issued by the Police sought to exonerate the IGP, Suleiman Abba for not giving the proper order to Police to ensure law and order in Sokoto,” the party said.

The Zonal National Vice Chairman (Northwest) of the APC, Barrister Inuwa Abdulkadir in the reaction observed that the Police statement only “portrayed unbridled bias towards the PDP in Sokoto State.”

He further recalled that a top PDP chieftain recently told a rally in Sokoto that “the PDP has Police, Department of State Security (DSS), soldiers’ as such they will deploy everything they can to capture Sokoto,” adding, “We have already started seeing the result of that threat.”

It further cited the concern of Sultan Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar expressed before President Jonathan on Monday for “the need to ensure law and order and peaceful polls in the state.”

“It should be noted however that the Sokoto State Government, and all men of goodwill within the state and outside, will not tolerate any affront on their dignity from the Police or the PDP.

“The Police must respect all constituted authorities, desist from aiding the PDP to achieve cheap political vendetta and must double their efforts to end impunity as the campaign season continues,” APC’s statement added.

The party stated that “Sokoto State Government and the APC would work closely with all security agencies to ensure that law and order was maintained before, during and after the 2015 elections.”