SURE-P: Sokoto Gives Out 115 Buses At 45% Subsidized Rate


By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Under the local government Subsidy Re-investment Programme (SURE-P), Sokoto state government has procured 115 brand new 18-seater buses at a total cost of over N902,750,000 as loan to the citizens of the state.

Purchased at N7,850,000 each, the buses were loaned out at 45 percent subsidized rate of N3.5 million, with N500,000 initial deposit and subsequent monthly payment of N62,500 for 48 months.

Speaking during the presentation of the buses at Government House on Friday, Governor Aliyu Wamakko said that they would help in “boosting the transportation sector as well as serve as avenue of empowerment of the beneficiaries.

“The cost of each bus stands at N7,850,000, which has been subsidized by 45 percent where each beneficiary will pay N3,500,000 in four years,” the governor said.

He called on beneficiaries to make best use of the opportunity.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Local Government and Rural Development who spoke through the permanent secretary of the Ministry, said that under similar programmes of SURE-P for which a total of N10,046,321,588 had been spent, 11,500 people have been trained on poultry farming with equipment worth N890,000,000; 230 Keke NAPEP were procured and distributed at N152,600,000; five kilometre roads in the headquarters of each local government have been constructed at N6,615,971,588 and water pumps, seedlings, fertilizers, pesticides/herbicides and drilling tube wells were procured at N1,495,000,000.

FRSC To Introduce Air Ambulances


By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Corps Marshal of Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi has disclosed that the Commission plans to introduce Air Ambulances in the country through partnership with the Nigerian Air Force.

Oyeyemi said this in Sokoto on Wednesday during the commissioning of a new office block constructed for Sokoto Command of the Commission by Sokoto state government at the cost of N15 million.

According to him, the partnership would provide avenue for the conduct of aerial surveillance and patrol while the air ambulances would facilitate speedy life-saving process where accident victims would swiftly be rescued.

“The Commission is now rated among the best in the world and we are leaving no stone un-turned in making Nigerian roads accident free. We are also trying to be among the safest nations in the world by the year 2020 and this will be by reducing fatalities due to road accident by fifty per cent,” Oyeyemi further said.

He commended Sokoto state government for the structure.

While lamenting the rising cases of road traffic
crashes, which are caused by over-loading by commercial vehicles, Governor Aliyu Wamakko said that his administration recognized performance of the Commission in controlling the nation’s road traffic.

The Sector Commander, Mr Takum Galadima promised to use the office block to improve the efficiency of the officers and men.

Food Insecurity, Unemployment Bane of Nigeria’s Development, Says Sultan Abubakar


By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar has observed that insecurity, unemployment and food insecurity were some of the problems that are retarding the nation’s development.

Receiving the new Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello in his Palace in Sokoto on Thursday, the Sultan stressed the need for action towards addressing the current security challenges in Zamfara state and some parts of the country.

While calling on security agencies and other stakeholders to assist in addressing the problems in order to ensure societal development, Abubakar also called on leaders “to be just and fair in the discharge of their responsibilities.

“This is necessary as justice and fairness are prerequisite towards achieving success and to ensure peace and stability as well as understanding in the country.”

Expressing the Sultanate Council’s appreciation for the new Emir’s visit, the Sultan assured of the Council’s “commitment towards sustainable peace, stability and development of the country.”

Earlier, the new Emir said he was at the Sultan Palace to receive royal blessing towards the discharge of his responsibilities as well as concretise the existing relationship between the Sultanate and Gusau Emirate.

Don’t Politicize Security Agencies – Gov. Wamakko Tells FG

News, Security

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto state has cautioned federal government against politicizing the nation’s security agencies.

He spoke in Sokoto on Thursday when he received the new Commissioner of Police, Mr. Salisu Abdullahi recently deployed to the state.

According to Wamakko, “The security agencies have no constituency. They should exhibit patriotism in their work to ensure the safety of lives and properties of Nigerian citizens.”

The governor also called on security agencies in the country to uphold their oaths of office by being diligent and fair to all at all times. “All Nigerians should be treated equally, irrespective of their religious, ethnic or political creeds,” he said adding, “This is crucial especially now that Nigeria is approaching another democratic transition.”

Wamakko promised to continue to assist the agencies in order to complement their efforts in saving lives and properties of all citizens.

The Police commissioner earlier commended Wamakko for his support to the Command and other security agencies. “We will provide level-playing ground for all political parties in the state,” Abdullahi said.

No Bail For Weapon-Holding Thugs – AIG Zone 10

News, Politics, Security

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Following political parties’ failure to prevail on their supporters to stop use of weapons at political rallies, the Zone 10 of Nigeria Police has vowed to grant no bail to any political thug that is arrested holding weapons during electioneering.

The Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of the Zone that is comprised of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Mr. Bala Hassan made the declaration during a stakeholders’ meeting with leadership of political parties in Sokoto on Thursday.

“Henceforth, any thug arrested with a knife, cutlass or any other type of deadly weapon, will be summarily charged to the court,” adding that the measure was to ensure the protection of lives and properties before, during and after the rescheduled polls.

The new state Police Commissioner, Mr. Salisu Fagge also advised politicians to respect the rules of the game by obeying the laws of the land and the electoral act.

“The police will not allow anybody to trample on the public order act, constitute a breach of peace and unity of the state and Nigeria in general,” he warned.

While commending the police for convening the meeting, the State Secretaries of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Alhaji Aminu Bello and Alhaji Kabiru Aliyu, respectively corroborated in advising the Police:

“All the political parties should be treated equally by the police, while all their complaints must be treated fairly and equally.”

The peace accord could not be signed because the governorship candidates of the two major political parties, Sen. Abdallah Wali of the PDP and Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal of the APC were absent at the meeting.

Nigerians Do Not Trust The Military, PDP, Jonathan – UPN Says

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Following the postponement of February elections, the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) has said that Nigerians no longer have confidence on the Military,the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as well as President Jonathan.

A press statement signed and issued in Sokoto on Monday by the National Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Abdullahi stated in parts that the reasons adduced to the poll shift were laughable, unacceptable and untenable.

It noted that it was only when the reason of voter disenfranchisement were tackled by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki and the PDP cooked up the security story.

According to the statement, Col. Sambo Dasuki first requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the date of the election on “the assumption that 34 percent of Nigerians would not have collected their PVCs. But when INEC was about to achieve success by producing 96 percent and distributing same across Nigeria, the story changed to non guarantee of security for the polls.”

UPN noted that the Police are known to provide security during election and therefore, the participation of the military in election matters was a new thing. “By the way, the participation of the military in elections is a new thing in this country. What was the norm was that police requested for the deployment of the military in those areas that became volatile during elections.”

The party alleged that Nigerians did not trust the military and the PDP. “The Nigeria’s Military should know that, Nigerians do not trust them neither do they trust the leaders of the PDP. It was the military that told us they knew where Chibok girls were but up till now there is no trace of our girls,” it said.
UPN added that Jonathan could no longer be trusted if he claimed that he was not informed about poll shift, a matter that affected more than 60 million Nigerians.

“This shows that he is not in control. And since he is not in control, he does not deserve to be our president,” it stated.

Poll Shift: Forget Insinuations of Conspiracies, Bishop Kukah Urges Nigerians

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

Bishop Hassan Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Diocese has called on Nigerians to regard the postponement of the elections as an act of God, which is aimed at retrospection.

He spoke at a town-hall meeting with the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate organised Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of Sokoto Diocese and held at Giginya Hotel on Monday.

Despite the anxiety and frustration generated by the poll shift, Kukah described the meeting as one of the unintended benefits.

“For those of us who are believers in the supremacy of the word and work of God, we believe that everything has a purpose in the mind of God.

“I therefore call on all of us as citizens to forget the insinuations of conspiracies, motivations and imputation of motif for this, to continue to work hard to ensure that our elections are peaceful and successful,” he said.

Kukah explained that the meeting was to serve as a bridge building effort as well as understanding one another properly.

“Sokoto prides itself as being a state where there are no indigenes and settlers. Let us take up this offer and go beyond seeing ourselves merely as Christians and Muslims or members of ethnic groups,” Kukah reiterated.

He called on the people to ensure that they collected their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs).

PDP receives 6,000 Defectors in Sokoto

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it received 6,000 people that defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Wamakko local government of Sokoto state on Thursday.

They were received by the state chairman of the party, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma.

Speaking on behalf of other defectors, Alhaji Abubakar Gedawa said that they joined the PDP in quest of “justice, equity as well as to ensure success of the PDP at all levels in the forthcoming general elections.”

Also speaking, former governor Attahiru Bafarawa called on the people of the area to massively vote for the PDP. “I did my best to develop the local government when I was the governor of the state and if elected, Wali will continue from where I stopped.”

While the governorship candidate, Sen. Abdallah Wali promised to ensure justice and equity amongst the people of the state if elected, the state party chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Milgoma vowed that the APC government would be voted out of office.

“The PDP will win the forthcoming elections across Nigeria,” Milgoma assured.

The Academia are better partners in policy formulation, Says APC Northwest

Education, News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The National Vice Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in charge of Northwest zone, Barr. Inuwa Abdulkadir has said that in formulating government policies as well as implementing its programmes, the academia is important.

He said this at the occasion of an interactive session of members of the academic community drawn from the Usmanu Danfodiyo University; Sokoto State University, The Polytechnic of Sokoto State, Sokoto State College of Education, School of Islamic and Legal Studies, etc with the APC governorship candidate, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal in Sokoto on Tuesday.

According to Abdulkadir, for any society to be developed, there must be synergy between members of the academic circle and policy-makers. “In the formulation of policies, the academia is important,” he said.

Abdulkadir added that the session was organized in order to rub minds with the intelligentsia to suggest ways by which meaningful development could be attained in Sokoto state.

Responding to contributions and questions, Speaker Tambuwal said that if elected as governor, he would ensure that public-trained manpower was put in place by working with the academia in the state.

He assured that his administration would “seek the understanding of bureaucrats to block leakages so that, other than a few individuals, the larger society would benefit from state resources.”

While saying that he would put emphasis on the development of agricultural potentials as a strategy to diversify from oil, Tambuwal further stressed the need to make Sokoto a hub for medical services by way of providing the best medical facilities as well as creating a faculty of medicine at the Sokoto state University.

We Have Tangible Reasons To Yearn For Change, Says UPN National Chairman

News, Politics

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The acting National Chairman of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Dr. Manzo Abubakar has said that Nigerians have all it takes to effect change of political leadership in the country.

He told Newsdiaryonline in an exclusive interview in Sokoto on Sunday that the present leadership in the Peoples Democratic Party under President Goodluck Jonathan had failed the people of Nigeria in all aspects of socioeconomic development.

“The ingredients for concrete, tangible change are there for the people of Nigeria to work on for change,” Abubakar said adding that the technical and material conditions that warrant leadership change under a different political platform in this country now existed. “You can see that from the South, West, east and North, Nigerians are yearning for change.”

He commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the improved quality of electoral process but quickly warned that the electoral umpire must not bow to any pressure to postpone the February 14th election.

“INEC national chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega has substantially improved the quality of the electoral process. This will eventuate in checking the excesses of electoral officers and politicians.

“However, under no circumstances should INEC bow to pressure from some quarters for postponement of February election. It is disastrous for the country, especially that the international community was watching us with rapt attention,” Abubakar said.

He called on Nigerian masses, especially at states and local government levels to elect UPN candidates in order to ensure equity in the distribution of resources.