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Kagara: Arewa Youths Urge Niger Governor, Senators To Face Realities In Curtailing Insecurities

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Niger State Governor, Sani Bello, as well as three senators representing the state at the National Assembly, have been urged to wake up from their slumber and face the realities on the ground as regards insecurity.

The Arewa Citizens Against Insecurity (ACAI) gave this charge at a press conference on Friday in Kaduna following the abduction of 42 persons at Government Science Secondary School, Kagara.

In his remark, Secretary-General, Hosea Adamu called on Governor Bello to stand up to his responsibility as a chief security officer of his state.

Adamu said the governor should be blamed for the current situation in his domain, noting that he never took proactive steps knowing fully well the risks arising from the activities of bandits in neighbouring states.

Instead of prescribing a solution, Adamu expressed concern that federal lawmakers, Mohammed Enagi, Sani Musa and Aliu Sabi Aliu have resorted to blaming game.

The Arewa group, however, advised the governor, the Senators, other lawmakers in the state as well as political office holders to liaise with President Muhammadu Buhari to restore peace and security.

According to Adamu, religious and traditional leaders should be enlightened on the need to stop their followers and subjects from being facilitators for these terrorists.

He added that the governor and other leaders in the state must act fast rather than flood the public domain with irresponsible comments.

Read the full statement below:

Gentlemen of the press, we have come to a point at which we must all as Nigerians make the urgently needed intervention to save our dear country from the pillage of devourers that are encircling and rapidly strangulating the land. This strangulation is manifested in the growing insecurity in the land coupled with ethnically motivated violence.

The abduction of 42 persons at Government Science Secondary School, Kagara Niger state, is drawing reactions and criticisms but people hardly know the extent of the insecurity that is rocking the country, particularly in the north where so-called bandits now hold sway in much of the north-western states. A similar large-scale abduction had taken place in Kankara, Katsina state previously and it turned out that persons in government were collaborators who made that crime possible.

We all know that the major corridors in Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Kebbi, and Zamfara states are now hotbeds of kidnap for ransom. It is now almost impossible to traverse the entire region without being kidnapped for ransom. This is a situation that has benefitted from the collusion of state and local governments as well as the traditional institution in many instances.

It would be difficult for those in authority to argue that there were no security or intelligence reports that should have prompted them into reactiveness and deal with these issues before they escalated into what they are today. What further happened was that the situation was allowed to degenerate into a full-blown crisis before some otherwise responsible people began to flood the public opinion space with irresponsible comments.

In this category are the state governors who have practically abdicated their responsibility as the chief security officials of their states. They have persistently failed in their duty while piling the pressure on the Federal Government and creating the impression that everything, every problem the country has with security has to be resolved through the barrels of guns or the military without acknowledging that there are non-combat approaches that fall within their own sphere of responsibility.

In this regard, we are calling out Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, who never took proactive steps even when he and his state’s security council were fully aware of the risks factors arising from the activities of bandits in the states bordering Niger. He should be explaining to his people why he never thought to request security presence for the boarding schools in his domain after the Kankara incident but instead allowed Kagara to happen before ordering the closure of boarding schools.  It is depressing that he allowed things to get out of hand before now approaching Mr. President to declare an emergency in Niger state.

More worrisome are the other political office holders, like Senators Mohammed Enagi (APC-Niger South), Sani Musa (APC-Niger East), and Aliu Sabi Aliu (APC-Niger North) who rather than come up with useful prescriptions in the wake of the Kagara abductions rather vested themselves in excoriating President Muhammadu Buhari as if he was the one who empowered the extremists that are now tormenting people in the constituencies where they were hired and enabled by politicians.

Are Citizens Against Insecurity cautions Governor Bello, the three federal lawmakers, other lawmakers in the state and political office holders that are positioning to derive relevance from the present security situation to recalibrate their positions?  It is unacceptable that some lawmakers, particularly those elected on the platform of the APC will latch on the security situation in their state as an opportunity to demonize the laudable efforts of Mr. President through whom the federal government is doing everything possible to bring the ugly situation to an end.

What we expect them to do is to work with President Buhari to restore peace and security to Niger state. In doing this, they should task the network of religious and traditional leaders at their disposal and impress on them the need to stop their followers and subjects from being facilitators for these terrorists. They should prevail on their people to massively engage in information sharing and offering support to law enforcement. Niger should also interact with its neighbours to explore other solutions that will keep these criminal elements out of the entire northwest region.

Our concern is that time is running out to find a solution since there is every likelihood that this new brand of terrorism will spread to other northern states if governor, the senators from Niger state and other high ranking politicians from that place do not stop their petty bickering against President Buhari in the middle of a serious crisis. The rest of us do not want to be partakers in this life-threatening game of playing with fire so Governor Bello and his three senators should spare us the heartache they want the entire country to experience.

We, therefore, demand that the Niger State Governor and the three senators from the state wake up from their slumber to the realities of the day. The realities are that their ineptitude has made their state an attractive place for terrorists, the reality is that President Buhari is not indifferent but is already acting to solve the problem, the reality is that the people of communities have a responsibility to themselves to call for help when aliens come among them to gather information, and the reality is that the problem in Niger state now requires multi-stakeholder collaboration to address. This is what the political leadership of Niger state should be exploring and not reduce themselves to object of ridicule.

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Group Hails NPHCDA Over Arrival, Distribution And Administration Of Covid-19 Vaccines

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The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy (NVVAA) has commended the management of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) for the seamless arrival, distribution and administration of coronavirus vaccines across the nation.

The group, in a statement by its Secretary-General, Akor Oche, on Monday, said the agency has displayed a high sense of transparency and accountability so much so that Nigerians should expect the safety of the vaccines upon administration.

Following the arrival of the first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in the country, the NPHCDA began the massive roll out on Friday with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo subsequently receiving their first jabs.

By setting up a website for Nigerians to register, the NVVAA noted that the health agency eradicated all forms of encumbrances that would have marred the successful rollout of the vaccines.

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy, however, called on members of the general public to extend their support to the NPHCDA by disregarding the narratives against the suitability of the vaccine for humans.

On its part, the group urged the NPHCDA not to relent in the task of ensuring that all Nigerians are vaccinated in the coming months.

Read the full statement below:

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy is issuing this press statement to commend the management of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) on the arrival and subsequent distribution and administration of the AstraZeneca COVID 19 Vaccine across the country.

It is indeed commendable that the NPHCDA put in motion mechanisms that ensure that all states of the federation receive their doses of the vaccine in a timely and orderly manner that remains a disconnect from the norm whereby exercises such as this are always marred by poor logistics arrangements.

The NPHCDA has by its actions in recent times displayed a high sense of transparency and accountability so much so that Nigerians should expect the safety of the vaccines upon administration.

It is thus the considered opinion of the National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy that meeting the various timelines from the arrival to the country and its subsequent rollout is indicative of the sustainable efforts of the NPHCDA towards ensuring that the vaccines are safe for humans, as well as ensuring that there is an equitable distribution across the country.

It is also commendable that the NPCHDA opened an online registration platform for Nigerians to register for vaccination. This is indeed an exemplary display of foresight by the management of the NPHCDA in the sense that it has successfully eradicated all forms of encumbrances that would have marred the successful rollout of the vaccines in Nigeria.

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy calls on members of the general public to extend their support to the NPHCDA by disregarding the narratives against the suitability of the vaccine for humans.

It also states that with the level of expertise displayed by the NPHCDA, Nigerians should be assured that there shall be equitable distribution of vaccines across the country and all Nigerians regardless of their status in the society shall be vaccinated in record time subject to availability.

Nigerians are also enjoined to continue to support the efforts of the government towards ensuring that all Nigerians are vaccinated in the race to put COVID 19 behind us as quickly as possible.

We also encourage the leadership of the NPHCDA not to relent in the task of ensuring that all Nigerians are vaccinated as the vaccines become available in large quantities in the coming months.

The National Vanguard for Vaccine Administration and Advocacy as a critical stakeholder in the country is pledging its continuous support to the NPHCDA in ensuring that the vaccination programme is successfully implemented across the country.

The NPHCDA has indeed displayed exemplary service to Nigeria and it behoves all mischief makers to desist from spreading negative information with regards to the safety of the COVID 19 vaccines been administered in Nigeria.

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BREAKING: Fire Breaks Out In Aso Rock

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A fire outbreak has been reported at the Presidential Villa in Aso Rock, Abuja, causing confusion among workers in President Muhammadu Buhari’s abode, SaharaReporters reports.

It was learnt that the fire started at 4 pm as the fire service officials tried desperately to put it out.

“The security men were chasing people not to capture the incident, but I tried my best to capture it. The fire is still on,” a source disclosed around 9 pm.

Although the cause of the fire is not yet known, fire service trucks have moved in and were seen in the villa.

More details soon….

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We Won’t Allow Hijab In Kwara Mission Schools, CAN Insists

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The Christian Association of Nigeria in Kwara State has insisted that it will not allow its pupils to wear hijab, despite the Kwara State Government’s directive that Muslim female pupils in Christian mission schools should wear hijab.

The state government, last week, said it had approved wearing of hijab by Muslim female pupils in Christian mission grant-aided schools in the state.

It also said the 10 Christian mission schools closed down in the wake of the hijab crisis would be reopened on Monday, March 8.

However, the state branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria said it would not agree to the use of hijab in schools established by Christian missions, alleging that they were surprised that the government was trying to make a decision on a matter that was still before the Supreme Court.

CAN said, “The body condemns the use of hijab in Christian missions grant-aided schools as this will cause discrimination in schools and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards.”

Two missions, Evangelical Church Winning All and the Kwara Baptist Conference, said they would not allow the wearing of hijab in their respective schools when the schools reopen on Monday.

The leadership of ECWA said it would not welcome the directive in all its schools in the state.

The Chairman, ECWA Ilorin District Church Council, Rev John Owoeye, who spoke at a press conference in Ilorin on Friday, said ECWA schools were established by Christian missionaries for purposes of reaching communities with the love of Christ and to meet educational needs of the indigenes irrespective of religious affiliations, among other reasons.

The ECWA church leaders, who demanded return of ECWA schools to them, said since 1974 when there was agreement on collaboration between the state government and the proprietor for the school to be grant-aided schools, “the policy has never been total takeover of our schools by the government.”

Owoeye, who said Christians are bona fide citizens of the state, added, “We have equal rights under the provisional constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

He argued that the government was aware that Christian Religious Knowledge teachers were not posted to Muslim grant-aided schools and that the gathering of Fellowship of Christian Students was not allowed in Muslim grant-aided schools.

“Similarly, we want the government to be informed that her decision and plan to provide hijab and enforce its use in our Christian mission grant-aided schools will not be tolerated as it is an infringement on our freedom of religion as enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria,” he said.

Also, the President of Kwara Baptist Conference, Rev Victor Dada, in a separate press conference, said the mission would not allow the use of hijab in its 38 schools across the state, adding that the government was wrongly advised in taking the decision.

Dada argued that the state government took a wrong decision by its blanket approval of wearing of hijab for female pupils in mission schools.

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“The state government was wrongly advised to take that decision. The state even acted in contempt of court as the case is still pending before the Supreme Court.

“We want to warn the government that the step it wants to take by approving the use of hijab for all public schools and grant-aided schools in the state will lead to an avalanche of reactions, the end of which no one can predict.

“With this move, the state government is saying the Muslims’ purported rights are superior to those of the Christians.

“What we are saying is that no one, whether the Kwara State Government or even the Federal Government, can force hijab on our children or in our schools. We shall not hesitate to use all legitimate means to protect our heritage. We will defend our faith and protect our property.”

Meanwhile, Muslim stakeholders in the state have urged the state government to stand by the rule of law in taking a final decision on the hijab issue.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Is-haq AbdulKarim; and Secretary, Professor Ibrahim Abikan, the Muslim Stakeholders said the state branch of CAN, which engaged the state government in a legal battle over the issue of ownership of the grant-aided schools since 2013 lost its two cases in Ilorin High Court in 2016 and the Court of Appeal in 2019.

In a related development, Chairman, Kwara State branch of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Olu Adewara, said the union was not part of the hijab crisis currently going on in the state.

The NUT Chairman, Adewara, told reporters, “The hijab matter is basically an issue between the government, the Muslim parents and the owners of these schools, regardless that such schools are grant-aided by the government. The NUT is not involved because this is not a matter bordering on teachers’ rights.”

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