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Insecurity: Fish out bad eggs, Gov Bello urges Niger community members

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The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, has urged members of the communities in the Mashegun Local Government Area of the state to be vigilant and observant of the activities in their neighbourhood.

Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel-Berje, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday, said he made the visit following the recent activities of bandits in the communities.

Governor Bello explained that the visit was aimed at obtaining first-hand information on the incidents to enable the government to restrategize and plan on how to prevent reoccurrence.

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“I decided to come and see what has happened, get first-hand information so that we can plan how to stop such things from happening going forward. It is unfortunate that people are being attacked while saying their prayers early in the morning,” he said.

At Tugan Ba’ari, Adogon Malam and Mazakuka communities where the Governor visited respectively and interacted with the residents, his message was the same.

He empathised with them on the situation and stressed the need for them to make peace and be on the watch out for people with questionable character amongst them.

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Governor Bello further urged them to work out modalities on how to fish out bad eggs among them so as to assist the security agents in curtailing the situation, pointing out that there cannot be a successful attack without an insider.

“I understand that it is the work of bandits probably with the connivance of some locals. So I call on the community members to pay attention to their neighbours and to be very observant of what is going on around them,” he said.

According to the statement, “The Governor then assured the people that government will not rest on its oars in evolving measures that would prevent reoccurrence, expressing optimism that the commission of inquiry he had earlier set up would do a thorough job.

“The Council Chairman of Mashegu, Alh. Alhassan Isah Mazakuka disclosed that 17 people were killed, 19 kidnapped and 8 injured at Ba’ari while praying in the mosque last week.

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“Alh. Isah Mazakuka said some of the victims who sustained injury in the attack are receiving treatment at the General Hospital Kontagora while some were referred to Kebbi State for treatment.

“Also speaking, the Ward Head of Tunga Ba’ari Alh. Garba Aliyu described the incident as horrible, explaining that their men and women were taken away by bandits.

“He called on the government to empower the vigilantes more, reiterating that insecurity in the area is becoming persistent.”

Mazakuka, Adogon Malam, Kulho among other communities in Mashegu LGA have been experiencing series of banditry attacks that have led to the death of many. Just last week, scores were feared dead, some kidnapped and some others injured at Tugan Baari while they were performing the morning prayers in the Mosque.

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APC convention: Stakeholders warn against electing indicted persons as chairman

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From Fred Itua, Abuja

Ahead of the national convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) slated for February 26, the South-South Emerging Leaders’ Forum (SELF) has warned leaders of the party not to elect some individuals in the race who have been indicted for some financial crimes by anti-corruption agencies.

In a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, the national coordinator of the group, Preye Wilson, warned that the ruling party does not need a national chairman that will be dragging in and out of the anti-corruption agencies’ offices to explain their dealings in the past.

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Wilson said it is time for the ruling party to deviate from past experiences of electing the former governor as national chairman.

While making reference to a media report titled: “APC faces integrity test, five chairmanship aspirants on EFCC radar,” the South-south forum warned that if any of these allegedly indicted chairmanship aspirants is elected as a national chairman the party will be easily blackmailed by the opposition parties and other critics.

The South-South forum, however, urged the party delegates and leaders at all levels to consider a brilliant Senator Mohammed Sani Musa’s integrity, track records, firmness and simplicity among those parading themselves as chairmanship aspirants in APC.

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“For us in the South-South Emerging Leaders’ Forum, we believe that the best way the ruling party can continue to discourage corruption as clearly stated in the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari is to elect a new national chairman that’s free of EFCC or ICPC cases.

He said: “We also note that since the successful merger process the produced the ruling APC former governors have had enough time. From our father former governor of Osun state Chief Bisi Akande, who was succeeded by another former governor of Edo state Chief John Odigie Oyegun and later to another former governor of Edo state Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, we feel it is time to try a Senator and a competent hand at that.

“We, therefore, appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President and Speaker, former and serving governors, and all the APC leaders at all levels to support the aspiration of Senator Mohammed Sani Musa from Niger state to emerge the next national chairman of APC.

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“This we believe that governing APC will not regret. We have taken our time to investigate all the aspirants, we have listened to them on various platforms and also read about their plans for the party and therefore come to a conclusion that Senator representing Niger East is currently the best to lead an anti-corruption political party among other indices.”

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Matawalle seeks new approach against banditry

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From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Worried by the spate of deadly attacks by bandits in the country, the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Matawalle, has called for a new approach in the fight against banditry in the state.

Zamfara has been in the spotlight over the activities of bandit in the last few years.

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The governor, while addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the retreat organised for members of the Zamfara State executive council, special advisers and other relevant public office, called on them to redouble their efforts to end banditry in the state.

He said, ”We must strategise to redouble our efforts in fighting banditry and place our state on the path of an enduring development by optimally utilising the resources at our disposal. This is a clarion call for all of us to brace up to the great tasks ahead.”

He said the House of Assembly in the state will soon pass the Child Rights Act.

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”The Child Protection Bill and the Disability Bill would soon be passed by the House of Assembly and signed into law as soon as they are brought for my assent”, he said.

The governor said the decision to conduct the retreat was informed by one of the fundamental principles of his administration to continuously reposition the machinery of government in tune with the ever-changing dynamics of our time.

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”It is my expectation that, at the end of the retreat, participants will return to their respective duty posts full of fresh ideas relating to Administrative Procedures, Financial Prudence, Policy Innovations, Information Technology, Executive Council Business and Inter-Governmental Collaboration.

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”As you are aware, Zamfara State, like other states in the northwest, is confronted with a serious security problem, which has exacerbated the multiple development challenges we face. I believe that opportunities like this retreat could be used to stimulate thought and offer workable solutions to issues affecting not only the public sector but also the overall development of our state,” he said.

Also speaking at the retreat, The Head of service, Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Folasade Yemi- Esan called on Zamfara State Government to prioritise the quality of its human resource.

While stressing that it is most valuable asset in curbing banditry, Yemi-Esan saud, the Federal government through its Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP), is repositioning the service for more effective and improved service delivery.

Among other goals, she added that the plan sought to bring about culture/attitudinal change from bureaucratic red-tapism to a result-oriented, innovative and entrepreneurial public service among other objectives.

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She commended gov Matawalle, over the laudable and proactive initiative saying, it is not only in line with international best practices but a clear sign of visionary leadership in the state’s public service.

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