Kaduna Rice Farmers Want Early Loans Provision

The Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Kaduna State chapter, through the Secretary Mr Ishaya Audu, has called for the early provision of loans to its members to enhance rice production during the 2017 cropping season.

Audu said that inadequate farm inputs, implements, as well as loans, had hampered rice production in the previous seasons in the state.

“Our farmers produce at a loss due to lack of access to fertilisers, agro-chemicals, high yield seeds and tractors as well as loan facilities to boost rice production,” Audu said.

He also said that members of the association did not participate in both the 2016 Federal and State Governments Anchor Borrower Programmes as it was late for wetland rice producers.

He said RIFAN members could not produce more than three tonnes of rice in a hectare in the previous years.

“With the number of rice farmers in the state, the production will yield higher if we get access to inputs needed to commence production early in the 2017 season,” Audu said.

He, however, said that the farmers were now ready to access the loan facility under the CBN Anchor borrowers programme with 7,000 members already registered.

“The implementation of the programme began in August 2016, and that time was late for wet season farmers to engage in rice production, but now we are ready,” he said.

The RIFAN secretary appealed to governments to partner with the private sector to establish milling centres in the state to process rice.

 

Customs’ Vehicles Set Ablaze By Angry Car Dealers In Kaduna

Following a clash between officials of the Nigerian Customs Service, NCS and car dealers in Kaduna, about two NCS vehicles were set ablaze.

It was reported that the officials had gone to a car mart on Rabah Road, Kaduna North Local Government Area, at about 3p.m., to impound vehicles without import duties from car dealers, when the clash occurred. However, a swift intervention by the Kaduna State security outfit, code-named Operation Yaki, saved the situation from degenerating further. An eyewitness explained that the officials had gone to a car dealer’s showroom, identified six luxury cars that they said have no valid papers and towed four of them away. However, before they came back for the other two, the dealers had whisked them out of the

An eyewitness explained that the officials had gone to a car dealer’s showroom, identified six luxury cars that they said have no valid papers and towed four of them away. However, before they came back for the other two, the dealers had whisked them out of the mart and mobilised their members to confront the officers.

According to the witness, “the Customs officials had gone to Issa Kaita Road, to impound vehicles that have no import duties from a showroom. They succeeded in impounding six and took two away. “But when they came back for the remaining two, the car dealers mobilised and went after them. Luck ran against the Customs driver as the dealers caught up with him, dragged him down and set the patrol vehicle on fire.”

Kaduna Ends Firewood Use In Schools

Kaduna state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Andrew Nok, has said that the state government would phase out the use of firewood in its 29 boarding schools across the state.

Nok said that already contract had been awarded for the supply of cooking gas, burners, tanks, pots, boilers and other cooking equipment for distribution to the schools.

He made this known while receiving the second phase of the supplies at Queen Amina College Kaduna on Saturday.

Nok, who was represented by the ministry’s Director of Higher Education, Mr John Gorah, said that using gas was cheaper, more hygienic, healthy and safe with minimal health risk compared with firewood.

“Using gas ensures clean environment, clean kitchen, clean cooking equipment, clean food and, of course, clean and healthy cooks.

“This is the second phase of the supplies. We have received the first consignment some time ago, and remaining the third phase which would be in two to three months’ time.

“So in the next two to three months, all boarding schools in the state would not be using firewood to cook. They would be using gas, which is cheaper and healthier,” the commissioner said.

On his part, the contractor, Mr Maiwada Buhari, assured the state government that the third phase of the supplies would be ready in three months.

Buhari said that the delay was because the equipment was coming from the United States and Turkey.

Queen Amina Vice Principal Academy, Malam Abdulsalam Abubakar, thanked the state government for the efforts, saying it would ensure hygienic food and healthy environment.

Abubakar told our reports that the new cooking system would boost the morale of the cooks who are mostly aged women and improve the quality of feeding of students.

Nigerian Army Declares War against Bandits in Southern Kaduna

Nigerian Army Wednesday launched an operation  tagged: ‘Operation Harbin  Kunama II’ to tackle the menace of herdsmen in the southern part of Kaduna State.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the past five years by herdsmen while property estimated at billions of naira were destroyed.

The federal government, had in December last year, deployed troops and the police to the area to stop the mayhem, but the killings have continued with the recent one that claimed 12 lives in Asso village last Saturday.

Speaking at the event which held in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jama’a Local Government Area, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS)  Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said there would no longer be any hiding place for armed bandits in the state.

Buratai said the aim of the exercise is to ensure that southern Kaduna area is kept safe.

“I know it has been in the press and it has generated a lot of interest. But we are determined to shoulder the major responsibility of keeping the peace always and it is better to do this job than to leave it until it goes out of hand. God forbid,” he said.

According to him, the exercise is a remarkable experience to  the one that  took place last year, adding that “I have seen confidence in all the officials that have briefed  us and I have seen improvements in their understanding of the environment.”

He said the army would continue to coordinate its activities to ensure that communities understand each other so as to provide the needed security and the right atmosphere for economic and social activities to thrive.

Also speaking, the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, said he was delighted by the effort of the Chief of Army Staff to launch the operation.

“This operation is very important because this problem in Southern Kaduna has attracted high levels of attention not just because of the gravity of the situation here, I think there are more serious crisis in other parts of the country, but this one has been given religious and ethnic coloration,” he said.

He expressed confidence that with the operation,  the bandits that have been attacking farmers will finally be neutralized so that farming activities will resume as the rains approach.

El-Rufai said the state government adopted a three-step plan to end the crisis.

“The first step is what you are seeing today, to stabilise the place by ensuring that the presence of security to protect lives and property and then to target areas of hideouts for the bandits and flush them out.  Our hope is that, with the completion of these operations, we will relax the curfew.

“The second step which we have started concurrently is to arrest perpetrators of these crimes, whether it is those that write hate speech or go to churches and mosques and encourage others to kill or supply arms to young people and drug them so that they can kill, we have been monitoring them and we will be arresting and prosecuting them.

“This is what has been missing in this part of the state in the last 37 years, people have gotten away with murder and that has inculcated a culture of impunity, by God’s grace we are going to change that because some people would be prosecuted for what is happening here.

“Everyone one that we lay our hands on would be brought before a judge,” the governor said.

El-Rufai’s Peace Moves Receives Huge Backing

The Secretary General,Anglican Communion Worldwide, and founder of Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations, Most Rev. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, at the weekend, supported Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s efforts to end violent conflict in  Kaduna State .

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Diploma and Certificate students of the Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations, held in Kaduna,Archbishop Idowu-Fearon,called on Christians and Muslims to join hands with the Governor El-Rufai’s administration to solve the security challenges in the state.

Archbishop, Idowu-Fearon,who came from United Kingdom, said:”We are all losing in Kaduna State because the governor is now spending huge money to solve the security issues in the state. The money he suppose to use to develop the state”

“There are good things happening in Kaduna State too. I have a passion and I am committed to the administration of Governor Nasir El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari for them to succeed. We have not seen anything yet except there will be a paradigm shift and I am happy governor El-Rufai is doing that to end the Kaduna crisis. All Christians and Muslims should come together and join hands with Governor Nasir El-Rufai to bring peace in the state ” the archbishop maintained.

On his part,Kaduna State Governor,Mallam Nasir El-Rufai,called on Muslims and Christians to come together and declare never again to violence and bigotry saying thousands of people have unjustly died in last 37 years in the state.

El-Rufai,said his administration  will never watch violence entrepreneurs who are enemies of humanity promote conflict and walk around free.

The governor noted that, government is vigorously investigating and prosecuting purveyors of hatred and conflict and will not relent until peace and justice replace division and hatred in Kaduna.

According to El-Rufai, his administration commitment to upholding the equality of all persons before the law, and  promoting of peace, harmony above the strife that has hobbled the state is not negotiable.

His words:”Our state has borne too much suffering. Over the course of the last 37 years, thousands of people have died in outbreaks of violence across the state. Let us say enough is enough, mourn all our people who have died, comfort those who have suffered and, in their memory, say never again to violence, never again to bigotry.

Our message to conflict entrepreneurs is that we will not allow anyone to entrench the narrative of hate and the attitude of belligerence and vengeance, when what our people need is peace, harmony and security”

“Religion should  therefore not be used as a platform to negotiate special privileges, either for the leaders of faiths and sects, or their followers, whether those be skewed access to public goods or contracts, or compliance with the laws of Kaduna State”

El-rufai added that:” Neither should leaders of faith claim an unfettered right to spread falsehood and feed the flock with hatred, and incite them to view others as unfit to share this planet with them. The responsibility of all persons of faith is so immense,  including the obligation to uphold truth, and to promote ethical conduct and respect for others”

Anybody that wishes to be magisterial, to issue statements laden with certainty to their followers must first ensure that what they are saying is not only factual but does not violate our laws. Across the world, the hateful use of religion has created too many disasters”

The rights of the citizen are clearly outlined in the Constitution, and they apply equally to all persons. We need to cure people of the dangerous illusion that they can use religion to acquire preferment for themselves while derogating from the rights of those of other faiths”

One feature that seems common to our diverse state is that our people claim to be very religious. Yet that devotion to religion has more often been reflected in strife, bitter division and murderous violence as if people of faith are oblivious to the fact that none of us can be wiser than the Almighty who created humanity in different colours, shapes and sizes, and with many tongues and creeds”

“Can we truly proclaim to love God when we so severely despise his other creations who worship differently from us? This government believes that religion should be a private matter.

On our part, we will never as the State Government watch these enemies of humanity promote conflict and let them walk around free.My message to all of the graduating students today is that you should use your knowledge to advance peace and harmony. Let us all resolve to strengthen a constituency of religious people that is strongly committed to upholding the rights of every citizen, celebrating our diversity and upholding peace and harmony in our dear state” the governor said.

Also speaking, chairman Kaduna Centre for the Study of Christian Muslim Relations, Most Rev.Josiah Idowu-Fearon, commended Governor El-Rufai,for his steps taken to address the reoccurring crisis in the state.

In his goodwill message, His eminence Cardinal John Onaiyekan, urged Christians and Muslims to continue to preach and practice peace:” The challenge facing Kaduna State and the north is also facing the country as a whole. We must build bridges not war. I have no  regret to the efforts I made for peace”

Chaos In Kaduna As Igbo Trader Names Dog Muhammed

An Igbo trader in Kaduna who named his dog Muhammed, today caused a steer in the Panteka market along the Nnamdi Azikwe bypass in the state capital.

Report reaching Osun Defender reveals the police has restored peace and order in the area.

A witness, Aminu Ibrahim, said trouble started when one Muhammad bought a dog and allegedly named it Ibere after an Igbo trader.

“Since the boy named the dog after the trader, the trader had warned him on several occasions to rename the dog,  but the owner of the dog Muhammad refused.  The Igbo trader, Ibere also bought a dog and named it Muhammad, this is when all hell was let loose,” the witness said.

It was said that the fight which broke out between the Hausa and Igbo traders led the Police to close the market.

The police spokesperson was not available for comments at the time of filing this report as he did not pick calls put across to his phone.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo In Kaduna State On A Working Visit.

Ag. President Osinbajo, is currently visiting the Kaduna Airport to see the level of preparedness ahead of the closure of the Abuja International Airport next week. He inspected the airport which is to serve as an alternative to the Abuja airport for 6 weeks from the 8th of march.

Ag President after the inspection had a meeting with the community and religious leaders in S’Kaduna over the recent happenings in the region. He also listened to submissions by representatives of various groups from S’Kaduna.

More details later…

Curfew Imposed On Southern Kaduna As Violence Continues

The curfew was imposed by the state Security Council in Jema’a and Kaura local government areas and it is with immediate effect.

Nasir El-Rufai’s government imposed the curfew on the two local government areas of the state
Premium Times reports that while the attack on in Jema’a was repelled by security officials, 14 people were killed while many others were injured Ashim village, Takad chiefdom of Kaura local government area.

The report said a statement by Samuel Aruwan, the spokesperson to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, said the curfew was imposed on the area to protect lives of the people and avoid further breakdown of law.

Kaduna Refinery Loses N2bn To Illegal Tappers Anually

The Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited (KRPC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), loses an average of N2.2 billion annually to illegal tapping of its raw water pipeline that runs from Kaduna River.

The Water generates power for the running of the refinery, serves as coolants for its equipment and is also deployed to combating fire outbreaks.

Sequel to the series of tapping, the refinery now spends more on diesel and other material inputs in the maintenance of its generators and other equipment.

KRPC Managing Director, Malam Idi Mukhtar said in Kaduna, that the consumption of raw water from the tapped pipes by settlers who encroach KRPC premises was an unnecessary additional burden to the refinery industrial requirements, which must be resolved urgently by relevant state government agencies.

Other form of the losses due to the act of illegal tapping of the refinery raw water pipeline is that it slows down the build-up rate of water in the reserve tanks which endangers the refinery, as the plant is expected to maintain a minimum level of water requirement that is considered safe for operations, the Managing Director explained.

The illegal acts are committed mostly in Janruwa, Kamazo, Namaigero and Mahuta areas of Kaduna metropolis, which are the communities along the raw water intake pipeline Right of Way.

Mukhtar said that “We require a particular amount of water sufficient enough to generate steam and other industrial consumption needs, but because of the incidents of illegal tapping of our water pipeline, we need to put more effort to meet our industrial requirements as well as satisfy appetite of illegal tappers.”

Malam Mukhtar said he was pleased that the Kaduna State Government had promised to look into the issue with a view to finding a lasting solution to the challenge.

He explained that Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Authority (KASUPDA) and Kaduna State Water Board had been contacted to address the issues of land encroachment on KRPC Right of Way.

The Chief Executive advised illegal tappers of the refinery’s raw water pipeline to desist from the act, warning that the raw water was not fit for human consumption because it was untreated.

KRPC’s Executive Director Operations, Alhaji Shehu Malami, who also spoke on the menace of illegal raw water tappers of KRPC pipelines, expressed the fear that if the challenge was not attended to urgently, a time would come when the plant would not be able to run some of its critical units.

Alhaji Malami said that the refinery was currently operating at 65 per cent capacity, producing 1.7 million litres of petrol, 1.7 million litres of diesel and 700, 000 litres of kerosene, daily.

“The daily rate of loading is massive, even on Sundays products are being loaded to meet the growing demands in the Country,” Malami stated.

Shedding more light on the issue of encroachment, the Executive Director Services, Mallam Abdullahi Idris, said the encroachment on KRPC’s land would not affect the NNPC’s plan of co-location of refineries.

Mallam Abdullahi said the refinery had carried out a lot of community projects such as youth empowerment programmes, electrification of some communities, provision of hospitals, drugs, toilets, classrooms and furniture, to ensure KRPC operate smoothly.

Corroborating Mallam Abdullahi’s claim, the District Head of Kamazu, one of the KRPC’s host communities, Malam Auta Makama stated that he was a direct beneficiary of KRPC’s Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR, interventions.

He affirmed that the KRPC has provided boreholes, electricity, schools, hospitals as well as empowered the youth through Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (YESAP) in his community and others.

He called on his wards to desist from any act of land encroachment and illegal tapping of raw water intake for KRPC.

The traditional head said there was no need to tamper with the KRPC’s raw water pipeline since the refinery has provided numerous boreholes as an alternative for the communities.

Credit: Today.ng

El-Rufai Orders FRSC Off Kaduna Streets

The Federal road safety commission has been barred by the Kaduna state government from erecting a check point in kaduna and other urban centers of the state.

frsc-officials..-290x195

Nasiru El’Rufia the special assistant to the governor on media and publicity and Mr Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday said in a statement that decisions has been taken concerning the complain of the general public in a meeting held by the state security council,about the road marshals.

He said, “The council acted following complaints that FRSC officials were acting in ways reminiscent of the VIO that was dissolved by the state government following widespread unease at their acts of disrespect for the public and penchant for extortion.”

The government stressed that the FRSC personnel have been barred “from indiscriminately stopping vehicles for inspection in Kaduna town, a situation which has been responsible for avoidable traffic congestion and accidents.”

The government further directed the FRSC officials to, henceforth, concentrate their activities “in ensuring safe travel on highways such as the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.”

It also barred petrol tankers from loading firewood, tomatoes and other goods on top of their vehicles throughout the state, because of the danger the practice pose to lives and property.

It said, “The Security Council, therefore, mandated security agencies to ensure compliance with these directives, and relevant agencies were also directed to impound defaulting tankers.”

The meeting of the security council was chaired by the governor, and had in attendance his Deputy, Mr Barnabas Bala, and heads of military and paramilitary agencies in the state.

(NAN)

 

 

KADUNA KILLINGS: Buhari’s Official Silence is Official Endorsement – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the silence of President Muhammadu Buhari on the ongoing killings in Southern Kaduna by herdsmen as giving official endorsement to dastardly acts to eliminate Christians in the state.
CAN National General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Musa Asake on behalf of CAN President, Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle stated this on Friday in Abuja where he declared Jan 8, 2017 national day for mourning in solidarity with Southern Kaduna people.
He enjoined Christians to have all celebrations/merriments associated with the New Year to be done low key in solidarity with “our brethren in southern Kaduna who had lost their lives and who have been denied the privilege of celebrating the yuletide.
“While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for waging war against Boko Haram fundamentalists since his Assumption of office, his silence over the on-going genocide in the last few weeks speaks volume over the perceived official endorsement of the dastardly and ungodly acts.
“The recent defense of the President’s silence that the President has received briefing from the governor of Kaduna State over the matter is unacceptable, because the Presidency knows that the people of the affected area had already protested against the governor’s unacceptable biased handling of the continuous killings.
“Common sense tells anyone that at that instance, the President has to more directly wade in because lives are involved. The continuous killings have shown that the Governor of Kaduna State lacks the will power to arrest the situation and bring it under effective control.
“We know that southern Kaduna has been under 24-hour curfew daily as directed by the governor,yet the enemies of the people are still prowling going from house to house killing defenseless people without government protection.
“CAN has previously drawn attention to the imbalance in the appointments made in our security Institutions, hence we re-emphasize that leadership/ management of security institutions both at the national and state levels be reviewed to ensure a balance of Muslim and Christian Representation. Such balance, will build trust and confidence among all citizens of Nigeria in the Security empowered to protect our nation,” he stated.
Continuing, Asake said: “The current unprecedented onslaught against Christians in southern Kaduna by the Islamic fundamentalists disguising as the Fulani herdsmen under the watch of Kaduna state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari
has reached an alarming stage.
“In view of the present predicament, the President of CAN has directed that Sunday January 8 2017, should be declared national day of mourning by Christians including those in Diaspora. We are to pray fervently for our southern Kaduna brothers and sisters who are victims of these wanton killings and also for the peace of our dear country Nigeria.
“Therefore, all Christians are to dress in mourning attire of black clothes or dresses in all our church services on January 8, 2017.”
He accused security agencies of complicity in the genocide being perpetrated against Christians in the state.
“The security operatives in the area appear to be turning blind eyes to the killings. They only rush to trouble spots after the perpetrators of the evils had performed their enterprise of killings and destruction of houses and farmlands.
“We implore the state and federal government to increase their efforts in putting an end to these killings and as well ensure that those behind the killings are brought to book under the laws of our land and those affected to be compensated,” he said.