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.

Defend Yourselves, Dokubo-Asari tells Southern Kaduna Victims

Leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, called on all minorities to support the people of Southern Kaduna.

In a statement released on Friday by Rex Anighoro, his spokesman, Dokubo condemned the killing of Christians by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Southern Kaduna and called on the people to defend themselves and “balance the terror foisted on them”.

He said, “The Muhammadu Buhari and El Rufai-enabled ongoing genocide in Southern Kaduna is a supremacist and neo-colonialist conquest on the minorities of Northern Nigeria and by extension on all minorities in Nigeria.

“Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and the Niger Delta People Salvation Front cum Niger Delta People Volunteer Force call all people of Southern Kaduna to defend themselves and balance the terror foisted on them by Buhari and El Rufai’s agents.

“We call on all minorities in the North and across the Nigerian union to mobilise support for the people of Southern Kaduna earmarked for extermination by the Gambari and Futa Jallon expansionists.

“Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and the Niger Delta People Salvation Front cum Niger Delta People Volunteer Force stand with the people of Southern Kaduna.”

Residents Thumb Down Kaduna’s 2016 Budget

Residents have rated Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i very low in the implementation of Kaduna State 2016 budget, the News Agency of Nigeria [NAN] reports.

The residents, in separate interviews said the budget did not create the desired impact, particularly on the common man.

They particularly said that insecurity, lack of access to agricultural inputs by farmers and poor health services have continued to impact negatively on the lives of the people.

Rev. Sunday Ibrahim, the Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna State Chapter, said in spite of the huge budget, people were dying of hunger due to inability to afford two square meals a day.

He added that the protracted insecurity in the state had scared people from their farms to avoid attack or kidnap.

According to him, a budget only makes sense when the poor have shelter, engage in economic generating ventures, have food on their table, can send their children to school, and move about freely without fear.

“This was not the case in Kaduna State in spite of the huge budget for 2016. ”

The scribe advised that whatever went wrong in the course of the budget implementation should be corrected in 2017.

Dr Auwal Aliyu, a politician, said there was a long time frame between the signing into law of the budget and its implementation.

According to him, the implementation process stated four months ago, adding that most infrastructure projects such as the township and intercity roads are ongoing.

Aliyu noted that most of the projects being undertaken by the government were between 20 to 30 per cent in execution level.

“If you ask the contractors why work is not moving since it is expected to have a time frame, they will tell you money is the problem, that they have not been paid for the jobs done.

“So you now ask yourself what happened to the money appropriated for this particular job, where has the money gone, why is the job not going according to plan.”

He also noted that various projects on schools renovation and equipping, as well as hospitals construction have suffered the same fate.

According to him, there has been no effectiveness and efficiency in the implementation of the budget.

Aliyu however gave the administration a pass mark in the area of security, noting that a lot has been done to address the issue.

“In the Birnin Gwari axis you have the cattle restlers and there is a proactive approach by joint task force from border states to tackle the issue.

“But in southern Kaduna, what is happening right now and considering what the two senators from the state are saying, the government is not being proactive.

“People still have very high expectations considering the way the government came in and who the governor is.

“People were expecting large infrastructure development and people are expecting Kaduna to be celebrated in terns of development, but it is not so.

“I will say that the government need to be very very proactive, they need to do more; so far i think people are not really impressed with the performance.”

A resident, Malam Jibril Junaidu, however gave the administration pass mark, saying it had embarked on series of projects especially township roads.

“If you look at the education sector this year, alot of contracts have been awarded for renovation, I think there are alot of development and it is appreciable.”
Junaidu said the administration needed to do more in the area of security, adding “we are not yet completely rid of the issues of security especially if you look at Birnin Gwari and Sourthern Kaduna axis”.
He also appreciated efforts made so far to complete the Zaria water project.

Mr Daniel Jamu, Chairman Cassava Farmers Association, expressed dismay that no palliative was given to farmers by the government during the year.

“We heard in the news that governments was going to give palliative to farmers this year, but throughout 2016 nothing was done, to the best on my knowledge, in this 2016 budget, nothing has been done.”

Jamu also complained that most farmers did not receive any fertilizer from government during the year.

“Fertiliser was not given to farmers and there was no subsidy, no loan given to anybody this year. No farmer is happy,” he claimed.

Jacob Dickson, a civil servant, also said the budget implementation was poor and had resulted in a lot of challenges.

“In agriculture I can say it is bad, because fertilizer scaled twice the price and it affected the price of crops like maize which have been harvested now but is still sold in the market at a higher price.

“The government should do something for the masses because people barely eat one square meal a day.”

He added that there is a mix achievement in security as the government was able to tackle cattle rustlers and kidnapping, but still has challenges in containing attacks in southern Kaduna.

Kabir Musa, a health worker said more needed to be done in the health sector especially in terms of provision of skilled personnel.

” I can say we have a mix achievement in the health sector but more needed to be done.

” The government came up with a good idea of the Kidney dialysis to subsidize for its citizens, but it is not effective.”

He also said the government needed to revisit the free treatment for pregnant women to reduce maternal mortality.

“In the health sector we have been giving free treatment to pregnant women, but it has stopped and I plead that the government should actively commit itself to raise life of citizens to enjoy quality health services.

” They should also train skilled traditional birth attendants since not all people in the rural areas have access to antenatal care, and also make pregnancy safer for women.

” The establishment of the PHCs which they have been shouting since they came to power should be considered, for proper health care delivery.”

Musa also advised the government to partner non governmental organisations offering free family planning and child spacing services.

” I want the government to also concentrate on child spacing, because this will reduce maternal and child mortality to the barest minimum.”

Mrs Amina Ladan, a business woman said the implementation of the budget is effective in road construction only.

“We can give the government kudos in road construction but even at that, they are limited to certain areas, not all places.”

She lamented that the intervention in the education sector had been stalled, including the school feeding programme which was abandoned barely three months after its introduction.

Some artisans also scored the implementation of the budget low, saying the challenges of poor water and power supply has not abated.

Amos Gambo, a dry cleaner, said water availability will greatly reduce the expenditure they incur in the course of running the business.

“We spend huge on water every month, governments should provide residents with water and power,” Gambo said.

Kelechi Uche, a welder, also complained of very low electricity supply, saying “70 percent of the problems of the country will be a thing of the past when power is provided”.

Samuel David, a barber, said he had to adjust prices charged customers due to epileptic power supply.

“Due to epileptic power supply prices have to be reviewed and customers lament anytime there is a change in price”.

Victor Anibe, a businessman, said the slow pace of implementation of the budget had affected business activities in the state.

“Everything have become worse since this regime assumed office, I urge them to do something very soon.”

On his part, Abubakar Lawal, a nail cutter, said he had not felt the impact of the budget in any way.

“As far as I am concerned, the 2016 budget has not made any positive impact on my life, because nothing has changed about me.

“I am still the way I am; still struggling to feed my family with no help in sight, in fact, life has become more difficult, particularly for us at the bottom of the ladder.”

He said that before now, he was making “N3000 in two days and use the remaining days of the week to do other things, but now, I hardly make up to N2,000 in a week.”

Yakubu Abdulkarim, a student of the Kaduna State University, contended that the budget had not translated to anything “significantly better for the generality of the people.”

Meanwhile, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Muhammad Abdullahi told NAN that the government has implemented 50 per cent of the 2016 budget as at October.

NAN reports that the 2016 budget was N171.7 billion, comprising N109.3billion, representing 64 per cent as capital and N62.4 billion, representing 36 per cent as recurrent expenditure.

Abdullahi said so far, over N70 billion had been spent on salaries, pensions, overheads and capital.

He said that the focus was more on capital expenditure with a target of achieving 60 per cent implementation, adding that as at October, the government has achieved 32 per cent implementation level.

“As at October, we had done 50 per cent implementation of the 2016 budget.

“What we are more interested in though, is the capital budget implementation which was 32 per cent as at October.“We are hoping it will be up to 60 per cent, as we have a lot of outstanding payments we have been making since last month.

“I am confident that once we are done working on the numbers it will be up to 60 per cent, “the commissioner said.

No One Can Suspend Me From APC – Shehu Sani

The senator representing Kaduna central, Shehu Sani, has once again affirmed that no one can suspend him from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The Kaduna state chapter of the APC had axed the controversial senator following his fallout with the state governor, Nasir el-Rufai.

Speaking with state house correspondents in Abuja on Friday, Sani described his suspension as a ruse, stating that he remains a member of the party.

“I cannot be suspended. I am unsuspendable (sic), if there is any word like that. I remain a member of my party, If you simply feel uncomfortable with my words all you can do is to simply put some cotton on your ears so that it can block it,” he said.

“And if you are not comfortable with seeing me physically, you simply need to use sunglasses but in every sense you can’t hide behind attempts to silence Shehu Sani. In fact, I have been so suspended up to about 20 times that my car doesn’t need any suspenders right now, each time they call it’s about to suspend.”

Speaking of his strained relationship with el-Rufai, he said: “Well it’s a normal thing. You can be Siamese twins and then you may engage in combat, you can also be twins and then engage yourselves in disagreement and you can also be from the same house or family or same room but still disagree with each other.”

“I think it’s a normal thing in a democracy to disagree.”

“Well, it is foolish for anybody to start talking about 2019 when we are just less than two years into this tenure. What is most important to each and every one of us is to deliver on the mandate for which we have been elected whether you are a governor, senator, a member of house of representative, in whatever capacity,” he said.

“But in the course of it, it is also normal that missiles will strike from here and there, it is normal in a democracy.”