Higher Institutions Begin Indefinite Strike In Nasarawa

The Joint Union of Tertiary Institutions (JUTI), Nasarawa State Chapter, on Friday, embarked on an indefinite strike following the state government’s failure to meet their demands on welfare issues.

The Chairman, Mr Samuel Bashayi made this disclosure in a statement in Lafia.

Bashayi, who is also the Chairman of the College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Akwanga Chapter, said the institutions involved in the strike are: College of Education Akwanga (COEA), College of Agriculture Lafia and Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia.

He said that the decision to embark on the strike was taken at the union’s state executive council meeting held at the state polytechnic, Lafia on Thursday.

“The strike followed the insensitivity of the state government to the plights of the affected institutions.

“The government has also failed to actively address the issues raised in the agreement reached between the union and the government,“ he said.

Bashayi added that in spite of repeated notices served on the government nothing was done to address our demands, hence the need to deploy the only option left to the union.

He said that the strike was aimed at pressing home the union`s demands on the issues of workers promotion, annual increment, arrears, among other.

“We will go ahead with the strike since the government had refused to implement all outstanding promotions of workers in spite of the ultimatum.

“The union had given the state government enough time to put everything in proper perspective, but yet the government is playing politics with the issue,” he said.

He directed all workers to remain at home from Friday to await positive response from the state government.

When News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) went round all the three affected institutions, it was observed that they were all deserted as offices were locked.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the union had on January 15 given the state government two months ultimatum.

 

Police Officer Found Dead In Nasarawa

One police officer was on Tuesday morning found dead in Adudu community of Obi Local Government Area of Nasarawa state.

The policeman whose name is still unknown was reportedly killed by some hoodlums.

Nasarawa Police Public Relations Officer, Idrissu Kennedy confirmed the news of the death to Channels Television.

According to him, the police officer is part of the police team mobilised to restore calm in the Southern area of the state. Residents of some communities in the area are currently on flee, leaving their homes due to killings and attacks by armed men suspected to be herdsmen.

Kennedy said the police officer was shot while he alongside his colleagues were trying to repel attacks by hoodlums who were attempting to burn deserted houses in the area.

He further revealed that investigations are on to nab perpetrators.

Security challenges confronting the nation has not spared anyone including civilians and security officers who victims of various attacks across the country. One of the remaining two policemen declared missing in Benue State was found dead on Monday, February 12.

Two personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) were also killed by suspected herdsmen in a village in Benue State. The officials were killed in Awange village of Kasseyo Ward in Guma Local Government Area of the state.

 

President’s Visit: Police Deploys Over 4,000 Personnel In Nasarawa State

The Police Command in Nasarawa State has revealed that it has deployed over 4,000 officers and men to ensure a hitch-free visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to the state today, Tuesday, February 6.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Bello Ahmed told newsmen in Lafia that the command had put up a robust security arrangement with sister agencies to ensure a successful presidential visit.
He said about 3,000 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies would be working in synergy with the Police.
Ahmed said that security personnel would be positioned in strategic locations, adding that there would be road diversions along the route where the President would inaugurate some projects.
“I appeal to members of the public to be law abiding as they come out massively to welcome the President to the state.
“I also urge you to cooperate with the security agencies as they discharge their duties,” Ahmed said.
During the visit, President Buhari is expected to inaugurate some projects embarked upon by the state government, which include the Comprehensive Special School for the Physically Challenged, and headquarters of the State Fire Service, both in Lafia, the state capital.
Other projects billed for inauguration are: Comprehensive Primary Healthcare Centre in Kwandere near Lafia, Muhammadu Buhari International Market, Karu, and the flag-off of construction of cargo airport in Lafia. (NAN )

Scores Of Cattles Slaughtered In Alleged Revenge Move By Farmers

At least Seventy three cows were killed while 18 more were injured in an early morning attack on Yamadaga village, Kadarko community in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

According to reports the suspected cattle rustlers invaded Kadarko community around 4:00am on Sunday shooting into the air. They were reported to have kidnapped two persons, chasing other cows into the bush in the process. The victims of the attack who were mostly herdsmen claimed that the masterminds of the attack were Tiv farmers and that it was a reprisal attack.

Ahmed Abdullahi one of the cow owners said the rustlers unleashed mayhem when the villagers were asleep. “I was sleeping and then I heard bullet sound everywhere, I didn’t see anybody but they killed my 73 cows, some of them were dispersed into the bush and I haven’t seen two of my children,” he said.

A chief in the village, Ardo of Yamadaga, Husseini Adamu, said the attackers were numbering close to 1,000 and they struck welding various dangerous weapons. “In the morning around 6:00 am, our children saw some Tiv people numbering up to 1,000 holding sophisticated weapons. They killed some cattle, went away with many. They even took motorcycles. Before I came, the place was already in chaos and we realised that at a spot they have killed 73 cows excluding the ones that they carted away with and also they went with two of our children,” he said.

Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Bello, confirmed the report of the attack to Channels Television. He said investigations are on to unravel the identity of the attackers.

 

Benue, Nasarawa Govs Disagree On Killer Herdsmen’s Location

The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his Nasarawa State counterpart, Tanko Al-Makura, have disagreed on the location of the Fulani herdsmen, who attacked several Benue State communities last week, killing no fewer than 71 residents.

While Ortom alleged that the marauding herdsmen launched their attacks from their Nasarawa base, Al-Makura faulted the Benue State governor’s assertion, asking Ortom the source of his allegation.

Ortom spoke with State House correspondents after a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday.

The Benue State governor said he would support any move, including military option that could put an end to the killings being witnessed in the state.

He however said he would not support the Federal Government’s plan to establish cattle colonies until he understood the concept.

The meeting, which was the first between the two leaders since violence broke out in the state on January 1, afforded the governor the opportunity of briefing Buhari about the security development.

He said although he had briefed the President on the telephone immediately the incident took place, he felt there was the need for him to meet Buhari personally after he had succeeded in restoring normalcy to a level.

When asked for his position on the suggestion that full blown military operation be applied in his state, the governor said, “Anything that can stop the killings of my people, I will go for it. I support it.

“Any policy or any directive, anything that will help stop the killing of these innocent people who are not armed, I will support it because this cannot continue.”

The governor explained that the law on prohibition of open grazing and establishment of ranching was made out of the need to ensure that there was a peaceful coexistence among herdsmen and farmers.

Ortom said he did not understand the concept of the cattle colonies being proposed by the Federal Government.

He added, “I am waiting to be briefed about what colonies means. I don’t understand it.

“Like I keep saying, for us the way forward is ranching and until this time I am talking to you, the way forward is ranching because it is a global best practice.

“It is not just being practised in other parts of the world, on African soil in Swaziland, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, almost all African countries that rear cattle, they ranch. So, why can’t we do the same thing here?

“‘For the colony thing, I don’t know what colony is.”

The governor said the state had been witnessing peace since the implementation of the law started up until the militias from the Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore came and attacked the people.

He further claimed that the attackers and their location were known.

The governor disclosed that the attackers were camped in Tongua in the Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, from where they launched their attacks.

He said the gunmen still succeeded in killing two riot policemen on Monday while one other was injured in another attempt to attack the people in the Logo LGA.

The governor stated, “It (the situation) is taking a different dimension. Just yesterday (Monday) in the Logo Local Government, mobile policemen that were deployed in Logo to keep vigil to protect the people and the land, these militia came, exchanged fire with them, caught two of them and slaughtered them like goats.

“They shot another one, inflicted machete cuts on him and left him in the pool of his blood but luckily, he did not die. We have taken him to the hospital, we are treating him, the other one that was declared missing was found today (Tuesday).

“So, when it gets to the level of militia killing security men who are armed and are trained to protect lives and property, is it not taking a dangerous dimension? Who is now safe?”

He said he had been writing to the leadership of the nation’s security agencies since June 2017 on the need to arrest the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, who he described as threats to the state’s collective interest.

Ortom attributed the killings to the failure of the security agencies.

He insisted that the leaders of MAKH must be arrested and prosecuted because his government could allow impunity to continue to thrive.

On the claim by the Chairman of the Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Benue State chapter, Garos Gololo, that the killings were in retaliation for the theft of 1,000 cows by some people in the state, Ortom said, “You know that man is a liar. Gololo is a liar, he is a wanted man in Benue State; we don’t even know where he is. He stays somewhere and makes allegations.

“The other time, he said 1,000 cattle drowned and that the herdsman decided to commit suicide by jumping to the river. He has not come out to justify what he said.”

But Al-Madura described Ortom’s statement that those who attacked his state were camped in Tango, Awe LGA of Nasarawa State, as unfortunate.

Al-Makura, while speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, said it was unfortunate that Ortom could make such a weighty allegation at a time his government was supporting him to tackle the security challenge in his state.

He explained that the town that Ortom claimed was serving as a base for the attackers was currently occupied by Internally Displaced Persons.

The governor said, “I am really taken back. This statement is most unfortunate. I will like to use this opportunity to say that there is nothing like that whatsoever.

“If anything, the Tonga that the governor is talking about in the Awe LGA is now the safe haven for displaced persons. As I speak with you today, there are more than three IDP camps in the Awe local government that cater to the number of people that have migrated from Benue to Nasarawa.

“To be specific, there are more than 7,000 people that are camped in Tonga. So, it is very ironical that a place that is supposed to be an area that has become a safe haven for IDPs can now be called militias’ camp.

“In that case, the militia do not need to go as far as Benue. They have the prey within the vicinity of Tonga to attack. I think this is most unfortunate.

“With the efforts we, as a state, are making and collaborating and supporting the governor to find ways and means of solving this problem, that Nasarawa State can be identified as an area where some of these militants are coming from, is unfortunate.”

Al-Makura recalled that he and six other governors met the nation’s service chiefs and some ministers for over seven hours on Monday on how to solve the problem.

He expressed surprise that Ortom did not find it worthy to approach him and tell him of such finding.

“He could not approach me and give me an idea if there is anything that he saw or he is worried about.

“Besides, from all the discussions we had yesterday, there was no concrete security report stigmatising any part of Nasarawa State as harbouring people that are coming to attack Benue.

“I feel what should be of concern to us as leaders is the plight of the people and any such statement that is inflammatory is likely going to cause more confusion than what is already there,” he added.

The Nasarawa State governor attributed the violence in Benue State to the implementation of the state’s anti-grazing law.

He added, “As it is, it is the implementation of the anti-grazing law in Benue caused the problem and now Nasarawa State is being infected by the problem. Notwithstanding that, we are being our brothers’ keepers and good neighbours.

“I had to cut short my vacation and come to find ways of helping my colleague. We have called all our security agencies to meet to find ways and means of helping Benue.”

Source: PUNCH

Nasarawa Govt. To Deploy Security Operatives To Schools

Nasarawa State Government would soon provide security in more than 400 public schools to protect students, teachers, and facilities from hoodlums.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Tijjani Ahmed, said.

Ahmed made this known in an interview in Lafia on Tuesday.

According to him, the government is taking proactive measures to safeguard schools in view of rising rate of kidnapping going on in other states of the federation.

He said conventional security agencies would complement the efforts of members of Nasarawa State Youths Employment Scheme ( NAYAS ) that would be deployed to public primary and secondary schools.

He added that “NAYAS officials would be deployed to over 400 public secondary schools and primary schools in the state.

“The state government believes that the combined efforts of security provided by Parent Teachers Association( PTA), the conventional security agencies and NAYAS should be able to properly secure our schools.”

Ahmed disclosed that the state Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, had already approved the erection of parameter fencing in all public schools.

He further said that more than 3,000 chairs would be distributed to public schools apart from 7,000 mattresses and 3,500 beds worth N222 million that would go to 28 boarding schools in the state.

The commissioner added that the government would soon distribute registers, the scheme of work, dossiers, and other instructional materials to schools.

He explained that government had evolved machinery to ensure effective supervision of teachers and school heads to ensure a high standard in the education sector, attributing the failing standard of education in the state to the lack of supervision.

He said “all area offices are directed to go round schools unannounced to put everybody on his or her toes.

“Defaulting staff members would be duly sanctioned in line with civil service rules and regulations.”

Nasarawa Police Arrest Suspected Stolen Property Buyers’

The Police Force zone in Nasarawa State has arrested nine persons for allegedly buying stolen property from suspected vandals.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, DSP Kennedy Idirisu, told newsmen on Wednesday in Lafia that the arrest followed complaint from the State Government on the increasing rate of vandalism on public installations.

Idirisu said that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Abubakar Sadiq-Bello, had given a marching order due to the incessant cases of street light vandalism in the state capital, which led to the arrest of the suspects.

He said some of the suspects were apprehended with the stolen components of the streetlights and were already giving useful information to the police.

The PPRO said investigation was ongoing to ascertain the level of involvement of each of the suspects, adding that those found culpable would be prosecuted accordingly.

He said items recovered from the suspects include: Nine solar powered batteries, a solar power panel and cable.

Idirisu urged the public to report suspicious movement of persons in their neighbourhood to the security agencies for prompt action.

He assured members of the public that the Police Command in the state would not relent in its fight against criminal elements.

Deforestation: Nasarawa Govt Engages 1,500 Youth

Nasarawa State Government has engaged more than 1,500 youths to guard against illegal felling of trees and other activities that can deplete the state’s forest resources, Mr Gabriel Aka’aka, the Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, announced.

The commissioner made the announcement at a news conference in Lafia on Wednesday.

Aka’aka said the move was part of the state government’s effort toward implementing World Bank-assisted programme on Reducing Emission Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) in the state.

He explained that REDD+ programme was aimed at reducing greenhouse emission and mitigating the effects of climate change.

According to him, the project will check depletion of forest resources through afforestation and sustain
existing forest reserves.

He said it would go a long way to prevent flooding and control soil erosion.

The commissioner noted that the state government had paid its counterpart fund for the programme, designed to run for eight years.

He added that government had also provided a befitting office complex, as well as inaugurated a steering committee to facilitate smooth take-off of the programme.

According to him, a technical committee and state project management unit for the programme will soon be inaugurated for successful implementation of the project.

“We have commenced stakeholders engagement and community sensitisation around forest reserves designated for the programme in the state,’’ Aka’ka said.

He said three forests have been designated for the pilot scheme of the programme in Wamba, Nasarawa-Toto and Obi Local Government Area of the state.

“We have been educating community stakeholders about the importance of the programme and the need for them to support efforts at revamping the forest by not farming and grazing in designated locations.

“These community engagements have so far yielded positive results.”

Sugar Project: Dangote Compensates Land Owners

Dangote Group has commenced the disbursement of more than N850 million, as compensation to land owners affected by its sugar refinery project in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

60,000 hectares was acquired by the group for the construction of the refinery.

Deputy Governor of the state, Silas Agara, who disbursed the funds to the beneficiaries on Thursday in Lafia, cautioned against impersonation and any act that would scuttle the project.

He said that government would sanction anyone sabotaging the effort, and assured that all those whose land was taken would be duly compensated.

Agara said the sugar refinery project was a rare privilege that would turn around the economic fortune of the community and state at large.

He lauded the community for their peaceful disposition since the acquisition of their farmlands and called for more cooperation for the success of the project.

Mohammed Ibrahim-Shuaibu, traditional ruler of the area, commended the Dangote Group for the compensation, explaining that names of the beneficiaries were compiled by a committee that included members of the community.

Ibrahim-Shuaibu assured the company of the community’s full support and cooperation, for the takeoff and smooth operation of the sugar refinery.

Committee Inaugurated Toward Healthcare Services Scheme- Nasarawa State

The state Deputy Governor, Silas Agara, while inaugurating the committee on Friday in Lafia, said the scheme would facilitate access to quality and affordable healthcare service delivery in the state.

The Nasarawa State Government has constituted a technical committee to work out modalities for the establishment of a state Health Insurance Scheme.

He said the initiative would help the state to achieve universal health coverage and provide employment opportunities for the people.

Agara urged members of the committee to deploy their wealth of experience on the assignment to give the state the best.

He also urged the committee to initiate a bill at the state House of Assembly within the next three weeks for consideration by the legislature.

He pointed out that adequate provision had been made in the 2017 budget for the state Health Insurance Scheme.

The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Daniel Iya, said health insurance was sure way of accessing affordable and quality healthcare services.

Iya explained that the system was designed in such a way that beneficiaries would have a little percentage of their salaries deducted monthly for them to access health services when the need arose.

He, therefore, called for understanding and support of citizens toward the success of the scheme, when approved by the state assembly.

Umar Al-Makura’s Son Arrested Over The Murder of a Student

Mr. Khaleel Umar Al-Makura, the son of Nasarawa state governor Umar Al-Makura, has been arrested over the killing of a student of Government Secondary School, Lafia.

The killing of a Ovye Amos in a road accident on Monday night had sparked a protest in the school.

The students took to the streets on Tuesday carrying placards with various inscriptions demanding justice for the killing Amos, a Junior Secondary School two student.

The police, officers of the Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps, teachers and government officials intervened to calm the students.

The governor’s son was reported to have hit the deceased with a car.

Addressing the students at the school parade ground, the Nasarawa state Commissioner for Education, Aliyu Tijjani, said that government had taken measures to ensuring that the person that perpetrated this killing was brought to book.

“He has already been arrested.

“I want to express my profound dismay and sadness over what happened here yesterday. It is unfortunate, very very unfortunate.’’

The school Head Boy, Goodluck Agwu, had explained that Amos was hit by the car driven by Khaleed when he went out to buy batteries for his flashlight at 8:00pm.

The students who were not satisfied with the explanation of the commissioner continued their protest, but the police were deployed to calm them.

The police explained that they were investigating the case.

The area commander of Lafia area office, Mr. Maikudi Shehu, assured the students that they would be briefed on the development.

“It is a painful thing, we sympathise and empathise with you and we assure you that investigation is ongoing and that particular culprit as we are speaking now is under detention in our custody”

“We will keep you informed of developments as they unfold,” he said.