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Nigeria’s 2019 general election our major priority – U.S

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…As Saudi Arabia donates $10m arms, relief aid to Nigeria***

The U.S. says Nigeria’s 2019 general election and a peaceful transition, remained its major priority in view of  the country’s strategic position in the region.

The U.S. Department of State said during a background briefing on the first trip of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Africa, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in New York.

Tillerson would meet with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and other top government functionaries, and also leaders of Chad, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya during his travels from Tuesday, March 6 to 13.

The department said over two decades ago, the number of countries in Africa with really democratically elected government were really very few – only three or four.

It said, however, now we had over two dozen African countries with democratically elected governments and which are hopefully not going to have transitions in government through coup d’etats and other illegal methods.

“As we look at the 20 elections, obviously Nigeria, though it’s not this year – it’s going to be next year – that really is a major priority focus, because that’s going to be the third most populous country in the world by 2050.

“It has really very complex political issues and ethnic and tribal issues and security issues,

“And that’s an area that we really are focusing on how to do a peaceful transition, a democratic transition, but more important is how to hold governments accountable to the people,” the state department said.

The department explained that obviously, a lot of those African countries were still fragile democracies and the U.S. was trying to strengthen them.

The U.S. commended the most recent elections in Liberia, saying it was the first open, fair, and peaceful transition of governments in over 75 years, saying that is a good thing.

It regretted what it called the “horrendous rule of Charles Taylor and the degradation of the institutions there, but now we’ll going back and they’re building, and I think with the election of George Weah that’s going to be a positive thing”.

The U.S. also noted the election of Nana Akufo-Addo in Ghana, Alassane Ouattara in Cote d’Ivoire and Macky Sall in Senegal, describing them as you positive developments.

It said, however, that Ethiopia remained a challenge for the U.S. and a focus for it as well and an opportunity.

The U.S. explained that it was looking at trying to build institutions, really strengthen institutions, and also have peaceful transitions and hold governments accountable to the people in Ethiopia.

It said it was also looking at how it could have reconciliation and dialogues between all of the different groups – the Oromos, the Amharas, the Tigrays, and also in Kenya with the opposition and with the ruling government.

Accordingly, the department said building strong institutions and holding governments accountable are some of the things that are certainly going to be the subjects of discussion during Tillerson trip.

“How do we advance political and economic reform that will help in the transition process? Those are issues too that we’re working in Zimbabwe with the transition between Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“And also we’re looking hopefully at South Africa with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa from Jacob Zuma and seeing how that’s going to transition,” the state department  said.

Meanwhile, following the worsening humanitarian crises being experienced in the camps of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the North East in the war against Terrorism, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has risen to Nigeria’s aid with the provision of $10million.

Leader of a Saudi Arabian delegation who announced the aid package at the ministry of Defence, during a visit to Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali on Monday, Nasir Bin Mutlak, disclosed that the aid package which is in cash and military equipment was aimed at assisting the IDPs in the north east in particular as well as other essential needs of the military.

“Our country (Saudi Arabia) and Nigeria have continued to have very good relationship. Our mission in the ministry of Defence is to help our brothers in the IDP camps in the North East. The $10million is from the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center and the Saudi Development Fund. “It is meant to show solidarity with Nigeria in the fight against terrorism and to show support in aid of the IDPs who are going through some sufferings”.

Mutlak also said that the delegation would visit the states in the North East affected primarily by Boko Haram to ascertain the level of support to be provided to ease the effect of the insurgency destruction on those states and report back to their country. Responding, Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali commended the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the huge support to Nigeria at this time noting that aside assisting in tackling challenges at IDP camps, it will go a long way in helping to acquire strategic military equipment needed to tackle the terrorists challenges.

He said, “Nigeria really values the alliance between our countries to fight terrorism. As you may be aware, we have the Multi-national Joint Task Force MNJTF, comprising Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin Republic fighting to stop the spread and advancement of terrorism in the region.

“Consequently, the humanitarian crises goes even beyond Nigeria. We have refugees from Cameroon, Chad and Niger, worsening the already tough situation with IDPs in the country. Your intervention will go a long way in helping us tackle these challenges”.

“However, I will still call on your government to consider other areas where you can still be of assistance because the challenges are enormous. These areas include provision of military hardware, Intelligence sharing and training”, the minister said. Other members of the Saudi Arabia delegation were Khalid Bim Abdulrahman Al-Mani and Muhammad Bin Addidat Al-Namla.

Additional report from Vanguard

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

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Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, Governor of Kwara and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the forum welcomed the Supreme Court ruling granting autonomy to local government areas. They have no options, anyway.

AbdulRahman remarked while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

He was accompanied by Gov. Hope Uzodimma, Chairman, All Progressives Party (APC) Governors Forum and Dr Bala Mohammed, Chairman, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum.

“Compliance is a given and our Attorney General has applied for the enrollment order, which we’ll study carefully.

“But by and large governors are happy with the devolution of power regarding local government autonomy. It relieves the burden on governors.

“Our people really don’t know how much states expense in bailing out local governments, and that’s the issue there,” he said.

He said in his state Kwara, the government had never tampered with local government funds.

“What the local governments have to do is to manage themselves, especially with the incoming minimum wage, to manage their affairs and make sure salaries are paid, traditional rulers get their five per cent and those are the main issues,” he said.

On states where local government elections are yet to be conducted, he said the forum would meet next Wednesday to look at the issue wholly and then come up with a resolution.

He also said the discussion on minimum wage was ongoing, and that the tripartite committee had met and submitted its report.

“Yes, a movement of figures is the prerogative of the president which he will also transmit to the National Assembly for robust debate before it’s adopted,” said AbdulRahman. 

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

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Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

… Credits Shehu Yar’ Adua for Government Day Secondary School; Gov. Shema for construction of Gora-Ketare-Kankara and, Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Roads

The Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare, Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara has commended successive governments of Katsina State for executing various developmental projects in Ketare District.

Alhaji Usman Bello gave the commendation when he received the leadership of Ketare District Youth Mobilization KDYM in his palace who paid him Sallah’s homage and congratulated him for the successful Sallah Durbar in Katsina.

The Monarch explained that all the modest achievements recorded in his 24 years as District Head of Ketare were made possible with the assistance of the successive Governors of Katsina State.

The Kanwan Katsina explained that the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua when he was the Governor of Katsina State in 1999  and was his Teacher at Katsina College of Art and Science and Technology in 1975 was responsible for the construction of the Government Day Secondary School, Ketare; while Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema who was the Kanwan Katsina School mate at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, constructed Gora-Ketare-Kankara Road and Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Road.

Similarly, Governor Aminu Bello Masari constructed Dayi-Gangule-Gundawa-Wawal Kaza Roads and a comprehensive Primary Healthcare Center in Ketare, in the same vein, the current Katsina State Governor Malam Dikko Umaru Radda in a bid to enhance the security of lives and properties which are his topmost priority establish the Katsina Community Watch Corp where Ketare Youth were engaged in combating bandits and kidnappers.

Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara mni also expressed gratitude to the management of the Community and Social Development  Project CSDP under the leadership of Dikko Mohammed for collaborating with communities of Ketare District to construct all the Community Day Secondary schools.

Therefore, The Kanwan Katsina assured the youth organization that he will not relent in partnering with the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to bring in the much-needed development in Ketare District.

Earlier in his address, the interim Chairman of the Association Malam Bishir Umar Girbobo said they were at the palace of the Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara to pay Sallah homage and to appreciate all the developmental projects and policies initiated by or facilitated by him such in the areas of education, computers training for the Youths ICT, Health, Agriculture,  Road Construction, issuance of National ID Card and INEC Voters’ Cards, among others.

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HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging ‘Siege’ By FG On Kano

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HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

…Calls writer an impersonator who should be arrested!

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) says the letter to the Senate, accusing the Federal Government of laying siege on Kano State did not emanate from the party.

This is contained in a statement by the NNPP National Chairman, Dr Agbo Major on Thursday in Abuja.

The party was reacting to a letter written to the Senate, through its President, Godswill Akpabio by Dr Ajuji Ahmed on June 24. 

The letter was titled: Need for NNPP Federal Lawmakers to Make Urgent and Concerted Efforts to End Immediately the Siege on Kano State by Agents of the Federal Government.”

According to Major Agbo, the letter written by Dr Ajuji Ahmed was without the mandate and authorization of the leadership of  NNPP.

“Dr Boniface Aniebonam is the founder of  NNPP, holder of the registration certificate of the party,  chairman,  board of trustees and a life member of the board while  Dr Agbo Major is the national chairman and Comrade Oginni Olaposi Sunday is the National Secretary etc. 

He described Ahmed as an impersonator who should be arrested by the senate. 

“The NNPP stand remains that the Kano Emirate leadership crisis is an internal matter of Kano state indigenes under culture and tradition.

HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

“Political party involvement under the circumstances is wrong. The principle of our party remains focused on the peace of the society, development and well-being of the greater numbers of Nigerians.

“That the matter is currently before competent courts of law and jurisdiction and any interference by the National Assembly shall further complicate the situation.

“The avoidable tension generated as a result of the actions of the state government in Kano necessitates the need for vigilance and enhanced security in the state to avoid breakdown of law and order. 

“It is trite for Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf, Sen  Rabiu Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima to understand that every court order must be obeyed before the complaint. The rules of engagement to vacate orders of the court are very clear and unambiguous”

He said it was, therefore,  necessary for the National Assembly to align with the position that would guarantee the protection of the lives and property of citizens in  Kano state.

” ⁠The NNPP as a registered political party in Nigeria is not interested in engaging in any controversy with the Federal Government and its agencies,  particularly security institutions.

“We should be responsible partners and law-abiding citizens for the peace and development of Nigeria. The letter and any form of representation by the said Ahmed should be disregarded forthwith 

“In an ideal situation,  it shall be the responsibility of the NNPP lawmakers to raise the matter on the floor of the national assembly.

“As we said, the matter is in court and they should go to court, after all, the Kano state governor is in power today via the court.

NNPP  have no role to play because Gov ABBA Yusuf is the governor of Kano state and not the party.”

Major Agbo noted that Elders of Kano state and elites, come together and resolve the internal Chieftaincy crises, then approach the court for consent judgment or be patient with the court for final judgment.

“This is better, civilised and brotherly than the avoidable propaganda and blackmail of the Federal Government and its security institutions carrying on with their statutory duties to maintain peace and order of the society.

“We, therefore,  wish to state that Gov ABBA Yusuf should concentrate on providing quality leadership in Kano and distance himself from all the avoidable tensions in the state. 

“We also appeal to the senate to disregard the illegal and inappropriate letter of the expelled members of the NNPP led by Ahmed.

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