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80 per cent of Zamfara lawmakers below 40 years – Speaker

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Alhaaji Nasiru Magarya, Speaer of Zamfara House of Assembly said on Wednesday that over 80 per cent of current members of the House  are below the age of 40.

Magarya made the observation in Gusau while receiving delegation from YIAGA Africa Center for Legislative Engagement, a non-governmental organization, who paid him a courtesy call.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the organisation was in the House on advocacy visit as part of its mission to partner with  lawmakers in enhancing democratic and legislative activities in the state.

Magarya said out of the 24 members of the Sixth assembly of the state, four are below the age of 30  while 80 per cent of them are between the ages of 30 and 40.

He thanked YIAGA Africa for the visit, describing it as timely and a welcome development.

“It is imperative  for us to partner with this center considering its commitments in ensuring the passage of ‘Not Too Young to Run’ Bill in the National Assembly.

“We consider this as a great opportunity; I am assuring you of the support and cooperation of this House”, the Speaker said.

He seized the opportunity to announce the appointment of the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Alhaji Nasiru Lawal (PDP, Bungudu West) as Liason officer between the Assembly and the NGO.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr Ernest Ekire, said the organisation was focusing on strengthening the legislative institutions through capacity building, not only in Nigeria, but across Africa.

“We decided to partners with Zamfara Assembly because it has the youngest Speaker in Nigeria, with over 80 percent of the lawmakers below the age  of 40.

“We are here not only on advocacy visit,  but on working visit; we choose Zamfara because we consider you as a special to us.

Ekire said his organization had contributed in the struggle for the passage of the ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill by the National Assembly.

He  said that the age composition of the members of the Assembly in Zamfara was a pointer to positive impact of the Bill.

“We have succeeded in our advocacy because in Zamfara, we have 31 year-old as Speaker; in Oyo, we have 32 year-old; in Plateau and Kwara states, we have Speakers who are younger than 35 years.

“Since these Speakers have emerged, it is our mission to ensure that they contribute differently than that of older political office holders,” he said.  

Politics

Dissolution of Zamfara LG councils unconstititional – APC 

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The Zamfara Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the dissolution of the 14 Local Government administrations by the  state government, describing it as unconstitutional.

The state APC Chairman, Alhaji Lawal Liman, made the condemnation in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Friday.

NAN reports that the state house of assembly had on Thursday recommended the immediate dissolution of all the councils for alleged negligence on security and financial recklessness.

Gov. Bello Matawalle, after approving the recommendation of the house, appointed caretaker chairmen to pilot the affairs of the 14 councils.

Nine of the chairmen who had defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were among those appointed as caretaker chairmen of the LGAs.

Liman described the dissolution as a violation of Constitution, saying the APC as a law abiding  political party would not accept it.

He said the party would follow due process to challenge the government on the matter.

“The matter of tenure of local government chairmen is before the court, therefore, we will follow the Constitutional means to challenge the government over the issue.

“This is very unfortunate, the way PDP led government is violating constitution to protect its political interest.”

He also said that the dissolution was a “political blackmail” against the five LG council chairmen who refused to decamp to PDP.

Liman called on APC supporters in the state to remain calm, saying  the party was working to protect their interests.


Edited By: Buhari Bolaji/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Politics

Matawalle dissolves, reappoints local council chairmen as sole administrators in Zamfara

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Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has  sworn-in 14 local government council Sole Administrators, less than 24 hours after the state House of Assembly dissolved their offices as council chairmen with the governor’s approval.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governor has had a running faceoff with the council chairmen who were elected for a three-year tenure under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Matawalle inaugurated the sole administrators at a quiet event in the Government House on Friday in Gusau.

The governor said their performances would be measured and assessed in the next three months to determine whether they deserved to continue or be replaced.

He said the dissolution of the former council chairmen by the state legislature was a result of unsatisfactory performance and  negligence of primary responsibility of ensuring the security and safety of the people by some of them.

“We received reports that some of them were handling the issue of security of lives and property of the people under their domains  half-heartedly due to parochial political sentiments,” he said.

NAN however reportls that while dissolving the 14 councils at the state assembly, the spokesman of the house, Malam Mustapha Jafaru, alleged in a statement in Gusau that the chairmen of the councils were found wanting in misappropriating relief funds meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in their respective areas.

But in a quick reaction to the development, the APC Chairman in the state, Alhaji Lawal Liman, condemned the state government’s action.

Liman noted that even the last local government election that brought in the chairmen was being contested in the court.

“This matter now, is a complete violation of our laws and constitutional provisions, we are going to review the issues as well as seek legal advice then take a stand,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Insecurity: Air chief visits Zamfara, seeks support on intelligence gathering

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Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar on Thursday visited Zamfara and sought for more support on intelligence gathering from people of the state.

He said the support would help in addressing security challenges in the state.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Abubakar had earlier visited Gusau Government House where he met with Gov. Bello Matawalle behind closed door.

Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the CAS said he was in the state on operational visit.

“I came to Zamfara on operational visit, l am here to check the air facilities on ground, to see our additional needs.

“We are here to make sure that those facilities are adequately working.

“I have seen all the facilities, they are all ok, they are doing well in air operation”, Abubakar said.

He said the Nigerian Air Force would continue to work very closely with other security agencies for the success of all security operations.

“We will continue to conduct air intervention missions.

“We need support from the general public, we need human intelligence, we need useful security information from people of the state.

“This is very important area where Zamfara government and communities should be willing to contribute.

“Though we are getting credible information, but not adequate; we are recording successes, but we are seeking for more support especially on intelligence gathering.

“We have so far, deployed 250 soldiers in the state and some aircraft.

“We will continue to do our best in terms of giving all the support that is required to deal with the issue of banditry in Zamfara and North west states”, he explained.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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General news

FG to build 500 houses for IDPs in Zamfara, Borno, Katsina, Adamawa

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The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) on Thursday said that the Federal Government would build 500 housing units for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Zamfara, Borno, Adamawa and Katsina States.

The Federal Commissioner in charge of the Commission, Sen. Basheer Mohammed, made this known in Gusau while distributing relief materials to IDPs in the state.

Mohammed said that the Federal Government was concerned about the plight of the 2.4 million IDPs and their reintegration and resettlement, so that they could live a normal live.

“We are here for the distribution of food and non-food items that will benefit indigenes of Anka, Gusau, Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi Local Government Areas of the state.

As a Federal Government agency, our priority is to safeguard and protect the lives of specific vulnerable groups under our purview within the 36 states and FCT.

“The commission has taken this as a priority to build 500 housing units for IDPs in Borno, Katsina and Adamawa including Zamfara State, as phase one of the projects and we have gone far in this regard.

“We have received commitments from Borno, Katsina and Adamawa States to grant us 50 hectares of land.

Resettlement of 500 households, totalling 3,000 people in each resettlement city and a transformation of lives and dignity restored,’’ he said.

He noted that the commission was at an advanced stage with public and private investors to deliver on this goal.

“Zamfara has been chosen to be part of this housing development project which will ultimately complement the laudable efforts your government has made with Ruga Project.

“As I mentioned earlier, our major priority is our people that are displaced and if Zamfara Government approved, we will build 500 households resettlement fully equipped with facilities.

“We will also provide livelihood support schemes linked to clean water and health infrastructure; as phase one is attached to hygiene maintenance, financial inclusion and the creation of jobs.

“I will like to use this medium to obtain your approval for the allocation of 50 hectares of land in a safe zone, as a follow up to earlier request.

“The approval and partnership with the commission will be of great encouragement to our investors,’’ Mohammed said.

Responding, the Zamfara Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu-Gusau, thanked the state government for the gesture.

Aliyu-Gusau said that state government had been giving relief materials to various disaster victims in the state.

“We consider this as a complement to our state government’s efforts under Gov. Bello Matawalle.

“I am giving the commission an assurance of the state government’s efforts to any Federal Government’s organisation for the development of the state,’’ the deputy governor said.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Health

COVID -19: Gov.’s wife trains 60 women on face masks, hand sanitisers production in Zamfara

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Wife of Zamfara Governor,  Hajiya Aisha Bello-Matawalle has trained 60 women in production  of face masks and hand sanitisers, as part efforts to control  spread of Coronavirus pandemic in the state.

Speaking while flagging off the training in Gusau on Thursday, the governor’s wife’s  said: “This is another good response to the COVID -19 prevention plans for people of the state under Gov.  Bello Matawalle’s administration

“Few weeks ago, my office made relentless efforts to cushion the effect of the lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic among our women and vulnerable groups across the state.

“We provided palliatives and preventive materials including hand sanitisers, face masks, hand gloves, soaps, sensitisation flyers, clothing materials and foodstuffs.

“Our support to women in the state will still continue in the wake of the pandemic.

 “We deemed it imperative to mobilise local tailors from grassroots to produce home made PPEs.

“It is my honour today to launch the Mask-up Zamfara initiative programme sponsored under my office, which is a hand sanitisers and face masks production training programme for women in response to  COVID 19 prevention in the state.”

According to her, the training program which is targeting 20 women in each of the three senatorial zones, will be scaled up to all the fourteen Local Government Areas of the state.

“The training is aimed at capacity building for women and also to equip them to produce massive numbers of face masks and hand sanitisers as well as impacting the knowledge to other women.

 “Though Zamfara has been declared COVID-19 free, but the dust is yet to settle across the country.

“I hope that this initiative will bring positive impact on  the lives of women and children in the state,” she said.

She noted that the effort would make face masks and hand sanitisers more accessible to people at the grassroots level as part of government’s efforts of protecting people from infectious diseases.

“I want to use this medium to express my gratitude to my husband,  for his incessant support and advise to this laudable initiative, which amongst others has led to many tremendous successes.

I pray for Allah’s guidance and support for  his leadership to move the state to greater level,” she said.

The  governor’s wife urged women in the state to continue to take steps to protect themselves and their children against COVID-19 and other diseases.

She also appealed to people of the state to continue with prayers to Allah to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic all over the world.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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General news

Anniversary: Zamfara Govt constructs 14 hospitals for women/children 

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The Zamfara State Government on Tuesday said that it had built modern hospitals  for women and children at the headquarters of each of its 14 local government areas of the state within its one year in office.

 

The State Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Yahaya Kanoma, disclosed this to newsmen in Gusau.

 

Kanoma said that the facilities were part of the state government’s commitments under Gov. Bello Matawalle-led  administration.

 

He said Matawalle immediately after his inauguration came up with policies that would  improve the healthcare of the citizens of the state.

 

“Part of the policies is the establishment of modern hospitals for women and children at  the headquarters of each of the 14 local government areas of the state.

 

“We have completed all the hospitals, we have bought  medical equipment, and we were only delayed in the distribution of the equipment to the hospitals due to the  COVID-19 pandemic challenges.

 

According to him, part of the achievements recorded during the one year in office of the governor’s administration is the re-awarding of the contract for the renovation of Shinkafi Referral Hospital that had been abandoned several years ago  by the previous administrations.

 

“Other achievements recorded by the state government by  the Ministry of Health from May 29, 2019 to date include the revival of  the various MDAs and programmes to promote healthcare delivery.

 

“We secured  the release of N400 million from the state government for MDAs under the state Ministry of Health to run their affairs.

 

“The following amounts were received by each of the  beneficiaries:  N100 million for State Drugs Management Agency, N100 million for Health Contributory Agency, N100 million for Primary Health Care Development Agency and N100 million for Hospital Service Management Board,” he said.

 

He also said  that the state government bought ambulances and utility vehicles for hospitals and health offices and programmes.

 

After discovering 84 ghost medical doctors and 64 nurses from the state government’s payroll, Gov. Bello Matawalle gave approval for the recruitment of more medical doctors and nurses for secondary and tertiary health institutions in the state.

 

The commissioner, however, lauded the efforts of the state government in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

 

He also appreciated the support and cooperation from traditional and religious leaders in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.


Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Peter Dada (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Military bombards bandits’ logistics warehouse in Zamfara – DHQ

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The Defence Headquarters says the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji  on Saturday destroyed a bandits’ logistics warehouse in an air bombardment along North of Birnin Kogo in Zamfara.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, in a statement on Sunday, said the air bombardment was in continuation of the renewed onslaught against armed bandits in parts of the Northwest and North Central states.

Enenche said the air strikes were executed sequel to intelligence reports that indicated that the large structure was being used by the bandits to store their ammunition, raw rations and other logistics items in the area.

According to him, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) attack aircraft was scrambled to engage the target, scoring accurate hits on the warehouse, which went up in flames as a result of its volatile contents, leading to its complete destruction.

“Four armed bandits guarding the facility were also neutralised as a result of the attack.

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, commends the Air Component of Operation Hadarin Daji for their professionalism.

“He directed them to remain resolute in the conduct of air strikes whilst continuing to provide close air support for ongoing ground operations in order to eradicate all armed bandits,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

 

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General news

Jekada member of Zamfara Assembly dies

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Alhaji Tukur Jekada, a lawmaker representing Bakura Constituency at the Zamfara House of Assembly is dead.
Mr Shamsudeen Hassan, the Chairman of the House Committee on Information,  disclosed this while speaking with News Agency of Nigeria in Gusau on Sunday.
Hassan said that the lawmaker died after a brief illness on Sunday.
Jakada was the Chairman of the House committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs before his death.

Edited By: Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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General news

Anniversary: APGA applauds Zamfara Govt for tackling insecurity

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The All Progressives Grant Alliance (APGA) in Zamfara has commended the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government for restoring peace in the state.

The APGA governorship candidate at the 2019 general elections, Dr Sani Shinkafi, made the commendation at a news conference in Gusau on Saturday.

Shinkafi noted that the PDP-led government deserve commendation in its one-year of administration considering the way it tackled the terrible security challenge that bedevilled the state.

Gov. Bello Matawalle embarked on confronting the menace with great valour using his versatile experience as former Chairman, House Committee on Security and Intelligence.

The State Government also embarked on partnership with the Federal  Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and various key security stakeholders such as security outfits, former defence ministers, traditional leaders, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) leaders and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF).

“After various consultation, a fact stands out that the crisis has taken ethnic dimensions, most especially after the creation of Hausa Yan Sakai vigilante groups by the immediate past administration.

“Establishment of committee headed by the former Inspector-General of Police, Muhammad Abubakar, for finding solutions to end banditry in the state by the state government can be identified as a leading factor for the success recorded,” Shinkafi said.

He recalled that before PDP took over the affairs of the state, rural areas and nomadic settlements were relegated educationally and economically, and this situation created an avenue for high crime rate.

“This informs government’s decision to provide schools, clinics and earth dams for the people and idea of Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) came up as one of the solutions to the problem.

“The dialogue resulted in the release of thousands of captives abducted by kidnappers across the state, including the neighbouring ones.

“With this development, socio-economic education activities across the 14 local government areas of the state have been revived.

“Our rural markets closed down earlier due to insecurity have also been reopened, inter-ethnic relationship improved and over 80 per cent peace restored across the state,” he said.

The former APGA national secretary and governorship candidate explained that the opposition party was partnering with the PDP-led administration for the progress of the state.

He therefore urged people to continue to cooperate with the present administration irrespective of political differences for the state to move forward.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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