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Bello promises Kogites better performance if given second term

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( NAN) Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has promised to improve upon his present performance if given another term to serve the state as governor.

Bello, who made the promise on Thursday in Lokoja during a stakeholders meeting of the All Progressives Congress ( APC), also appealed to the people of the state not to lose hope in his administration.

According to him, the recent reconciliation of the two factions of the party in the state is also a pointer to a better tomorrow for the state.

Bello said his outstanding achievement was in the area of security where he said he was able to banish armed robbery, kidnapping and thuggery from the state.

“I confronted these ugly incidents headlong, and today the story has changed.

” We were able to institute infrastructure and integration of people into the administration that has been operating without sentiment.

He called on party members to remain committed and dedicated to its ideals, saying that this was the only way for it to emerge victorious in the coming governorship election.

Two serving governors and a former governor attended the meeting where party members reiterated their preference for indirect primary to pick a candidate for the Nov. 16 governorship polls.

The two serving governors in attendance were Alhaji Bagudu Atiku of Kebbi state and Alhaji Mala Bunni of Yobe State.

The immediate past governor of Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, was also present.

Speaking in behalf of the visitors, Bagudu, who is also the Chairman of APC governors forum, commended members for their efforts which made President Muhammadu Buhari to win the presidential election in the state by a wide margin.

He urged them to sustain their passion and love for the party, saying that they should ensure the victory of the party’s candidate in the Nov. 16 governorship election holding in the state.

” Gov. Yahaya Bello is a dynamic leader that the party is ever proud of.

“He remains a gift of Providence that should be supported all the time ,” Bagudu said.

The APC state Chairman, Alhaji Abdullai Bello, said that the party performed a rare feat in the last general elections when it won all the 25 seats in the state assembly.

According to him, the party also won seven out of the nine House of Representatives positions and two out of the three senatorial seats available in the state.

He commended members for making this possible, but warned against being carried away by the euphoria, as Bello must be returned for a second term in office to complete the good works he started in 2016.

A former factional Chairman of the party, Mr Haddi Ametuo, said that the division in the party had been amicably resolved by Gov. Bello.

According to him, the party is now one under the leadership of Abdulahi Bello as the state Chairman.

He called on other aggrieved members to embrace the new development.

Edited by Oluwole Sogunle

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General news

COVID-19: Bello orders lockdown of Kabba-Bunu LGA over index case

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Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi has ordered immediate and total lockdown of Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area for two weeks following a suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the area.

Bello, who gave the order on Monday while briefing newsmen in Government House, Lokoja, said the lockdown, which was to commence from 12.00am on Tuesday, would enable verification and authenticity of the claims.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that claims by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) that Sheikh Abubakar Ejibunu, the Chief Iman of Kabba, had tested positive to the disease has continued to generate controversy between the Kogi government and the NCDC.

According to the governor, the government decided to be proactive over the verification as members of the the family of the acclaimed victim, Sheikh Ejibunu, along with 13 other persons in Kabba-Bunu Local Government have already been tested for COVID-19 and their results returned negative.

He said, “We shall not relent in verifying the genuineness of the NCDC claim and we remain resolute in pursuing the matter to a logical conclusion.

“Government has already put necessary machineries in place to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic as prevention they say, is better than cure.”

Bello also directed the Incident Management Team of COVID-19 in the state, headed by the commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Haruna Audu, to embark on immediate door-to-door visitation of residents of the council area for collation of samples for test.

The governor also ordered a 14-day isolation of medical personnel and other persons at the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, who accompanied the accident victims to Abuja.

He further directed security agencies in the state to ensure complete enforcement of the lockdown in Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area and ensure adherence to all the federal government and NCDC protocols.

The governor condemned in its entirety failure of the NCDC to involve Kogi State government in its investigation processes before announcing two index cases of COVID-19 in the state, describing the action as “unhealthy and unprofessional.’’

“However, we still maintain that Kogi remains COVID-19 free at the moment, urging citizens of the state to continue to observe all the NCDC protocols in curtailing the spread of the dreaded disease,” Bello said.


Edited By: Bayo Sekoni/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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General news

Gov. Bello exemplified good leadership in Niger -CPS

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Mrs Mary Berje, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger, says the governor has provided exemplary leadership and good governance since the inception of his administration in 2015.

Berje said this in an interview with newsmen in Minna on Friday, pointing out that the administration had carved a niche for itself.

According to her, the present administration has instituted sanity and financial discipline in the state.

She further said that the administration had remained focused in its anti-corruption fight, blocked wastages and created more avenues to enhance internally generated revenue.

Berje also said that the administration had remained consistent in developing areas considered pivotal to the economic transformation of the state as contained in its blueprint.

She said that the administration had achieved a great milestone in education, health, agriculture and infrastructure.

The CPS said: “The Bello-led administration has constructed and renovated more than 2,500 schools across the state and completely overhauled 22 under the Whole Schools Development Approach.

“It established the Teacher Professional Development Institute and also recruited 2,600 teachers.”

She said that the administration was also consolidating its effort in agriculture by harnessing the state’s potentials in areas it had comparative economic advantage for the overall development and prosperity of the state.

“Government is developing the massive 31,000 hectares, multi-million Naira Bobi Grazing Reserve to boost Meat and Dairy production.

“This milestone is expected to provide employment, generate revenue for the state and prevent incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes in the state.”

“We have made lots of progress also in the health sector, having constructed over 50 Primary Healthcare Centers across the state and reconstructing the General Hospitals in Minna, Kontagora, Bida, Suleja, Kutigi and Nasko,” she said.

Berje said that although COVID-19 slowed down government’s progress in some sectors, the pandemic brought out the administration’s dexterity in governance.

She said that before the state recorded its index case, the government had established isolation centers, procured ventilators and recently added testing equipment.

“The government has upgraded the IBB Specialist Hospital, equipped the Neonatal wing of the Minna General Hospital, employed over 250 medical personnel and health workers and increased their salaries by 40 per cent,” she added.

She further said that the administration had revived the Fire Service, which was moribund in the state and restored water supply in Minna, Kontagora, Bida, Suleja, New Bussa and Lapai.

Berje also said that government, in collaboration with security agencies, had continued to ensure the security of lives and property of the people with sustained war against armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling.

“The governor has also prioritised the welfare of workers and pensioners by regularly paying their salaries, pensions and gratuities.

“He implemented the 2019 minimum wage and salary structure for health workers and federal paramilitary salary structure for the state Fire Service, among others,” she said.

Berje said that the administration also made giant stride in road construction, citing the construction of over 500 kilometers of rural roads and many others in Minna, Kontagora, Bida, Agaie, Suleja, Tegina and Zungeru.

Edited By: Sam Oditah/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Judiciary

Tribunal upholds Yahaya Bello’s election

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The Kogi  Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petition of Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Wada was challenging the election of Bello in the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi.

Wada, in his petition, alleged that the election was marred with violence and other irregularities including corrupt practices.

Delivering the majority judgement, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, dismissed Wada’s petition on the grounds that it was lacking in merit.

The tribunal held that the evidence of some of the witnesses was contradictory and amounted to documentary hearsay.

The tribunal further awarded a cost of N500,000 to be paid by each petitioner to each of the respondents.

However, a member of the tribunal, Justice  Ohimai Ovbiagele, disagreed with the judgement.

In his dissenting judgement, Ovbiagele held that Bello was not the duly elected governor of Kogi.

“I hereby nullify the election of the Bello and make an order that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct fresh elections within three months from today.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Judiciary

Gov. Bello assents to 3 bills

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Wednesday assented to three new bills passed by the State House of Assembly during the executive council meeting at the Government House in Minna.

The News Agency of Nigeria report that the bills signed into law include: a law to provide for the retirement age of Academic Staff of Tertiary Institutions of academic staff and for connected purposes.

According to the bill, which becomes operational from May 8, 2019, raises the retirement age of the state owned tertiary institutions from 60 years to 65 years.

This implies that the academic staff that had attained 60 years before the commencement date of this law and in active service or employed after, shall enjoy the provision of the law.

Another law assented to by the governor was the Legislative House (Powers and Privileges) law 2019, which becomes operational in January 2020.

The law empowers the legislature to invite any member of the public for questioning and that no criminal or civil proceeding shall be instituted against a member based on words either in written or spoken at the plenary session or committee proceedings of the house.

Bello also assented to the Niger state Water and Sewage Corporation Law 2020, which becomes a law with effect from March 25, 2020.

The governor explained that the essence of the water and sewage corporation law was to achieve a sustainable water system development in the state.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Agriculture

Gov. Bello tasks ministry on improved animal husbandry

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger, on Wednesday, charged the state Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to intensify efforts on animal husbandry production as an integral part of his administration’s agricultural transformation agenda.

Bello made this appeal when he visited the state Livestock Improvement and Breeding Centre at Tagwai Dam in Bosso Local Government Area of the state.

The governor lamented that the progress and process of developing unique species of cattle at the centre was slow and promised to meet with the ministry to fast track its development.

“The previous administration imported many of the Bonsmara breed from South Africa with the hope that by now, we should have been doing artificial insemination, so that over time, we will be able to improve on our local breed, especially the bokolo breed.

“It is a wonderful programme but unfortunately, I have to find out why we have not made much progress,” he said.

According to him, the whole idea of the centre is to have improved generation of cattle for more qualitative milk and beef production.

He disclosed that the state government had partnered with a South African firm on Bonsmara, a disease-resistant cattle semen supply.

“The state government has sponsored four veterinary doctors to South Africa for training in artificial insemination,’’ he said, adding that there would be an improvement on the production of milk.

The governor said that a crossbreeding between the Bonsmara and the local boakolo species of cattle production were effective in the state, saying it was time for such an effort to be redoubled.

He said that with the Bobi Grazing Reserve, it was time for government to assist the herdsmen with artificial insemination to get the rare cattle of 500kg- 600kg that could produce high quantity of milk of 10 litres per day instead of two litres daily.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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Judiciary

Kogi tribunal dismisses SDP, Akpoti’s petition against Bello’s election

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The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, on Monday, dismissed the suit by Natasha Akpoti, Social Democratic Party (SDP)’s candidate in the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election against Gov. Yahaya Bello.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that Akpoti and her party, SDP, had filed a petition, asking the tribunal to nullify the victory of Governor Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll and order a rerun.

At the sitting in Abuja, the three-member tribunal, led by Justice Kashim Kaigama, in the unanimous judgment, held that the petition failed woefully.

The tribunal also awarded the cost of N100,000 to be paid by each of the two petitioners to each of the three respondents in the case; the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC and Mr. Bello, totalling N600, 000.

NAN reports that Akpoti and her party had, in December 2019, filed their petition before the tribunal, praying for an order nullifying the election on the grounds that it was conducted substantially in contradiction to the Electoral Act and the electoral guidelines issued by INEC.

They alleged that the election was marred by corrupt practices, violence, and over-voting in all the polling units in the 21 local government areas of the state.

They also alleged that Bello and his running mate, Edward Onoja, should be disqualified to contest in the election on the grounds that Onoja gave false information in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC concerning the circumstances of his exit from the banking industry.

They alleged that while Onoja was sacked by the bank, he claimed that he retired from the service.

They also alleged that Onoja falsified his age and forged his educational certificate to aid his qualification to stand the election.

In the lead judgment, Justice Ohiamai Ovbiagele held that the petitioners failed to prove the alleged corrupt practices and falsification of results by any credible evidence.

He added that the petitioners merely dumped their exhibits on the tribunal without linking them to the petition.

He also noted that none of the petitioners’ 15 witnesses gave any evidence concerning over-voting, implying that the allegation was abandoned.

He held that testimonies by many of the witnesses were “patently hearsay devoid of any evidential value,” while those of some others were “ludicrous,” “unreliable” and “doubtful.”

“They are all doubtful illogical and some instances patently unreasonable,” the judge said.

He added that some of the witnesses, who claimed to have been eyewitnesses of violence at various polling units, failed to tender the video evidence they claimed to have and also failed to tender the voter cards, even though they claimed they voted in the election.

“Any voter without a voter card should not be taken seriously,” he said.

He described as “absurd,” the attempt by the petitioners to “to prove their petition without polling unit agents.”

Justice Ovbiagele also noted that “the pieces of evidence that emanated from the cross-examination of all the petitioners’ witnesses, like a dynamite, shattered the testimonies of these witnesses.”

The judge also dismissed the age falsification allegation on the grounds that the petitioners failed to prove that either Bello or his running mate was less than 35 years old as of Nov. 16, 2019, when the governorship election held.

The judge dismissed the petitioners’ claim that Onoja was dismissed from banking industry but falsely claimed in his Form CF001 submitted to INEC that he retired.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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General news

Ahmadu Bello Foundation congratulates Gambari as Buhari’s CoS

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The Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation has congratulated Prof. Ibrahim Gambari on his appointment as the new Chief of Staff (CoF) to President Muhammadu Buhari.

  

In a statement signed by its Managing Director, Abubakar Umar, on Thursday in Kaduna, the foundation expressed hope that given his pedigree and wealth of experience at both national and International levels, Gambari would  perform creditably well.

 

“Prof. Gambari, a friend of the foundation, delivered the first Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial lecture on leadership and good governance in 2012. 

 

“We are therefore confident that all the good virtue of leadership and good governance that are so dear to the professor will be brought to bear in the office of the CoS to the President,” he said.

 

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Health

Niger records 10 positive COVID-19 cases- Gov Bello

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Tuesday said the state had recorded 10 positive cases of the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the state.

Bello, at a media briefing on COVID-19 pandemic in Minna, explained that the state received 252 signals of suspected COVID-19 cases.

According to him, a total of 235 was investigated and collected over 202 samples for testing.

He said that 10 of the cases returned positive out of which two persons have recovered and been discharged.

He added that seven of the cases were undergoing treatment at the state’s isolation centre and a total of 125 persons were confirmed negative while the state awaits 67 other results.

The governor said that 95 people were being quarantined across facilities in the state.

He said that 156 people, who had completed their 14 days mandatory quarantine, were allowed to go back to their various homes.

Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Entertainment

Kunle Afolayan, others celebrate veteran actor, “Oga Bello” @67

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Some notable actors, including, Kunle Afolayan, on Saturday took to their instagram handles to celebrate a veteran actor, Adebayo Salami, popularly known as “Oga Bello” who clocked 67 years.

They celebrated “Oga Bello” for his mentorship and fatherly guidance in the profession.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that “Oga Bello” was born May 9, 1953.

He began his acting career in 1964, and produced his first movie “Ogun Ajaye” in 1985.

Since then, he had produced, directed and featured in several Yoruba movies.

He is a pioneer member of the Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners and also served as President of the association.

Afolayan, on his instagram page said: “Happy birthday to one of the most blessed fathers that ever lived. I wish you many more years in good health and plenty money daddy.”

Also, an Actress, Foluke Daramola-Salako, celebrated the veteran actor saying: “Happy birthday to a wonderful father in every ramification.

“May God bless you, increase you for us and be with you in all you do sir. We love and truly appreciate you sir.”

In her comments, “Fathia Williams wrote: “Happy birthday Daddy. You are a wonderful boss, father and role model.

“On your birthday, I wish you all the best as always sir. Enjoy your day and stay safe sir.”

Another Actress, Ronke Odusanya, said: “Happy birthday Daddy. The grace of God on your life shall always multiply.

“Thank you for always being an inspiration, source of encouragement and advice.”

Edited By: Edith Bolokor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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