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Gombe Assembly pledges implementation of FG’s judicial financial autonomy



Gombe State House of Assembly committee on Judiciary says it will work assiduously to ensure the state implements Federal Government’s policy on Judicial financial autonomy.

Mr Rambi Ayala, chairman of the committee, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe, on Friday.

NAN recalls that the National Assembly had in 2018 amended the 1999 constitution to give financial autonomy to state legislators and Judiciary.

Ayala noted that financial autonomy would enhance transparency, efficiency and accountability in governance.

He said granting financial autonomy to the judiciary would make the Judicial arm of government truly independent and would encourage judges to perform optimally.

According to him, Judges are operating in dilapidated court rooms, and appropriate incentives are not given to them.

“The condition of our courts is pathetic, especially area and magistrates’ courts; we will do everything humanly possible to address these problems,” he said.

The chairman also noted that Gombe was still using obsolete codified laws which were inherited from the defunct Bauchi state.

“We will work assiduously to ensure that Gombe has its own codified laws domesticated,” he said.

The lawmaker said he would also encourage speedy dispensation of Justice because the number of prison inmates who were awaiting trial, were more than convicted inmates.

“Our central prison in Gombe is overstretched with inmates, more than the number the prison is designed to accommodate,” Ayala said.

Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore


Control of COVID-19 through waste management, our priority – Gombe commissioner



The Gombe State Government said it had taken measures to ensure proper evacuation of  infectious waste  in isolation  centers and high risks areas to prevent outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.

Dr Hussaina Goje, Gombe Commissioner of Environment and Forest Resources stated this at a news conference in Gombe on Friday  to commemorate the  World Environment Day.

Goje said as part of efforts to ensure that isolation and treatment centres were safe and the risk of spread minimised, the state government had continued to fumigate the centres and other high risks locations.

According to her, measures have been put in place for proper waste treatment process using incinerators, adding that the government is partnering with the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe in that regard.

“We have two incinerators in our facilities and we have put measures in place to take away infectious wastes and properly incinerate them. Wastes from all four isolation centres are properly disposed.

The incinerator at the Federal Teaching Hospital , Gombe, can take eight tonnes of wastes and work for eight hours per day,” she said.

The commissioner added that the ministry had also made arrangements  to ensure proper evacuation and disposal of wastes in the state, adding that it was planning to build 100 waste collection centres in the state.

Goje called on residents of the state to take the issue of proper sanitation seriously, adding “ the current environmental crisis the world is facing is a warning that we must heed collectively,”

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma (NAN)


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NGO advocates more awareness in Gombe communities to curb deforestation



A Non-Governmental Organisation, Jewel Environmental Initiative (JEI) based in Gombe, has urged the state government and other stakeholders to spread awareness to its rural communities to help curb indiscriminate felling of trees.

Mr Ismail Bima, Chief Executive Officer of the NGO, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Friday as part of its activities to commemorate this year’s World Environment Day.

NAN reports that the World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment and the theme for this year is ‘Celebrate Biodiversity’.

Bima said awareness needed to be taken to villages in Gombe state, saying that most of the communities in the state were not aware of the dangers of deforestation.

He said that alternative cooking energy sources should be made available to residents in rural areas, adding that if they had no alternatives to cooking their foods, they would fall back on the trees.

“The awareness will enlighten them more on the importance of having these trees in their environment. When they know, they will reduce cutting or tree felling; they will shave the trees instead of cutting them down,” he said.

Bima emphasised that tree felling for whatever purpose must be discouraged, saying that just a week ago, the organisation got a call from Kaltungo, where a Baobab tree of over 40 years was cut down completely.

“This is bad. We are just damaging our environment, culture and nature that help sustain our life,’’ the chief executive officer said.

He said the impact of environmental degradation was already being felt.

According to him, most hunters no longer see animals to hunt and even most of our kids do not know squirrels because they are becoming extinct.

“ The environment that sustains these animals has been depleted and so we no longer have the environment to keep these animals in our communities; so they have relocated.

“We must also reduce most of the chemicals that we use on soil while farming because they are also damaging the micro-organisms which we need in our environment to balance the ecosystem,” he said.

Bima, therefore, urged the state government to do more, especially in the area of strengthening environmental laws to discourage tree felling especially in the frontline local government areas where tree felling was still being practiced.

He also urged residents of Gombe communities to cultivate the habit of planting trees to complement efforts of the state government to plant one million trees every year.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)


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EFCC destroys 681 bags of adulterated fertiliser in Gombe



The Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Gombe, on Thursday,  destroyed 681 bags of adulterated fertiliser in the state.

Mr Ibrahim Shazali, the new Northeast Zonal Head of the commission, told newsmen in Gombe that the exercise was in compliance with a court order.

Shazali said fertiliser adulteration was an act of economic sabotage, which hampered the efforts of the federal government toward ensuring food security in the country.

He stated that such acts if allowed to continue would affect incomes of peasant farmers who might unknowingly buy the adulterated fertilisers and end up not getting the desired result during harvest.

“The worst of it is that some bags of the adulterated fertilisers have inscriptions of  presidential fertiliser initiative to make people think the fertiliser is from the federal government.

“They (convicts) print the bags, bring small part of fertiliser and bring in some limestone gotten from Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State, creating an impression that this is coming from the federal government.

“This is exactly where the sabotage comes from. So, even if the fertilisers have federal government tag on them, there is need for farmers to make proper enquiries to ascertain their source,” the EFCC zonal boss said.

He warned those adulterating fertiliser, saying  the commission would apprehend anyone involved as surveillance had been strengthened to ensure they were put out of business, adding, “we are still extending our investigations to Kano and Katsina states.

While calling for more information from the public, he cautioned farmers to always engage relevant agencies like Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) before buying fertilisers from the markets.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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COVID-19: Gombe SSG’s office, Govt House clinic to be closed, fumigated- Taskforce



The office of the Secretary to the Gombe State Government (SSG), as well as the Government House clinic, are to be closed and fumigated after a staff of the Government House died of COVID-19 on Sunday.

The chairman of the state’s Taskforce on COVID-19, Prof. Idris Mohammed disclosed this on Wednesday in Gombe while briefing newsmen.

Mohammed said that the outcome of the test conducted on the deceased was among that of several others that turned out positive of COVID-19.

He said that the sample of the deceased had been taken for testing before his death and the results came in on Wednesday.

According to him, the taskforce has taken measures to ensure that community transmission is limited.

The office of the SSG will be closed and fumigated as well as the government house clinic where the deceased was admitted for a few days.

“All members of his (deceased) family and community who had contact with him will be traced, counselled and tested for COVID-19.

“These efforts are to limit community transmission of the virus,” the chairman said.

He stated that since the deceased was also a member of the state’s Taskforce on COVID-19, all members of the taskforce would be screened for COVID-19 and anyone found positive would be isolated.

The chairman added that all those who participated in the burial of the deceased would be traced, tested and isolated until the results of their tests were out.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran (NAN)

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COVID-19: Gombe records 7 deaths, says taskforce 



Gombe State Taskforce on COVID-19 says it has recorded seven deaths related to COVID-19 in the state.

Prof. Idris Mohammed, chairman of the taskforce stated this in Gombe on Wednesday while briefing newsmen.

The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that three deaths were initially reported, and the state recorded additional four recently, bringing the total to seven.

He said out of the seven deaths recorded, three were from community transmission because they did not have any record of travelling.

He said so far, there were only 23 active cases in the state that were on admission at Specialist, Federal Teaching Hospital and Kwadon Isolation centres Gombe.

He further expressed concern over the way people were conducting their businesses in the state without the fear of the pandemic.

Idris said the negative attitude of members of the public was worrisome because they were frustrating the efforts of the taskforce that was going round the communities for contact tracing.

“Members of the community were frustrating the efforts of taskforce who were out for contact tracing.

“Community transmission can only be checked if they cooperate with health workers who were out for contact tracing,” he said.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Salif Atojoko (NAN)


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NGO provides trauma healing for IDPs in Gombe



The Kishimi Shelter and Care Foundation, an NGO, has commenced a one-year trauma healing programme for 300 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gombe State.

Mrs Grace Samuel, the Executive Director of the foundation, disclosed this at the opening of a two-day training workshop for stakeholders on the programme.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the targeted beneficiaries are being sheltered in Gombe and Akko Local Government Areas of the state.

She said the foundation would execute the programme through a collaboration with Psycare Initiative with support from African Transitional Justice Legacy Funds (ATJLF).

According to her, the project will provide palliative care for traumatised victims and survivors of conflict in the North East region.

She explained that the programme would provide care to victims who lost everything and have no source of livelihood with skills acquisition and income generating activity.

According to her, the NGO will settle the hospital bills of those in the second category and then link them to additional medical service through referrals and professional counselling.

Samuel said: “African Transitional Justice Legacy Funds is a  MacArthur Foundation sponsored programme which basically has to do with reforming the justice system in Africa.

“This time around, we are not only looking at the justice system, we are looking at the non-justice components.

“This is, those that have not only been denied rights but are suffering trauma and some other challenges. That’s the part we are working on,” she said.

The executive director said the organisation was targeting a minimum of 300 out of the 10,000 IDPs in the state.

Samuel therefore appealed to spirited persons and organisations for more interventions to help displaced persons who are still leaving their homes because of insurgency in the region.

She said that a technical working group would be established to reflect all the stakeholders or components identified for easy execution of the project.

The affected IDPs, traditional and religious leaders, heads of security agencies, CSOs, the media, health personnel and legal practitioners attended the event.

Edited By: Shuaib Sadiq/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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New CP assumes office in Gombe



The new Commissioner of Police posted to Gombe Command, Mr Maikudi Shehu, on Tuesday assumed duty with a promise to add value to what his predecessor had done.

Addressing a news conference at the command headquarters in Gombe, Shehu said that patrols to hinterlands would be strengthened to protect areas that were vulnerable to crime.

He said that visibility and community policing would also be prioritised.

“We might need to do things a bit different because crime is not static, and since we are living in a dynamic society, we will modify and re-strategise mechanisms to checkmate crimes,” Shehu said.

The CP pledged to ensure the protection of lives and properties in line with the mandate of the Police by adopting “results-yielding approaches” to fight crime in the state.

He warned the officers and men against extortion, vowing to deal with anyone caught.

“If they (policemen) extort, let us know, I will fish them out and deal decisively with them because that is not their mandate,” Shehu said.

He said that the command under his leadership would liaise with sister agencies to ensure a crime-free state for everyone to engage in their lawful businesses.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that CP Shehu, who hails from Gwandu Local Government Area of Kebbi State took over from CP Bello Makwashi following his redeployment to the Airport Command..

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Gombe spends N1.6b on payment of 2015 gratuities



Gombe state government, on Friday said it had spent N1.6 billion on the payment of 2015 retirees in the state.

Governor Inuwa Yahaya, stated this in Gombe on Friday during a state wide broadcast to mark his one year in office.

He said that in spite of limited resources inherited from the previous administration, the welfare of both serving and retired civil servants was paramount in view of their contribution to the development of the state.

“So far, we have settled outstanding gratuities to the tune of N1.6 billion for 2015 retirees.

“In the same vein, consideration is being given to serving civil servants based on a defined arrangement.

“It is our hope that other welfare package for existing civil servants like housing and transportation, will be considered when the economic situation improves,”he said.

The governor also stated that in the education sector, about 300,000 out-of-school children were taken back to school through Better Education and Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme.

He stated that the state government had also paid over N1.5billion as counterpart funds in respect of developmental programmes in the areas of health, education, agriculture, and environment.

In education sector, Yahaya said within the period under review, 234 classrooms were constructed across 80 schools and 190 classrooms were renovated in 47 schools.

He said this was in addition to rehabilitating  four legacy Secondary Schools namely GSSS, Gombe, Kaltungo, GSS, Dukku and GGSS Kuri, to restore their lost glory.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso (NAN)

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Gombe govt. constructs 12-bed Intensive Care Unit



The Gombe State Government has constructed and equipped a 12-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at its Specialist Hospital, Dr Ahmed Gana, the state’s Commissioner for Health, has said.

Gana said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Gombe on Friday while giving an account of Gov. Inuwa Yahaya’s stewardship in the health sector within one year in office.

According to him, the decision to construct the ICU was informed by the recommendations of a  task force on health which was inaugurated by the governor to identify the challenges in the sector as well as solutions.

He said prior to the construction of the ICU unit, patients were being referred to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Gombe.

Gana said the health sector under the Yahaya administration was accorded the highest priority in terms of intervention.

The commissioner said prior to the advent of the Yahaya administration, the health sector was in a state of decay, with the general hospitals across the state on the verge of collapse.

He said the Specialist Hospital, the premier health facility, also had its own challenges, although “90 per cent” had now been addressed in terms of equipment and expansion to meet demand.

Gana said within one year in office, the Accident, Emergency and Trauma Unit of the Specialist Hospital was demolished and reconstructed while the Maternity Ward was expanded and laboratories equipped.

He said digital X-ray machines were equally procured for the first time in the history of the state while a transit camp for the training of house officers was at the level of completion.

The commissioner also disclosed that the Medical and Dental Council would soon be visiting the state, preparatory to commencement of training of house officers.

The commissioner further said the governor facilitated relationships with international organisations to fund health activities in the state.

He said in the area of primary health care delivery, 114 primary health care facilities were identified across the 114 wards in the state and equipped for optimum service to the people at the grassroots.

Gana said allocating 10 per cent of the 2020 total budget was a clear indication that the governor had prioritised the health sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that in January, Yahaya signed three bills into law in a bid to reposition the health sector for easy accessibility and affordability to a greater majority of the people in the state.

NAN reports that the bills earlier passed by the state House of Assembly included the Gombe State Management Board Law 2019 and Gombe State Contributory Healthcare Management Law, 2019.

Also passed was the Gombe State Council on Public Procurement and Public Procurement Bureau Law, 2019.

Edited By: Hawa Lawal/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

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