Borno Governor, Zulum Dissolves Cabinet

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has approved the dissolution of the State Executive Council.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Usman Shuwa, announced the dissolution of the governor’s cabinet on Thursday, saying it was with immediate effect.

The announcement was contained in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Administration and General Services, Danjuma Ali, and made available to reporters in Maiduguri, the state capital.

Governor Zulum, according to the statement, directed all the affected appointees to hand over the leadership to permanent secretaries in their respective ministries.

He explained that the dissolution was to create enabling environment for interested members of the council to legally participate in the forthcoming primaries and congresses of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Zulum thanked the members of the executive council for their various contributions while they held offices and wished them the best in their future endeavours.

Fuel Scarcity Bites Harder Abuja, Borno

By: Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri
The fuel queues being experienced in Abuja have surfaced in major cities across Nigeria, including Maiduguri the Borno state capital where residents have expressed worries over its effects on general activities.
National Trail correspondent reports that long queue have surfaced in Maiduguri with fuel price hitting as high as N500 per litre in black market in the city.

Long queue and closed filling stations characterized daily livelihood bringing back memories of the past administration which the opposition latched on.

Our correspondents’ report that many citizens who woke up to this new development have resorted to oanick buying as they did not envisage a return of petroleum products queue happened in the past.

Some residents of Naiduguri who spoke to National Trail, said this development tells Nigerians that at no time, including now has any leader got the clue at ending pretroleum crises in Nigeria.

Avacga Usman, a commuter told our reporter, ” We produce this products yet we suffer under successive regimes. Only yesterday I was arguing with my friend that the story we are hearing in Lagos and Abuja about the return of the petroleum queue as experienced in the Jonathan’s administration would not come to our side”.

“I woke up this morning as if I was dreaming. The long queues which started in some parts of the metropolis last week have persisted up until Wednesday. The situation looked as if some petrol stations are hoarding fuel in anticipation of an increase in the pump price”, he noted.

Investigations reveal that, the pathetic situation has left many residents stranded specifically schools children, traders and workers as many have resorted to trekking to school or their places of work or destinations not minding the distance in the wake of the fuel scarcity.

The situation, according to residents makes a mockery of earlier references to the Jonathan as a failure.

National Trail reports that earlier this week some filling stations in Maiduguri were selling the fuel at N250 per litre, a situation which was initially decried.
As at today some are selling between N300 and N 350 while black market price has hit N500 per litre of petrol..

It may be recalled that the scarcity of fuel started since last week when the issue of adulterated or bad fuel was said to have been put into circulation by some importers, due to high quantity of methanol discovered in the fuel in circulation across the country.
Although government has ordered for the withdrawal of such fuel, there are still reports of such fuel in circulation.
Marketers argued that, that buying or lifting fuel from the depot became difficult as a result of serious monitoring, checking and delay due to long processes.

Borno Celebrates Nigeria’s Longest serving Assembly Speaker Rt Hon Lawan

***Marks Ten years in office, as lawmakers lavish encomiums.

By Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri 

Nigeria’s longest serving Speaker of a state House of Assembly, Rt Hon Abdulkarim Lawan, who is also the Speaker Borno State House of Assembly, on Wednesday 9th February 2022) marked his uninterrupted leadership.
Having clocked 10 years in office, Lawan emerged Speaker on Thursday 9th February 2012, after the impeachment of his predecessor, Hon Goni Ali Modu.

Borno which has been an epicentre of insurgents in the last 13 years, has witnessed unprecedented developments, specifically in the area of Education, Agricultural revolution, heath care delivery service, poverty alleviation, securing lives and property of the citizenry and managing the plight of millions Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in camps, reconstruction, rehabilitation, resettlement processes and ongoing stabilization efforts in liberated communities under the leadership of Governor Babagana Zulum despite the unfortunate activities of the sect members.

This is even as the Deputy Speaker, Rt Hon Abdullahi Askira and other Lawmakers have continued to pour their encomium on the Speaker for his simplicity, principles and transparency in all legislative matters in the last 10 years, describing him as a detribalized politician.

Although, reconstruction, rehabilitation and relocation of IDPs started during the tenure of former Governor Kashim Shettima, now Senator representing Borno Central, continual efforts were carried out by the present administration, as most of the Local Government Areas of Nothern Borno Senatorial District as well as communities in Central and Southern parts of the state were carried out by Governor Zulum APC led administration under the state Chairmanship of Hon Ali Bukar Dalori, with support from the members of the state House of Assembly, Judiciary, Media, security agencies and development partners among others, which led to millions of IDPs return to their liberated communities voluntarily. 

With the cordial relationship that exist between the Executives, Judiciary and the Legislatures, being spearheaded by the Most humble and gentle looking Speaker, his Deputy, Abdullahi Askira and the entire House, Governor Zulum has within just two and half years executed over 600 people oriented projects spread across the 27 local government areas.

Lawan while speaking to Vanguard exclusively on Wednesday thanked Allah (God), and the present government under the leadership of Professor Governor Zulum, his colleagues at the assembly, and the good people of the state, especially those from his constituency (Guzamala) for giving him the mandate to offer service to humanity.

He then passed a vote of confidence on the leadership style of Zulum’s APC- led administration, especially in the ongoing stabilization and resettlement of millions of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs back to their ancestral homes.

Lawan said, during the years under review, uncountable Bills were passed into law under his leadership, however, he explained that, he always feel proud of the Bill passed which led to the establishment of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) that came into force in 2013 as a volunteer group helping the military to combat Boko Haram, and as well the Bill that was recently passed and signed into law for domestication of Child Rights Protection Act, which will provide western education, healthcare delivery service and other needful for children roaming about the streets in the state.

His words: “On behalf of humble myself and family, i want to use this opportunity to thank God Almighty for making it possible for me to clock 10 years of uninterrupted leadership in office.

“I want to also commend government, all my colleagues at the assembly, and the good people of the state, especially those from my constituency (Guzamala) for their unflinching support and by giving me the mandate to offer service to humanity.

“I want to also express confidence on the leadership style of governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum’s APC- led administration, especially in the ongoing stabilization and Resettlement of millions of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs back to their ancestral homes as well as execution of over 600 people oriented projects across the 27 Local Government Areas.

“Since the establishment of the Civilian-JTF there has been a tremendous improvement in return of gradual peace, and relationship between the civilian populace and the armed forces.

“I want to pay tribute to all our gallant officers and men who have paid the supreme sacrifices for us to have peace in this part of the world” he said, adding that the tribute also was for CJTF, many of whom have died, paying the far reaching sacrifice for the state to have peace.” The Speaker stated.

He equally enjoined the people of the state to continue give their maximum support to the present administration of governor Zulum’s transparent and accountable leadership which has taken Borno to greater height within the shortest time.

Shedding more light, the Deputy Speaker, Hon Engr Abdullahi Askira in an interview described Lawan as a Team Player, very humble and hardworking Legislator, who believes in transparency and rule of law in all his dealings in the House.

Rt Hon Askira stated that in the last 10 years, the Speaker has brought stability and due process, as we have never had any problem among ourselves, as we operates rancor free despite our ethnic or socio cultural backgrounds.

“Recall that at a point in time, youths became worried over the incessant killings and destruction of properties by insurgents, and the House under the leadership of the Speaker had to pass the Bill for establishment or emergence of the Civilian JTF.

“The constitution of the Civilian JTF was a Child of Necessity, which has brought sanity, normalcy and peace not only in Borno, the north east, but the country as a whole. Infact, it was when Borno established it’s own Civilian JTF before some other states of the federation started emulating us, so the credit must be given to the Speaker in this regard.” Said the Deputy Speaker.

On the recent passing into law of the Child Rights Act/ Violence Against Persons (VAPs), and subsequent signing into law by governor Zulum, the Deputy Speaker said, it took the House more than nine months, studying the voluminous and contentious nature of the Bill, before we engaged all stakeholders who critically contributed by coming up with some clauses that replaced the ones that suit our own system.

According to member representing Hawul State Constituency, Hon Ayuba Wakawa said, “Hon Abdulkarim Lawan is a natural born leader who united the House under one umbrella for the common good of Borno state, I tend to learnt alot Working with him”.

Likewise, Member Representing Marte Local Government Area, Hon. Engr Mohammed Gambomi in his response said, 

“It is neither by accident nor by surprise for Hon Abdulkarim Lawan to be leading the Borno House of Assembly for over 10 years as Speaker.

“Indeed his honesty, transparency, respect for the rule of law and his principle of ‘one for all, all for one’, have made him a Leader with respect and integrity. I congratulate him and wish him well.” 

Another Member representing Nganzai State Constituency, Hon Mohammed Ali Gajiram said, “the Speaker has exhibits successful leadership, by making the lives of his team members and workers better.

“This he achieved by setting a harmonious working relationship between the House and the Executive, by maintaining a cordial relationship with the entire assembly members and the management”. 

Also in an interview with the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Speaker, Maina Ma’aji Maina Modu said, “in recognition of the people oriented legislation under Lawan’s leadership, the articulated parliamentarian, administrator and manager per excellence has received a number of awards which includes; Excellent Leadership and Good Government Award by the National Institute of public Administration and Management Development, Peace Ambassador by Universal peace Foundation during the First African Summit on Agriculture in Dakar, Senegal, as well as Anti Corruption Ambassador (M Clean) by ICPC and Foundation for Transparency and Accountability (FTA) and host of others too numerous to mention.

Borno gives 30 days ultimatum To 7 UN agencies over Tax payment

***Threatens Sealing property

By : Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri

Borno State Board of Internal Revenue Service (BO-IRS) has taken a tough stance against 7 United Nations agencies, with a 30 day ultimatum, which is to elapse on 24th February 2022 to comply with its local tax laws or risk confiscation of their properties.

The warning was served on Wednesday by the Executive Chairman of the Board, Muhammad Alkali while briefing Journalists at his office in Maiduguri.

Alkali said, Borno has over 100 International and Local Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) operating across the 27 local government areas, Unfortunately,  World Health Organisation (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN- OCHA) failed to comply after series of plea and meetings.

He mentioned other non-compliant agencies to include; Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) ,Nations Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“It is worthy to note that the aforementioned Organisations are generally exempted from payment of tax from their operational funds, they are however mandated by the provisions of the Personal Income Tax Act CAP P8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004) to remit to the state Government what is known as PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and Withholding Tax (WHT) for their staff, individual and enterprise contractors respectively. 

“It is fortunate that other UN agencies and INGOs like International Organization for Migration (IOM) and several others who are equally in the large taxpayer category are already complying with the provisions of the extant Tax Laws.

“Series of concerted efforts and engagement have thus far been deployed by the BO-IRS which culminated into forwarding various correspondences to ensure that the above 7-listed Organisations and Agencies voluntarily comply, but to no avail.

“BO-IRS is not oblivious of the convention exempting UN Agencies filing tax returns on behalf of their staff, individual and enterprise contractors from paying on behalf of their clients’ taxes, but it is worthy to note that UN agencies are enjoined to respect and comply with the local laws of the land or in the states they operate, hence, the reason we are demanding raw Data of their Nigerian staff, individual and enterprise contractors, but all efforts to get these documents proved abortive.

“BO-IRS is left with no option rather than to employ legitimate means to compel them do so. Infact, we have already taken a step by serving the UN Agencies herein before mentioned notice of seizure of properties which is due to lapse on 24th February, 2022.

“BO-IRS acknowledges the Humanitarian works of these organisations, however, payment of Taxes by Individual (both natural and juristic) is a condition precedent for the smooth governance of any organisation and by extension the State Government.

” I want to reiterate that the Service will therefore trigger its enforcement powers by using legitimate means to seize the properties of the agencies involved.” Alkali threatened.

Boko Haram ISWAP wrecks havoc on Another Borno Village

***kill 4, kidnap scores including women, children.

By: Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri 

Suspected Members of the Islamic State West Africa, ISWAP invaded Kautikari village of Chibok Local Government Area in Borno state killing four residents and abducted unspecified number of women and children.
Fleeing residents told our correspondent on Saturday morning that
apart from burning down a church and some residential houses, the insurgents also invaded the residence of a renowned business man (name withheld) and set all his properties ablaze before snatching a cell phone belonging to his wife.

Kautikari is located East and about 15kilometers drive from Chibok town predominantly occupied by Christian Faithfuls.
Unfortunately, a son inlaw (name withheld) of the business man who resides with his family in Maiduguri told our Correspondent that he received a distress call from the snatched phone of his mother inlaw by the insurgents demanding for recharge card early Saturday morning, before he inform the caller that ‘God is in Control’, and quickly put off the phone.

“Our people of Kautikari are displaced following the attack on the community last Friday which is our market day.

“The armed insurgents killed four people, destroy shops and looted food items. They also abducted scores of women and children as many are still missing.

“Our Church has been razed down, including my father in law’s house and shops in the community. I spoke with some of the family and they told me they are all safe, though displaced now.

“Unfortunately, my mother inlaw’s cell phone was snatched from her by the terrorists. I received a distress call from the snatched phone this morning by the insurgents demanding for recharge card, before i informed the caller that ‘God is in Control’, and i quickly put off the phone. He narrated.

Zulum distributes N23.3m to 3,911 refugees

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has distributed N23.3 million in aid to 3,911 refugees from liberated border community of Malam-Fatori in Abadam Local Government Area, taking refuge in neighbouring Niger Republic.

Our correspondent reports that Malam-Fatori, located in the fringes of Lake Chad, was occupied by insurgents for about six years forcing residents to flee to Niger Republic.

Zulum who led a sanitation exercise to the area and assessment of safety of the town for resettlement, gave each male beneficiary N10,000 while women got N5,000 with a wrapper each

Zulum’s visit, is the latest of more than five previous visits, for assessments and reconstruction of homes and public services destroyed by Boko Haram during their violent occupation.

In 2021, the governors inaugurated a committee to work out modalities for reconstruction and resettlement, same way communities in Baga, Banki among others, were rebuilt and resettled.

Zulum explained that safe relocation of civilian population to Malam-Fatori will hopefully commence by end of November 2021, after which Government will explore the possibility of returning people to Abadam town, which was also occupied by insurgents.

He expressed appreciation to the President of Niger Republic, Muhammadu Bazoum, the Governor of Diffa Province, Issa Lameen and humanitarian officials for their tremendous support to refugees from Borno who lived in Niger since 2014 when they fled from insurgent attacks on their communities in northern parts of Borno.

Police parade 76 suspects for various crimes in Borno

Police in Borno on Wednesday in Maiduguri paraded 76 suspects who were arrested within the past one month.

Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdu Umar, told newsmen that the suspects were arrested for various offences ranging from conspiracy, culpable homicide, and armed robbery to abduction.

HE said some were arrested for kidnapping, rape, forgery, theft and being in possession of dangerous weapon.

The commissioner, who assumed office one month ago, reiterated his commitment to continue to apply technology in the fight against crime for maximum result.

“I assure the general public of operating a technologically-based policing as well as unrelenting efforts to ensure the protection of lives and properties while maintaining law and order in the state.

“Activities of crime merchants who are desperate to make a living at the expense of law-abiding and hardworking people of the state will not be tolerated.

“It is gladdening to note that within just a month of my arrival as the Commissioner of Police, the Command has made a breakthrough in the fight against crimes and criminality in the state,’’ Umar said.

He solicited public support and cooperation for the police for more results.

Zulum receives women, children who escaped from Boko Haram bondage

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno on Monday received six women and nine children who escaped from the bondage of Boko Haram terrorists.

Presenting the women and children to the governor in Maiduguri, the Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zuwaira Gambo, said they were abducted in Borno and Adamawa.

They, however, escaped from the terrorists in Buni-Yadi axis from where they trekked for six days to reach Damboa town in Borno.

According to Gambo, three women comprising Maryam Ishaya with one child, Rachel Simon with two children and Esther Ayuba with two children were abducted in Takulasha Village of Chibok LGA of Borno on Oct. 3, 2020.

Gambo said that the remaining three women comprising Alheri Ezekiel with two children, Victoria Andrew, and Victoria James with two children of Cofure Village of Hong LGA of Adamawa were abducted on May 5, 2021.

Zulum said government was doing everything possible to speedily rehabilitate and reintegrate all Boko Haram victims into the society.

“I am very happy to receive you, my daughters, after you fell prey to Boko Haram terrorists. We thank God Almighty for rescuing and protecting you from the hands of the terrorists.

Receiving the victims, Zulum said government would support and reintegrate them.

He expressed gratitude to God for the development and urged for sustain effort and prayers for a lasting solution to the insurgency and other security challenges facing the nation.

PDP secretary alleges hijack of congress materials in Borno

The Borno Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that materials meant for Saturday’s congress of the party have been hijacked by a group.

Alhaji Yusuf Dikko, the state PDP secretary, disclosed this when he spoke with newsmen in Maiduguri, adding that a complaint has been sent to the party’s zonal and national headquarters on the matter.

Dikko blamed the problem on the former governorship candidate of the party, Alhaji Mohammed Imam and the immediate past state PDP chairman, Alhaji Zannah Gaddama.
“We have forwarded complaints to the zonal and national headquarters of the party and are still waiting for response,” he said.
Dikko said that he was aware that some members were bent on destroying the party in the state.
“Since our inauguration we have received series of complaints from wards and local government on the activities of those people who wanted to destroy the party for their selfish interest like they did in 2019 general elections,” he said.
Reacting, Gaddama,  faulted the claim, saying that the PDP ward congress would hold on Saturday as scheduled across the state.
He said that the materials were not hijacked as they were received from national headquartres.
“Those forms are on sale and we went and purchased them. If they claim that we hijacked them, the national secretariat is there, security agencies are also there, why don’t they report us to them.
“All we know is that ward congress will hold on Sept. 25, while local government congress will take place on Oct.5. The state congress is slated for Oct.16,” Gaddama said.

Mid Term Report: Borno Gov Zulum delivers 556 capital projects in two years

By: Ali Musa Biu- Maiduguri

Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum has led his administration to the delivery of 556 projects in two years, Commissioner for Information, Babakura Abba Jato announced on Saturday. 

The Commissioner made the announcement in his evidence-based presentation at a ceremony to mark Democracy Day, which was attended by Governor Zulum, National and State Assembly members, traditional rulers, party leaders, heads of security agencies and top Government officials. The event held at the Government house in Maiduguri. 

Jato, during his graphic presentation said 70% of the 556 projects have been fully completed with many being put into use, while 30% are at various levels of completion. 

The Commissioner explained that the 556 projects do not include policies and programs even when most of them are capital intensive. 

Giving breakdown of the projects, Jato explained that 194 capital projects were delivered on education, and they encompass rehabilitation, completion and fresh construction of mega-size Government technical colleges and primary schools in different communities. 

He noted that 63 capital projects were delivered on Governance, and another 63 capital projects on roads, transport, rural and urban development while 59 capital projects were delivered on water and environment. 

The Commissioner also said that Zulum delivered 58 capital projects on health, which include establishment of 74 primary healthcare centres, new doctors’ quarters, and overhaul of 8 hospitals in MMC, Biu, Damboa, Monguno and Magumeri. 

He explained that 53 capital projects were delivered on reconstruction rehabilitation and resettlement, which involve more than 6,000 resettlement houses for IDPs and refugees in 15 towns. Mr. President, MuhammaduBuhari, GCFR, has since approved 10,000 resettlement houses in Borno State, with 4,000 already completed. 
Jato noted that 28 capital projects on jobs creation, youth empowerment and humanitarian support which include an all-inclusive vocational training centre with 14 workshops for capacity development of 1,500 persons per annum. He said 15 capital projects were delivered on commerce and industry; 13 capital projects on agriculture and 10 capital projects were executed on security. 
He also recalled that monthly allowances of volunteers in the Civilian JTF, hunters and vigilantes was increased, while over 700 vehicles and other logistics were needed to enhance their operational roles of complementing armed forces in fighting Boko Haram.