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From The States

Okorocha imposes N3,000 ‘development levy’ on all adults in Imo

Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has ordered all “leviable adults” in the state to pay N3,000 each as “development levy”.

According to a statement by Louis Duru, the state commissioner for community government, culture and traditional affairs, the money is to be used for  “autonomous community adult development”.

Duru said the state had registered at least 2,ooo leviable adults in each of the 637 autonomous communities.

He added that recognised communities will serve as the collectors and they are to pay not less than N6 million each.

Okorocha warned that the traditional rulers of defaulting communities will have their allowances or salaries suspended.

“To facilitate the payment, the state government through the ministry of CGC, since September 2016, has provided community adult registers for all autonomous communities in the state where the communities will enlist the names of at least 2000 leviable adults”, the statement read.

“Consequently, His Excellency Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha has directed that all recognised autonomous communities in Imo State should pay the minimum adult development levy of N6,000,000 (Six million Naira only) without further delay.

“Any recognised autonomous community that fails to pay the development levy will be merged with sister autonomous community that had paid and the salaries/allowances of the traditional ruler will be suspended.

“Government has concluded arrangements to embark on sensitisation meetings with traditional rulers at the local government areas to further emphasize His Excellency’s directives and monitor compliance.”

Obaseki unveils plan  for steady power supply to industries, residents

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has revealed the state government’s plans to strategically develop industrial layouts away from residential areas to ensure proportionate power supply to help actualize the state’s developmental plans.

Obaseki disclosed this during an interview with journalists in Benin City, Edo State capital.

According to him, “We have developed plans to help overcome the challenges of power distribution to industries, residential buildingsand other users. This includes building areas of use, that is, developing industrial parks, housing estates and other clusters that can be directly connected to generating plants.”

He said, “When these plans are fully achieved, the state would havesteady power supply to support businesses and other users. With time, Benin City and other towns in the state will be better planned and segregated so that industrial use of power can be separated from domestic use.”

“When this is done, the structural challenges along the chain of generation and distribution will then be reorganised and steady power supply will then be guaranteed,” he said.

He explained that steady power supply cannot be achieved overnight until the structural impediments are addressed, noting, “Even if the issue of generation of power is addressed, efforts must be made to address issues mitigating distribution and transmission.”

Obaseki said, “As long as we have determined people like the developers of Edo Azura Independent Power Plant (IPP), Edo state and Nigeria can become self-sufficient in power supply. As long as there is power generation, we will find a way to get it to users.

“If we have people who know what they are doing like the developers of Edo Azura IPP, we will overcome issues of power supply. In terms of generation, I believe, given the resources available, hydro, thermal and green energy, we can generate all the electricity to power the state and country.”

Obaseki sacks environment commissioner

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday sacked the Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Mr. Reginald Okun.
Obaseki also approved the retirement of the General Manager of Edo State Waste Management Board, Mr. Aiyamenkue Akonofua.
The governor, in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, ordered the redeployment of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. R. E. Obahiagbon.
He urged the disengaged officials to handover their duties to the most senior government official in their offices with immediate effect.
While thanking the affected appointees for their service and wishing them well in their future endeavours, he also directed them to handover all government property in their possession to the appropriate authorities.

Pastor allegedly kills lover, buries her in church

The Ogun State Police Command on Tuesday  arrested a pastor  who allegedly killed his lover and buried her body inside his church.

Parading the suspect at the scene of the crime, the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, said the command had received a report of  a  missing person at the Divisional Headquarters in Ewekoro.

The commissioner said  that the case was reported by one Adebola Saheed,  who stated that  his younger sister, Mrs Raliat Sanni, 35,  had  left home since March 21 and had  yet to return.

Iliyasu said  on the strength of the report, police operatives at Ewekoro Division led by SP Oluwarotimi Jeje, the Divisional Police Officer, started investigation.

He said the pastor, after discreet analysis of facts,  was the last person who was seen with the missing person.

“The so called Pastor  was promptly arrested and thoroughly interrogated.

“In the course of interrogation, the pastor confessed to killing the victim and burying  her inside his church after removing her head and two hands for reasons only known to him and God,’’ he said.

The police commissioner  said  the  suspect  named   another  accomplice who was also paraded.

“This is the height of wickedness that can be meted out to a fellow human being. It will interest you to know that the victim was a  secret lover  to the pastor who eventually hacked her to death, ” he said.

He said that forensic investigation into the case had commenced and the matter would eventually be charged to court.

“This is another breakthrough resulting from a painstaking technical intelligence investigation aimed  at wiping out crime in our society as well as bringing to justice those who are adamant in making crime  their business.

I appeal to the people to always be watchful of those they associate with and always disclose their movements to at least one person close to them no matter how confidential the movement  in order to prevent occurrence of this type of dastardly act, ” he said.

Speaking to journalists, the suspect  said that he was not the one that killed the victim, alleging  that it was his  accomplice  who carried out the act  and later cut off her head and two hands.

The suspect, a teacher at Methodist High School, Private, Arigbajo, said  that he was forced by the accomplice to join  his cult  group.

He revealed that the victim was killed in the process of his initiation as a member of the cult group.

The alleged accomplice, however,  denied having anything to do with the pastor, saying that the last time he saw him was 2017.


Kogi governor, Yahaya Bello, falls off car, injures foot

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State fell off while alighting from his official car last Friday and injured his left foot, a statement from the Kogi State Government House, Lokoja, said on Tuesday.

The statement signed by Mr Kingsley Fanwo, Director–General, Media and Publicity to the governor, said that the incident happened at the old market area in Lokoja, when the governor was waiting to receive the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

The Speaker visited Lokoja for the burial of Umar Buba Jibril, a member of the House of Representative, who died in Abuja on that Friday.

“The injury prevented the governor from attending the burial of Mr Jibril. He was represented by his deputy, Simon Achuba,” the statement said.

It dismissed claims that Mr Bello was hospitalised and incapacitated, stating that the governor was promptly treated by his doctors, who bandaged the leg and discharged him.

The statement thanked the governor’s supporters for their concern over his health, saying he (Bello) was doing well and would resume work after the Easter holidays.

There were reports that the governor was critically injured in the accident.


Emir tells subjects not to allow themselves to be killed like fools

The Emir of Birnin Gwari in Kaduna state, Zubairu Gwari, asked his subjects to defend themselves against suspected bandits invading their communities.

One of the 23 local government areas in Kaduna, Birinin Gwari has recorded a high level of insecurity in recent times.

It was in the area that 11 soldiers were killed earlier in the month.

In an interview with Daily Trust, the first class traditional ruler said he asked his subjects not to “behave like fools” and get killed.

“A month ago, in one area called Anguwan Gajere, the bandits attacked a village, and the villagers fought back, in the process they killed more bandits than the people of the town,” he said.

“All of a sudden, we were told that the people who came were Fulani men, and Miyetti Allah was in the vanguard of protecting them. What we have been preaching to our people is that they should not sit down like fools and watch themselves and their families get killed. If you can do anything to protect yourselves, protect yourself. I will repeat it in front of anybody.

“We can’t be fools to wait for somebody that will not come. Nobody can stop me from telling my people to protect themselves. And that is what we are doing now because the policemen that are in Birnin Gwari cannot protect. The soldiers that are being brought come and sometimes make matters worse. I am also appealing to the president to come and see things for himself, because we are also Nigerians.”

The emir said his people are living in hell adding that the activities of the suspects have stunted all development activities in the area.

“We have been standing up against these people, fighting them in the hope that it would end, all to no avail,” he said.

” I must say that the Kaduna state government, particularly this present governor, has done his best, and I believe he is still doing so, but I think when you say somebody is doing his best, maybe their best is not enough. That is why, when they do something, it would look like they are succeeding, but then, eventually, the bandits find a way to unleash terror on us.”

Gwari’s call comes a week after Theophilus Danjuma, a retired army general, called on Nigerians to defend themselves against killers.

The statement of the elder statesman sparked a wave of criticism.

Zamfara gov asks operatives to kill anyone with illegal arms

Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, on Friday asked security agents to shoot and kill anyone caught carrying firearms illegally in the state.

Yari said this when he visited the emir of Anka to condole with the emirate over the killing of over 30 persons by gunmen in Bawan Daji village.

“This is an order from the president and from the governor of the state,” he said.

“We cannot continue to watch criminals as a parallel government, doing what they want and carrying sophisticated firearms, maiming and killing innocent citizens in the state.”

The governor directed the disbandment of five communities and the removal of the village and district heads of the affected communities in the emirate with immediate effect.

The traditional rulers were accused of harbouring bandits.

He said any person or group found associating with bandits should also not be spared but treated as the firearms carriers.

Responding, Attahiru Ahmad, emir of Anka, said “we need more security personnel who are also committed to carry out their responsibility effectively.

“What we are facing is armed banditry by trigger-happy criminals who attack innocent rural dwellers and steal their cash and property.”

Suspected bandits attacked Bawan Daji village for two consecutive days in the outgoing week.

60 mourners, grave-diggers killed in Zamfara


More than 60 people have been killed – including mourners and grave-diggers – in attacks by cattle rustlers on a village in northwestern Zamfara state since Tuesday, residents have told BBC Hausa.

Police say they recovered only three bodies, but residents of Bawardaji village were adamant that the number of dead was more than 60.

Bandits first attacked the village on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 13 people, after getting information that a vigilante group was meeting to discuss how to confront them, the eyewitnesses said.

Many other people escaped with gunshots into the bush and to neighbouring villages. Some of them died later, the residents said.

The gunmen returned to the village on Wednesday and attacked a mass funeral procession as the community was preparing to bury its dead from the previous day’s attack.

The attack left 63 people dead. Dozens of people in the funeral procession as well as grave-diggers were killed.

“We were at the cemetery digging graves to bury those [they killed earlier], only for us to see them come back in a convoy of motorcycles. We ran and they started shooting at us,” one man said.

“As I am talking to you now only three of us survived from among those who attended the funeral at the cemetery. Six people from my family [attended the funeral] and only I survived,” he added.

Another resident said of the 63 people killed in the attacks, 38 bodies were found in a bush.

The attacks came less than a week after President Muhammadu Buhari visited the troubled state, and urged the security agencies to wipe out “criminality”.

Police denied knowledge of Wednesday’s attack, and said they fought off the bandits when they raided the village the previous day.

”When the attackers first attacked the village, a joint team of police and military personnel was deployed there to fight them off. And they engaged them in a gun battle which forced them to flee into the bush. After chasing them, our men found three dead bodies of the villagers who were killed by the armed bandits,” Zamfara police spokesman Muhammad Shehu said.

Oluwo, Yoruba Imams at war over Waziri title

The Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Adewale Akanbi and the League of Imams and Alfas in the South-West, Edo and Delta states are at loggerheads over the propriety or otherwise  of the monarch to install Yaquob Abdul-Baki Mohammed as the Waziri of the entire Yorubaland.

The President, League of lmams and Alfas, South-West, Edo and Delta states, Sheikh Jamiu Bello, in a letter to  Oba Akanbi, urged him to restrict the title to his domain, Iwo.

The League said Oba Akanbi lacked the power to install anybody as the Waziri of the entire Yorubaland because his domain was limited to Iwo town.

The letter read, “The proposed installation of the said recipient by your Highness as the Waziri of Iwo land is no doubt the result of your avowed commitment to the development of lslam, the lwo Community and Osun State in general.

“However, it is our considered hope that your Highness should as a matter of urgency correct the rumours making the round that the organisers of this event are trying to overblow the ceremony to capture the entire Yorubaland. This is not right.”

“If such should be, it has to come through due process as we know you to be a man of honour, protocol and due process”

“To this end, we urge Your Highness to immediately call the organisers of the event to limit it to Waziri of Iwo land which your Highness has concluded arrangement to bestow on the recipient.”

The Oluwo could not be reached for his reaction to the Imams’ letter but his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ali Ibrahim, who spoke on his behalf, said his principal had the right to install anybody as the Waziri of the entire Yorubaland because of the paramount role of Iwo in the South-West region.

Ibrahim said, “Everybody knows that Iwo is called Ilu Alfa (Alfas’ town) and whoever is the king in the town is the number one Muslim in Yorubaland because there is no town with such rich Islamic tradition in the South-West.

“Iwo has been installing Oluwo with turban and not crown for the past 450 years. There is no town that does that in Yorubaland. What the Oluwo is doing is to install a structure in Islam in the South-West.  In the North, the Sultan is the head of all Muslims and Alfas there.

“The Oluwo is going to install the Waziri of Yorubaland and they cannot stop this because the title was invented by the Oluwo himself and not the Alfas. Are the Imams and Alfas in the North superior to the Sultan of Sokoto? Are the Imams and Alfas superior to the King of Saudi, the home of Islam?

“The Oluwo is more than qualified to install anybody he likes as the Waziri. It is not the chieftaincy title under the authority of Imams and Alfas. I invested it and they can’t stop me.

“As one of the natural paramount rulers in Yorubaland, I have the right to install the Waziri of Yoruba land. The Leagues of Imams and Alfas does not have the right to install it.

“Iwo is called town of Alfa and that is the only town that is called that in the entire Yoruba land. There must be a structure in Islam in Yorubaland and I am starting it because I am qualified to lead the way.”

Angry youth burn church, police station in Kaduna

Some youth in the Narayi area of Chikun local government Area of Kaduna state have set ablaze a police station and a parish of Celestial Church of Christ in the community.

Trouble started after the death of a boy working in the church. Babatunde Shittu, the pastor, was accused of being responsible.

The boy was said to have been carrying out a task assigned to him by Shittu but fell into a river and died in the process.

The pastor reportedly ran to the nearby police outpost to report the incident .

But the youth mobilised one another burn down the church and a car belonging to a church member parked within the church premises.

The police outpost was burnt down when the youth insisted that the pastor who was taken to the Barnawa Divisional Police station for protective custody must be produced.

Mukhtar Aliyu, spokesman of the state police command, confirmed the incident, saying five suspects had been arrested.

“The youth were angry over the death of a boy, who was working as a mason with the pastor of the church,” he said.

“When the incident was reported, we prevailed on the youths, and adopted civil and proactive measures to calm them,” he said, adding that the police rescued the pastor and took him to the police outpost and later to Barnawa Divisional police station.

“Later the youth came around 4:00 am and set the church and part of the police outpost ablaze, “ he said.

The spokesman said the command would not allow any person or group of persons to take the law into their hands.

He added that Austin Iwar, police commissioner,  has ordered full investigation and prosecution of those involved.