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ASUU protests incessant abduction of students, staff of Nasarawa University



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From Abel Abogonye, Lafia

Following the incessant abductions of students and staff of the Nasarawa state University Keffi (NSUK), the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Friday took to the streets in Keffi to protest and expressed their grievances.

In a peaceful protest at the Senate building of the University in Keffi local government area of Nasarawa state, the union expressed sadness over the unabated kidnap that has created fears and bad name for the state institution, noting that no parent would want his ward admitted Into the institution.

Within a month the Deputy Vice Chancellor, four students, a lecturer and two family members of one other lecturer were Abducted and later released after payment of ransome to their abductors with millions of naira.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions “Governor A A Sule save us from terrorists”, “Save lives of university lecturers. Overhaul the security apparatus in Keffi for us to be secured”, “The lives of lecturers matter. Let the lecturers breathe” among others.

Speaking shortly after the protest, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, National President, ASUU condemned the kidnapping which he described as pathetic as he called on relevant authorities to put in place necessary steps to avert future occurrence.

“It’s a pathetic situation. We are calling on the government, the Vice Chancellor and management of the institution to rise up to their responsibilities and ensure people are safe in this university,” he said.

He commended the ASUU branch for organizing the peaceful protest which he said was necessary to notify relevant authorities of the displeasure of the union over the recent incidents.

“I commend this branch for this protest and I want to assure you that we will also take action over this ugly development,” he added.

Also speaking, Prof. Samuel Alu, Chairman, ASUU NSUK Branch described the incessant abduction of members of the union and students as a pill too bitter to swallow hence the decision by an emergency congress of the branch’s union to organize a peaceful protest.

“We are here to register our displeasure because within the last three weeks, several of our members have been kidnapped.

“We find it difficult to understand why these incidents will happen consistently without any form of condemnation on the part of government or military,” he said.

He explained that aside the peaceful protest, the branch’s emergency congress also urged that Governor Abdullahi Sule should rise to the occasion in addressing the security challenges that have bedeviled NSUK.

“Our members are living in perpetual fear and threats because nobody knows who is next. We are being improvised and being made to pay ransom and nobody has to come to our aid.

“We are putting this notice that we can no longer accept this kind of ugly incidents on our members. Students have also been captured and ransome have been paid.

“The fear is if this continues, Nasarawa state will soon cease to exist because of fear, people will have to leave because of their safety before talking about education.

“So we are calling on the Commissioner of Police Nasarawa state command to also rise to the occasion. What is happening is totally unacceptable to ASUU NSUK Branch and ASUU generally,” he said.

In an interview with newsmen, Prof. Abdullahi Modibbo, Deputy Vice Chancellor, NSUK who spoke on behalf of the NSUK Vice Chancellor, Prof Suleiman Bala-Mohammed admitted that the institution was facing difficult times for almost a month due to incessant abductions of staff and students.

“Maybe by putting the records straight. Three of our lecturers were kidnapped. A wife of our lecturer was kidnapped. Four students of this university were also kidnapped.

“But most of them are staying off campus. So most of the people that were kidnapped are those staying outside the campus. It is a source of concern to the management of the institution even though we know it is a national problem,” he said.

He however assured that the management of the institution is making serious efforts to checkmate the ugly trend and put a stop to it.

“For those on campus, we don’t have much problem because we are in collaboration with Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

“For those living off campus, we have approved the recruitment of twenty vigilantes that will be strategically trained to do their job in various nooks and crannies of the various off campus loctions. This is one of the efforts we are making on security of staff and students,” he said.

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News from Nasarawa

8 Takeaways from Governor Dikko Radda’s Investment Shuttles to 7 Countries




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By Ibrahim Kaula Mohammed

He is on a mission to restore the beautiful, enchanting and unrivalled glories of Katsina State, which were lost several years ago. For Governor Dikko Umaru Radda, the narrative of Katsina needs to be overhauled, and in no distant time.

Barely six months after he assumed office, Mallam Dikko Radda has left no stone unturned in his avowed quest to rewrite the Katsina story, in a style that is intellectually captivating, eye catching and fantastically mind blowing.

Aside from performing groundbreaking inaugurations of vital capital projects, the Radda administration has equally unveiled programmes and policies aimed at enhancing the living standards and welfare of teeming Katsina masses.

Taking into cognizance the reality that Katsina is richly endowed not only with abundant natural resources, but tremendous human capital, His Excellency, in the last three months, led a delegation of top government functionaries of the state government to the United Kingdom, Turkiye Republic, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, Cote D’Ivoire, South Korea and the United States of America.

The trips were aimed at forging business partnerships and also woo potential investors to Katsina state. Below are the takeaways from Governor Radda’s official expeditions to the seven aforementioned nations.

1. Enhanced Capacity for Good Governance*

About three months ago, Governor Dikko Radda, together with some of his first-term colleague Governors participated in a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-sponsored retreat for select members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), in Rwanda.

The retreat was aimed at boosting the capacity of the participating governors in piloting the affairs of their respective states, in a way that will foster good governance and purposeful leadership. It is as certain as daybreak that Governor Radda, in the wake of the retreat, has broadened his horizon on what is expected of any governor steering the affairs of a Nigerian state, especially at a critical juncture Nigeria finds itself.

2. Move to Better Katsina’s Health Sector

In far away Turkiye, Governor Dikko Radda after the Kigali retreat for the NGF members, visited Submed Medical Equipment Factory. At the factory, he discussed partnership with the Turkish firm’s management, aimed at revamping Katsina’s Health sector.

It is apt to assert that the administration of Mallam Radda is working painstakingly to provide better access to higher quality healthcare services and improve health system resilience, towards building the functionality needed to attain universal health coverage.

*3. Getting AFDB’s Support for North West’s Growth*

Leading a delegation of Nigerian governors from states in the North West to the corporate headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in October, Governor Dikko Radda solicited the bank’s intervention for North West’s accelerated development and economic growth, through harnessing the potential of the region’s agricultural and power sectors.

He specifically requested the aid of AfDB to expand irrigation facilities in the region. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB, in his remarks, said: Our AfDB has agreed to sponsor a regional cooperation desk to support the North Western states as they embark on a regional approach to development”.

*4. Katsina Gets 10 Containers of Medical Supplies, MRIs, Others*

Following Governor Dikko Radda’s visit to the Headquarters of the World Medical Relief (WMR) Incorporation in Detroit, Michigan, United States, Katsina State has now gotten 10 containers of medical supplies and equipment donated by WMR.

The 10 containers of medical supplies worth $10 million will be delivered to the state as from January 2024. While speaking at the WMR’s headquarters, Governor Radda lauded the US organisation for providing support to Katsina under its ‘Partnership for Health Program’.

Responding, President of WMR, Mr. George Samson, disclosed that their organisation is committed to helping Katsina source state-of-the-art MRI equipment and CT Scans, at discount prices, while also offering to install them and train Katsina technicians on proper handling/operation of the equipment, among other pledges.

*5. Katsina Builds Network with all UK Varsities*

Sometime in August, Governor Dikko Radda visited the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, United Kingdom, to forge an international collaboration with the Institute. The visit was aimed at making Katsina State a Centre of Excellence in healthcare delivery, and a go-to destination for solutions to all kinds of infectious diseases.

It is germane to posit that all United Kingdom (UK) Universities, including the London School of Hygiene, Oxford University, and Cambridge University, among others are partnering with the Sanger Institute to conduct high impact research. Therefore, Katsina’s collaboration with the Wellcome Sanger Institute is like building a network with all UK Universities.

*6. Katsina Offers Natural Resources to Saudi Investors*

Also, Governor Dikko Radda, about three weeks ago, informed a cross section of business moguls and top private sector players in Saudi Arabia that Katsina state is endowed with assorted agricultural and mineral resources, which they can invest in.

He said that there is now an enabling environment for business investments to safely thrive in the State, as the recently-launched Katsina State Community Watch together with personnel of other conventional security agencies have curbed the threats of insecurity in the state.

Governor Radda spoke with journalists on the sideline of the Saudi-Nigeria Roundtable Meeting in Riyadh, held last month. He said: “Katsina State is also endowed with various mineral resources such as Lithium, Gold, Diamond and even Uranium. Your investments in the agricultural and mineral resources’ sectors of our dear State, will no doubt ensure the prosperity of our people. But more importantly, you shall also benefit greatly from your investments.

“We, as a sub-national government, assure you that your safety and wellbeing, by the time you come and invest in our dear Katsina, will not be compromised. It is in fact a top priority for us”.

*7. South Korean Agency Develops Framework for Agro Project in Katsina*

Towards accelerating the socio-economic development of Katsina state, Governor Dikko Radda recently held a fruitful bilateral discussion with Seamuel Foundation, a South Korean government organisation. Two Katsina communities namely Makera and Raddawa villages of Matazu and Dutsinma Local Governments have once benefitted from the humanitarian support of the foundation.

The foundation has so far constructed irrigation facilities and introduced modern techniques of farming practice, as well as provision of implements to Katsina farmers. Governor Radda, while speaking with the management of the foundation during an official trip to South Korea, requested for the extra funding and expansion of the project scope to cover many Katsina communities.

In their response, the management of the foundation agreed to continue working in Katsina. They also pledged to jointly develop a framework for the operationalization of the extension, and expansion of the project as requested by Governor Radda.

*8. KOICA Pledges Support for Katsina’s Rural Development*

Similarly, Governor Dikko Radda, penultimate Monday, visited the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) for a partnership agreement between KOICA and the Katsina State Government. Governor Radda was accompanied to KOICA corporate head office, by the acting Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Mr. Ferdinand O. Nwonye, where he discussed his experience with KOICA and the time he spent at their facility in 2016, as the Director General of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, SMEDAN.

He requested additional support from KOICA in the area of the provision of small farming implements and small-scale irrigation technologies to Katsina farmers. During the meeting,
Governor Radda also solicited KOICA’s support in the training and development of ICT for the state civil service, as well as the Katsina State Enterprises Development Agency (KASEDA), among others.

Responding, the KOICA management assured Governor Radda that they will work with their country office in Nigeria to support Katsina state.

Kaula Mohammed is the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Katsina State Governor.

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News from Nasarawa

Give justice to ‘Gayam’, Chiroma wards, women protesters in Nasarawa appeal to Judiciary




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From Daniel Abel, Lafia

Following the Appeal court judgement, widows and aged women protesters have occupied the high way in Lafia demanding that justice is done in the drama that took place at the popular ‘Gayam and ‘Chiroma wards in Lafia local government during the governorship election.

Over 500 women who are mostly widows and older women on Wednesday begged the Supreme Court not to overlook the falsification of the election result at the two wards.
They expressed dismay that claims of technicalities is being given more prominence in the delivery of judgement.

An 80 years old Mrs. Sarah Danjuma spoke to journalists after the Wednesday protest in Lafia, the state capital, saying,

“How can anyone overlook the irregularities during the March 18 governorship election under the guise of technicalities in Gayam and Chiroma wards all in Lafia Local Government Area.

“The total number of accredited voters in Gayam ward according to INEC was about13,000. Then in the result of that election 33,000 votes were given to the APC alone by INEC.
“This is traumatizing, and that is the point we are making.

“Secondly in Chiroma ward, the number of accredited voters according to INEC record was 21,000, but INEC announced 59,000 votes solely for the APC. Who will know all these and just fold his hands in a democratic setting?

“These and more are the discrepancies the court shielded and went ahead to nullify the tribunal victory of the David Ombugadu that is traumatizing us as women in Nasarawa state.

“We know what it is costing us to wake up everyday to occupy the high way but it’s worth it because injustice is the greatest destroyer of any society. We can’t watch our only state to fester in injustice.

“We take our lives in our hands everyday ignoring the danger associated with protest. Look at what the Nigerian Army did to us three daysearlier while on peaceful protest. If not for God’s mercy on our side many of us would have been crushed to death.

“We have been called all kinds of names by the ruling APC that we are prostitutes. They said we are being paid to go nude. They said we are shameless and irresponsible.

“Nobody is sponsoring us, not even the PDP. Our children and relations give us money to transport to the venue of the protest. Sometime we beg Keke drivers to help us to the venue of the protest and some of them just show us pity and carry us free or collect less money from us.

“We are happy because we are paying the prize for true justice. God is seeing our suffering and He will hear our prayers.

“We call on the president, who is born of a woman like us to come to our help. The judiciary must remember that they are the last hope we have.

“They should not collect money or anything from any body and call white black in the name of technicalities, they should remember that one day all of us will appear before the Almighty Supreme judgement of the most high God.”

The protesters appealed to Nigerians to stand up for justice, noting that the outcome of injustice is grave and devastating.

The 80 year old woman appealed to the judiciary not to allow Nasarawa state become another theater of war by delivering judgement based on technicalities instead of merit, fact and law

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APC in Nasarawa accuses PDP of playing ethnic politics over Appeal court verdict




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From Daniel Abel, Lafia

The ruling All Progressive Congress, (APC) in Nasarawa has accused the opposition People’s Democratic party, (PDP) in the state of divisive ethnic politics after the judgement by Appeal Court that nullified their victory at the tribunal.

The State chairman of the APC  Hon Aliyu Bello, made this known while briefing newsmen at the party’s secretariat in Lafia the state capital.

He indicated that the PDP was only democratic in name but characterised by ethnic politics which, they have demonstrated by mobilizing their gullible and vulnerable supporters, amongst them who were women to parade nakedly on the streets

According to Aliyu Bello, “The poor women who were recruited to engage in this shameful act, have been paid and convinced, that such equally primitive action has the spiritual powers to earn the party victory at the court.

“Our optimism for victory at the Supreme Court is based on the facts of what transpired at the Election Petition Tribunal, and the subsequent judgment of the Appeal Court,” he said.

He recalled that, one of the basis of the Tribunal’s decision to annul the re-election of Governor Sule was that there was over voting as alleged by the PDP and its candidate Hon Ombugadu.

The state chairman urged the PDP to desist from hiring women to achieve their political goals.

Bello asserted that if people are alleging that the APC supporters were aware of the Appeal court judgement ahead of the judgement day, the PDP too celebrated the victory at the Tribunal a week before the judgement was delivered.

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