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Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli Appointed 19th Emir of Zazzau

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has approved the appointment of Ahmed Nuhu Bamali as the 19th Emir of Zazzau (Zaria)

He replaces the 18th Emir, Alhaji Shehu Idris who died last month.

A statement by Jaafaru Ibrahim Sani, the State’s Commissioner for Local Government Affairs confirmed the appointment.

Currently Nigeria’s Ambassador to Thailand, His Excellency Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli is among the most visible diplomats in Bangkok, and that’s not only because of the elegant traditional outfits that make him stand out in a crowd.

The highly educated Nigerian ambassador has been an active member of the local diplomatic corps since coming to Thailand in November 2017. “I enjoy my work here and I am happy. What’s more, the Nigerian mission here is accomplishing our tasks and mandate,’’ said Mr Bamalli in a recent interview at his embassy in Bangkok.

During the course of the interview he explained that Nigeria is no longer a big consumer of Thai rice, but is now importing Thai rice processing equipment and expertise. He sees many more opportunities for next-level cooperation between Thailand and his oil and gem-rich nation.

Background

The ambassador was born on June 8, 1966 in Zaria city of Kaduna State, which is one of the oldest provinces in northern Nigeria. “It is an emirate, founded by my great-grandfather around 1804. Prior to that, it was a part of various kingdoms and settlements. But from 1804 there has been an emirate system operating in the whole of northern Nigeria, and it is still in place today.

“My late father, H.E. Nuhu Bamalli, held the princely title of Magajin Garin Zazzau. In the English translation it is much like lord mayor. The title is given to the second most senior royal family member in the Zaria emirate.

“On October 1, 1960, Nigeria became an independent state. My father was an important figure in the struggle for independence. He was appointed a junior minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 1960 and in 1965 became the Foreign Minister. In fact he addressed the UN General Assembly in New York that same year.

“After his passing in 2001 at the age of 84, I took over the Magajin Garin Zazzau title. However, since I am still pursuing my career I don’t stay in the emirate to oversee a district like most of the title holders. Therefore, I only retain the title and then advice the emir from time to time when the need arises. The emir assigns some responsibilities to me, especially representation in functions that he is not personally attending.

“I took my primary and secondary education in Kaduna city and then went to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to study law. That’s my first degree; I also have a Master’s degree in international affairs and diplomacy, and I’ve taken courses at a number of educational institutes at home and abroad, mostly for short programs on leadership. I attended Harvard and Oxford universities as well as Northwestern University in Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania.

“Most of my professional life has been in the banking sector, even though I studied law and international relations. From conventional banking I moved to Nigerian Security Printing and Minting, which produces our currency as well as security papers for the Nigerian government. I held two positions there: executive director of corporate services and general administration, and subsequently, managing director on the board of directors, where I served for almost two years.

“After leaving the minting company, I went back to Oxford University to study. I was at the university when the present government invited me to be a part of the transitional committee in Kaduna State. After the transition period I was appointed to the Electoral Commission in my state, and a few months down the line I was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to be Ambassador to Thailand. So as you can see, I came to diplomatic service in a roundabout way.

“I joined the Nigerian foreign ministry in late 2016.

This is the ministry where my late father and other top pioneer diplomats laid the foundation of foreign service in Nigeria. I accepted because I’ve always felt a connection with foreign services, and with my family and educational background I’ve found it very easy to adjust to this position. My younger brother is a career diplomat. He is currently an assistant director at the MFA’s Trade and Investment Department. He has served in Ireland and Ghana and is now back in Abuja (Nigeria’s capital), waiting for another posting.”

“I arrived in Thailand for the first time in November 2017, when I took my ambassadorial post. My first Asian trip was to Malaysia. My term is four years, which can be extended depending on the wishes of the government. I also cover Myanmar, where there is a large Nigerian community,” Mr Bamalli said.

“We have a good working partnership with the Thai government that builds on the cordial relations that began soon after Nigeria’s inception in 1962. That very year our two countries established diplomatic relations. Our embassy was opened in Bangkok in 2000,” said the ambassador.

“When I first arrived the embassy was in Sukhumvit Soi 71. We moved to the current location in Sukhumvit 61 in May 2018. I like this place. It is very good in terms of security and it’s a great neighborhood. There are a number of ambassadors residing in this area. It is a very quiet area. My family lives outside the embassy and we love the place.

“The embassy has seven officials from Nigeria and about 16 Thai employees. When our citizens need consular assistance they come here. We have an immigration and passport control area at the embassy and we do all the passport services here. Our Consular section is very busy because we issue documents to our citizens living in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Cambodia from here. A diplomat just took 200 passports from the embassy to our people in the Philippines. We have a consulate there but they don’t issue passports. We process everything here and send it to the Philippines or to other countries with our diplomats. It takes our nationals 17 hours to fly to Nigeria to obtain a new passport, which is not feasible.

“In 2018 about 1,400 Nigerians resided in Thailand, but I think the number has gone down significantly since then. Now it is maybe 700 to 800. Our nationals are not obliged to register with the embassy but we would prefer them to do so if they plan to stay here long-term.

“People don’t normally come to the embassy unless they have issues. The relationship between Nigerian citizens here and Thai authorities has improved significantly since my arrival and most Nigerian citizens here now have their documents in order and everything is valid. The harassment of our nationals has decreased. It used to be bad,” said Mr Bamalli.

“Some of our nationals hired Thai lawyers, but they couldn’t do anything because our people were taken straight away taken to the Immigration Detention Centre and deported. Some of those people were unruly and we don’t have any issue with their treatment. Others were completely innocent of any wrongdoing, however, and oftentimes it came down to a misunderstanding of what was needed from them.

“Many times they had the proper documents but didn’t know what they were supposed to present. So I went to see high-ranking officials at the ministries of foreign affairs, Interior and Justice to request English translations of the relevant documents so that we can at least assist our citizens in understanding and fulfilling the visa requirements.

“Many Nigerians were arrested simply because they ​could not understand the documents written in Thai language or converse with the immigration police because of language barrier. Thereby contributing to the delay in renewing their stay permit and other related issues,” pointed out Ambassador Bamalli.

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Crime

Protests Erupt in Jos Over Sexual Abuse of Underage Girls by Lebanese

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Tension was high yesterday at the Abattoir community, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State as residents, mostly women and young girls protested the alleged sexual molestation of about 14 young girls in the area by a Lebanese.

The alleged molestation, the protesters claim, has been ongoing for years without anything being done but when the man was eventually arrested and handed over to the Police, he was said to have been released from the Police station hence the protest.

It was gathered that the Lebanese was arrested and handed over to the Police on Thursday after the parents of two of the minors in the community reported that their children were sexually molested.

Apart from the two girls, 12 more girls also confessed that they were also at different times molested by the suspect whom they said did unprintable things to them.

The protesters called for justice to be served and appealed to Government, NGOs, and Civic Society Organizations to intervene so that the issue is not swept under the carpet like previous ones.

One of the protesters, Abigail Haruna said, “This thing has been going on for almost 20 years. I grew up in Abattoir here and I have been hearing about it. This time around, about 14 girls between the ages of 10 to 11 are involved. A Lebanese man in Abattoir here used to sexually molest the girls, one that is 11 is pregnant. This should not be allowed to fester.”

Another protester, Esther Emmanuel added, “Since when I was little, I heard about this man that he uses little girls to do blue film but we never took any action but thank God this case came up yesterday (Thursday). Parents of the girls went to the Police station to report.

“It is really annoying that this thing has been happening but we never did anything about it. None of these girls are up to 15 years. Two of the girls are pregnant, one has HIV, this is annoying. The problem is that when it happens, you will not hear anything again, the issue will just die off like that.

“The parents are left with their children, they will be asked to go and take care of their children and will even be blamed for refusing to talk to their children. If we go to their country, will they allow that? We want justice to be served. The man was arrested but now what we hear is that he has been released.”

But the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Gabriel Uba when contacted said “The Police is aware of the situation and investigation is ongoing to ascertain the true state of the matter.

“Nobody is happy to hear such a devilish act, investigation is ongoing. Nobody released the man, if they don’t get vital information, they will do things out of ignorance. The matter has been transferred to the State CID, the man has not been released.”

(Vanguard)

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Crime

We can’t raise N160m, parents of abducted Greenfield university students, staff cry out

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Photo source: Channels Television

Parents of the remaining 16 kidnapped students and three staff of Greenfield University, Kaduna on Friday gathered to pray for the safe release of their children.

This was even as they appealed to the Federal Government to urgently assist them in rescuing their children from the bandits.

According to them, the bandits are demanding N160 million cumulative ransom for them to release the remaining 16 students.

“We are worried about their safety. The innocent students had spent 24 days in the kidnappers’ den.

To this end, speaking on behalf of the parents, the Chairman of the parents’ forum, Marcus Zarmai, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to use his office to secure the release of the students before something sinister happens to them.

According to him, the kidnappers are demanding a sum of N10 million on each of the 16 students, making N160 million.

“Even after, we the parents have collectively paid them over N60 million ransom for the release of our children and they failed to release them.

Zarmai said, having exhausted all the money they have to pay as ransom, “We, the parents are appealing to the Federal Government to assist us to pay the ransom demanded or find any other way to ensure the safe return of our children.”

Recall, the man behind the abducted students had three weeks ago threatened to kill the 16 students if the ransom is not paid.

However, Sheikh Ahmed Gummi had come out to say they have reached out to the bandits and they have agreed not to kill the remaining students.

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Former Defence Chief Joshua Dogonyaro is Dead

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General Dogonyaro died in Jos on Wednesday at the age of 80.

Dogonyaro, a retired lieutenant general, died at the age of 80 on Wednesday.

The first son of the deceased, Joseph Dogonyaro, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview in Pankshin, on Thursday.

“Daddy has been sick for some time until yesterday when he had a stroke and we rushed him to the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) for medical attention.

“Unfortunately, early this morning (Thursday), around 3.00 a.m. precisely, he breathed his last.

“His death comes as a rude shock to us as a family. We are going to miss his love and warmth as a grandfather, father, brother, uncle and supporter,” he said.

Joseph said the family was trying to cope with the shock of the general’s demise and would discuss the funeral arrangements soon.

He described his father as “a General who was so faithful and loyal to the nation, Nigeria.”

“He was a general who had no bias mind as a detribalised Nigerian. He served this nation faithful and identified with all Nigerians and Africa as a continent.

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