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Kagara Students may die of hunger, says Bandit

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As Governor Bello laments FG neglect

Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State is unimpressed that other than sending a delegation to the state, the federal government has not done any other tangible thing for the State.

Bello has always lamented what he often described as the neglect of the state in terms of infrastructural development, among others. His position is shared by some northern state governments, who seeing escalating security challenges despite the huge sums they spend on security agencies, are resorting to self-help or negotiating with bandits to citizens safe.

He told visiting Senate Minority Leader, Orji Uzor Kalu, on Thursday that though he appreciated the Federal government’s concern, there was nothing extra from the central government, just as abductors of 27 students, 3 teachers and 12 members of a family of Government Science College Kagara, Niger have told negotiators the Federal Government will be responsible if the children die.

The abductors said the children are hungry and weak with nothing to have but water since their abduction eight days ago.

When he met Senator Kalu, an obviously frustrated Bello said, “At the moment, we do not feel any Federal presence here. The Inspector-General of Police sent us four mobile units but we are to shoulder the financial responsibilities. So, where is the support? There is no support from anyone.

“Yes, we had a (Federal Government) delegation (led by Minister Lai Mohammed and including National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno and Police Inspector General Mohammed Adamu) that came to visit and commiserate with us but that was all.

“So, we are left to ourselves,” he said.

Governor Bello and Senator Kalu


“We have already made a commitment that we will bring back the children safely with or without anyone.”

In an audio conversation obtained by The Nation, the abductors said they no longer have food to give the abductees, saying if one dies, they would dump the body for the government to pick up.

The bandit, who was speaking to the negotiator in Hausa, said: “I don’t have food for them. If anybody dies among them, we will tell you where to go and pick the corpse.

“You know these children are hungry. I don’t have food to give them, only water if they are going to die, let them die.”

The abductor was identified to be speaking to Kaduna- based Islamic Scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, who is said to be the top negotiator for government.

The bandit disclosed they have informants who feed them with every move of government, stating one of their sponsors is an influential member of the society involved in the negotiation process.

“You think I don’t know what you people are doing? I can tell you how many security vehicles are in Kagara as we speak.

“It is with the help of the people of the city that intruders can overrun the city. Don’t you know that?

“The person who gave us this business is there among you. He is there with you. Wherever you go, he is watching you.

“If you want to do this deal, go ahead. From God, we come and to Him, we will return

“Even if you put together the entire security forces of Nigeria in Kagara, I have eyes all over Kagara. Whichever step you take in Niger state, I swear, I will know.

“You people are saying they should not pay us, that if they pay us, we will use the money to buy weapons.

“With whose money did we buy our weapons? If we don’t have weapons, you will just send security agents to kill us and take the children.”

The bandit further said the deployment of security to Kagara is a waste of time, asking government to disband vigilantes for peace to reign in Kagara.

“Your deploying security officials in Kagara is a waste of time. Is there a fence in this forest? You know we are not in the cities, we are in the forests.

“You see, if you want to seek peace, seek peace and if you don’t stop the activities of vigilantes in Niger you will not know peace forever,” the bandit stated.

▪︎ Additional reports by The Nation

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Freedom At Last, as Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame are Release

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Two former governors Jolly Nyame and Joshua Dariye have been released by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS).

They were serving jail terms for corruption allegations until they were granted a presidential pardon by President Muhammadu Buhari a few months ago.

The Council of State had approved the pardon alongside 157 other convicts in April this year.

The former governors were convicted by Justice Adebukola Banjoko of the Federal High Court, Abuja in 2018.

Dariye was convicted of stealing N1.16 billion while serving as Plateau governor from 1999 to 2007 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. But his term was eventually reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal in Abuja, while his conviction was affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Nyame, who was Taraba governor from 1999 to 2007, was convicted of stealing N1.6 billion from the state’s treasury and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The judgment was also upheld by the Supreme Court.

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Former NARSDA Boss, Prof Seidu Mohammed Passes On

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Former Director-General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, NARSDA, and one-time governorship aspirant,  Professor Seidu Muhammed Ogah has been confirmed dead. It was gathered that he died in Abuja.

A statement by Agency disclosed that the former NARSDA boss died at Nisa Premier Hospital in the early hours of Monday. .

”It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing of Prof Seidu Mohammed Onailo, our former Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency, NARSDA which occurred on August 8, 2022, at Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja,” the statement read.

The 62-year old former NARSDA boss,  a Professor of Space Science,  hailed from Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State and is survived by his wife, children and other relatives.

He was a visiting Professor of Remote Sensing and GIS, Kaduna State University. He obtained his Ph.D. in Environmental Remote Sensing from Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria in 2004, and received his M.Sc. degree in Soil Survey /Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System from International Institute for Geo-information and Earth Observation (ITC) Twente University, Enschede, The Netherlands in 1993, where he studied as a European Economic Commission Scholar.

He also served as a senior lecturer in the department of Geology, University of Jos from 2007-2009. Over the years, he made significant contributions to the development of models for desertification assessment and predictions in the North West region of Nigeria. This model has been applied by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) as well as other Nigerian institutions in studying the menace of desertification in the country. The model is currently being used to study the green belt region in West Africa.

An erudite scholar prolific writer,  he had over 40 publications in applied space science. He has made tremendous contributions to the implementation of the space programme in Nigeria.

Under his leadership at NARSDA, Nigeria launched three satellites. He was the Chairman, Governing Board, African Regional Centre for Space Technology Education, Ile-Ife as well as the Chairman, Board of Directors, GeoApps + Limited.

He was also a Fellow of the Nigerian Association of Radio and Planetary Sciences, the Astronomical Society of Nigeria, the Nigerian Institute of Physics, the Cartographic Association of Nigeria as well as a fellow and board member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

Meanwhile, reactions and condolence messages have been coming in, as the people mourn the demise the thoroughbred intellectual.

Reacting to the death of the foremost academic and researcher, prominent indigene of Abejukolo and Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu said the death was a great loss to the people of Omala Local government, Igala Kingdom, the Nigerian nation and the academic world.

Late Prof S. O Mohammed

“Professor Seidu Mohammed was not only a leader of the people of Omala Local government, Kogi State and the entire nation, but an intellectual colossus whose academic works have been of immense benefit to scientific research, especially in the area of remote sensing”.

Director-General of the National Productivity Centre, Dr Kashim Akor in a message of condolence to the family and people of Kogi State described the death of the space and remote sensing expert who developed and advanced space technology across the continent, as a colossal loss to Nigeria.

He further described the space Professor as a rare gem who had distinguished himself both in the academic, administrative and space management across the world.

He said during his tenure he resolved alot of thorny issues in the country with the aid of space technology, as he was still rendering professional advises to the current handlers.

Also reacting, former Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris commiserated with the people of Kogi State, particularly Omala local government over the sudden death of Professor Seidu Onailo Mohammed who also served as Director General, Directorate of Rural Development DRD during his first term between 2003-2007.

Idris who expressed shock over the sad development, described his death as a great loss to Kogi State and Nigeria at large.

He recalled how he contributed greatly to the rural electrification efforts of his administration,  having served as Director General at that point in time, during his administration in Kogi State.

The former Governor stated that his death came at a time when his services were needed both at the state and national level, praying to Almighty God to forgive him his shortcomings while on earth.

His burial is expected to be held at Abejukolo in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State Tuesday according to Islamic rites.

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Hanifa : Court Sentences School Proprietor to Death

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Remember Hanifa the little girl who was abducted on December 4, 2021 on her way home from Islamiyya and subsequently discovered to have been killed by  her teacher and school proprietor, after demanding N6m ransom, at Dakata, Nasarawa Local Government Area of Kano State?

Well, Justice has been served as Kano State High Court on Thursday sentenced the Proprietor of Nobel Kids Academy and North West Preparatory School, Abdulmalik Tanko, the principal suspect who masterminded the kidnap and killing of the 5-year old school girl, Hanifa Abubakar, to death.

The Presiding Judge, Justice Usman Na’abba, sentenced him to death by hanging while delivering his judgment on Thursday.

Details later….

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