The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum and Chief Nwodo discuss the reasons behind “Nigeria’s dysfunction” at the 17th Gani Fawehinmi’s lecture in Lagos earlier today.
Professor Zulum was one of the two guest speakers at the 17th Gani Fawehinmi’s lecture organized by the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association, which held on Friday in Lagos.
Zulum, who reminded audience that he was not a constitutional lawyer but an engineer, was in Lagos in honour of an invitation by the NBA, to honour late Fawahinmi, who he respects for his courage and selfless contributions as a defender of underprivileged masses.
Governor Zulum, alongside Chief John Nnia Nwodo, presented papers on the theme, “constitutional history of Nigeria’s dysfunction: Any pathway to indivisibility and common progress?”.
The two speakers analyzed historic developments and complexities of the Nigerian constitution, highlighting serious challenges facing the country and its citizens. They challenged both leaders and citizens to do their separate paths in making Nigeria great.
Governor Zulum, in his presentation, argued that the constitution has concentrated too much powers on the federal government, noting also, that the constitution needs to be amended in ways that will reflect present realities and for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Zulum also challenged journalists to remain firm In holding political leaders to the promises they make during electioneering campaigns.
Zulum, who will be using his time in Lagos to hold some developmental activities in the interest of Borno people, travelled with his chief of staff, commissioners of justice, information and local government and emirate affairs.
Speakers at the lecture made far reaching contributions all of which point to many issues with Nigerian constitution that need to be seriously addressed.
Gov. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State, shares building materials, cash to families of 25 villages in Jere.
Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Saturday supervised the distribution of building materials and cash to 1,111 families who will reconstruct their homes across 25 villages in Jere local government area.
The distribution is one of government resettlement policies even though the government at many instances, builds and reconstruct thousands of homes on major projects.
Each of the 1,111 families empowered for resettlements, has at least six members.
They will be returning to safe communities they lived before they were displaced years ago.
At a brief ceremony which took place in Yawuri each family, called a household, received building materials and cash to renovate their houses and pick up the pieces of their lives.
Zulum assured the communities of Government’s continued assistance in ways that will boost access to livelihoods in irrigation agriculture taking advantage of potentials in the shores of Lake Alau.
The governor also promised to construct a new school and a hospital for the families.
The returning communities had been taking refuge in parts of Jere Local Government and Maiduguri Metropolitan for over 3 years.
Commissioner for Reconstruction, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Engr. Mustapha Gubio informed the Governor that only displaced persons who indicated interest to to return were listed for the self-reconstruction empowerment.
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum was at Dalwa, a community in Konduga Local Government Area where the ministry for reconstruction already mobilised to site for construction of 500 houses.
Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum is saddened by the killing of 11 security personnel made up of eight policemen and three civilian JTF members ambushed on their way to Baga as security backup in reconstruction efforts.
The governor was in Baga from Thursday to Friday in part to supervise efforts to return residents as part of strategies that aim to cut Boko Haram’s long use of the commercial town as main transit for undertaking major fishing trade and tax administration from which the insurgents fund their murderous activities. Baga, Borno’s largest fishing community in the shores of the Lake Chad with water ways to neighboring countries is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operation.
Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, in a statement issued Saturday, said two convoys, one belonging to the Governor and another for a committee on Baga reconstruction had safely plied the Maiduguri-Baga route previous days before the third convoy of security men was ambushed on Friday morning even after precautionary steps had been taken to ensure safe trips.
“Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is saddened by this unfortunate carnage. He shares the grief of families of these 11 priceless heroes to whom Borno shall remain grateful. The governor prays for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to ongoing peace building efforts. Zulum is of the opinion that we must continue to keep hope alive even in the face of tribulations, and believe that with sustained efforts and prayers, Borno will eventually regain peace. The situation facing us is a tough one but we must choose between doing something which gives us some hope and doing nothing which will leave us more vulnerable to Boko Haram’s ultimate wish to takeover Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration” the statement said.
Zulum attends Baga’s first juma’at prayers in nearly two years
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum while in Baga attended juma’at prayers held for the first time in nearly two years.
Baga town was displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents 21 months ago, with most of the residents taking refuge in Monguno and Maiduguri.
In the Governor’s convoy were the Senator representing Northern Borno, Abubakar Kyari, house of reps members representing Marte, Monguno, Nganzai, Mohammed Tahir Monguno and that of Mobbar, Kukawa, Guzamala, Abadam federal constituencies, Bukar Gana Kareto. Speaker of Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, Chairman of Baga resettlement committee and the Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Kaka Shehu Lawan were on the trip and some top government officials.
While taking tour of the construction work going on in Baga, Governor Zulum commended the resettlement committee for the quality and speed of work.
Zulum had on August 31, 2020 inaugurated a resstlmeent committee, which was mandated to commence immediate reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Baga.
Governor Zulum of Borno State donates a house, N20m to late Col. D. C. Bako’s widow, orphans
Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum on Tuesday announced a donation of a befitting house and 20 million Naira to the widow and orphans left behind by late Col. Dahiru Chiroma Bako who died from wounds sustained while battling boko haram. Insurgents ambushed the Commander’s troop on Sunday morning.
Col. Bako, described by Zulum as a fallen warrior, was Commander of 25 Task Force Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole in charge of Damboa and surrounding axis in southern Borno. He died at a military hospital in Maiduguri on Monday.
Zulum, at the burial of the late Commander in Maiduguri on Tuesday, paid glowing tribute and announced house and cash donation to family of the deceased.
“Indeed it is a very sad moment, this is not a loss to the family of Late Col. Dahiru Chiroma Bako alone, not to the Nigerian Military, it is a loss to Borno and indeed Nigeria.”
“Col. Bako was a gallant and dodged military officer, under whose watch Damboa was never defeated. He humble and committed in discharging his duties, he is part of the success recorded in degrading boko haram insurgency in Borno State.”
“He has been one of the greatest in trying to stabilize not only Borno but even the neighbouring Yobe State. We will remember his contributions forever, may almighty Allah reward him, and forgive him.”
“To his family may they bear this irreparable lost. To all the soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Military that lost their lives, may Almighty Allah reward and forgive them. The injured ones we pray for their quck recovery.”
“I am reliably informed that Col. Bako did not have a house of his own. We cannot ignore the family he left behind. We share their grief and nothing can equal his life. Nevertheless, I am pleased to announce that Borno State Government will build a befitting house for the family of late Col. Bako. I was also told that the Nigerian Army under the distinguished leadership of Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has offered a scholarship to his children, we will also support the family to compliment the efforts of the military.”
“For the welfare of his family, Borno State Government will relase the sum of 20 million as support for them. A cheque to the effect will be ready later today or tomorrow morning” Zulum said.
The Governor had on Sunday night expressed sadness on the news of Bako’s demise.
Zulum described the Commander as one who inspired his troops and led them in the frontline with exceptional courage which was clearly our of pure patriotism.
He had also said the death of Bako and heroes like him shall not be in vain.
Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Monday inaugurated a committee that will verify retired workers across the 27 local government areas in Borno in preparation for payment of pensions and gratuities government is owing retirees.
Inauguration of the 14-member committee held at the government house in Maiduguri. They are led by a seasoned technocrat, Ibrahim Lawalam.
Zulum announced at the event that Government will clear all backlogs of gratuities for workers who retired from 2012 to date.
The governor in his address, lamented decline in productivity of the workforce.
The local government system has over the years been ineffective in discharging its statutory obligation, Zulum noted.
The Governor assured of his administration’s commitment to reverse the unhealthy development by making the local government system work again. He recalled far reaching measures put in place, which include ; setting up of two high-powered verification and Biometric data-capture committees; one on Local Government Staff and the other on Primary School Teachers.
On the committee he was inaugurating, Zulum explained that procedural and administrative challenges in the payment of Local Government Pensioners nessitated a 14-member group to proffer solutions.
The committee’s purpose, he said, is to determine the number of genuine local government Pensioners and the precise co-relation between the total number of pensioners and cumulative amount of pension and gratuities owed them.
After ascertaining numbers and figures, the Committee is to effect payment of gratuities of cleared pensioners cleared without further but through a phase by phase model.
The governor read out specific six terms of reference to the hearing of the committee, as listed below:
1.To determine and verify the actual number of genuine pensioners in each local government area and the specific amount of money each pensioner is entitled to;
To identify the various challenges associated with the local government pension payment system and how such challenges could be adequately addressed;
To examine the current method of payment of local government pensioners and determine its vulnerability to abuse or effectiveness in meeting extant procedural and administrative requirements;
To identify the generic problems currently being encountered by local government pensioners in the payment system and how to resolve and forestall these problems;
To pay gratuities of pensioners that were hitherto entitled and cleared for payment on sustainable basis without further delay, while the verification exercise is on-going.
Any other matter the Committee deems relevant to the above Terms of Reference”.
Gov. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum sites mega school, hospital rehab in army chief’s town.
Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, hosted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on Thursday commissioned an institute of war and peace, located at Buratai town in Biu local government area of southern Borno.
The institute, which is named after the Army Chief, is an off campus section of the Nigerian Army University which has campus in Biu town.
The institute was previously the Army’s national museum, established in 2016. The institute has six centers that include: Center for research and documentation, center for counter terrorism and counter insurgency, center for strategic communication, cyber security center, Museum and Archives centers.
Speaking at the venue of the commissioning, Governor Zulum expressed appreciation to officers, and men of the Nigerian military for their counter insurgency operations in the northeast.
“I am not unaware of where we were before the inception of the Buratai’s leadership and the successes recorded by the military in the war against terror. We appreciate the sacrifices of lives and deaths of our gallant officers, we shall continue to support our armed forces. When we occasionally criticize we do so with a view to improving on our successes and not out of lack of appreciation.” Zulum said.
The Governor explained that Buratai institute of war and peace will promote research on contemporary issues such as terrorism, insurgency and all forms of conflicts with a view to attaining peace. He pledge his administration’s readiness to partner with the institution.
“This is a very welcome development, I can assure you of the absolute support of the Government and people of Borno State for such noble venture. We appreciate the foresight of the Nigerian Army University, Biu and indeed the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai for this initiative. Government of Borno State shall work with Tukur Buratai institute to design a templet of programs for peace building, reconstruction and development of our communities. Count on our support.” Zulum said.
He added, “You are all aware of the depleting effect of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, neighboring States, and indeed adjoining countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Our dear state, Borno is the worst affected with many of our citizens lives in the IDPs camp. With the level of destruction of infrastructure and displacement of people from their communities we have the onerous task of rehabilitating the people, so that, they will return to start their means of livelihood. That’s why the Borno State Government is importing a lot of its resources to empower the people and encourage them to return to their communities. The Nigerian Army has been a reliable partner in this endeavor.”
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum has directed the construction of a new mega school in Buratai town, also ordered by the Governor was the rehabilitation of Primary Health Center, Buratai.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai commended Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, other leaders of the northeast and entire Nigerians for their support to the military.
“I want to thank Nigerians particularly, the leaders, and people of the northeast for their dogged support to the Nigerian Army, without your support and understanding the successes achieved so far would not have been possible, please continue to support the security agencies with timely intelligence as a war on terror is a collective responsibility of all. I will also like to thank the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, the emir of Biu His Royal Highness, Alh. Mai Umar Mustapha Aliyu for their support to Nigerian Army.” Buratai said.
Gen K. S Lawan leads delegation of the officials of the Borno State Government to Cameroon, to facilitate the return of Nigerian Citizens.
Troops of the Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) on Tuesday received 106 civilians who escaped from the Boko Haram terrorists and surrendered. 94 of the escapees were Nigerians, who were handed over to a delegation of Borno government at a remote location in the republic of Cameroon.
Of the 94 Nigerians, there were 37 adult males, 17 adult females and 40 children.
The 106 escapees included Cameroonians and Chadian. Handing them over to Borno Government, Commander of the MNJTF, Maj. Gen Ibrahim Yusuf, said some of the persons of interest voluntarily surrendered to the Headquarters Sector 1 of the MNJTF in far North Cameroon, while the women and children were rescued.
Yusuf said while the military welcomed non-kinetic approach to the War, it warned that operations would continue, adding that it will investigate some of the surrendered persons to ascertain their relationship with the terrorists.
This is a strong indication of success, because, in counter insurgency operations success is measured not just by the number of insurgents that we kill, but as well the number of those that are surrendering, as well as a reduction in their recruitment base. So, obviously this is a success indicator.
“It is because of the Multi National nature of the operations involving Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, that by the concept of our operations, we operate seamlessly and that is why whether they surrender in Nigeria or they surrender in Cameroon, or Niger, it is the same thing for us.
“It is one cohesive force, but the onus now is on us, and we have the guidelines and since they are Nigerians, we have to transfer them to the Nigerian government and the one person from Chad, we have to arrange to get him to Chad, so it is part of our mandate,” Maj. Gen Yusuf said.
In his remarks, Borno’s Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Kaka Shehu Lawan, who led six man delegation, including Commissioners of Women Affairs and Religious Affairs and special advisers, said the state government was going to profile, debrief, deradicalize and reintegrate the escapees.
He said those profiled as ex fighters would be sent to Nigerian military’s “Operation Safe Corridor,” while the rescued women will undergo stages of counseling before they are debriefed.
“We received a report that a number of our citizens are here, surrendered to the MNJTF, and we also have others that are not members of the Boko Haram sect, but pursuant to the clearance operation, they were rescued following the liberation of villages they were held captive.
”So we are here to see for ourselves, to ascertain how many of them are truly indigenes of Borno, how many are fighters? How many are not fighters? How many women and children. Secondly, having identified the number of fighters and non-fighters, women and children, we’ll plan for evacuation of those that are innocent, those rescued as a result of clearance operation immediately to Maiduguri, with a view to reintegrating them because, they are innocent.
“And the ones that are fighters, we’ll liase with “operation safe corridor,” and transfer them there with a view to deradicalizing them,” Lawan said.
Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum was in Kaga Local Government Area, in northern part of Borno State at which, he directed the construction of 100 shops and 1.3 km road network.
Of the 100 shops, Ngamdu and Benishiekh are to have 50 shops each, while Beneshiekh being headquarters of the council and more populated, will get 1.3 kilometer road network. He also directed reconnection of Ngamdu town with the national grid, for power supply.
The state ministry of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement is to commence the shops as directed by the governor.
Before the new projects, Zulum inspected ongoing construction of 500 housing estate in Ngamdu, 1.75 km road network in Benishek and another 500 housing estate in Auno located in Konduga.
Addressing newsmen, the Governor explained that the housing projects were being fast tracked so that persons displaced by insurgent violence could quickly be allocated permanent homes.
Government intends to construct 4,000 houses in 2020, Zulum noted, to resettle more displaced persons.
Alongside issues of IDP resettlement, Zulum also announced, his administration will embark on urban renewal projects targeting Kaga, Damboa, Monguno, Ngala, Dikwa local government areas.
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum before leaving Ngamdu town in Kaga LGS, constituted a committee of elders and stakeholders with the mandate to reopen schools in Ngamdu.
This is an attempt to rate or rank all the 36 states governors in Nigeria considering only the top 5 and bottom 5 as ranked by Ripples Nigeria best on random indixes or yardsticks.
With enormous power and resources at their disposal, governors have so much expectations placed on their shoulders. These range from policy formulations to execution of sustainable projects targeted at improving the lives of citizens.
The July, 2020 report features the traditional scan of the political space and focuses, this time, on the select few on either side of the performance divide, judging by policy initiatives and execution.
1. Babajide Sanwo-Olu —Lagos
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu makes the Top 5 for the month of July, 2020 on account of his commitment to the vision of building a Smart City, principally through urban renewal and rural development.
We acknowledge his pursuit of this vision, despite the COVID-19 pandemic which has preoccupied governments across the world.
We note the progressive work being done on the Ojota, Mile 12, Agege and Lekki-Epe axis of the city.
Though the urban renewal projects have come with attendant hardship, we are, however, convinced that they are necessary sacrifices to ensure better service delivery.
2. Seyi Makinde —Oyo
Governor Seyi Makinde earns a Top 5 mention having shown a steady commitment to education, with several remarkable interventions in that sector. These include schools upgrade, and access to free education.
In dealing with the COVID-19 challenge, we admit the clarity of purpose in his efforts to ensure that schools are not just re-opened but that these were done with a clear cut direction, as exemplified in the full year school timetable released for the state.
The responsiveness of the Makinde administration to the challenges faced by some female citizens of the state who were reportedly trafficked to Lebanon caught our attention in July. We note that the timely rescue is exemplary and capable of restoring the confidence of citizens in government.
3. Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman —Kwara
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulrazaq Abdulrahman, makes the top 5 for initiating an intervention programme to lift some of the burdens confronting stakeholders in the educational sector, especially proprietors and teachers in private schools
We acknowledge that his plan to extend grants and interest free loans to private schools is capable of preventing job losses and reviving a sector badly hit by COVID-19. We encourage the governor to fully discharge this plan as the Board shall track and review his performance in that regard.
4. Dapo Abiodun —Ogun
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State scores highly for his commitment to lifting the quality of life in the border towns through road infrastructures which had suffered neglect over the years.
We note the current remedial works in communities bordering Lagos, especially in the Sango, Agbado, Akute, Denro-Ishasi- Ojodu Abidoun axis. It is our belief that the attention given to roads in these and other communities will impact the economy positively as gains are made in man-hour originally lost to traffic, and low productivity.
5. Babagana Zulum —Borno
Governor Babagana Zulum makes a return to top 5 on account of his continuous sacrifice, sometimes at personal risk, to see to the restoration of peace in the insurgency-ravaged state.
We note his courage in undertaking obvious life-threatening trips across the state as he identifies with troubled communities, commissioning projects and leading from the front in efforts to impact the lives of citizens stranded in Internally Displaced Persons camps. We also acknowledge Zulum’s daring attempts at speaking truth to power, and aiming to decisively deal with alleged sabotage and failings of the military in the prosecution of the war against terrorism in the Northeast.
1. Nasir el-Rufai —Kaduna
Governor Nasir el-Rufai gets a mention in the Bottom 5 due largely to the unabated security challenges in the state.
We are disturbed by the continued killings and destruction of property in the Southern part of the state, allegedly by bandits and militias who have proven either too tough or slippery for the government and security agencies to contain.
While we acknowledge that El-Rufai is largely a Chief Security Officer without powers of coercion, the governor gets our knock for his repeated commentaries that tend to further stoke the crisis and diminish hope, confidence and faith in his administration to effectively deal with the challenge of Southern Kaduna.
2. Udom Emmanuel —Akwa Ibom
Governor Udom Emmanuel gets a Bottom 5 mention over the decision of the Akwa Ibom State Government to breach the accountability process by locking out media men out of state functions on the pretext that some of them had contracted the COVID-19 disease.
While we note the frosty atmosphere existing in the state between the government and media practitioners over claims of lack of transparency in the reportage of COVID-19, it is regrettable that the governor will allow his action to be tainted by unwholesome intentions that query his patriotism and commitment to transparency.
3. Aminu Masari —Katsina
Katsina is, no doubt, a State in turmoil. Reports of killings and abductions have become very rampant, leading the populace to embark on protests over the lack of appropriate action by government and security agencies.
The near free reign of bandits and Governor Aminu Masari’s lack of grip of the challenge earns him several minuses.
We are amazed that despite the presence of various arms of the nation’s security forces in the state, the governor has been unable to manage the situation.
We hold that the prevailing banditry in the state is a reflection of years of mis-governance and the failure of government to consciously connect with its citizens, especially the youth population.
4. Bello Matawalle —Zamfara
Governor Bello Matawalle gets a mention in the Bottom 5 for his prodigal spending of N100 million on a private university in the state, an action we consider not well thought out.
A private university, in our reckoning, is a private business, an investment that should be borne by its promoters. Though the state had argued that it was done to promote education in the state, we reckon that such a gesture could have lifted the sector better if it had been channelled to the many public institutions requiring urgent intervention in upgrade of facilities and faculties.
We are appalled that Governor Matawalle might not have considered that his action could open the floodgates to several other requests from private and religious institutions who maybe tempted to see him as a profligate father Christmas.
5. Okezie Ikpeazu —Abia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State gets a mention in the Bottom 5 ranking for July 2020 for his unilateral sacking and suspension of three local government council chiefs in the state.
We condemn the sacking of the Chairman of Umenneochi Council, Mathew One, and the indefinite suspension of Aba South and Aba North chairmen, Cherechi Nwogu and Victor Ubani, as tantamount to trampling on the principles of the rule of law, due process and fair hearing in a constitutional democracy.
We are concerned that with such actions, as taken by Governor Ikpeazu, our democracy faces stunted growth, especially as state govenors see local government administrations as mere apendages of their offices.
Despite an atttack on his entourage in Baga, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum continued his humanitarian activities in Monguno, where he delivered food aid to over 80,000 internally displaced persons.
The Governor arrived Monguno on Monday for a humanitarian tour of northern part of the state, he supervised the distribution of relief items to IDPs from Marte, Guzamala, Kukawa, Nganzai and Monguno.
Thousands of bags of food grains and cooking oil was distributed to the IDPs and the vulnerable households in the host communities.
Male households received bags of grain, and cooking oil, while females received cash amount of 5,000 naira each.
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum’s resilience was commended by the sector 3 Commander of operation lafiya Dole, Brigadier General I. Garba.
The commendation was made when Zulum paid a visit to the soldiers, and officers of the Nigerian military at the Nasara Barracks, Monguno.
Before leaving Monguno to Maiduguri, Prof. Zulum inspected various ongoing projects, which includes High Islamic Secondary School project, 1000 housing unit project and a Mega Primary School.
While at the 1000 housing and the High Islamic School project sites, Zulum charged the contractor to maintain quality of their work.
“I have seen your job in Uyo, I have seen that of Mbala. By and large the work here is poor. We need to call your attention to stick to the quality. What matters are not the mere construction, but to deliver a quality building.”