Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara says the government will not apologise over the alleged killing of villagers in the state during the bombardment of suspected bandits’ camps in Dumburum village in Zurmi local government area of the state.
The governor, who made the statement when a seven-man investigation team on the matter visited him at his Talata-Mafara private residence, said Dumburum village had served as a hideout for criminals over the last three years.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the state’s Council of Chiefs had, a fortnight ago, alleged that innocent citizens were recently bombarded through air strikes in the area by personnel of the Nigeria Air Force.
“As far as I am concerned and as the head of government in the state, I haven’t seen anything wrong done by the Air Force. I haven’t received any brief on such matter.
“Dumburum has been a criminal hideout for over three years and the Emir of Zurmi had once asked me to go and wipe out the area, saying all those residing there were bandits.
“So, I am surprised that the emir will be part of those saying innocent people were killed in an encounter in the area,” Yari said.
The governor, who said some powers were working against the state, maintained that “some people will stay in Abuja and fabricate things against the operations in Zamfara in order to distract the operation,” warning, “this we must not allow.”
“Please, all security agencies, especially the Air Force, should continue with your usual constitutional duties and the state government will give you all the support to facilitate your concentration in trying to bring back peace which has eluded the state since 2007.
“You should continue with fire power to show the criminals that there is a government in place and we won’t negotiate with them again because when we did that in the past, the leaders pretended as if all was well while they allowed their boys to continue to lay siege to the communities,” the governor added.
Handing over a letter of condolence to the governor from the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, the team leader, AVM Idi Lubo, said it was part of Abubakar’s concern in case the allegations were true.
He said, “the Chief of Air Staff has directed us to properly investigate the matter in order to unravel the truth.
“We have visited other stakeholders and discovered that there was misinformation which we have now resolved and wish to assure the people of the state that we shall continue to discharge our assigned responsibilities in protecting the innocent with professionalism.”
The team, which was conducted round by the Commander of 207 Quick Response Group, Squadron Leader Sunkanmi Thomas, thanked all stakeholders for the support given to the Air operations in the state.
NAN also reports that the team visited heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and government officials, among others, while in the state.
Court Revokes Marina’s Son’s Bail, Orders His Arrest
The Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday revoked the bail granted Faisal Maina, the son of Abdulrasheed Maina, and ordered his arrest for jumping bail in his trial on money laundering charges.
Justice Okon Abang also ordered that his trial on money laundering charges would proceed in absentia pending when the security agencies would be able to arrest and produce him in court.
The judge also summoned his surety, a member of the House of Representatives, Sani Umar Dangaladima, representing the Kaura-Namoda Federal Constituency of Zamfara State, to appear in court to show cause why he should not forfeit the N60m bail bond which he signed for Faisal.
The order for Faisal’s arrest came barely six days after the same court, on November 18, issued a similar order against his father, Abdulrasheed Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, who is facing separate N2.1bn money laundering charges before the court.
On Monday, Justice Okon Abang, sent Maina’s surety, Senator Ali Ndume, to jail for his inability to produce the fleeing defendant in court.
Earlier on Tuesday, following the judge’s November 18 ruling, Maina’s trial held in his absence with three prosecution witnesses testifying behind him and his legal team.
At the resumed hearing of Faisal’s trial on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s prosecution counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, said both the defendant and his surety had not attended court since June 24, 2020.
FG, S’South Govs, Leaders Set to Meet in Rivers Tuesday
A delegation from the Federal Government is expected to meet with Governors and leaders of the South-South geo-political zone in Government House, Port Harcourt today (Tuesday).
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, is expected to lead the presidential delegation.
A Government House source in Port Harcourt, who confirmed the meeting to our correspondent, said Gambari is on his way to Port Harcourt.
The rescheduled meeting is coming on the heels of the botched stakeholders’ forum, which angered the Southern Governor, during which the South-South Governors’ Forum, demanded an apology from the presidency.
Makinde Presents N266.6bn 2021 Budget to Assembly
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, on Monday presented a budget of N266.6bn as the 2021 budget to the state Assembly.
While presenting the budget tagged, ‘Budget of continued consolidation’ Makinde announced that 53.2 per cent of the total budget was being proposed for capital expenditure.
He said, “The 2021 budget is N12bn above the 2020 budget and this is to further drive a consolidation effort that we started this year.
“We were able to achieve 50.2 per cent of the 2020 budget implementation and you will agree with me that it was due to causes beyond our control like the COVID-19 pandemic and other crisis that bedevilled the nation and the world at large.”
Makinde further explained that the recurrent expenditure is N136, 262,990 while the capital expenditure is N130. 381bn.
According to him, 21 per cent of the budget, amounting to N56.348 bn, is allocated to education while infrastructure is to gulp N46bn, representing 17.2per cent of the budget.
For health, a total of N13.2bn, representing 4.9per cent of the budget was set aside for the establishment of primary health centers across 351 wards in the state.
“So, it is pertinent that we appreciate the members of the state House of Assembly for their support.”