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‘Stop distracting Nigerian government with amnesty demand for bandits,’ Pro-Buhari group tells Gumi

The Buhari Media Organisation on Wednesday advised the Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi to “shut up” and desist from distracting the Federal Government with his clamour for amnesty for bandits.

In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju; and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke; the group said there was no basis for President Muhammadu Buhari administration to suspend ongoing military operations in the forests of Zamfara State and adjoining areas.

The cleric had been unrelenting in his demand for amnesty for bandits terrorising the citizens in the North-West part of the country.

The statement read: “Like many Nigerians, we are concerned that the Islamic cleric could be vocal enough to say that the bandits were ‘going nowhere’, in spite of ongoing air and ground assaults on their positions.

“Sheikh Gumi has, by those comments, confirmed his description as the patron saint of criminal elements that had for some time held some states in the North-West hostage.

“Is it not strange that a religious leader could be so supportive of bandits that are known to have pillaged communities in the far North, waylaid travellers on highways, kidnapped people including students for ransom, and even ended up killing their hostages after collecting ransom?

“We wonder where the Sheikh was when those who the Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle and his Katsina State counterpart, Aminu Bello Masari granted pardon returned to the forests to resume their lives of criminality.

“It is even strange that in a bid to justify the criminal acts of those bandits, Sheikh Gumi went to the extent of drawing an analogy between them and the former Niger Delta militants.

“We know that the comparison was designed to whip up local sentiments in the North-West region against President Buhari, but we dare say that the people have suffered too much in the hands of bandits to fall for his cheap blackmail.”

BMO also commended governors of affected states in the region for collaborating with the Federal Government on efforts to tackle the problem.

It added: “Until now the governors were working at cross purposes, and taking measures that suggested that the bandits were easily moving to other states to commit further atrocities.

“But today, we are impressed that the state governments almost simultaneously announced security measures, including shutting down certain highways, schools and markets, as well as restricting the movement of cattle and bulk purchase of fuel.

“And as it turned out, those measures, including the shutdown of telecommunications services in Zamfara, were a prelude to ongoing military operation tagged ‘Festival of fire’ which from all accounts is going on well.

“We hope that Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, is watching and will take a cue from those governors who took security containment measures in collaboration with the Federal authorities.

“We also commend the defence authorities for showing that Nigerian troops are more than capable to deal a decisive blow on the bandits in spite of the shrill voice of dissent from the Sheikh.

“We invite Nigerians to note that the battle against banditry is in line with the President’s pledge to tackle insecurity headlong and it came after fruitless appeals to those criminal elements to embrace common sense.”

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Bauchi pays N3.418bn in outstanding gratuities

The Bauchi State Pensions Board has announced that, from May 2019 to date, the state government has paid N3,418,288,11.68 in outstanding gratuities owed to retired civil servants.

The Chairman of the Board, Senator Bala Adamu Kariya, made the disclosure at the ongoing ministerial press briefing in Bauchi, held at the State Secretariat.

Although Senator Kariya did not specify the total gratuity backlog, he noted that it exceeds N20 billion.

He stated that since the inception of the current Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led administration in 2019, a total of 4,273 people have retired, and 677 have died while in service, out of 4,948 files processed.

“The Board processes the files of civil servants due for retirement. We are the custodians of the processed files of all state civil servants who have retired,” the chairman stated.

Senator Adamu, however, said that in order to avoid further accumulation of pension and gratuity liabilities, the state government intends to commence the implementation of the proposed contributory pension scheme on June 30, 2021.

“As a sign of commitment, His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, appointed a 20-member committee, including a staff member of Messrs Premium Pension Ltd for technical guidance under the chairmanship of Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin (Special Adviser on Civil Service Matters).”

“In line with the Terms of Reference to the Committee, a final report with a draft bill has been carefully produced, tapping from the 2004 Act, 2014 revised Act, and previous efforts of successive state administrations like the 2005 and 2017 draft bills, and was presented to His Excellency, the Executive Governor, Sen. Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, as appropriate.”

He recalled that Governor Bala Mohammed had presented the report to the State Executive Council for consideration and approval, following which a draft bill was forwarded to the State House of Assembly for further legislative process in line with the laid down constitutional procedure.

“After gathering the necessary stakeholders’ input, the State House of Assembly then ratified the draft and returned the same to the Executive Governor for assent. Consequently, on August 5, 2022, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State, assented to the bill enacted by the State House of Assembly.”

“It was named the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Scheme. The law also provided for the establishment of the Bauchi State and Local Government Contributory Pension Commission.”

“The state governor approved the constitution of another high-powered committee under the chairmanship of Ibrahim Muhammad Kashim, the Secretary to the State Government, to facilitate the full implementation process of the new scheme in the state.”

Kariya further explained that prior to this development, the state government appointed two firms of Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), who have now engaged stakeholders in a massive sensitization, advocacy, and enlightenment of the scheme across the state.

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Two-storey building collapses in Abuja

A two-storey residential building in Phase 2, site 2, Kubwa Abuja has collapsed

The building collapsed on Saturday morning at about 7:00am.

It was learnt that the building was formerly a hotel, Al-Hilal, but was converted to a residential apartment.

It was gathered that several people are currently trapped in the rubble.

As at time of filing this report, emergency responders and security personnel were at the scene.

 

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Police to enforce e-CMR compliance from July 29

The Nigeria Police Force have given all motor users 14 days to register their vehicles with the newly-introduced digitalized Central Motor Registration (e-CMR), which will end on July 29, to begin the enforcement of its compliance in order to checkmate the rate of vehicle-related crimes and other offenses.

In a press release, the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, informed that the move is part of the efforts of the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Egbetokun, to enhance the security of lives and property and significantly boost the nation’s safety.

The release further stated that the exercise is an advanced form of helping security agencies, mostly the Police Force, in their investigations and operational activities to combat vehicle-related crimes, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and other social vices.

It also stated that the introduction of the e-CMR digitalized system will help streamline the documentation and verification process for vehicle ownership and related transactions.

“Following the directives of the IGP, services such as change of ownership, change of license number, change of engine, and change of chassis/body would become seamless as the e-CMR system would ensure the validation of vehicle genuineness and ownership, enhancing the ability to track and recover stolen vehicles effectively, and preventing the purchase of stolen vehicles by innocent buyers.

“Prior to the enforcement itself, the IGP has ordered full publicity of the e-CMR and its enforcement to all members of the public, intimating them of the requirements, processes, and the enforcement procedures. Members of the public are urged to obtain the digitalized CMR certificate online at https://cmris.npf.gov.ng.

‘For further inquiries, individuals can contact the CMR Command Centre at FHQ Abuja (08117777666, 09169892000) and FHQ Annex Lagos (08117777555, 09169891000). Technical support is also available at cmftech@npfcmr.ng,” the release partly stated.

Following this new development, the Nigeria Police have enjoined members of the public to participate in the exercise by ensuring that all vehicle users comply with the new directive, maintaining that the initiative, which is in line with modern technology, remains a strategic approach to enhance public safety and national security.

ACP Adejobi further stated that the enforcement of the e-CMR is necessary to ensure a safer and more secure environment for vehicle ownership and to decimate the trend of vehicle theft by greatly reducing the possibility of selling stolen vehicles in the country.

“We therefore urge all vehicle owners and users to embrace and participate in this initiative promptly for optimum safety and security,” he stated.

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