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FG flags-off 774,000 Special Public Works in Kano

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Nasiru Yusuf

The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has on Wednesday flagged off the Extended Special Public Works (SPW) programme in Kano State.

The scheme which entails temporary employment of 774,000 youth across the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, and the disbursement of N20,000 to each of the beneficiaries for three months, was conceived by the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo.

The minister, who is the Chairman of the Board of the NDE, mandated the directorate to coordinate the programme, which include selected projects nationwide.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, held at Bayero University Kano yesterday, the Acting Director General of NDE, Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo, described the scheme as “a very significant step in Nigeria’s quest to win the war against mass unemployment as well as to ameliorate the effect of COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mr Fikpo explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved for the implementation of the programme to all 36 states of the federation “after the successful conduct of pilot phase of the programme within first quarter of 2020 in 8 states, including Adamawa, Borno, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina and Kwara States.”

Represented by Aliyu Abubakar Bichi, Director Procurement of NDE, Fikpo added that 44,000 youth would benefit from the scheme in Kano, adding that 1000 youth were selected from each of the 44 Local Government Areas in the state.

The Acting Director General described the programme as the best and most far-reaching grass root based employment creation in the history of Nigeria.

He then charged the beneficiaries to reciprocate the gesture by the President to be dedicated to their job.

In his remarks, President Buhari, said SPW came to limelight in a bid to quickly address the issue of pervasive hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and joblessness.

Mr Buhari, represented by Minister of Defense, Bashir Salihi Mgashi explained that each participating Local Government was responsible for identifying its preferred projects and would ensure that they are executed as planned.

The president expressed optimism that the scheme would provide necessary economic palliative to the 774,000 unemployed youths, adding that the beneficiaries might deploy the knowledge/skills acquired to become self-employed.

In his part, the Kano state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said his administration had provided numerous programmes aimed at empowering youth in the state.

According to him, over 700 youth that have undergone training on modern auto-mechanic and have since commenced operating in different locations of Kano metropolis.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, also stated that the Federal Government has on Monday launched a programme where 8,000 rural women received N20, 000 each in order to cushion their economic effects.

He thanked the President for introducing numerous Social Investment Programmes, aimed at alleviating poverty in the country.

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COVID-19: Ganduje directs local governments to constitute committees against Coronavirus

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Abdullahi Ganduje

Nasiru Yusuf

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has directed chairmen of local government councils in Kano state to raise committees at local government and ward levels to tame COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Ganduje gave the directive on Wednesday during a meeting with the chairmen of the forty four local government councils in the state.

He charged them to face fight against COVID-19 with vigour and absolute commitment as done to polio.

“You know how you treated Polio tirelessly with all seriousness and genuine feeling of responsibility, I want you to give COVID-19 similar treatment. Or even more than that.

“You know we fought the battle against Polio together, since when I was the Deputy Governor. It should still be fresh in your memories, how we worked round the clock and with Allah’s Blessing we gave our possible best for our dear country to become Polio-Free nation,” Mr Ganduje said.

The governor called on them to engage security agents in their respective council areas in the fight against COVID-19.

He said, “We have produced and secured millions of face masks. You will all be given for distribution to your people. All hands must be on deck.”

Mr Ganduje disclosed that, he would soon invite the newly elected chairmen for similar discussions and partnership.

“I know as out-going Chairmen, your tenure will soon come to an end. But those of you who are among the newly elected chairmen, I will soon re-invite you with other newly elected chairmen for the same stakeholders meeting.”

“It is our responsibility as leaders to always see to the safety of our people at all levels. We still need to do more in all areas of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

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Police arrest 4 suspected kidnappers including a woman terrorising Zamfara, Kano

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Suspected kidnappers

Nasiru Yusuf

Police in Kano have on Wednesday paraded four suspected kidnappers including a 23 year widow Maryam Muhammad, of Butsa Village, Gusau, local government area of Zamfara State.

Parading the suspects, police spokesperson in Kano Abdullahi Haruna said the accused were arrested on Friday at a rented apartment located at Jaba Quarters, Ungogo local government area where they held hostage Mohammed Sanusi and demanded ten million Naira ransom from his parents.

He explained that the police have successfully rescued the victim unhurt after a fierce gun duel with the kidnappers.

Mr Kiyawa recalled that on January 12 one Sunusi Ado of Galadanchi Quarters, Gwale local government area of Kano state reported that his 29 year old son, Mohammed Sanusi,  was kidnapped and a ransom of ten million Naira was demanded.

“Upon receipt of the complaint, the Commissioner of Police, Kano State Command, CP Habu A. Sani, psc, raised and instructed a team of Operation Puff Adder, led by DSP Shehu Dahiru, to arrest the culprits.

“The Team swiftly swung into action, and following credible intelligence, on 15 January, 2021, that is 3 days after the report, raided a rented apartment located at Jaba Quarters, Ungogo LGA of Kano State where the victim was held hostage.

“The gallant team cordoned the area, engaged the occupants of the house in a fierce gun duel, successfully rescues the victim unhurt and arrested the suspects,” Mr Haruna said.

Other aspects arrested beside Ms Muhammad are Sani Ibrahim and Shamsuddeen Suleiman all of Butsa Village, Gusau local government area Zamfara State and Ishaq Khalil, of Rijiyar Lemo Quarters, Fagge local government Kano State.

All the suspects according to police spokesperson confessed involving in series of kidnappings in Kano and Zamfara states.

Mr Haruna added that the police have recovered one AK-47 rifle, one Magazine loaded with 30 rounds of Live Ammunition and an unregistered motorcycle.

According to police spokesperson  investigation revealed that Maryam’s husband, Sani Ismail of of Niger state, was a Notorious cattle rustler, killed in Zamfara state while carting away rustled cows.

Mr Kiyawa told journalists that after the death of Ms Muhammad’s husband, her brother, Hamza Dogo, also a notorious kidnapper relocated her to Kano where she rented apartments in Unguwa Uku, Panshekara and Maidile Quarters.

According to police findings Ms Muhammad later moved to Jaba Quarters and rented another apartment for six hundred thousand Naira per annum, which she turned into a kidnappers den.

How they trapped the victim

Ms Muhammad revealed that on January 12, around 8 pm, she contacted the victim via his mobile phone and told him to bring her a new Samsung handset for her to buy at sixty five thousand Naira.

Maryam Muhammad

She disclosed the victim drove his Toyota Vibe Motor Vehicle to the apartment. They opened the gate of the house, and as soon as he entered, the four of them attacked him, tied him up, took his Motor Vehicle to Zamfara State and contacted his family for ten million Naira Ransom.

Ms Muhammad disclosed that though, they demanded ransom, their plan was to kill him after collecting the ransom, because the victim knows the apartment and recognizes them.

She recalled that, on October 2, last year, they have kidnapped one Shafiu Umar, of Naibawa Quarters, Kumbotso local government area of Kano state, and held him hostage in Zamfara State.

She also confessed that they collected a ransom of ten million Naira, a brand new motorcycle and Toyota Corolla LE worth two million, five hundred thousand Naira.

The police said they have recovered the Toyota Vibe Motor Vehicle from one Ishaq Yusuf of Gidan Dawa Quarters, Gusau, Zamfara state on Monday January 19.

Mr Kiyawa told journalists that the Kano state Commissioner of Police Habu Sani has ordered for discrete investigation for the Police to arrest accomplices of the syndicate and recover their operational weapons.

He advised Kano residents to be extra careful in renting apartments to strangers.

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COVID-19: Ganduje mobilises Emirs to fight the pandemic

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Nasiru Yusuf

Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state has on Wednesday met with all the five Emirs from Kano, Bichi, Rano, Karaye and Gaya Emirates as part of government response to tame possible effect of the 2nd wave of COVID-19.

Mr Ganduje assured the monarchs of government’s commitment towards the fight against the second wave of COVID-19.

He said, “Indeed COVID-19 is back and we have to also be back to fight it relentlessly. It is said that, if the going is tough only tough ones keep standing. We shall be tougher at all times, till when we put a halt to it.”

“We are starting this stakeholders meeting with you, because you are closer to the people at the grassroot.”

Governor Ganduje with Emirs

He urged them to go back to their respective Emirates and mobilise their subjects against the pandemic.

“You go and work closely with your District Heads, Village Heads, Ward Heads, Ulamas and other community leaders, to see that we deal decisively with this second wave. All hands must be on deck.”

“We do appreciate the role being played by the leaders of other ethnic nationalities. Since in the first wave of this pandemic, we knew you did very well amongst your people. This is highly commendable,” he noted.

“Kano is experiencing the gradual increase of COVID-19 cases. From 14th November 2020 to 17th January, 2021 additional 827 new COVID-19 cases were diagnosed, thus bringing the total cases in Kano to 2,636.”

Some diginatries at the event

The technical coordinator of the response team, Kano state Task Force on COVID-19 Sabitu Shanono, said “Over the last one week the sample positivity rate increased to 12.7% compared to the overall positivity of 4.2%. Number of cases on admission both home base care and hospital admission stands at 289.”

 “A total of Seventeen (17) deaths were recorded between December and January, an incidence that we did not have since 15th July, 2020.”

“Parts of the challenges during the second wave experience, include, but not limited to, poor public compliance to protocols, low risk perception and poor cooperation by confirmed cases to self isolate themselves or even taken to isolation facility,” Mr Shanono said.

In his remarks the chairman of the Kano State Council of Emirs, Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, assured the governor, the total and unreserved commitment and unflinching support of all the Emirs and their subjects, in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, as the second wave comes knocking on doors.

Some of Imams of Juma’at mosques who spoke at the occasion advised government to allow corps members serve in their respective states to control the effect of second wave of COVID-19.

COVID-19 status in Kano

On Tuesday Kano state ministry of health announced in it’s Twitter handle that the state recorded one COVID-19 death, 19 new cases from 421 results received from the laboratories.

It added that the state has 289 active cases receiving care at different government isolation centres and home.

So far the state has tested 61,802 persons, recorded 2,636 confirmed cases, discharge 2,276 recovered COVID-19 patients and 71 deaths.

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