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2023 Hajj: Kano Pilgrims Board round off return airlift, Chairman commends Gov Yusuf



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim




Kano State Pilgrims Welfare Board has completed the 2023 hajj exercise with the return of its last set of contingents from Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Executive Chairman of the Board, Alhaji Yusuf Lawan made the declaration on Sunday at the Malam Aminu Kano International airport on arrival from the King AbdulAziz International airport Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Alhaji Yusuf Lawan

Alhaji Yusuf Lawan revealed that with this final flight, the Board has returned all the Kano contingent that participated in this year’s pilgrimage.

He explained that the entire contingent have exhibited maturity and good conduct throughout the exercise.

The Executive chairman has attributed the success achieved in this year’s Hajj to the overwhelming support and leadership direction given to the Board by the state governor, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf.

Pilgrims descending from aeroplane

He said the former board and previous government messed up a lot of things that would have jeopardised the chances of Kano State’s pilgrims in performing the just-concluded 2023 Hajj exercise if not for intervention and the commitment of Governor Yusuf in providing purposeful leadership for the people of State.

Lawan said If not for the quick intervention of Governor Yusuf, there wouldn’t have been any leeway in the Hajj operation.

According to him, Kano State was allocated 6,105 seats for the 2023 Hajj but the previous board sold additional 191 unavailable slots to intending pilgrims and their money could not be found anywhere.

Pilgrims descending from aeroplane

“Kano State has always been number one or two in Hajj management but things went badly in recent years and the previous board messed up a lot of things.

“We came on the 1st of June as a new board and we didn’t see the former executive secretary to brief us until four days later. So, we didn’t know where to start from because there was no information but we used our experience to call some of the directors even though they were involved in day-to-day running affairs of Hajj.

“From available information, Kano State was allocated 6,105 seats for this year’s Hajj, but we discovered that additional 191 seats were sold to people and we were shocked at how they sold out such unavailable seats to people. But we organised ourselves to look at the visa processing and those we can fix, we fixed them,” Lawan stated.

Alhaji Lawan added: “Another challenge along the way was Hajj camps, in fact it was like a war zone. There were large warehouses within the camp where pilgrims’ luggage are kept on arrival and there were also about 100 houses that used to serve as accommodation for pilgrims when they were screened and waiting for departure to the holy land. But all the houses, including Juma’a Mosque and toilets were demolished by the previous government and distributed the land to individuals. Only 12 toilets out of 55 were left behind. So, even if you are taking just 100 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, will 12 toilets be enough to serve 100 pilgrims while in the camp waiting for departure time, let alone 550 pilgrims.

“Even the main gate where pilgrims used to pass after screening to go to the airport was completely blocked and at that time, our first set of pilgrims were scheduled to move to Madinah the next three days. But with good intention, Allah gave us the way through and when I went to see the Governor and told him that, Your Excellency, there is a need for you to find time to visit Hajj camp either tomorrow or after, but with compassion he said, ‘we’re going now’.

“We went there and he immediately advised the individuals who the land was allocated to and were busy developing it as if there was no government to stop. He then assured us that he will do everything humanly possible within 24 hours to at least make the camp habitable. In the middle of night, he was there with some officials up till early morning, some good Samaritans also came to help and within 24 hours later like the Governor promised, the Hajj camp changed completely.

“We screened the pilgrims and asked His Excellency to come to the Airport and say good bye to the pilgrims, Alhamdulillah, the airlines were very generous to us and within the space of eight days, we were able to airlift all our pilgrims, 6100, to the holy land.

“In the last eight years, Kano State has not transported even 4,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, I think it was only in 2019 before COVID-19 that they had up to 4,000 pilgrims, and last year they came to Saudi Arabia with just 1,700 pilgrims, but, still, a lot of pilgrims were left behind at home.

“So, NAHCON was so surprised and they were asking us how we did it. It was a miracle, but with the support of Allah and leadership direction provided by His Excellency, we were able to surmount the challenges.”


Gov Yusuf rejects tribunal judgement, heads to appeal court



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim




The Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, has vowed to appeal the judgement of the governorship election tribunal which nullified his election and declared the APC candidate, Nasiru Yusuf Gawauna as the winner.

KANO FOCUS reports that Yusuf made the declaration on Wednesday night, while making a broadcast to the people of the state.

He said his legal team had been directed to appeal the judgement at the court of appeal in order to reclaim the mandate given to him by the people of the State.

He, therefore, Called on the good people of the state to remain calm and continue to be law abiding as security agents have been directed to ensure the safety of lives and property of the citizens.

“Let me assure you that the this government would continue to work for the development of the people of the state as the judgement will never dampen our spirit or discourage us from the good work we have started.” he said.

The Governor, who thanked the people of the state for their continued support and cooperation, urged them to go about with normal activities.

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Kano records 5,800 cases of Diphtheria – UNICEF



Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim




The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Tuesday, said that Kano State has recorded 5,800 suspected cases of Diphtheria from January to date.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Head, UNICEF Field Office, Kano, Mr Rahama Mohammned-Farah, stated this in Kano during a one-day media orientation on Diphtheria outbreak.

The UN Agency said the cases were recorded in 39 local government areas of the state.

According to him, Kano State has the highest number of recorded cases in the country, adding that Diphtheria was a highly contagious and infectious disease that could cause death.

Mohammned-Farah stressed that proactive measures were necessary to stem the outbreak.

“Recently, we have seen a surge in the number of reported Diphtheria cases in Nigeria, and Nigeria is currently facing an outbreak that needs to be stopped and prevented.

“As of July, Diphtheria cases have been on the rise. As of last week, over 400 suspected cases with 11 deaths have been reported in Kano.

“Out of the 39 LGAs affected, eight are the most affected, including Ungogo with 2,651 cases; Dala 989, Fagge 943, Gwale 714, Kumbotso 713, Nasarawa 538, Kano Municipal 506 and Tarauni 269,” he said.

He said that 60.8 per cent of the suspected cases had been reported in children not vaccinated, which reinforced the critical need to address the issue of zero doses, especially in Kano State.

“UNICEF delivered 1.2 million vaccines to the Kano State Government in our continuing support to the government response to Diphtheria outbreak.

“Diphtheria outbreak is a threat to child survival, health and the wellbeing of children. UNICEF is collaborating with government and partners to respond to the emergency to save the lives of children affected.

“In Kano state, UNICEF supported Tetanus-Diphtheria reactive vaccination campaigns in February, April and August, vaccinating 23,200 children in round one.

“While 277,796 children vaccinated in round two and 29,500 others in round-3 of the exercise.

“We engaged 150 traditional leaders on Diphtheria outbreak and distribution of Diphtheria IEC materials, and deployed 1,500 VCMs to the worst affected LGAs to conduct house-to-house sensitisations and referral of suspected cases to health facilities.

“Media has a key role to play particularly in infection prevention, and risk communication and community engagement,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Muhammad Nasir-Mahmoud, the Director-General, Kano State Primary Healthcare Management Board, said the state government had adopted drastic measures to curtail spread of the disease.

“We are committed towards educating the public about what is happening and the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has promised that Kano will be accorded priority in terms of vaccine distribution,” he said.

While describing the media as partners in the fight against Diphtheria, Nasir-Mahmoud urged them to support the campaign against the disease.

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IPAC appeals to Kano governorship tribunal to be impartial



Mukhtar Yahya Usman

The Interparty Advisory Council of Nigeria (IPAC) has urged the judges of the Kano election petition tribunal court to discharge its duties with utmost integrity and impartiality.

KANO FOCUS reports that this was contained in a statement issued by the organization secretary Kano chapter Nuhu Idris on Tuesday.

IPAC also called upon the tribunal to consider each case diligently and ensure that all the parties involved are given equal opportunities to present their argument and evidence.

It could be recalled that the election tribunal has fixed Wednesday 20th September 2023 to deliver judgment on APC’s petition against Abba Kabir Yusuf.

A hearing notice issued by the Secretary of the election petition tribunal on Monday said the judgment would be delivered at 9.00 a.m., at the High Court of Miller Road in Kano.

Mr Idris said the organization has acknowledged the importance of the electoral process in a democratic society, where the voice and choice of the people are paramount.

He said the ongoing legal proceedings before the tribunal are a testament to the vibrancy of democracy and the resolve of citizens to seek redress through legal means.

“IPAC firmly believes that justice must not only be done but must also be seen to be done.

“We, Therefore, implore the tribunal to maintain transparency in its proceedings allowing the public and all concerned parties to have confidence in the outcome of the legal process, the statement said.

He added that it is essential that the tribunal’s decisions are guided by the rule of law and the facts presented, rather than any external influence.

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