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Angry mob set luxurious bus ablaze in Kano, 2 killed

By Salihu Othman Isah

The ancient city of Kano on Tuesday Nov. 6 witnessed another round of mayhem in the Eldorado Cinema/Airport road, Sabongari area of the metropolis as commercial motorcyclists popularly known as Yan Achaba unleashed terror, razing down a N50 million worth brand new luxurious bus owned by God Bless Ezenwata Transport Company.

The bus heading to Kaduna, was involved in an accident which left two people dead. This, however, led to the chaos.

An eyewitness told our correspondent that the unruly act was as a result of the recklessness of a motorcyclist, who, in an attempt to overtake the luxurious bus, was accidentally hit by the bus resulting into his sudden death.

However, the prompt intervention of the police saved the situation from escalating in what observers believed would have been a replay of the unfortunate crisis that occurred about a month ago at Tudunwada local government area of the state where several lives and properties worth millions of Naira were lost.

The burnt bus, it was gathered, had arrived Kano from Lagos early Tuesday (Nov. 6) morning and was on its way to Kaduna to load when the unfortunate incident occurred and changed its tide.

The Mark learnt that as news filtered in, transport workers at the New Road luxurious bus park mobilised with dangerous weapons to confront the rampaging commercial motorcyclists who were equally battle ready.

The prompt arrival of the police at the scene to disperse the surging crowd which had gathered however helped to avert what could have thrown Kano to a crisis of great dimension. The police shot sporadically into the air before the situation was brought under control.

In another development, our correspondent reports that fuel hawking is now a common sight in Kano, especially at the Sabongari area where natives now take every available space to erect tables with jerry-cans of fuel for sale.

The act, analysts believe, is now causing a serious security hazard as the fuel is being used for violent purposes. Rioters easily mobilize for the commodity from the black market racketeers. The fuel used to set the bus ablaze was fetched from a fuel hawking spot on Airport Road, very close to the scene of the accident.

However, apprehension is now building in Sabongari as people; especially non-natives were seen discussing the incident with bated panic. They are viewing the incident as an attempt to instigate violence of with non-natives as the usual targets.

When contacted, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Aminu Yesufu, speaking on phone, explained that the incident was as a result of an accident in which the people involved took laws into their hands. He however assured that investigation was in progress, as at the time of filing this report, to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

Why ANPP withdrew petition against Yar’Adua - BOT chairman

From Salihu Othman Isah

The chairman Board of Trustees (BOT) All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Alhaji Gambo Magaji, has advanced reasons why the party leadership decided to withdraw their petition against President Umaru Yar’Adua: “It is simply to give peace chance to reign.”

He however declared that ANPP did not abandon its party standard bearer, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Magaji also revealed that the party allowed Buhari to carry on with his case, because it believes in the rule of law and that Buhari has right to seek redress in the court of law if he felt cheated as a candidate.

Magaji told newsmen in Kano last week at the state Government House after the party’s Board of Trustees meeting, that it was only logical for them to withdraw their petition and support Buhari.

Said he: “What is wrong in what we did that has become an issue on the pages of newspapers? Other presidential aspirants who lost the last election like AC, APGA and DPP all filed their petitions against the presidential results as individuals. So it is wrong to say because ANPP withdrew its petition against the president, we are not with the retired general”, he stressed.

“I want you to understand that Buhari is in court as a member of the party not as an individual. Therefore even if we have withdrawn our petition as a party, we still have interest in the petition whether we go to court with him or not because we have a stake in the party,” the BOT chairman said.

He then hinted that the speculated problem between the leadership of the party and General Buhari “is artificial being created by some individuals within the party who do not want peace”, adding that the party has nothing against the petition filed by Buhari to contest President Yar’Adua’s victory.

On why BOT meeting was held outside Abuja for the first time and brought to Kano, Magaji said it was a mark of respect for the ANPP government in the state having effectively actualised the programmes of the party in the state.

The chairman went on to reveal that the board deliberated on four major areas which he said bothered on the political situation in the country and how the ANPP can re-adjust and be re-engineered to face the challenges ahead.

His words: “We instructed our members nationwide to fully participate in the forthcoming local government election, as well as urged their governors to ensure that equity, fairness and justice are exhibited in the exercise. We also examined issues bordering on the ongoing tribunal cases”.

He noted the BOT agreed with all the judgments of the election petition so far in the country, even as it has instructed all aggrieved party members to take their cases to the election tribunal, promising that the party is solidly behind them at all levels.

“Look, ANPP members have several petitions in the various election petition tribunals, we cannot be in the tribunals with all of them. But I assure you, that the party has given them go ahead even to contest the elections of local government elections in areas where the elections have been held”, he stressed.

He then stated that the party was in full support of the current electoral reforms by the federal government, adding that already the ANPP had constituted a high powered panel headed by Professor Daniel Saror, a former Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) and Senator to deliberate on the reforms and call for memorandum which, he said, has received encouraging response.

Magaji however called on members of the party to always abide by the party constitution, commending Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Kano state for all the laudable projects being executed by the his administration and urged the teeming masses of the state to continue to support him.

Electoral Tribunal: Storm far from over for Alao-Akala

No cause for alarm, Oyo govt says

By Dele Ogunseemi

As Gov. Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State continues to count losses suffered by the state during the just-concluded strike embarked upon by civil servants in the state, it seems the storm is not over yet for the Ogbomosho-born politician.

The strike action itself was not called off on a platter of gold; it took frantic efforts of almost all the prominent traditional rulers in the state before the workers could be prevailed upon to bury their hatchets against the governor.

This, however, does not seem to be the end of the storm that threatening to consume Gov. Akala as other forces are still at work to ensure that he vacates the office at all cost.

Gov. Alao-Akala and some prominent members of his camp have not failed to realize this either. Hence they have since been making efforts to ensure that the former police chief is not disgraced out of office for the second time.

His former boss, Sen. Rashidi Ladoja had predicted that Akala would be removed from the office before December this year as he was disgraced out in December 2006.

Prominent among factors that are threatening to consume Akala are series of petitions filed against his electoral victory at the election petition tribunal sitting in the state.

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) governorship candidate, Abiola Ajimobi, the Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA) governorship candidate, Emmanuel Akinboade, the National Democratic Party (NDP) governorship candidate, Prince Ademola Ayoade and Republic Party of Nigeria (RPN) candidate, Mueez Akande have all filed petitions against Akala.

Ajimobi is challenging the poll on the ground of alleged electoral fraud in Ogbomoso, Akinboade on the omission of his party’s logo on the ballot paper used for the election while Ayoade and Akande are at the tribunal to prove Akala’s ineligibility to stand for election having been indicted of misappropriation of funds by an administrative panel of inquiries.

Counsel to Ajimobi, Chief Niyi Akintola has called many witnesses; all claiming that there were irregularities during the election, including those who came from Ogbomoso, the home town of the Governor.

The immediate past General Officer Commanding (GOC) 2 mechanized division, Muhammed Saleh, representative of the state Commissioner of Police, has also come to present some evidences before the tribunal.

On the issue of indictment, counsel to both RPN and NDP candidates have presented documents before the tribunal to support their claims that Akala, at the first instance, is not qualified to have contested in the election.

They claim that an administrative panel set up by former Gov. Ladoja indicted Akala and others of misappropriating public funds during his eleven months as the governor of the state in 2006.

Also, controversy is trailing the governor’s exit from the Police Force in 1995 as his political enemies have came up with documents indicating that he was dismissed from the force for misconduct and abuse of office.

Just last week, the five-man tribunal sitting in Ibadan declared the seat of an Action Congress (AC) member, John Olaoye Ojedokun representing Iwajowa constituency in the State House of Assembly vacant, based on omission of Labour Party logo in the ballot paper used. This has consequently sent a strong signal to Alao-Akala’s camp because the DPA candidate, Akinboade is challenging the governor’s victory on the same ground of omission of his party’s (DPA) logo in the ballot paper used for April 14, 2007 governorship poll in the state.

National Chairman of DPA, Chief Olu Falae during a press conference in Ibadan last week alleged that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state has been threatening Akinboade to withdraw his petition before the tribunal.

It is believed in some quarters that the ruling PDP hurriedly fixed the local government election in the state for Dec. 15, 2007 in order to put its people in all the 33 councils in case the table turn against it at the tribunal.

Another source of worry for the governor is the perceived gang-up against him by Ibadan elders and elites as he has been battling with how to endear himself to the people of the capital city.

A source close to Molete residence of the strongman of Ibadan politics, Lamidi Adedibu, disclosed on condition of anonymity, that there is a master plan to impeach the governor and replace him with his deputy, Hon. Taofeek Oladejo Arapaja in order to please his Ibadan kinsmen.

The source further revealed that Adedibu has the leadership of the state House of Assembly under his control as a weapon to ensure the impeachment.

This, according to our source, has resulted in cold relationship between the governor and his deputy.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, Special Adviser to Governor Adebayo Alao Akala on public communication, Prince Dotun Oyelade, has said that there is no reason for the government of Oyo State to be apprehensive.

Said Oyelade: “There is no cause for alarm. The least of Governor Akala’s problems is the tribunal. Anyone knowledgeable following proceedings at the election tribunal will know that things are working Akala way. The trend and the weights of evidence indicated this. Akala will win hands down.”

Yobe: MAL’s govt is a disaster, says Adamu Waziri.

The PDP gubernatorial candidate in Yobe for the last April election and now the minister of state for Agriculture and Water Resources Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri has taken a swipe at the Mamman Ali’s administration describing it as a “disaster and a


Waziri spoke to journalists in Damaturu where he came to educate his party members ahead of the PDP ward, local and state congresses election.

“The five months administration of Mamman Ali is a disaster; in fact it is a tragedy. I personally feel disappointed because I expected that whoever succeeds former governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim should do better than what Bukkar did.

“It is a big tragedy that what has happened within these five months is worse than what happened during the first five months of Bukar’s administration.

“I hope and pray to God that Yobe will soon see positive changes in the administration of the state in the immediate future,” Waziri declared.

Waziri who disputed the fact that PDP as the number one opposing party in the state is not doing enough arguing that he cannot engage in violence or breach of law and order but that nothing is more than the step he has taken which is his appeal of the Damaturu  tribunal verdict.

Commenting on the Local Government Election which the state government put at November without a definite date, Waziri said the election can only be held within the confine of the law.

According to him, the failure of Mamman Ali’s government to fix a definite date for the election is part of the misadministration of the governor.

In a swift reaction, Gov Mamman Ali through his Director of Press Abdullahi Bego said that the administration’s interest is not to join issues with Adamu Waziri.

Bego advised Waziri to settle down as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and attract development to the state in the present capacity he has found himself.

Mamman Ali spokesperson said that the state government has embarked on well intentioned programmes in the state like the construction of three new hospitals, the rehabilitation of the Gashua/Nguru road, the youth farm project, the internet project in the state among others.

NANTA carpets lawmaker deported from Saudi Arabia over fake visa

By Salihu Othman Isah

The member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Kawu Suleiman Sumaila, who was recently deported from Saudi Arabia where he had gone to perform the lesser Hajj (Umrah) over the use of fake visa, has been condemned by the National Association of Travelling Agencies (NANTA), describing the act as a show of shame.

In a press release made available to our correspondent in Kano, the registered travelling agencies under the aegis of NANTA said the nightmarish experience of Alhaji Kawu Sumaila, representing Takai/Sumaila constituency in the House of Representatives on the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) is unfortunate.

Spokesman of the association, Alhaji Jameel Baffa, charged that the lawmaker who is deputy minority whip in the lower Chamber, “should bury his head in shame for his failure to follow due process in obtaining the visa.

Baffa regretted that all registered travelling agencies that offer genuine documents such as Umrah visa to Saudi Arabia and other visas have their names and files at the National Assembly, National Hajj Commission of Nigeria, the Directorate of Pilgrims Affairs and the Saudi Arabian Consulate Office which the legislator could have assessed rather than engaging an unreliable agency that processed the documents for his trip.

According to him, every year, the registered travelling agencies usually forward their tenders to both the National and State Assemblies for consideration of patronage, but often times “the lawmakers preferred using those not on the official lists because they offer cheap services”.

The NANTA spokesman equally expressed worries that, in most cases, their tenders would be allowed to decay at the Assemblies without patronage from the members of the legislative chambers while those travelling agencies without licenses and solid base have always been favoured.

It would be recalled that the Saudi authorities had deported the Deputy Minority Whip in the House of Representatives over allegation of using fake visa for lesser Hajj, a situation which has seen the culprit threatening court action on the travel agency which secured the visa for him.

He was deported alongside 49 other Nigerian pilgrims who were also discovered to have used fake entry visas into the Middle East country. They were immediately deported back to Nigeria on their arrival at Saudi Arabia.

The lawmaker who was said to have travelled through the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) as a result of the incident could not perform the lesser Hajj, a rite normally undertaken during the Ramadan period.

Reacting, Alhaji Kawu Sumaila who spoke to newsmen in a telephone interview revealed that he had concluded plans to prosecute the travelling agency in a law court over the fake visa obtained for him to travel to the Holy land.

“I was so baffled that the visa given to me by the agency was fake. As it was discovered by the Saudi Arabia authority on getting to the Holy land; the visa was found to be fake and I was deported along with other Nigerians from Saudi Arabia.

“My passport was taken for visa to a travel agency, together with some parliament members and after securing the visa for us, we travelled to Saudi Arabia, but it was unfortunate that when we got to Saudi Arabia, the visa was discovered to be fake”, he lamented.

The two-time lawmaker however stated that he would not like to speak further on the incident, as he had already taken legal action on the travel agency, swearing that he will go to a law court to redeem his image which has been dented by the discovery.

He then declared that the travel agency will have to tell the court where the visa was obtained and also bear the consequence because it was a blow on his integrity and vowed he would not allow such a thing to tarnish his reputation.

“I am a law abiding citizen who know what is right and it will not be right for me to spend my money to get service and at the end of the day discovered that such service is fake, hence the need for me to drag the travelling agency to court, to protect my reputation from being tarnished”, he concluded.

Mixed reaction over the appointment of new Unilorin VC

By Alloy Chukwuemeka

The recent appointment of Prof. Ishaq Oloyede as the new Vice Chancellor of University of Ilorin by President Umar Musa Yar’adua was greeted with mixed reactions from the people of Kwara state, and in Ilorin town in particular with both protests and jibilations.

Barely 24 hours before the announcement, some youths under the eagies Concerned Youths had staged a protest at the palace of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, to protest what they termed “exclusion of the emirate from the list of three shortlisted candidates for the post”.

The Emir, while addressing the youths, urged them to be calm and peaceful, enjoining them to see whatever happens as the will of Allah.

Sources at the palace told The Mark that Prof. Oloyede had the blessings of the emirate’s top hierarchy for the top position, owing to his service to the university and the Ilorin community over the years.

Meanwhile, there were wild jubilations amongst the university community over the appointment of Oloyede whom they described as a hard-working and honest academician cum administrator having served the university in various capacities. He was, until his appointment, a Deputy Vice Chancellor.

The Mark scooped that former President Obasanjo was instrumental to Oloyede clinching the job, at the expense of Prof.Olu Obafemi who was ealier favoured to replace the immediate past vice chancellor Prof. Amale.

CLO elects new officers in Kano, Jigawa states

By Our Correspondent

The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) has began the process of re-positioning and re-focusing its state branches to meet up with the challenges ahead by holding elections in the North West zone to constitute its branch executive councils (BECs) in Jigawa, Sokoto and Kano states last weekend. These branches have been left dormant in the past years.

In the election to fill its Jigawa state branch, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, won the chairmanship seat with Hajiya Asmau Ishiaku Dutse and Abdulsalam Yusuf emerging the assistant chair and secretary respectively.

Others elected by secret ballot at the election held in the Dutse, the Jigawa state capital, are Mallam Suleiman Yusuf, Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Tina Anthony Chinedum, Treasurer, Comrade Umoru Ibrahim, Research Secretary, Ibrahim Garba, Publicity Secretary, Barrister Iliya Dauda, Legal Secretary while Mallam Ahmad M. S/Dinki and Mr. Olalekan Adetunji were voted as ex-officios.

Similarly, the Kano branch executive council (BEC) of CLO has been inaugurated. They also emerged from the poll held last weekend at the Kano state secretariat of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with Comrade Usman Aminu Gaddafi clinching the chairmanship position and Comrade Awwal Muaz Mohammed voted into the office of secretary.

Others elected are; Comrade Lucky Emegha (Assistant Chair), Honourable Jonah Udemba (Assistant Secretary), Comrade (Ms) Shariff Rifkat (Treasurer), Comrade Femi Oladoye (Research Secretary) and Theophilus Okundia became the Publicity Secretary while the new ex-officios are Baba Isah Garba and Ismaila Isah.

The post of legal secretary is yet to be occupied as nobody showed interest in it during the election.

In his inaugural speech, the new Jigawa state chairman of CLO, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, solicited the support of members as well as the general public for the new leadership to achieve its set goals in giving a new direction to the CLO.

He pledged the organisation’s commitment and determination to see that it carries out its functions in line with the expectations of the people of the state especially the oppressed and the downtrodden whose basic rights are trampled upon.

He, however, expressed the hope that the incumbent executive would partner with the present administration of Gov Sule Lamido in fighting poverty and realising its set objectives in consonance with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which it is currently pursuing with a passion.

Comrade Isah disclosed that this effort became necessary to bring the state out of the shackles of bondage it has been confined in the past, especially during the eight years of purposeless leadership of the immediate past government of Alhaji Ibrahim Saminu Turaki, saying that the CLO, like all citizens of Jigawa, expect the best from his successor who is himself a comrade as a disciple of late Mallam Aminu Kano who played the talakawa politics in his time.

Isah, however, promised that in spite of these laudable credentials of Gov Sule Lamido, the new CLO executive would still guarantee that it carries out its primary function to serve as a check on the administration in the state.

According to him, though the CLO welcomes the social security bill signed into law recently by the governor, as well as efforts to realise the MDGs in the state, a conscious attempt should however be made to fine-tune the law to accommodate free healthcare delivery and free education up to tertiary levels at the first instant.

Comrade Isah further revealed that CLO is a non governmental, non political and voluntary human rights organisation based in Nigeria with headquarters in Lagos, adding that it was founded since October 15, 1987 and was the first NGO in the country to be granted an observer status by the United Nations.

He enumerated some of its primary objectives to include a conscious effort to defend and promote the principles and practice of fundamental human rights as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution as well as other international statute documents which the country is signatory to.

In the same vein, in his post election address, Comrade Usman Aminu Gaddafi said the Kano state branch of CLO was poised to do all within its capability to educate the Kano State Hisbah Guards, the enforcement arm of the Shariah Commission to better position them for the task ahead.

According to him, there is every need to help build their capacity, especially in the areas where their functions have to do with the fundamental rights of the populace so they can be better appreciated.

Comrade Gaddafi, though commended the Kano state government for introducing the Tsangaya project through the office of the special adviser on education and information technology, lambasted Gov Ibrahim Shekarau’s administration for involving the under-aged children in its Leda Jari, its environmental sanitation project, saying the action negates the various international statutes on child protection and education to which Nigeria appended its signature to guarantee at all time.


Vol. 6 No. 15 November 17, 2007  EDITION...Of Truth and Excellence