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Jonathan’s ministers return to school, farm




Members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) who served with former President Goodluck Jonathan are gradually adjusting to life after office.

Since Jonathan handed over the reins of power to President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, many of the ministers have been off the public radar.

While some of the ministers have returned to their first love – business, classroom, farming and politics, others who cannot stay out of public office have taken up appointments in their states. Here are the whereabouts of  some Jonathan’s ministers


Adesina heads AfDB

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina is the immediate past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Ogun State-born technocrat was on May 28 elected the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB). His tenure at the AfDB begins on September 1. Adesina will become the eight president in the history of AfDB and the first Nigerian to hold the position.

Before his appointment in 2010 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, he was Vice President of Policy and Partnerships for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). During his tenure as Nigeria’s minister, Adesina brought to bear his rich background in agricultural economics research and practice in reforming the sector.

He was reputed for dismantling the corruption and racketeering in fertiliser distribution. His policies and programmes in the agriculture sector were aimed at ensuring food security and diversifying the nation’s economy from dependence on oil.

Adesina’s acclaimed record of performance probably informed why both the Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration and current President Muhammadu Buhariled All Progressives Congress (APC) rallied round to ensure his victory for the AfDB job.

So much noise about Alison- Madueke

Perhaps the most popular minister in ex-President Jonathan’s government was Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke. Before her appointment as the first female to preside over the most coveted Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the former employee of Shell held sway as Minister of Transportation and later, Mines and Steel Development between July 2007 and May 2015.

As Minister of Transportation, she was in June 2008 subjected to a Senate probe after it emerged that she had paid N30.9 billion to contractors between December 26 and 31, 2007. In October 2009, the Senate recommended her prosecution for alleged transfer of N1.2 billion into the private account of a company without due process and in breach of concession agreement.

All these allegations were later dwarfed by fresh allegations that emerged when she became the Minister of Petroleum Resources. She was alleged to have spent billions of naira inappropriately on private jets. There were several other allegations of financial malfeasance against her, including crude swap deal.

Since the exit of Jonathan from government, Alison-Madueke has not been seen in the public. The only report about her was that she is facing serious health challenge and that she has relocated to the United Kingdom. In the days ahead, the former minister may be subject of probe as any investigation in the oil and gas sector will definitely requires her attention.

Okonjo-Iweala battles enemies

The most visible and vocal minister in the immediate past administration of President Jonathan was Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy. Regarded by many as Nigeria’s unofficial Prime Minister due to enormous influence she wielded in the Jonathan administration, Okonjo-Iweala is currently in the eye of the storm over policies and financial disbursements such as the controversial withdrawal of $2.1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA).

Unlike her first tenure as Minister of Finance under Chief Olusegun Obasanjo when she returned to the World Bank and got elevated from her previous position of Vice-President to the bank’s Managing Directors, Okonjo- Iweala, New Telegraph learnt, is idling away at the moment.

Sources close to the former minister said since her return from a brief visit to the United States, she has been giving her media team a regular briefing on how to respond to the avalanche of attacks coming her direction.

Kobani: From minister to state secretary

The immediate past Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Kenneth Kobani, is a career politician. He enjoys the support of his people in Ogoniland. Kobani served as commissioner for finance during the administration of former Governor Peter Odili in Rivers State, and appeared to have gone into political oblivion, before he aligned with the then Minister of State for Education, Nyesome Wike, to chart a new political course for Rivers State.

Wike, who is now governor of the state, has appointed him as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). This, to critics, is more of a demotion.

Mohammed eyes PDP chairmanship

Immediate past Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed appears to have gone under since the defeat of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the last general elections and the exit of his erstwhile boss, Jonathan, after May 29. He has not been seen in public functions or heard since the APC tsunami swept his party away.

But those in the know about the plans and workings of the Alkaleri-born politician believe that he is gunning for the party’s national chairmanship. He is currently warming up for the vacant position, though with five others. Others who are jostling for the job are Prof. Ahmed Alkali, a former Special Adviser on Political Affairs to President Jonathan; former Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil and PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Jalo Abdullahi. Bala may eventually emerge as PDP National Chairman as it was gathered that some members of the Board of Trustees (BOT) are insisting that the North-East should retain the position. Mohammed was a journalist before he ventured into politics. He has remained in Abuja after PDP’s fall.

Adesiyan takes to cocoa farming

Former Minister of Police Affairs, Hon. Jelili Adesiyan, has returned to his occupation – farming. New Telegraph learnt that Adesina is now into cocoa farming which he was doing before he was appointed by Jonathan as minister. The former minister had in 2009 acquired 16 acres of farmland from Osun State government at Orileowu- Araromi government reserved forest to concentrate on the plantation he cultivated in 2011. He was the state Commissioner for Education in the Olagunsoye Oyinlola administration.

Nebo the clergy

Former Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, has for now retired into God’s work in Enugu State. Before his appointment as minister by Jonathan, he was the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti and University of Nigeria, Nsukka.For now, the professor of Metrological Engineering, is devoting his attention to God’s work in Enugu State. He is a reverend with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

Malam: Back to doing God’s work

Mrs. Laurentia Laraba Malam, is a core politician. From 1999 to 2002, she was chairperson of Zangon Kataf Local Government. Afterwards, she became Woman Leader, North-West zone of the Obasanjo/Atiku Campaign Organisation in 2003. Eight years later, she also campaigned for the Goodluck/Sambo ticket in the North-West.

A grassroots politician, Mrs Malam is a staunch member of the Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) and several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Significantly, she clinched the ministerial position after the contest between Senator Isaiah Balat, now late and Senator Nenadi Usman was deadlocked. Both Balat and Usman wanted to be minister but Malam became the tie breaker.

She was a member of the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) as Minister of the Environment before President Jonathan’s defeat at the poll. According to reports, Malam is still hanging around Abuja and “doing God’s work” within Christian circles, especially amongst women.

Gusau ‘retires’ to a quiet life

Lieutenant General Aliyu Gusau (rtd) was the Minister of Defence in the Jonathan administration, which ended on May 29. Gusau, highly regarded within the Nigerian military and intelligence circles, served successively as National Security Adviser (NSA) to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as well as Jonathan. As Defence Minister, the taciturn retired three-star General ensured con-tinuous verve in the counter-insurgency war in the North-East; a development, which substantially turned the tide against Boko Haram. He also commissioned a committee, which drafted and later submitted a new Defence Policy for the country.

However, since he left office, Gusau is said to be dedicating his time to promoting research in his Gusau Institute, located in Kaduna. The vision of the institute, New Telegraph gathered, is one of providing added inputs to security management, good governance, as well as the deepening of democracy in Africa.

Kuchi as Shea Butter exporter

Former Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, has joined the business world as exporter of Shea Butter. Kuchi, who was also Minister of State for Niger Delta, between July 2011 and 2013, retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before she ventured into business.

Ahmed: From minister to executive secretary

The exit of Kuchi from Jonathan’s cabinet paved the way for Asabe Asmau Ahmed as Minister of State for Agriculture. Before her appointment in January 2014, she was Special Adviser on Commerce and Investment to former Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State.

Asabe had worked with the United States Development Institute as an Executive Director where she raised funds for the Institute, worked with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (US Mortgage Corporations) to develop low income housing programmes; US Small Business Administration and the Federal Ministry of Industry to establish business centres across the country.

Thanks for the last-minute appointments made by Jonathan, Asabe was appointed Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) in May 2015.

Onolememen prepares for guber poll

Former Minister of Works, Mike Oziegbe Onolememen, is back to his architectural profession in Abuja. The Uromi-born politician is also warming up to contest the Edo governorship election in 2016. Governor Adams Oshiomhole leaves in 2016. As it is, Onolememen is busy working on his governorship ambition. Before his appointment as minister of works by Jonathan, he was Minister of State (Defence) in the Olusegun Obasanjo’s government.

Maku now party secretary

Labaran Maku left the Jonathan government as Minister of Information with the hope of governing Nasarawa State on the PDP platform. When he could not pick the PDP ticket, he switched camp to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). He lost the governorship election to Governor Tanko Al-Makura of the APC, though he came second. Maku is contesting the outcome of the election in court. For now, he is the National Secretary of APGA. Before his appointment as minister, Maku was deputy governor and Commissioner of Information between 2003 and 2007. He was a journalist.

Akwashiki back to business

Mrs. Patricia Akwashiki took over from Maku as Information Minister. Akwashiki represented Nasarawa North in the Senate between 2007 and 2011 after he represented Nasarawa Eggon-Wamba-Akwanga Federal Constituency at the House Representatives between 2003 and 2007. She lost her return bid to the Senate in 2011.Before her venture into politics, Akwashiki was in the banking industry where she retired as a director. She has returned to her contract business.

Mohammed returns to hospital

Nurudden Mohammed, a psychiatric doctor was the Minister of State Foreign Affairs II in the Jonathan administration, but later resigned to be the running mate to Jigawa State PDP gubernatorial candidate, Mallam Aminu Ringim in the 2015 elections. The PDP lost to the APC candidate, Badaru Abubakar. Dr. Mohammed has since returned to his former place of work, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano.

Bappa now consults

Hajia Hawwa Bappa was the immediate past Minister of State for Niger Delta. Before her appointment by Jonathan, Bappa was the Commissioner for Commerce in Jigawa State in the Sule Lamido-led government. Bappa has gone back to her business and consultancy for NGOs in Kano, Jigawa, and Abuja.

Danagogo returns to Rivers politics

Since leaving office on May 29, when President Buhari assumed office, Hon. Tammy Danagogo, the immediate past Minister of Sports has been active in Rivers State politics. He played a key role in the electoral victory of Governor Wike of the PDP. He almost singlehandedly delivered the Kalabari axis for the PDP in the last election, and is seen today as a leader in the area.

Born 45 years ago, Danagogo was the chairman of Akuku-Toru Local Government from April 2004 to May 2007, and focused mainly on sports development. He was also a commissioner from 2007 to 2013, heading the ministries of Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affairs and also Urban Development and Physical Planning.

The grassroots politician holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Law, specialising in Human Rights and Dispute Settlements, from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Despite not having any official portfolio, he is seen as a leader of Wike’s alternate (kitchen) cabinet.

Ochekpe back to community service

Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe was Minister for Water Resources. She was appointed minister in 2011 while serving as Executive Chairman of the Plateau State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBED). Since leaving office on May 29, Ochekpe has devoted her time to community service by providing free healthcare service to rural areas in the state.

Along with her husband, who is a professor at the University of Jos, she donated health care equipment to the Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin Ladi Main Campus. For now, the former minister is managing her NGO in Jos helping the less privileged.

Akinjide: Not done with politics

Ms. Jumoke Akinjide, served in the Jonathan administration between 2011 and 2015 as Minister of State for FCT. The former Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on FCT between 2001 and 2002, is a lawyer by profession. The 56-year-old lawyer and daughter of former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in the Second Republic, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), was a Principal Partner of the LAWMAN Legal & Co., a law firm based in Lagos and Abuja before her foray into politics.

Oloye Jumoke, as she is fondly called, was appointed by the party as the Coordinator of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation for second term, in Oyo State. Having been out of office, Akinjide has gone into private business. She hardly visits Ibadan, her hometown, preferring to stay in Abuja. She is involved in the restructuring of the PDP ahead of 2019.

Yuguda holidaying in Dubai

Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance, has relocated to Dubai where he previously served as Nigerian Ambassador to United Arab Emirates and Qatar 2008 to 2011, a source close to him informed New Telegraph. The source said the immediate family members of the former minister reside in Dubai and he has relocated to join them.

It was not clear if the former minister currently engages in a private business over there, but the source said the Zamfara-born minister could be resting for now. Before he was appointed as minister replacing Dr. Yerima Ngama, Yuguda previously served as Minister of State for Works, and Supervising Minister of National Planning.

Aganga returns to UK

For erstwhile Minister of Trade and Investment and Ex-Managing Director at US investment bank, Goldman Sachs, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, joining his family in London after five years in the Jonathan’s cabinet is the appropriate decision to take. He was first appointed Minister of Finance before he was seconded to Trade and Investment Ministry by Jonathan to pave the way for Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister.

Duke’s hotel goes under

Chief Edem Duke is the immediate past Minister for Culture and Tourism. He was once the Public Affairs Manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) but resigned to establish his hospitality business in Calabar. The Mirage, a hotel owned and operated by Duke until his foray into politics, had gone through ups and downs, with reports having it that at a point, the hotel was heavily indebted to a bank which took over its running until all its monies were recovered.

But the hotel managed to survive its travails. Duke had planned to go to the Senate four years ago, but he lost the opportunity to Prince Bassey Otu. However, he was compensated with the Cross River State ministerial slot. In the Jonathan administration, Duke was a familiar face, especially after he briefly supervised the Ministry of Information and Orientation.

But since the Buhari government took over some three months ago, Duke has vanished from the public space both in Abuja and in his home state. Not only has he not been heard since May 29, his private business, The Mirage, once the hub of hospitality business in the state, has been under lock and key.

Orubebe and his crises

Elder Godsday Orubebe left as Jonathan’s Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to pursue his governorship ambition in Delta State. His attempt to succeed Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan failed as Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, now governor, flawed him at the PDP primaries.After his failed governorship bid, Orubebe went into oblivion until he appeared at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre for the presidential election in Abuja.

Orubebe disrupted the collation process for almost an hour. His ignoble conduct became a national discourse and he later apologised to the nation. The former minister also regained his voice last week when he described Governor Oshiomhole as “an Aso Rock sycophant” for always attacking Jonathan. He has devoted his attention to evangelism as he is an evangelist in the church he built in his Patani town in Delta State.

During his tenure as a minister, several weighty allegations of corruption were levelled against him. On many occasions, his immediate resignation was demanded by the Ijaw ethnic nationalities, leaders and elders. The groups also called on the anti-graft agencies to probe him “in the interest of fairness and justice.”

Chidoka on break

Since Mr. Osita Chidoka left as new Minister of Aviation, he has been off the public radar. The 44-year-old former Corps Marshall and Chief Executive Director of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was appointed in June 2014 to replace Stella Oduah from Anambra State. Since 1997, he has served as ministers’ aide before he eventually became a minister in 2014.

Turaki returns to legal practice

Alhaji Kabiru Tanimu Turaki served as Minister of Special Duties between February 2013 and May 2015. He chaired the Committee on Continuous Dialogue on Resolution of Insecurity Challenge in the North. He has returned to his legal firm, K.T Turaki & Co. He is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Shekarau, Wali retired?

Former Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the Sardauna of Kano, is enjoying his retirement. The former Kano State governor was honoured last week by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics at his Durbin Katsina residence in Kano for his contribution to the education sector.

For now, Shekarau is enjoying his retirement in Kano and Abuja, while paying less attention to PDP politics. The former governor has no business to manage; he is a retired teacher. Ambassador Aminu Wali was a major face in the Jonathan administration as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

After May 29, the home of the former Ambassador to China located on Hotoro Kwanar Sabo in Kano has been deserted. The only story heard of Wali since he left office was in respect of a case over his alleged failure to settle legal fees of his counsel. The lawyer had claimed to have defended Wali in a case two years ago and that he has refused to pay his N25 million legal fees.

Haruna, Maina out of public radar

Under Jonathan, Adamawa had two ministers – Mr. Boni Haruna and Hajiya Zainab Maina. The duo were always visible in Yola, the state capital, campaigning for Jonathan’s re-election. Today, things have changed. Their residents have been deserted by people who usually thronged when they were in office.

Haruna was the state governor be-tween 1999 and 2007. He lost the 2011 senatorial election to the incumbent governor, Bindo Jibrilla then of the PDP, as the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, before he defected to the PDP and was made minister. Haruna campaigned vigorously for Jonathan’s re-election.

Since PDP lost the election, he has not been seen in the public. Like Haruna, Maina’s whereabouts is unknown. Before her appointment in July 2011, she was Board Chairman, National Commission for Nomadic Education. She was the Director, Women Affairs of the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign. Maina was a clerical officer to the Premier of the Northern Region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto in 1966.

Not much from Johnson

Mrs Omobola Johnson was the Minister of Communication Technology for four years. Although she is from Ondo in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State by virtue of being a daughter of former Lisa of Ondo, the late Bayo Akinnola, Omobola who is married to a son of Brig.-Gen. Mobolaji Johnson, first military administrator of Lagos State, gravitated towards Lagos than Ondo State, her place of birth.

She rebuffed all efforts to make her responsible for the state chapter of the PDP. In one of the meetings held with former state chairman of PDP, Mr. Ebenezer Alabi, Mrs. Johnson reportedly told the delegation not to visit her as she was not a politician and was not ready to be dragged into the murky waters of politics. She has returned to the private sector.

Wogu off the radar

Chief Emeka Wogu left Jonathan’s government as Minister of Labour and Productivity to contest the Abia State governorship election. Since he was edged out of the PDP ticket, Wogu, a lawyer, has been out of circulation.

Akobundu: Nowhere to be found

Another former minister, who is off the political scene is Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd). The Abia State-born ex-soldier and former PDP National Vice Chairman (South-East) was appointed Minister of State for Defence in the twilight of the Jonathan administration.As a former soldier, he was expected to bring his rich experience to bear in the fight against terrorism in the northern part of the country, but that was cut short with APC’s victory in the presidential poll.

Eyakenyi returns to first love

Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, a onetime Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in the Victor Attah administration in Akwa Ibom State, served the Jonathan’s administration as Minister of Housing and Urban Development. She has returned to her private business and deeply involved in local politics of her Oro nation.

Ikenya off the radar

Senator Joel Ikenya was appointed Minister of Labour and Productivity in March 2015 as a replacement for Arch. Dairus Ishaku, who resigned to contest for the Taraba State governorship. Ikenya has been a major political force in Taraba since 1992 when he was elected member of the state House of Assembly.

He was re-elected in 1999. He represented Taraba South in the Senate in 2003. Ikenya was Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation which considered the 2008 budget. Since his exit as minister, he is nowhere to be seen. He is believed to be in Abuja and occasionally visits Wukari, his hometown.

Alhassan health challenge?

Dr. Khaliru Alhassan retired as Permanent Secretary from the Sokoto State Ministry of Health, to serve as Minister of Health in the twilight of the Jonathan administration. After his exit as minister, he went for the lesser hajj. Since then nothing has been heard of him except the rumour of his health challenge. He has been living a private life.

Ngama: Double loss

Dr. Yarima Lawan Ngama, a lecturer and banker, resigned as Minister of State for Finance to contest the Yobe PDP governorship ticket which he lost to former Minister of Police Affairs, Maina Waziri. Again, he tried his luck with the senatorial election. His attempt for the Yobe North seat failed as he was defeated by an APC candidate. He has relocated his family to Kano State to continue with his business.

Mixed fortunes for Benue ministers

Three ministers from Benue State served under Jonathan – Dr. Samuel Ortom, Minister of State for Industries, Trade and Investment; Comrade Abba Moro, Interior and Prof. Nicholas Ada, Minister of State II Foreign Affairs. Among the three ex-ministers, Ortom stands tall as he successfully transmuted through a democratic process to become governor of Benue State.

Moro is a core politician who had contested governorship seat of the state and coordinated the re-election of President Jonathan. With PDP out of power at the state and federal levels, Moro is out of job. He is now playing local politics as opposition leader in Benue. As minister, Moro spearheaded the controversial recruitment of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in which some applicants died in the process.

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Fire guts documents, furniture, others at Nigerian National Assembly



he management of the National Assembly has confirmed the fire outbreak at the new wing of the House of Representatives on Thursday evening.

The incident happened at a storeroom in the lower chamber’s section of the complex in Abuja.

Passers-by around 6pm who noticed smoke coming out from a store on the second floor of the New Building, House of Reps Wing of the Complex, raised the alarm.

The wing houses the offices of the lawmakers, committee rooms, banks and other private businesses.

The office of the Speaker, Deputy Speaker and principal officers are on the fourth floor.

Firefighters from the Federal Fire Service within the premises and other first responders rushed to the scene.

The inferno was later put out by the firefighters and other responders.

Agada Rawlings, Director, National Assembly Information in his reaction to the Incident in a late-night statement, said that the situation was immediately brought under control.

He said the fire was suspected to have resulted from an electrical fault which was noticed by one of the staff members working with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

He said the employee quickly alerted the Federal Fire Service Unit in the complex.

Rawlings explained that the fire was put out with the assistance of staff members on duty who immediately broke into the affected office and used fire extinguishers before the arrival of the fire service officer.

He said; “There was a fire incident this evening (Thursday) in one of the Janitors, located on the 2nd floor, Room 227 in the new-wing, of the House of Representatives, suspected to have resulted from an electrical fault which was noticed by one of the Staff to the Clerk, House of Representatives, who promptly alerted the Federal Fire Service Unit stationed in the National Assembly Complex.

“Consequently, the combined prompt efforts curtained the fire to the affected office only and power supply to the wing put off to enable a full assessment and investigations into the incident.

“It is expected that after due assessment by the fire service and the Estate and works directorates, normalcy in the New Wings, housing all principal officers of the House of Representatives and Honourable members offices will be restored immediately.

“Management wishes to commend the prompt response/actions by the first responders particularly, National Assembly staff and the Fire Service Unit in helping to curtain the fire outbreak.”

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El-Rufai writes Buhari, says terrorists creating ‘parallel’ govt in Kaduna



Terrorists are consolidating their grip on communities in Kaduna with a parallel government and permanent operational base, according to Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari.

El-Rufai in the memo, warned the president of the terrorists’ consolidation in a late July memo, according to online platform, Premium Times.

The terrorists belonging to Ansaru for short, are believed to have moved to Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State in 2012 when they broke away from Boko Haram.

In the memo, the governor laid  bare how the terrorists have infiltrated and dominated communities and formed “a parallel governing authority,” exercising control over social and economic activities and dispensation of justice in the area.

He said the terrorists had advanced in their plans to make Kaduna forest areas their “permanent operational base” for the North-west region, citing a “series of intelligence reports.”

“Observed movement patterns and intercepted communications of migrating terrorists have shown a clear interest in setting up a base, with the stretches of forest area between Kaduna and Niger states strongly considered,” he wrote.

Law banning political activities

As the political activities towards the 2023 general elections pick up steam, the terrorists, El-Rufai told Buhari, have promulgated a law to ban residents from participating.

“The insurgents enacted a law in the District, banning all forms of political activity or campaign ahead of the 2023 elections, especially in Madobiya and Kazage villages,” the governor wrote.

The Ansaru terrorists are known to have an extremist ideological posture against democracy and secular authorities.

In 2021, the census enumeration exercise could only hold in two of the 11 wards that form Birnin Gwari due to the threat of armed banditry and terrorism, officials in both Kaduna State government and the population commission had said.

The ban on political activities, the governor said, followed a recent wedding ceremony involving the terrorists.

“According to actionable intelligence, members of the Jama’atu Ansarul Musulmina Fi’biladis Sudan (aka Ansaru) are hibernating in Kuyello district of Birnin Gwari LGA, which recently conducted a nuptial ceremony during which they married two yet-to-be-identified female residents of Kuyello village,” Mr El-Rufai wrote.

“The ceremony was attended by various Ansaru members and witnessed by residents of the area. After the marital rites, insurgents in attendance reportedly conveyed the brides to the dreaded Kuduru forest, in the same District.”

Extracting revenues

In the area of adjudicating disputes, Mr El-Rufai said the terrorists “fined one Mu’azu Ibrahim, a resident of Kuyello community, the sum of One Million Naira for selling plots of land without the consent of the owners.”

In addition, with the government becoming removed from rural communities, leaving them at the mercy of violent criminals, terrorists, Mr El-Rufai suggested, are manning the ungoverned space and extracting revenues from the people.

“Multiple reports also exist of bandits and terrorists exacting protection levies and similar taxes from farmers and communities, in return for permission to cultivate their fields,” the governor said.

Terrorism researchers say that revenues from taxes and levies forced on ungoverned spaces – created by the failure or limited capacity of the government – are a major source of financing and sustenance for terrorists.

Like the Kaduna situation described by El-Rufai, ISWAP terrorists based on the Lake Chad islands are also extracting huge revenues from the fishing activities and pastoralists operating in the area.

El-Rufai, when contacted, said he would not comment on this story because his correspondence was supposed to be confidential communication to the president.

In 2016, he wrote a similar confidential letter to the president, warning that the Buhari administration was losing momentum just about a year after coming to power

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Soludo suspends LG Chairman over alleged killing of wife



Anambra State governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo has suspended the transition committee chairman of Nnewi North Local Government Area, Hon Mbazulike Iloka.

Iloka, who is popularly known as Mba Mba, was suspended over the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death last Sunday morning.

Iloka’s wife, Chidiebere, was said to have slumped and died on Sunday morning, after serving her husband breakfast.

But those who know the coupe insisted that Iloka may have killed his wife, as he has a record of consistently battering her.

Signs of violence was also found on her body, while a huge wound on her head aroused suspicion, leading to public outcry over her death.

In a letter of suspension, which was signed by Anambra State Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Community Affair, Tony Collins Nwabunwanne, the chairman was asked to hand over to the head of Local Government administration, to avoid interfering in investigation.

The letter read: “Following the sad news of the death of your wife, late Mrs Chidiebere Iloka on 7th August 2022, there have been a massive outcry over the circumstances leading to her death, including alleged possible homicide.

“While you are presumed innocent until the completion of investigations, it has become imperative that you step aside to allow unfettered investigation and justice.

“Consequently, you are directed to step aside and to hand over the affairs of the local government to the head of local government administration, not later that 12th August 2022, until further notice.”

Iloka has only recently been appointed chairman of the local government. He has only been in office for about a week before his eventual removal.

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