Mr Olamide George, the Acting President of Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), said nobody accused its suspended former president Ibrahim Gusau of any complicity in money that was received and spent before he was elected.
George said this on Tuesday in a news briefing at AFN Secretariat at Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja .
He said the suspended President could not have been mentioned in the association’s finances prior to his assumption of office in July 2017.
He noted that the suspended president did not inform the board of the development until it was reported in the media.
NAN reports that Gusau was alleged to have spent without the approval of the federation the sum of $135,000 granted in error to AFN by IAAF.
The international body had written to the AFN to refund $135,000 of the said amount which it said was the excess of what was due AFN.
As the controversy raged, the sports ministry refunded the said amount while the AFN board went ahead to suspend Gusau for alleged misuse of the grant.
A proactive president would have called for a board meeting to address the issue since the money was sent before our inauguration,” George said.
According to him “AFN President has the right to call for a board meeting. The same constitution makes it the job of the secretary general to issue a notice to that effect.
George further noted that the suspended president failed to inform media that the board didn’t approve of the contract of PUMA and had no knowledge of it until it was signed.
He bought samples of PUMA to show the board members and he never said he had signed the 2.7 million dollars contract with PUMA,” he added.
Edited by: Donald Ugwu
Cash Transfer: Zamfara to dismiss 10 Facilitators for extortion
The Zamfara Unit of the Federal Government Conditional Cash Transfer Programme, has said that it will dismiss 10 Facilitators in two local government areas in the state for extorting money from beneficiaries.
The Head of State Cash Transfer Unit, Alhaji Sani Marafa stated this in Gusau on Saturday at a three day step down training for Local Government Facilitators of the programme.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the training was organised by the State Cash Transfer Unit in collaboration with the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), Abuja.
Marafa said 10 facilitators of the programme from Kaura-Namoda and Tsafe LGAs were found extorting money from beneficiaries in areas assigned to them.
“They were caught conniving with the payment agents extorting money from beneficiaries.
“It is very disappointing, we are going to dismissed them from this work and any body found conniving with them will also be sanctioned”, Marafa said.
He also expressed dismay over alleged collection of N1000 and N2500 from beneficiaries by some officials, saying that his office will collaborate with security agents to investigate the issue.
He called on the beneficiaries not to give a kobo to anyone before accessing their monthly stipends of N5,000 from the federal government.
He cautioned that anybody found collecting money from beneficiaries of the programme will face the wrath of the law.
According to him, the federal government has so far disbursed over N5.6 billion to 131,000 beneficiaries across six LGAs in the state.
Earlier, the National Training Officer of the programme, Mr Kola Solomon said that the training was aimed at equipping the beneficiaries on Savings and Group Mobilisation.
￼”It is expected for every beneficiary of the programme to be saving,” he said, adding that the programme is focused on cash transfer assistance and capacity building at the community level.
According to him, the cash assistance is usually followed by capacity building to ensure that the beneficiaries utilise the funds given to them in line with the aims and objectives of the programme.
“We realised that giving the beneficiaries N5,000 monthly is not enough to pull them out of poverty except if we train them on behavioural change.
“The 163 participants of this training from six LGAs are expected to go back and cascade what they have learnt to the beneficiaries at the community level.
“We want our beneficiaries to imbibe the culture of saving so that they would be forming groups in form of either contributions or cooperatives”, he said.
He urged the participants to be attentive, so that they will learn and understand the concept of the programme.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
World Bank Projects: Zamfara Gov’t tasks communities on maintenance
The Zamfara Agency for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) has charged communities in the state who benefited from the World Bank intervention projects to ensure their maintenance for future sustainability.
The Permanent Secretary in charge of the agency, Alhaji Garba Muhammad gave the charge at a one-day capacity building training on facility maintenance and sustainability of Community Micro-Projects in Gusau on Saturday.
Muhammad said that the training was to sensitise the benefiting communities on how to manage and sustain the facilities.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that participants at the programme were drawn from members of Community Projects Management Committees (CPMCs) in the 28 communities across the 10 LGAs in the state.
Muhammad said that all the 28 communities had benefited from various projects, comprising water, electrification, schools, clinics, skills acquisition centres and drainages, among others.
“As we are all aware, no matter how qualitative the projects are, without proper maintenance, they cannot be sustained.
“That is why we have invited members of our CPMCs from the benefiting communities for this training,” he said.
Muhammad noted that various resource persons were on hand to make presentations.
In his remarks, the Operations Manager of the agency, Alhaji Sani Buhari, urged the participants to cooperate with the resource persons in order to benefit from their presentations.
Buhari charged the committees to increase their efforts in ensuring proper maintenance of schools, hospitals, halls and skills acquisition centres build by the Agency.
He commended them for complying with the World Bank guidelines and appealed to them to maximise efforts.
Malam Umar Nakwada, Project Officer, Information, Education, Communication and Training, of the agency, tasked participants on proper use of electrical appliances.
Nakwada urged the committees to comply with the required ethics while executing the various projects approved by the agency.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that other papers presented during the training comprised tree planting and its importance, maintenance of boreholes and other sources of water and rural roads maintenance, among others.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Idonije Obakhedo
Zamfara APC: Sen. Marafa’s loyalists react to expulsion of Sirajo Garba, 125 others
The leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) faction in Zamfara, under Sen. Kabiru Marafa, has reacted to the expulsion of Sirajo Garba and 125 other members from the party, describing it as illegal.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a seven-man Disciplinary Committee set up by APC leadership in the state under Lawal Liman, on Thursday, announced the expulsion of Sirajo Garba and 125 others for allegedly violating the directive of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
Garba is the State Chairman of the Sen. Marafa’s APC faction.
Speaking at a press conference in Gusau on Saturday, the State Publicity Secretary of the faction, Bello Bakyasuwa, claimed that Abdul’aziz Yari loyalists had no legal rights to expel any member from the party.
He accused the national leadership of the party under Gov. Maimala Buni of bias and supporting Yari’s faction, saying that it would not yield positive results for the party in the state.
“We consider Buni a man of integrity based on his records but with the recent development and what we are seeing now, we are starting to lose hope in his leadership.
“The APC crisis in Zamfara is the first issue that is supposed to be treated by the Buni led committee immediately after its emergence, but due to sentiments it’s now supporting Yari’s camp,” he said.
Bakyasuwa further claims that, even the said letter for the setting up the seven-man disciplinary committee by the national secretariat to Yari’s camp, is considered baseless by their faction.
“Because as a faction of the party in the state, we were not communicated to by the national leadership regarding the formation of any disciplinary committee.
“We have not received any documents either from the national secretariat or from our sister faction in the state in that regard.
“The national secretariat of the party recently issued statements, dissociating itself from giving directives to the state APC under Abdul’aziz Yari to sanction any member of the party.
“We urge the national leadership to disregard any issue of expelling our members from the party.
“We also urge them to have the APC in mind and not to support anything that will end up destroying the party in the state.
“If the situation continues like this, the crisis may affect the APC in the upcoming Bakura State Assembly by-election.
“We aspire to see that the crisis is over so as to reunite again and work together for the progress of the party. We, Sen. Marafa’s loyalists are law abiding citizens, we are open for sincere and purposeful dialogue,” he said.
He urged their supporters to remain calm, saying that the faction had already written a petition to the APC national leadership over the issue.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/ Maharazu Ahmed
Troops rescue 22 kidnapped victims in Zamfara, Katsina
The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Sahel Sanity fighting banditry and kidnapping in the northwest region have foiled bandits’ attacks and rescued 22 kidnapped victims.
The troops also recovered arms and ammunitions in various operations in Zamfara and Katsina States.
Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Gusau on Friday.
According to him, troops deployed at Moriki and Jangeru, responded to a distress call on Sept. 13, and folied a planned bandits’ attack on Mai-Zuma village in Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara.
This, he said, followed severe shoot out along Kayawa axis forcing the bandits to withdraw and abandon three motorcycles recovered by the gallant troops.
Onyeuko said on Sept. 12, troops deployed at Dandume in Katsina State rescued two young girls kidnapped by bandits on August 18, adding that the bandits abandoned the victims after a hot pursuit.
He said that on Sept. 17, troops also rescued 8 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area in Faskari LGA of Katsina.
“Troops on patrol at Chabas Chabas, swiftly rescued a truck driver, 11 women and children, on their way to Batsari Market but blocked by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi Road in Katsina State,” he said.
The Acting Director added that troops deployed at Forward Operation Base (FOB), Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit named Bello Ibrahim riding a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village.
Onyeuko noted that the troops recovered one Pump Action rifle and three live cartridges from the suspected bandit.
He said: “On Sept. 16, troops deployed in Faskari arrested a suspected bandits’ informant named Isah Indo while spying on troops’ location.
“Following credible information; troops deployed at Yankara arrested a suspected bandits’ collaborator named Idris Isah from Yampa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina, who is engaged in illicit activities with bandits.
“Also on Sept. 16, troops deployed at Magami arrested Yaya Rabiu at Magami checkpoint, the suspect was identified to be a member of a notorious bandit gang.”
According to him, the bandits recently attacked troops location at Ruwandawa-Kwankele village in Gusau LGA of Zamfara.
Onyeuko reiterated commitment of the Nigerian Army to protect lives and property, and urged the people to provide credible information on suspicious movements and persons in their communities.
Edited By: Josephine Obute