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INSIDE STORY OF THE SUFFERING OF ZAMFARA STUDENTS IN CYPRUS

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         SPECIAL FEATURE STORY

………………………………………………………….

By

Abdul Balarabe

Feature Editor.

✓ZMSG YET TO SETTLE OVER (400,000)  EURO AS TUITION FEE.

✓STUDENTS ARE SLEEPING ON THE  STREETS OF CYPRUS.

✓OUR FUTURE IS BLINKING,     STUDENTS LAMENT.

✓COMR..YUSUF KANOMA YET TO   MAKE COMMENT AS C’TTEE MEMBER   THAT VISITED CYPRUS ON BEHALF OF  ZMSG

✓ZAMFAFA DIRECTORATE OF   STUDENTS MATTERS FAILS TO   RESPOND TO FOI LETTERS BY   THUNDER BLOWERS

Education is the bedrock of development to any society, that is why government upon government accorded serious priority to it’s growths in different dimension, ranging from building of schools and sponsoring of students to pursue different courses within and outside the country, especially in the area of science, medicine and technology.

Upon the advent of new administration in 2019 under the leadership of His Excellency, Bello Mohammed Matawalle one of his first priority was to recruit indegine of Zamfara state to send them abroad to study. After series of scrutiny under the watch of a consultant, 200 students were successful for the programme to be carried out in Sudan, India, China and Cyprus.

The programme started well for a while but at a later time problems started here and there, as students faced series of challenges.

The condition of the 92 students studying in Cyprus has called for concern and creating bad impression about sponsoring students to study abroad by state governments.

More importantly, parents and guardians of the students would develop serious apprehension and fear on the flight of their children as things are falling apart.

The inability of the Zamfara State government to act with required urgency based on agreement reached between the management of the International University of Cyprus and the state government is sending sad signal that future if these potential children is blinking.


Findings by Thunder Blowers revealed that, the state government is yet to settle a backlog of four hundred thousand Euros (400,000) owed to the management of the University as tuition fee cutting across school fees, feeding, and payment for the hostel accommodation and monthly upkeep.

Based on the information obtained from the University said, each of the 92 students is owing the University a total of (5,000) Euros.


This unfortunate situation had forced the eviction of the students from their hostels and we’re denied access to lecture halls and other academic activities in the University.

The helpless students had to find ways for their shelter as the male students slept in the mosques, while the remaining ten girls students took of the advantage of the hostels of some girls students who were sponsored privately by their parents or guardians.


According to the source, the delay in the payment of outstanding debt of (400,000) Euros debt which is yet to be settled by the state government may cause the students to loss their chances of resuming to their academic activities after the end of the summer holiday.

It is funny that, the state government was unable to secure permit to reside for the students since when they commenced their academic programmes.

The state government promised to settle the required (N12M) for the students to have access to their permit but up till now for close to three years such permit could not be secured for them.

According to him, the inability of the government to secure the permit is affecting the chances of the students from getting access to other job opportunities to support their living in the Cyprus.


The students have made several attempts to make inquiries with the Directorate of the Student Matters headed by Mr. Lukman Majidadi but the response seems negative hence, the Special Adviser is not responding favourably in respect of the payment of the tuition fee.

The source further said there is conflicting interest between the Directorate of Student Matters and the Consultant managing the programme, the Directorate of Students Matters have been sidelined and frustrated in all the processes.

As a demonstration of concern, the state government set up a committee headed by Speaker of State Assembly, Nasiru Mu’azu Magarya to visit Cyprus alongside Chairman House Committee on Education Hon. Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma, Commissioner High Education Yahaya Chado and Special Adviser Directorate of Scholarship Matters to ascertain the true situation of the students.


The source further revealed that, only, chairman House Committee on Education, Yusuf Kanoma met with the University management, other members of the committee had problem of visa.

Part of the discussions the government emissary had with the University management was asking for the forfeiture of the money, added for the late registration in the tuition fee and to allow the students have access to their academic result to allow for their self valuation.


The Commissioner of High Education and Special Adviser later attempted to enter Cyprus, but they were blocked at Istanbul in Turkey on the ground that the days allocated for them to visit Cyprus had elapsed.

The source called on the government to reconsider its position and settle the outstanding tuition fees to enable the frustrated students to be able to continue with their studies.

NO RESPONSE FROM DIRECTORATE OF STUDENT MATTERS

 

This medium has written two separate (FOI) letters to the Directorate of Student Matters to verify some allegations raised by the students from both Cyprus and Sudan, but the Directorate refused to respond to our letters.

But this medium independently gathered that, the Directorate is not becoming responsive to the issue because it was not fully involved at the level of making arrangements with the University since the consultant unilaterally made his own consultation with the institution.

The parents are now left in between whom to believe because the frustration is evident that some parents are beginning to loss the confidence with the government ability to take good care of their children abroad.

ITS WRONG FOR GOVT TO START WHAT IT CANNOT FINISH, EXPERT


The Executive Director of Education as Right, Muhammad Jamil faulted some state governments for politicizing education, especially the aspect of sponsoring students for study abroad.

He told this medium in a telephone interview that state Governors made the idea of sponsoring their citizens for study abroad as a political achievement, not mincing the fact that there are better options to support the education of their citizens.

He noted that, Governors in Nigeria if assumed office always come up with one idea of foreign scholarship or the other without taking measures of funding the existing local universities.

“Many Governors have left over of debt meant for foreign scholarship and instead of settling the backlog the incoming Governors move another concerment of students for another academic trips making the arrangements more complicated”.

He advised the Governors, especially those from the North to instead of sending students abroad to study first degrees invest heavily in provision of infrastructures and human resources to existing local universities and enter into bonding with them so that they can leverage on the opportunities back home to further their tertiary education.

ZMSG SHOULD RECALL THE STUDENTS BACK TO NIGERIA, AS IT HAS FAILED

A chieftain of the PDP in Zamfara state, Alh Saminu Garba had challenged the government to instead of destroying the future of these young boys and girls, take the appropriate measures of recalling them back home so that they can leverage on the option of Nigerian universities.

He described as unfortunate how the government failed in sustaining the education of these two hundred children it has sponsored as its fate project.

He also advised parents who cannot afford to provide upkeep allowances to their wards to hasten the recall of their children before they resorted to becoming thugs outside the shore of Nigeria.

“The implications of the condition of Zamfara students is disheartening I doubt if the state did not act soonest the girl students may involved themselves into some immoral acts to survive and the government by implications is not fair to its citizens.

HON. YUSUF KANOMA YET TO RESPOND TO OUR INQUIRIES OVER HIS VISIT TO CYPRUS

Thunder Blowers Multi-media Services had sent an online questionnaire to Yusuf Alhassan Kanoma one of the committee members who went to Cyprus for him to respond to some of the issues he was able to agree with the management of the University.

But he is yet to respond despite the fact that he has pledged to provide us with the details of the commitment he has entered with the University management.

Some of the students who spoke with Thunder Blowers said during the Kanoma’s visit to Cyprus International University he met with the Regional Director for Africa where all the issues concerning them were deliberated.


They have also informed this medium that Comrade Kanoma has come back with a draft agreement which he reached with the University management, but noted nothing was achieved since his return to Nigeria.

WHAT NEXT?

Some students interviewed from Cyprus through telephone called on the government to summon the consultant and verify what caused the mess up.

They insisted that if the Directorate is not the architect of the whole arrangements with the Cyprus International as claimed then, the Consultant shall be call to explain the circumstances behind the ugly development because it has no doubt caused monumental embarrassment to the government.

“Unless if the news making round the public that government has settled all that are needed for Zamfara students in Cyprus are not true” one of the students stated

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THREE FMR. GOVERNORS, MINISTERS, AND TOP APC POLITICIANS HEADS MATAWALLE APC CAMPAIGN COUNCIL

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Former Governor of Zamfara Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi and Ahmad Rufai Sani were among the prominent APC politicians that are to head the gubernatorial campaign council for the second term bid of Governor Bello Matawalle.

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Tijjani Yahaya Kaura and former Finance Minister Ambassador Bashir Yuguda are among the leaders of Zamfara APC gubernatorial campaign council.

The campaign council also has many former and serving senators, members of the Federal House of Representatives as well as serving and former ambassadors.

Abdulaziz Yari who is the Chairman of the Campaign Council has formally issued appointment letters to the hundreds of APC power brokers that are to work at the various campaign committees and subcommittees.

He charged the members of the campaign council to work harder and justify the confidence reposed on them by making sure that the Governor and indeed all the APC candidates are returned elected in the forthcoming 2023 election.

He also warned politicians and party supporters to shun political thuggery and conduct a campaign that violent free.
He further said his committee would not allow anybody to carry any kind of weapons except the security agencies that are mandated to do so.

He assured that the campaign council would conduct a hitch free campaign devoid of any thuggery activities.

Abdul Aziz Abubakar Yari appeals to the people of Zamfara state to ensure that APC candidates are massively given all the necessary votes to win election in 2023 general election.

He further charged the council members to redouble their efforts as the committee would work for the success of the party in the state.

He called on the other political parties in the state to emulate his committee by not allowing anybody, particularly the youth to carry dangerous weapons during their political campaign and charge security agencies not to spare anyone caught carrying weapons during the campaigns of the political parties in the state.

Also speaking during the occasion the director general of the campaign council who was a former Minister and Senator Alhaji Tijjani Yahaya kaura Namoda charge members to be vigilant and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibility as they have chosen based on merit; therefore they must lead APC to victory.

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ZAMFARA SEN. YAU INAUGURATES 2023 CAMPAIGN URGES CONSTITUENTS TO VOTE FOR TINUBU & ALL APC CANDIDATES

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The Senator representing Zamfara North Sahabi Alh Yau has inaugurate his 2023 campaign at Kaura Namoda local government area, the headquarters of the Senatorial zone.

The campaign inauguration was attended by hundreds of party supporters and well-wishers who joined the campaign rally with jubilation.

The Senator who expressed satisfaction with the effort he has put in place so far in delivering to his 2019 campaign promises assured that if provided the opportunity again, he will do more to consolidate from what he has done and ensure that more federal opportunities are brought to the door steps of his constituents.

He took time to make a review of his stewardship and thanked his constituents for given him the opportunity to represent them at the Nigeria’s upper chamber.

On the APC Presidential candidature, Sen. Yau in insisted that, Tinubu and Shetima Presidential candidature is the best option for Nigeria especially with the effort put in place by the Buhari led administration and why the gesture need to be sustained.

He urged people of his constituency to massively vote for Tunubu and Shatima as well as all the APC candidates across the board.

AFormer Governor Mahmuda Shinkafi, former Sen. Tijjani Yahaya and a host of other prominent personalities from the Zone attended the campaign Flag off.

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ZAMFARA: WHY ENGR SULEIMAN GUMMI’S DESPERATE TACTICS WON’T SAVE PDP

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OPINION ARTICLE

By

Yusuf Idris Gusau

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This is no doubt the best of times for the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara State.

The party and its many candidates deserve the sympathy of all for the current situation it finds itself in.

Having lost all hopes of making any impact in the forthcoming general elections, it has resorted to untoward means, behaving like a bull in a china shop, destroying anything and everything in its way.

But how can a party of PDP’s standing, which has been in power at some points for many years and its candidates behave like deranged women whose kids have suddenly gone missing?

In this moment of madness, there should be a sane member within the lot who could rein them in; a rallying figure who could calm the fraying nerves.

But when a ranking member of one of the country’s highest law making body, the House of Representatives, Suleiman Abubakar Gummi’s joined the fray, it then becomes obvious that the situation is irredeemable.

The party, as it were, is doomed and at a dire point of no return.

The honourable member of the House of Representatives has swelled the number of the PDP’s attack dogs whose targets include the ruling party and the state chief executive, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle.

In a press statement he recently signed on behalf of “PDP candidates” titled “On critical national alert” Gummi went the “dishonourable” path by throwing decorum to the wind and lunched viral attacks on person and personality of Governor Matawalle with no iota of respect for his seat as the father of the state.

In doing so he deployed uncouth, crude and abusive language symptomatic of those low level maniacs unleashed at every opportunity as dogs of war.

But why will anyone be surprised at the action of this charlatan who forgot that his behavior could rob off on the integrity of the lower chamber he represents and taint the reputation of his colleagues in that reputable and respected institution? He is PDP member in the state after all and their stock in trade is to cause breach of peace in the state.

In the said press statement, Gummi went a rigmarole quoting the respected late social crusader, Martins Luther King and dancing around in circle.

From all his outing and vituperations, the only take away was the supposed arrest on Monday, November 28, of the party’s candidate for Zamfara central senatorial district, Alhaji Ikira Aliyu Bilbis by the police on charges of vandalism, which he claimed were trumped up.

In trying to elicit public sympathy to himself and co-travelers, he lumped the current issue with the earlier arrest of the Nigeria Union of Journalists chairman in the state but as usual, his effort failed to invoke the emotion and public outcry he had envisaged.

But let us even give him the benefit of the doubt and interrogate the issues his outing threw up. He has informed the public why Bilbis was arrested, but said the charges were “trumped up”. Really?

How did Gummi who is a lawmaker come about such a position over an issue that is before a court of law? Why is he in a hurry to clear the accused even before the court adjudicate on the matter.

The police even from Gummi’s statement did the needful by arresting Bilbis. They (police) did not hold him or keep him for long in their cell but charged him to court after their investigation.

The onus is therefore on the accused to exonerate and clear himself of the allegations.

The court even went ahead to grant him bail as Gummi testified in his statement. So why is it anybody’s fault if the accused failed to meet the bail condition? And because his associate failed to meet the stipulated condition to effect his release, Gummi is now accusing the judge and police of being tools in the hands of Matawalle in his alleged witch hunt of the opposition.

If a sitting governor is desirous in tackling an opponent who is clearly linked with a crime it would have been easy to clamp such person in police custody and claim that investigation is still ongoing as has been the case everywhere.

However, in this case, the police did not waste anytime in charging the accused to court where he is expected to defend himself. The court and its presiding judge should be commended for the expressway it granted the accused bail instead of being needlessly vilified like Gummi is doing.

His allegation that Matawalle was trying to muzzle the main opposition to whittle down their power and influence in the forthcoming elections is laughable because the PDP is not in reckoning and not a threat to APC in anyway.

He even went ahead to list those he thinks Matawalle will go after including the party’s governorship candidate, Lawal Dauda Dare. Waoo! Is this not absurd? Is Lawal Dare even in contention for the governorship race with all the court cases dangling over his head?

The so called governorship is still traumatized over his defeat at the federal high court, which nullified the primary that produced him and recently, the Appeal court.

It is fundamental to note that his ordeals were from his own very party and has nothing to do with Governor Matawalle. So it’s absurd to blame others for PDP’s misfortune and allege that anyone would hunt it’s candidates whose political future are uncertain.

And resorting to violence as a means to an end like the party and its members have been doing could only heighten the already tensed atmosphere which Matawalle has been working round-the -clock to manage.

The billboard saga wasn’t the only violent imprints the party has left on its route to 2023, a rally at its governorship candidate’s home had led to lost of Iives even as many were wounded. It’s sad that Gumi left out such important development from his statement.

As per the NUJ chairman which Gummi tried unsuccessfully to lump Bilbis case with to draw inspiration, he should have done the needful by telling the public the background of the affected person and the circumstances leading to such state of affairs to enable them appreciate and interrogate the issue based on its merit.

It’s imperative that Gummi calls a press conference or issue another statement to shedlight on the matter.

Having come from an honourable family, one would have thought Gumi will keep the legacy of the parental training we thought he received, unfortunately, even if he had such grooming as he was growing up, elements of bad politics and the fear of losing in the upcoming 2023 general elections have infuriated to throw away his sensibilities and turn disrespectful, dishonourable and regardless.

Certainly, with the overwhelming wind of mass support and mass mobilization going on in the APC, the likes of Gumi will not even be noticed when the electorate cast their votes to bring in APC at all levels in the coming elections.

As it were, rep Gummi achieved nothing by his recent desperate tactics. The PDP is doomed and irredeemable, and by 2023 the party will go into permanent extinction in Zamfara State.

Yusuf Idris Gusau
APC Publicity Secretary
Zamfara State
4th November, 2022

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