Governor of Niger State, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago, has felicitated the Emir of Suleja, Alhaji Muhammadu Awwal Ibrahim, as he turns 82.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mal. Bologi Ibrahim, the governor extolled the virtues of the royal father, describing him as a man who has spent his life in service to humanity.
Governor Umaru Bago noted the tremendous contributions of the emir in public service, politics, and traditional institutions.
He said the service of the octogenarian in the development of not just his emirate and state, but the country at large, cannot be overlooked.
He says the celebrant, who was the first elected governor of the state from 1979 to 1983, was able to lay a foundation upon which subsequent governments were building.
"I thank Allah for being gracious to you to celebrate your 82nd birthday. I hold you in high esteem for your immense contribution to nation-building.
"May Allah reward your dedication and commitment to serving humanity", he said.
The governor also prays to Allah to grant the Emir more wisdom, strength, and good health to continue to provide good traditional leadership to his subjects in particular and the state in general.
Ward Chairman of Minna South of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Ibrahim, has said that the inability of the palliatives committee to reach out to the people for the distribution of the food items as stipulated by the state governor was due to the late release of the money by the government.
The ward chairman who disclosed this while speaking with our reporter who was on a fact finding visit to some of the polling units today in Kpakungu area of Chanchaga LGA of Niger state, where palliatives were expected to be distributed to the people, said that the committee members received the money on Monday night.
According to him, on receiving the money, they have to go to the market to purchase the food items that will be shared among the people, adding that the process was yet to be completed between yesterday, which was Wednesday and today Thursday.
Sahihu Ibrahim, however, disclosed further that the trucks of rice to be given to each ward as announced by the Executive Governor could not be found anywhere in Minna.
This development, according to him, was also a problem, saying the government should have made all of these items available before making the pronouncement.
The APC ward chairman informed Newsline that residents of all the 41 polling units under Minna South Ward, which were under his watch, "all came out in their large numbers waiting to receive their share of palliatives, but no committee members were forthcoming, so nothing happened between yesterday and today".
He, however, said that he only appealed to the people to remain calm and be patient while efforts were being made to come to their aid with the distribution of palliatives.
Efforts to speak with the Chairman of Chanchaga Local Government Council, Hon. Aminu Ladan, who, according to the ward chairman, was a member of the palliative committee constituted by the governor, were not successful as he refused to respond to phone calls put to him by this reporter.
Meanwhile, some of the residents of the Kpakungu community who spoke with Newsline on the issue of palliatives on condition of anonymity, however, heaped blame on the government for not being sincere on the distribution arrangements, saying that sending money meant for the exercise to each ward was not the right thing to do and rather the government should have taken full responsibility of using the money to purchase all the expected food items to be distributed.
According to them, the receivers of this money will only enrich themselves while the masses will be left out of the whole thing without seeing anything, and they called on the state government to do the needful by addressing the lapses.