Tag Archives: El rufai

Governor demands State Police, says Judiciary be decentralized.


El-Rufai also stressed that banditry is a national problem and it is the responsibility of relevant stakeholders to calm nerves through their utterances and not fan the embers of division.

Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has joined his voice with national analysts calling for devolution of power between the Federal Government and 36 states in the country.

The governor who was one of the speakers at a programme called ‘Radio Now’s Urgent Conversation’ aired on Thursday on NoRM‘s known Media TV said state police and devolution of the judiciary is important to save Nigeria from the brink of collapse.


“I will dwell on three of the issues that I believe are critical to the immediate needs of the country to pull back from the brink.

“The first, it is imperative for Federal, state, and community policing. We do not have enough police. One centralised police for the country just has not worked.

“Secondly, we must amend the constitution and relevant laws to ensure control of oil and gas, mines, and minerals in the states that already have control over land under the land use Act with royalties and taxes payable to the Federal Government and the Federation Account


“Number three, we must rectify the anomaly of a Federation that has a more or less unitary judiciary,” the governor explained.

While stressing his earlier points highlighted, the governor said, “My first recommendation is to implement the three key devolution proposals that I mentioned above. Give us state police now, vest all minerals in the state now, and decentralised our judiciary now, not tomorrow, not later.”

El-Rufai also stressed that banditry is a national problem and it is the responsibility of relevant stakeholders to calm nerves through their utterances and not fan the embers of division.

“It is an understatement to say that Nigeria is in one of its most difficult moments. The genuine fears for their lives and property felt by many citizens across the country need to be assuaged. All responsible persons must show compassion to our compatriots that have been affected while calming nerves.


“Banditry is a national problem, with victims from all parts of the country, and we should address it with a common resolve,” El-Rufai said.

According to the governor, the country requires elite consensus to take the poison out of identity politics.



Nasir El Rufai speaks on solution to Herders/Farmers clash.


El-Rufai urged Southwest governors to protect residents in their states and prosecute criminals irrespective of their ethnicity or religion.

Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasiru El- Rufai Tuesday said the establishment of ranches in states will resolve the lingering herder-farmer crises in Nigeria.


The governor, who spoke in Yola, said open grazing of livestocks is no longer realistic.

El-Rufai urged Southwest governors to protect residents in their states and prosecute criminals irrespective of their ethnicity or religion.

He disclosed that northern governors have resolved to established one ranch in each state in the region and provide incentives to convince herders to start ranching their livestocks for improve production of milk and healthy animals.

He said that the ranching system will also enable children of herders to go to school and have access to quality education like any other Nigerian.


“Im a Fulani man, today I’m the governor of Kaduna State because I went to school; my parents were settled in one place breeding their livestocks,” he said.

The governor stated that for northern governors to achieve their dreams to established ranches, they need the financial assistance of the federal government.



COVID-19: Kaduna Gov’t signs drone-delivered vaccines agreement with Zipline.


American medical product delivery company had operated distribution centers in Rwanda, Ghana, and US.Lagos State in January 2020 banned the operations of commercial motorcycles and tricycles in six local government areas in the state.

Kaduna State Government has signed a deal with medical delivery firm Zipline that will allow drone shipment of COVID-19 vaccines without significant state investment in cold-chain storage.


“KDSG and Zipline have signed a service level agreement for the distribution of medical commodities in the state,” the state governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai said on Twitter.

“Zipline will add value to these KDSG initiatives by building distribution hubs in the state and using drones to deliver medical supplies.”


El-Rufai further stated that agreement is built on the state’s investments in primary health care and supply chain transformation in the health sector starting from 2015.

Zipline in a Reuters report noted that its end-to-end cold chain distribution capability can safely deliver even the Pfizer vaccine which would allow Kaduna health facilities to bypass purchases of ultra-low freezers and enable on-demand deliveries of precise amounts of COVID-19 vaccines.

The American medical product delivery company had operated distribution centers in Rwanda, Ghana, and US.


Pfizer vaccine for instance must be stored at around -70 degrees Celsius (-112°F) before being sent to distribution centres in specially designed cool boxes filled with dry ice.

Kaduna Gov’t signs drone-delivered vaccines agreement with Zipline |

Athough, Nigeria said it will seek vaccines that are less dependent on cooling facilities, Zipline said it is in talk with other states in the country.

Kaduna services are slated to begin in the second quarter, with round-the-clock service from three distribution centres with 30 drones each.

El-Rufai said Kaduna had also upgraded 255 primary health centres, installed a pharmagrade warehouse and is recruiting and training 3,000 officers to manage the facilities.


KDSG has upgraded 255 PHCs and is recruiting 3000 officers to strengthen the sector,” El Rufai said.

“The state has installed a Pharmagrade warehouse, run by its health supplies agencies to ease the provision of medicines, consumables and vaccines to its health facilities.”



Kaduna Gov’t approves School resumption.


Parents are also advised to provide their children/wards with facemasks and other sanitary items to help in curtailing the spread of the virus.

The Kaduna State Government has approved Monday, February 1, 2021, as the resumption date for some primary and secondary school students in the state.


A Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education, Phoebe Yayi who made the announcement on Friday explained that only SS3, JSS3, and JSS1 for public and private secondary schools have been approved to resume on Monday, while primary 6, 5, and 4 of Private Schools only are to resume on the same day.

According to her, the decision to reopen the schools was taken after extensive appraisal of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State and a series of consultations with relevant stakeholders of both State and Federal Health and Education sectors within and across the State.


The statement further said that all public Primary Schools remain closed until all the COVID-19 protocols have been properly put in place before they will be opened.

It says that appropriate resumption dates for the rest of the classes SS2, SS1 and JSS 2 in public and private schools and Primary 3, 2, 1, and Nursery classes will be announced in due course, subject to school’s compliance with guidelines in place.

The Kaduna State Ministry of Education has therefore directed all Principals and Head Teachers to make arrangements to receive Boarding and Day students of the above-stated classes on Monday, 1st February 2021.


However, the Ministry says the State Covid-19 Task Force will continue to monitor all schools to ensure safe learning environments against the pandemic in addition to strict adherence to the guidelines issued by the State Government.

It advises all administrators of public and private schools to note that, they must comply with all COVID-19 protocols including temperature checks at the school entrance, compulsory wearing of facemasks, regular hand washing/use of sanitizer, and all COVID-19 guidelines as directed by the COVID-19 Taskforce.

The government however warned that any bridge in complying with these protocols may lead to the closure of the affected school without any notice.

“Schools will be on shift to enable them to meet with these guidelines as the first shift will run from 08:00 am – 12:00noon while the second shift will be from 01:00 pm – 05:00 pm. The class size should not exceed 20 students per normal class with 1.5m to 2.0m physical distancing, schools must also have a COVID-19 Committee which will comprise of the SBMC, PTA, Community representative, Health personnel, Students, and Teachers representatives to monitor and ensure compliance.


“The State Government is reiterating that all Schools should voluntarily comply and take personal responsibility for their own health and abide by the simple preventive measures as it is the right and safe thing to do,” the statement read in part.

The Ministry also promised to continue the e-learning program using Google classrooms, radio and television stations, and other online applications, and administrators of public and private schools are encouraged to adopt blended learning system.



COVID-19: El-Rufai to impose curfew on Kaduna


The commissioner appealed to residents to observe COVID -19 preventive protocols in order to protect themselves and their families from infection.

Kaduna State government has warned that it may impose another lockdown on the state considering the recent increase in cases of COVID-19 in the state.

The Commissioner of Health, Dr Amina Mohammed-Baloni, gave the warning at a press conference on Saturday in Kaduna.


She said that there had been a rise in cases of the virus in the state lately, adding that if it continued, government would have no option than to impose another lockdown.

Mohammed-Baloni said that public spaces including schools, markets, offices and places of worship may be temporarily closed if people failed to observe COVID-19 preventive protocols.

‘’In absolute and relative terms, Kaduna state is now recording high infection figures, reminiscent of the first wave of COVID-19 spread in April, May and June 2020, ” she said.

The commissioner recalled that ‘’the lowering of the infection rate following the first wave, encouraged the government to approve the recommendation of the State COVID-19 Taskforce for a significant reopening of the state.


“However, we are saddened to report that the conditions that compelled the 75 days lockdown of the state are now being replicated.’’

According to her, 74 COVID-19 positive results were recorded in the state from 531 samples on Nov. 26, adding that the quantum of infections since then, suggested both high infection rate and the reality of a new wave of infection spreading across the state.


‘’ As at yesterday (Friday) Dec. 11, the state recorded 117 positive cases from 518 samples. This translates to almost one in four samples testing positive,’’ she said.

The commissioner pointed out that government had expected some increase in infections after the reopening of schools, markets, places of worship and recreational centres.

‘’But the figures easily outstripped our estimates. While infections cut across age groups, this new wave especially affects those aged between 10 and 35. (55 per cent),’’ she said.


She noted that there was now a danger to lives and livelihoods with the renewed COVID-19 infections, adding that ‘’if the spread continues at the current rate, it may challenge and overwhelm the health system despite our efforts to improve the resilience of that sector.’’

According to her, this is the less costly way out as it involves citizens living their lives and conducting themselves in ways that do not spread the disease.

‘’That way, lives and livelihoods are protected while public health officers try to contain and manage the disease without causing painful disruptions,’’ she said.

The commissioner urged all citizens to adopt the spirit of the FORWARD campaign, which encouraged everyone to follow the stipulated guidelines by authorities in the healthcare sector.


“The FORWARD campaign entails wearing Facemasks always, Observing physical distancing and maintaining proper Respiratory hygiene.

“The rest components are, Washing hands with soap under running water and or using hand sanitisers, Avoiding large gatherings as well as Remaining indoors when there is no need to be outdoors, and eating balanced Diet to boost immunity,” she added.



N1.5BN: Kaduna Gov, El Rufai sues Reno Omokri, others.


The governor demanded the sum of N500 million in damages and an apology published in the newspaper.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has sued former media aide to former President, Goodluck Jonathan, human rights activist, Professor Chidi Odinkalu and other activists in a N1.5 billion defamation suit.

In the separate suits filed by his lawyer A.U. Mustapha (SAN) before the FCT High Court, El-Rufai also joins as defendants, Thisday Newspaper, Daniel Elombah, Elombah Communications, Barrister Joseph Onu, and Auta Nyada.


In the case against Omokri, El-Rufai contends that statements contained in his publication titled: ‘El-Rufai’s email saying southern women youth corpers are seen as whores’ which was published by Thisday newspaper on Sunday 14th of June 2020 is injurious to his reputation, adding that it is “malicious, unwarranted and defamatory”.

In the suit against Odinkalu, Daniel Elombah and Elombah Communications, El-Rufai contends that the publication titled: ‘Litany of 25 critics who have suffered at El-Rufai’s hands compiled by Chidi Odinkalu’ which was published in Elombah.com on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 is “malicious, unlawful and without any justification.”

He demanded the sum of N500 million in damages and apology for the “defamatory and greatly injurious to his reputation.”


El Rufai also argued that the letter written by Joseph Onu and Nyada dated August 19, 2020 titled: ‘Request to withdraw the offer of platform at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Malam Nasir El Rufai’ addressed to Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, SAN, in his capacity as the Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) Nigerian Bar Association and copied to DR. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Chairman, Board of Trustee, Nigerian Bar Association and Mr. Olumide Akpata, the then President-Elect of the NBA and published in the media, is “defamatory and greatly injurious to the reputation of the claimant.”

El Rufai also demands an apology and the sum of N500 million in damages.

No date has been fixed for the hearing.


Restructuring: Senate did not ‘rubbish’ el-Rufai – Uba Sani


His tweet appeared reactionary to Basiru’s earlier claims that the governor attacked the Senate over restructuring which the later chaired a while ago.

Senator representing Kaduna Central, Uba Sani, yesterday reacted to a statement credited to his colleague from Osun Central , Ajibola Basiru over Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai’s comment on restructuring at a function in Kaduna a few days ago.

Sani on his Tweeter page, said: “The Senate at no time condemned Governor El-Rufai’s comments on restructuring at the 50th anniversary of Arewa House in Kaduna.”

“The comments attributed to Bashiru are not reflective of the position of the Senate. The Senate at no time mandated anyone to join issues with Governor El-Rufai on his comments relating to the report of the APC Committee on restructuring, which he chaired.

“I am a member of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity and can state emphatically that no such mandate was given to the committee or any of its members. I have taken a good look at Governor El-Rufai’s presentation and the only reference therein to the National Assembly is an appeal to federal legislators to urgently enact constitutional amendments.


Restructuring: Senate ‘rubbish’ Kaduna Gov, Nasir el-Rufai.


APC governors had in February this year disclosed of their decision to revisit the report of the Malam Nasir el-Rufai led Committee on True Federalism.

The Senate, yesterday, took a swipe at Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State over his allegation that the National Assembly ignored the All Progressives Congress, APC’s Restructuring Committee’s proposal on state police and devolution of powers since 2018.

According to the Senate, Governor el- Rufai was not properly briefed or well-informed on the workings or activities of the National Assembly otherwise he would not have come up with such allegation.

‘’It is a matter of regret that for some reasons the consequential action by the APC leadership to adopt and implement the report has not happened since it was submitted in January 2018,’’ el-Rufai said at a public lecture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Arewa House, in Kaduna, on Saturday.


Urging fast move to remove structural bottlenecks that hobble our country, el-Rufai called on the federal legislators and the National Assembly Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review to take advantage of ‘’our report and initiate constitutional and legislative amendments in either a piece-meal or comprehensive manner without further delay.’’

Faulting the governor’s approach, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, APC, Osun Central, asked el-Rufai to bring before the 9th Senate his memorandum rather than make statements in newspapers.

According to him, as far as the current Senate is concerned, it has not received any proposal from the governor or from the group he represents.

The Senate spoke as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said el-Rufai’s comment is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari is not a listening President following the failure of government to act on the recommendation since 2018.


Meanwhile, clamour for restructuring, state police and devolution of power to the federating units continued to gain currency, yesterday.

El-Rufai talking about 8th NASS not us – Senate

Senator Basiru said, “ The National Assembly operates in different assemblies. The present Assembly was inaugurated in June 2019 and if Governor El- Rufai is talking about 2018 proposal, he is talking about the 8th Assembly.

“The job of an Assembly starts from the date of its inauguration. I believe that it is not the intention to confuse Nigerians as to what to say.

“The 9th Assembly has inaugurated the Constitution Review Committee and we have called for Memoranda which has been published in most of the national dailies. If he (el- Rufai) has a proposal on constitution amendment and on what he has highlighted, we expect him to forward it to the National Assembly.


”As at today, we have not received any Memorandum from him. We are also not unaware that he was chairman of APC Committee to review the Constitution and the Report was submitted to the party.

”Our party is the ruling party, one expects him to use his office through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, or use his well known connection in the presidency to bring such a proposal to the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly is not a single party, it is a place for all Nigerians and people of different parties. You cannot expect us to to come up with issues without consultations.

“Governor Nasir El Rufai has not approached the National Assembly with any of the recommendations. I don’t believe that he has been well informed or briefed before he came up with it, we are committed to amending the Constitution. He cannot be blaming us for what is not before the National Assembly.


“ There is a proper channel to present an issue, we expect him to do that if he has any Memorandum, he should come with it to us rather than just making statements in newspapers.”

El-Rufai’s comment shows Buhari is not a listening president- PDP

Reacting to el-Rufai’s comment, the PDP through its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, commended the governor for speaking up and urged other leaders of the APC desirous of a new Nigeria, to add their voices to the call for the sack of service chiefs.

He said: “If the El-Rufai committee recommended state police and the Federal Government did nothing about it, it shows that Buhari is not a listening President, not a listening leader. The level of insecurity under the watch of President Buhari has become so scary and worrisome.

“So, it is a good thing that an APC governor is speaking up now. We urge other leaders, particularly their governors and other leaders to help us tell President Buhari to re-jig the nation’s security architecture. Why is he finding it difficult to replace the current crop of service chiefs or is Mr. President saying we do not have capable hands better than these ones?”


Speaking on the advice from Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi at the Arewa 50th anniversary that the call for restructuring should not be given ethnic colouration, the PDP publicity scribe said restructuring is good for the health of the entire country and should be supported by all.

“Restructuring is an idea being pushed by all. It is neither a call for the good of one ethnic group nor a move being championed by one ethnic nationality. So, Governor Kayode Fayemi is right,” he added.

APC not sincere about restructuring – Ohanaeze

However, apex Igbo socio-cultural Organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, dismissed el-Rufai and APC’s claim on restructuring as lame excuse.

Speaking Emeka Attama, the media adviser to President General, Chief Nnia Nwodo, Ohanaeze said: “This is a lame excuse being part of the present debacle APC finds itself.


“If Governor el-Rufai knew this all along and the NASS was dilly-dallying, why didnt he speak out before now? Pure medicine after death. Sorry, APC government is not sincere about restructuring.”

There’s nothing special about it – Shettima

Speaking on the issue, President of the Arewa Youth’s Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said: “Nobody is afraid of restructuring. Governor El-Rufail spoke the mind of northern progressives. For us there is nothing special about it.

“I have been an advocate of restructuring but I don’t subscribe to violent means of achieving it. I am for dialogue and I support restructuring 100 per cent. I find it quite disturbing that too much power has been concentrated at the centre in Nigeria’s governance history, especially since our exit from unitary system.

”The kind of federalism we’re practising today is therefore quite defective. The states have no real control over how this country is being run. They don’t have the right economic and political independence they deserve. Monthly statutory allocation to states has made Nigerian state governments too dependent on Federal Government and this is killing their autonomy.


“As for #EndSARS protest against the alleged harassment by a unit of the nation’s police force, the reality is already known. State police is necessary. I say this because you don’t post a policeman born and bred in Sokoto for policing Sagamu, a place and people he knows little or nothing about.

“I therefore support state police to make the war on crime more effective. I support restructuring to give the states the desired freedom from federal might and manipulations.

”The centre should be made less-attractive for effective governance. We cannot afford a federalism so expensive that it’s weighing down the national economy too much.”

How COVID-19 stalled APC’s move

But for the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the APC would have gone far on the restructuring quest, party leaders have said.


Governor of Katsina state and Chairman, APC Governors’ Steering Committee on Good Governance, Aminu Masari, who disclosed this during the meeting of the committee in Abuja, said the steering committee would set up a sub-committee to look at several issues including the el-Rufai Committee’s report with a view to coming up with a compact template for implementation.

He said: “The most important thing is that we need to deal with the issue of governance. What are those issues of governance as it affects the welfare, security and well-being of our people. In dealing with them, the steering committee would look at a whole list of issues and make recommendations to the larger house where those issues will be dealt with.

‘’When we say we are looking at a cocktail of issues, it could be in the area of security, constitutional amendment and others. This is why the synergy between the executive and the legislature is critical. At the end of the day, those that have to do with policy formulation would be dealt with by the legislative arm and those issues that require administrative actions would be dealt with by the executive. We are not zeroing on any particular issue but a lot of them.


“The issue of constitutional amendment was discussed. The el-Rufai Committee report will also be discussed by this technical committee that we have set up and they will look at those recommendations by the el-Rufai Committee, take them and make some recommendations to the larger house. Then the issue of budgeting and implementation would also be discussed by this sub-committee.”

Also speaking, Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi said the Senate is ready to synergize with the executive and carry out tasks or constitutional amendments that are capable of enhancing the fortunes of Nigerians.

Hon. Friday Akpatason who represented House Leader, Hassan Doguwa said the committee would work with the party to implement its agenda.

“The summary of the whole thing is that we are trying to reduce a whole number of issues to make them more compact for implementation and which would reflect the party’s agenda for taking Nigerians to the next level.”


NBA conference: Apologies over El Rufai’s Disinvite Not Necessary – NEC.


A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Chinonye Obiagwu, believes it is unnecessary for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to apologise to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, after he was disinvited as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the lawyers’ conference.

Obiagwu, who is also a member of the NBA National Executive Council (NEC), stated this.

In addition to this, he recommended that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice and some other government officials should be barred from attending the event.

“I must say that the apology of the present NBA is completely unnecessary because NEC has taken a decision; making an apology does not arise at all,” the senior lawyer said.

He added, “I will have gone further to disinvite people like the Attorney General of the Federation because we have on record more than 50 orders of the court that have been disobeyed by this government and how will you get the Attorney General of that nation to come to NBA conference; the Attorney-General that says national security takes precedence over the rule of law and human rights.”


According to Obiagwu, NBA is a pressure group and the motto of the association is to promote the rule of law.

He explained that the NEC did not just disinvite Governor El-Rufai because of the killings in Southern Kaduna, but the decision was taken also because of his alleged consistent disobedience to court orders.

The legal practitioner insisted that it was the right step to take, stressing that NBA should not allow in its fold, any government official that consistently disobeys court orders.

On the lingering crisis that has claimed many lives in Southern Kaduna, he stressed that the basis for disinviting the governor was ‘very substantial’.


He stated that the situation could be considered as genocide, wondering why the government, in its second term, and “has done little or nothing to curtail the killings”.

Obiagwu said, “We don’t have records of people who have been properly investigated or prosecuted for huge, massive, and systematic massacre going on in Southern Kaduna.”

“It is very appalling that a village will be razed down in a state where a Chief Executive is the Chief Executive Officer and we don’t see the concerted effort, a commitment to bringing to justice those responsible for those massacres.

“So, how will NBA, as a pressure group, justify bringing a Chief Executive that has taken no stand?” he questioned.


NBA conference: Sanusi react to El Rufai’s disinvitation.


The deposed Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, has faulted the disinvitation of Governor Nasir El-Rufai as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the 2020 conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Speaking during a visit to the Kaduna State governor at his office in the Government House on Sunday, Sanusi criticised the NBA for taking such a decision by relying on mere hearsay or petition from a few lawyers.

He believes it is wrong to withdraw the invitation the association earlier extended to the governor without given him a fair hearing to defend himself.


The former emir, however, advised that the matter should be handled properly by the leadership of the NBA to prevent it from generating ethnic or religious concerns.

According to him, the association has lost an opportunity to interrogate the governor and collectively rub minds to identify areas that need to be addressed for the purpose of governance.

Sanusi also prayed for peace to return to the troubled Southern Kaduna and other parts of the country where there were security challenges.

He also commended his host for the way he has managed the affairs of Kaduna, especially the effort to resolve the security challenges in Southern Kaduna and other parts of the state.


On his part, Governor El-Rufai described the former emir as a worthy partner and friend to Kaduna State.

He noted that as the Vice Chairman of Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency, the former traditional ruler would help in turning around the economy of the state.

Following his arrival in Kaduna, Sanusi was received by a crowd of supporters who joined in his motorcade to the Government House.

His visit to Governor El-Rufai, who is his long-time friend for over 40 years, comes more than five months after he was deposed by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.


NBA conference: Kaduna Muslim Lawyers Withdraw Amid El Rufai’s disinvitation.


The Kaduna state branch of Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has announced its withdrawal from the forthcoming annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association over the dis-invitation of the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, as one of the Speakers at the conference.

At a press conference in Kaduna on Saturday, the group through its Chairman, Abbas Masanawa, noted that the decision of the NBA National Executive Committee to rescind an invite based on unsubstantiated allegations and without fair hearing from the Governor was deemed as parochial, sentimental and tainted with favoritism and ethnoreligious considerations.

The Muslim lawyers also wondered why the NBA chose to keep silent in the face of the killings going on in the northeast, Katsina, Zamfara, Niger and Birnin Gwari, in Kaduna state but chose to give surreptitious ethnic cover to the southern Kaduna attacks, as if lives matter more in some parts of the country over others.

Speaking further, the group wondered why the NBA invited Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state to speak at the conference in spite of his past utterances where he described Rivers as a Christian state but decided to dis-invite El-Rufai.

According to them, the NBA conference would have afforded lawyers the platform to interrogate Governor El-Rufai on some of the allegations leveled against him by some members of the association, rather than shutting him out after inviting him to the event earlier.

The group insisted that based on the NBA NEC decision, it is left with no option than to instruct its members across Kaduna state to withdraw their participation in the Association’s forthcoming conference.


Victims kick as Kaduna chases illegal occupants of Govt houses.


The Kaduna State Government has commenced the eviction of people living ‘illegally’ in government-owned houses as part of its housing policy.

The State’s Head of Service, Mrs Bariatu Mohammed told Channels Television that those being evicted from the government-owned residential houses were legal occupants who were served with eviction notices since after the sale of the properties since 2018, but have refused to vacate from such facilities.

According to her, part of the process entailed that the highest bid price was offered to the eligible public servants in the occupation of the houses to exercise the Right of First Refusal by effecting payment of 10 percent non-refundable deposit within 14 days, while each applicant was entitled to purchase only one residential unit.

Following the conclusion of the allocation of houses to eligible bidders, the Task Force set up by the state government within the week embarked on the eviction of those they termed as illegal occupants from their houses.


Reacting, some of those affected by the exercise kicked against the action which they described as a gross violation of their rights to the first refusal.

One of them, Linda Kuswan, told Channels Television through her lawyer, Jonathan Adamu that no vacation notice was served on her by the government.

She claimed to have obtained a court judgment from the Kaduna State High court which ordered the state government or its officials from evicting her from the House which she legally occupied many years ago.

Having obtained a court judgment dated August 7, 2020, on violation of her rights and to stop the government from evicting her from the house, she asked the state government to obey the court order by restoring her back to the house and to also give her the right of first refusal.


NBA conference: Our reasons for cancelling El Rufai’s invite not based on ethnicity – Usoro


The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the controversy triggered by the decision to disinvite Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the forthcoming conference of its members.

NBA President, Paul Usoro, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), explained the rationale behind the decision of the National Executive Council of the association in a statement on Friday.

He stressed that the disinvitation of the governor from the event had no ethnic or religious coloration or connotation as being claimed.

Usoro revealed that some of those who spoke against the governor’s attendance share the same faith with him while others came from the northern part of the country.

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

According to him, NBA NEC is not passing any judgment on Governor El-Rufai by its decision and is not in a position to pass such judgments without having all the facts and hearing from all the sides.


The NBA chairman state that the NEC did not discuss the substance of the issues that have been raised against the governor by the different groups and persons who clamored for his being disinvited, although there was “very considerable clamour” in that regard.

He insisted that the claims that the NEC decision was based on religion and ethnicity were not correct, stressing that they were far from the truth.

Usoro, who stated that neither the NBA nor its NEC belonged to any religious or ethnic group, urged the members of the association to remain united.

A file photo of NBA President, Mr Paul Usoro, addressing a press conference in Abuja. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

This year’s NBA Annual General Conference, which is the 60th, has been scheduled to take place between August 26 to 29.


Read the full statement below:


1 At its meeting that was held yesterday, 20 August 2020, NEC took the decision to dis-invite HE Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a Speaker in one of the Panel Sessions that is planned for the NBA 2020 AGC holding from 26-29 August 2020. This morning, I have had telephone discussions with the Director-General of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, on the issue and have tendered through him, to HE Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, my sincere apologies and regrets for any unintended embarrassment that he may have been caused by the NBA NEC’s decision.

2 I followed up our telephone discussions with the attached letter which explains the circumstances of the decision by NEC. The letter has been sent to Mr. Okauru, both in hard and soft copies. It is apropos that I reproduce in this Release, paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of the letter for ease of reference by our members:

“5. In concluding, I must clarify two critical issues. First, NEC’s decision yesterday had no ethnic or religious coloration or connotation howsoever and whatsoever. In discussing the issue at NEC, nobody talked about religion or ethnicity. As I recall, there were no more than 3 (three) advocates for retaining the invitation of the NBA to HE Nasir El-Rufai(not including me) and two of these three gentlemen are from the South of Nigeria and one is a reverend gentleman. Conversely, some of those who spoke against his attendance share the same faith with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and some others come from the Northern part of Nigeria.


“6. The second point that I must clarify is that, NBA NEC, by its decision was not passing any judgment on Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. NBA NEC is not in a position to pass such judgments without having all the facts and hearing from all the sides and it did not set out to pass any such judgment. NEC merely made a judgment that it was not in the best interest of the Association to be engulfed in the controversy that trailed the invitation of Mallam El-Rufai for the Conference and that it was best if the safety-valve of dis-inviting the Governor was applied. Indeed, NEC did not howsoever or at all discuss the substance of the issues that have been raised against the Governor by the different groups and persons who clamored for his being dis-invited – and there was very considerable clamor in that regard. I perhaps need to mention that, prior to the NEC meeting I had personally taken urgent and strident steps, working with the TCCP, to douse the clamor, but we had no success.

“7. I truly would appreciate your bringing this letter to the attention not just of HE Nasir El-Rufai but also to all the other members of the esteemed Nigerian Governors’ Forum and in particular, the Chairman of the Forum, HE (Dr) Kayode Fayemi. Please, assure Their Excellencies that the Nigerian Bar Association holds all our Governors, including HE Nasir El-Rufai, in the highest esteem and would do nothing intentionally to embarrass them collectively or individually. Once again, I offer my sincere and deepest apologies and regrets for the unintended embarrassment that may have been caused to HE Nasir El-Rufai by the afore-referenced decision of the NBA NEC and would appreciate your passing on my regrets and apologies to him personally.”

3 I draw attention to those paragraphs of my letter in particular in order to douse the ethnic and religious passions that seem to have been inflamed amongst our members by the NEC decision. I have received several messages from our members that have attributed ethnic and religious considerations to the decision. That is not correct and is very far from the truth. Neither the NBA nor NEC belong to any religious or ethnic group. We are lawyers and professionals dedicated to the ideals and the promotion and preservation of the Rule of Law and we belong to one indivisible family of the NBA.


4 Did NEC infringe the audi alteram partem principle – a cardinal principle of the Rule of the Law – by dis-inviting HE Mallam Nasir El-Rufai? No, it did not. As I point out in my letter, neither the NBA nor NEC set out to sit in judgment against Mallam El-Rufai and even from that prism, the principle of fair hearing does not apply. None of the persons or parties who are opposed to the invitation of Mallam El- Rufai to the AGC has been offered the NBA or AGC platform to advocate or propagate their viewpoints and positions and so, the principle of not hearing the other side does not arise.

5 Indeed, as at date, neither the NBA as a body nor NEC has interrogated the issues raised by persons who are opposed to HE El-Rufai’s invitation to the AGC and, therefore, the issues of fair hearing do not also arise. NBA is not even equipped to play that role of an arbiter or court in respect of the issues raised by persons opposed to HE El-Rufai’s invitation and has never pretended to be so equipped and/or mandated.

6 I am hoping that this Release would assist in clarifying issues for our members and placing the NEC decision in its correct perspective. I implore all our members to please not view this issue howsoever from an ethnic or religious perspective. Those were not the issues considered by NEC yesterday. We are one united Nigerian Bar Association with no religious or ethnic bias or predisposition and shall ever so remain.

Paul Usoro, SAN

NBA President


NBA’s 2020 conference invitation cancellation trigger El Rufai’s reaction.


Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says he is not deterred by the decision of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to remove him as one of its speakers for the body’s 2020 Conference.

The NBA had, following a petition against the governor by some lawyers – due to security issues in Kaduna – removed El-Rufai as a speaker in the event scheduled to hold virtually from August 24-26, 2020.

But in a statement on behalf of the governor, Special Adviser to the former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muyiwa Adekeye said his principal will continue to speak on matters of national importance.

“When lawyer friends requested Malam Nasir El-Rufai to accept the invitation of the NBA to participate in a panel discussion on national identity, he accepted as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus,” Muyiwa said.


“NBA platform or not, these worthy conversations must continue. He will continue to make his voice heard on the things our country needs to do for its progress.”

‘Not Agitated’
While the NBA has the right to determine who speaks at its event, El-Rufai says he did not seek the lawyers’ platform and do not see the development as enough reason to be agitated.

El-Rufai believes with happenings in the lead up to the NBA’s decision, there is a need to clear the air just as he accused the lawyers’ body of following what he described as a “one-sided narrative.”


The NBA leadership, as far as the Kaduna leader is concerned, have by removing him as a speaker in the conference, embraced injustice, unfairness and an indifference to the rule of law.

“For an association, whose bread and butter is about justice to make a ruling based on the stridency of people who lampoon judicial processes against certain individuals without hearing the other side is odd,” the statement explained.

“It bears noting that in its response to pressure, the NBA leadership has signalled an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law.”

Although he claims there are several defamatory statements in the petition that led to his withdrawal from the conference, the statement noted that it is a matter that will be treated differently.


‘Constituency For Peace’
While reeling out his principal’s efforts in peace-building and his development strides, El-Rufai’s aide said Kaduna is not the only state experiencing security challenges in the country and assured that in spite of the challenges, the Kaduna governor will not be deterred in his quest to address the situation.

“His investments in building a constituency for peace, anchored on the rule of law, respect for the citizenship rights of everyone and an embrace of the obligations of a common humanity will continue,” he added.

“Those who have chosen to pretend that it is only Kaduna State that is experiencing the security challenges in North-West, or that it is only one part of the state that is affected can enjoy the illusion.

“Malam El-Rufai remains focused on the tough and hard work of stopping the bleeding and the needless breaking of bones.”


NBA cancels invitation of El Rufai for 2020 conference.


The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has withdrawn its invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai as one of its speakers for the 2020 Annual General Conference.

The NBA disclosed this in a tweet on its official handle on Thursday and said the decision has been communicated to the Governor.

“The National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association at its ongoing meeting resolves that the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, H.E. Nasir El-Rufai by the 2020 Annual General Conference Planning committee be withdrawn and [the] decision communicated to the Governor,” the NBA said.

Prior to El-Rufai’s withdrawal, a petition had been filed to stop the Kaduna leader from attending the Conference.

“The senseless killings in southern Kaduna must stop. The political correctness of Governor El-Rufai on national TV is diversionary,” the petition read.

“It is a reversal to have him speak to lawyers on security when Governor (Babagana) Zulum of Borno a better person can do so.


“We may not be able to do anything to stop the killings, but we can stop the governor from speaking at the NBA-AGC to show our disapproval of the manner he has handled the situation!!”

The petition which was started by a lawyer, Usani Odum has generated about 3,150 signatures on Change.Org as of 4 pm on Thursday, August 20th, 2020.

Southern Kaduna Crisis
Equally, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) had called for the removal of the Governor from the list of speakers for the event.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee, Conference Planning Committee (NBA), Konyinsola Ajayi (SAN), Falana based his decision on the crisis in Southern Kaduna.


According to him, the committee should not allow someone who allegedly has a penchant for promoting impunity to mount its platform.

This year’s NBA conference which takes place from August 24-26, 2020, will have several dignitaries including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in attendance.

The event will also see the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and a former Education Minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili speaking.

According to the NBA, the theme of this year’s conference is: ‘Am I a Nigerian – A Debate on National Identity, the Indigeneship-Citizenship Conundrum.”


As school resumes: Kaduna schools to resume for JSS 3 students


The Kaduna State government has announced the resumption of classes for Junior Secondary School (JSS) 3 students in the state.

In a statement on Friday, the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Education, Phoebe Yayi, revealed that the government has approved Sunday and Monday next week as the resumption dates for the students.

She explained that the decision was taken to allow the students prepare for the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) scheduled to commence on August 24.

The government also directed all school principals to make arrangements to receive the JSS3 boarding students on Sunday, and the day students on Monday, in line with the COVID-19 regulations of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).


“All administrators of public and private schools are to note that, the one-week period starting from Sunday, 16th August, is to allow them to make necessary preparations to accommodate the JSS 3 students in line with the COVID-19 guidelines in place as it were in the case of the SS3 students.

“Proprietors of private schools are expected to comply accordingly through the Kaduna State Schools Quality Assurance Authority and are advised to ensure proper arrangements for safe transportation of their students to and from schools,” the statement said.

(FILE) Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai speaks during a meeting with religious leaders over the Southern Kaduna killings on August 13, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media / Oyeyemi Gafar)

Yayi assured residents of the state that the government would continue the e-learning education programme via Google classrooms, radio and television stations, as well as other online applications until full normalcy was returned to the academic environment.


She commended all partners in the education sector, non-governmental organisations, Parents Teachers Associations (PTA), proprietors of private schools, old students’ associations, and the media, among others for their continued support and understanding.

In compliance with the advice by the Federal Ministry of Education on the reopening of schools for exit classes, the Kaduna State government permitted the students to resume on August 10.

This was to enable the students prepare for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) slated for August 17.

The examination is administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).


2023: Southern Nigeria should emerge president – El Rufai


Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai on Saturday said the Presidency should be zoned the south in 2023.

He made the remarks during an interview, adding that he has not coveted the title of President as believed in some quarters.

“It has been said that I have loved the presidency since I was a minister in the FCT [Federal Capital Territory]. This is nonsense. I do not want the Nigerian presidency. God gives power, whether you like it or not. If he wants, he will give it to you. But I have never applied for the presidency of Nigeria, no one will say I have applied for it,” El-Rufai said.

“In Nigerian politics, there is a rotation system, where everyone agrees that if the north rules for eight years, the south will rule for eight years.”


He said although the acceptance process was not written in the constitution, every politician in the country was aware of it.

File photo of kaduna state governor, Nasir El Rufai (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

“That is why I came out and said that after President Buhari’s eight-years term, no northerner should run for the Presidency. Let the southerners also have eight years.”

El-Rufai’s state, Kaduna has recently been riddled with violence, especially in the South, but the Governor said the outrage over the security situation is being fuelled by people manipulating it for political, religious and ethnic gains.

He noted that the security situation in the state was stable due to security measures he was taking.


Kaduna Killings: El Rufai link attacks to bandits


Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has linked the attacks in the southern part of the state to banditry.

Southern Kaduna has been in the news lately after scores of persons were killed in the area, despite efforts by the Federal Government.

But El-Rufai said Kaduna is not the only state facing security challenges, explaining that Northwest and Northeast have been battling similar situations.

He said during his appearance on Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media) and claimed that the crises have gained much attention due to the injection of ethnic and religious connotations.

“I think the issue is not just in Kaduna State. We have security challenges all across the Northeast and Northwest,” the former FCT Minister explained.


“But I think what makes Kaduna’s case situation unique and headline-grabbing is because of the injection of religious and ethnic connotations to the attacks and the clashes between the various ethnic groups.”

Since Kaduna has a long history of ethno-religious intolerance, he added, every criminal situation in the Northwest is given ethnic and religious connotation.

“That complicates things more difficult to resolve because religion, ethnicity and political are identity issues,” he said.

“They are very emotive and people tend to lose their calm and their heads in situations like this. That’s what complicates the issues.”


Lawmakers Irresponsibility
On some federal lawmakers from the southern part of the state raising the alarm of planned attacks in Kaduna after the Sallah celebration, El-Rufai berated them for being “irresponsible”and showing a “lack of leadership.”

The lawmaker representing Kachia Kagarko Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Gabriel Saleh during an interview decried the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna.

He claimed that they (lawmakers) have a habit of not presenting the facts and always in a hurry to go the press instead of sending intelligence reports to security agencies.

“I think they should provide this kind of useful intelligence to security agencies,” El-Rufai said, noting that it will help the law-enforcers nip such plans in the bud.


Kaduna killings: Hon. Saleh blames FG over failure to protect Nigeria


The lawmaker representing Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency, Kaduna, in the House of Representatives, Hon. Gabriel Saleh has decried the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna.

Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Saleh said the Federal Government has failed Nigeria.

Obviously pained by the attacks in his constituency, the lawmaker regretted that over 40 people have been killed in less than two weeks.


According to him, the people of the state have been displaced following the onslaught by suspected bandits and herdsmen.

“In my village which is called Jabon Tudu, there was a threat. Everyone left his house, for the past one week nobody is sleeping at home.

The lawmaker representing Kachia Kagarko Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Honourable Gabriel Saleh during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on July 27, 2020 decried the spate of killings in Southern Kaduna.

“So I feel the Federal Government has failed Nigeria. Our people are crying and suffering, over 40 people were killed in less than two weeks,” he said.

While describing the assailants as terrorists, he wondered why they will just attack innocent people and kill them just like that.


The lawmaker, therefore, called on the Federal Government to deploy security personnel to the affected area in order to forestall future attacks.

He recalled that the House of Representatives passes a resolution that mandated President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the nation’s service chiefs over the deteriorating state of insecurity in several parts of Nigeria.

Speaking further, Saleh said Nigerians voted President Buhari in 2015 because he promised to tackle the numerous security challenges at the time.

He noted that while Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum will openly lament the spate of insecurity in the state, Zamfara, Katsina and Kaduna states are not being spared.


The lawmaker’s remarks come two days after suspected Fulani militiamen launched fresh attacks on Southern Kaduna communities despite a 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government.

Following the fresh attack, the umbrella body of Southern Kaduna people, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, said 63 people had been killed in the past one week by the militiamen.

According to the spokesperson for SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat, no fewer than 50 gunmen invaded Zikpak and started shooting repeatedly. After attacking Zikpak, the gunmen reportedly headed for Ungwan Masara and Maraban Kagoro, where they also carried out further attacks.


Kaduna killings: El-Rufai place 2 LGAs under 24-Hour curfew


Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has imposed a 24-hour curfew on Jemaa and Kaura local government areas of the state due to the rising insecurity in the two councils.

The governor imposed the curfew after last night’s attack by gunmen at Zikpak, Ungwan Masara in Fantsuam chiefdom of Jemma local government, and Maraban Kagoro in Kaura local government where nine people were reportedly killed.

Last month, the Governor imposed a similar curfew on Zango Kataf and Kauru local government as a result of constant communal attacks in the area.

Although the police are yet to confirm the number of casualties from the latest attack, locals said that nine corpses have been recovered after the attack.

An indigene of the area told Channels Television that the gunmen, in their large numbers, stormed Zikpak village in the night and started shooting sporadically. Then they proceeded to neighboring Ungwan Masara and Maraban Kagoro communities and also carried similar attacks with houses burnt.


The latest attack, however, prompted residents of Garaje in Kaura local government to block the Kafanchan-Kagoro road to protest the incessant attacks but they were later dispersed by security operatives.

Meanwhile, seven people were also killed and two others injured after bandits attacked Agwala Magyaki village of Doka Avong District in Kajuru local government on Thursday night.

Several people are said to be missing after the attack while houses were burnt.

While the police are yet to confirm the incident, the Chairman of Kajuru local government, Cafra Caino told Media TV (known to Noble Reporters Media) that the bandits invaded the community at about 7 pm and started shooting at people’s houses. Seven people were killed on the spot, while two others were wounded.


OndoDecide’20: APC blames El-Rufai, 2 other over crisis


Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, his Ekiti State counterpart, Kayode Fayemi and the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, have been accused of masterminding the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State.

Chairman of the APC in Ondo State, Hon. Henry Olu Olatuja, accused the three prominent politicians of instigating an undemocratic process causing intra-party crisis in the state.

According to Olatuja, ten of the governorship aspirants in the state for the July 20 governorship primary may boycott the exercise.

Kayode Fayemi, Nasir El-Rufai, Rotimi Amaechi

He said the aspirants will not participate in the primary election should the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CEONCPC) insist on indirect mode of primary for the party’s primary in the state.



Bandits would not disrupt farming season – Nasir El Rufai


Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday assured farmers that the government would not allow bandits to disrupt farming activities anywhere in the state.

The governor gave the assurance during the rollout of seed distribution for farmers for the 2020 planting season by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, in Kaduna.

“We are going to continue to make our farms safe for our people,” he stressed, adding that the government would wipe out the bandits to ensure the security of all citizens.


“We won’t talk to them, we are going to wipe them out by the grace of God through the combined operations of the Nigerian Air Force, Army and Police.

“We are working round the clock to ensure that these bandits are wiped out before the raining season advances.”


He particularly assured the people of Igabi, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chuku local government areas, where the bandits operate most, that the government would would ensure their protection and restoration of normalcy.

”We will stop the banditry or they will die, we will kill them all and no apology for doing that,” he added.


El-Rufai commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s agricultural policy, noting that it had succeeded in placing Nigeria on the path of self-sufficiency in many agricultural products such as rice, maize and many others.

”I don’t know where Nigeria would have been amidst this coronavirus pandemic if we still needed to import food from abroad,“ he noted.


The governor thanked the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the National Assembly for providing the needed support to make the agricultural policy a reality.

According to him, Kaduna state produces 22 per cent of Nigeria’s maize and is also a leading producer of soya beans, tomatoes and sorghum among others.


“We have seen the impact of Federal Government policies on rural income, a major contribution to security.

“Because when people have money in their pockets they tend to live in peace: so we must congratulate the federal ministry of agriculture and Mr President for the policy consistency in agricultural sector from 2015 to date.”


He assured the ministry of the state government’s willingness to cooperate with it on any agricultural programme, so that farmers in the state derive maximum benefits from it.

He described the issue of agricultural mechanization as very essential to ensuring food security.


“Even with the improved seedlings this government is giving, greater access to fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide, we need to multiply our production and productivity through investment in mechanization and extension workers.

“On our part, I will like to inform the minister that here in Kaduna we already have a tractor assembly plant, and with private sector partners, we are raising the level of tractorization in the state so that every farmer will have access to a tractor when he needs it.”


El-Rufai called for the recapitalization of the Bank of Agriculture, to ensure that it has the capacity to lend to farmers with ease.

Noble Reporters Media gather that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono flagged off the distribution of the agricultural inputs to farmers in the state.