Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate
Ibrahim Shuaibu â€¨in Kanoâ€¨
The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, on Thursday disclosed that the Federal Government had given special priority to the security of polio vaccinators and all other health workers across the country.
Also on Thursday, Kano State Government stated that it had donated the sum of N500,000 each to the families of the 10 health workers, who were killed recently by unknown gunmen and N250,000 to four others, who sustained varying degrees of injuries during the attack.
Speaking in Kano, when he led a delegation of Northern emirs on sympathy visit, Pate said security operatives would continue to be vigilant in order to avert a reoccurrence of such dastardly act in the future.
The minister, who announced that the Federal Government was donating the sum of N1 million each to the affected families of those who lost their love ones, explained that the sum of N200,000 would also be given to each of the families of those that were receiving treatments in hospital.
“We came with a letter of condolence from the Federal Government to condole with the families and the people of the state over this heinous crime. We are also bringing the sum of N1 million to each of the affected families of those that lost their loved ones. And the sum of N200,000 to each of the families of those that are receiving treatment in hospital,” he said.
The minister further revealed that a similar incident occured in Yobe State, where two polio workers were reportedly killed and expressed dissatisfaction over the reoccurrence of such in Borno State.
Pate, who prayed for the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, over the recent attack on him, said: “No amount of money could bring back the lost ones. What the Federal Government is giving is just an incentive.”
The Wamban Kano, a senior councillor who received the delegation on behalf of the Emir, said: “We will continue to support polio eradication campaign and immunisation. We will also continue to support the security agencies in ensuring peace in the state and the country at large. The Federal Government should tighten border security, so as to frustrate any illegal supply of arms into the shores of Nigeria.”
Responding, Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, commended the effort of the Federal Government for sending a special delegation to commiserate with the government and people of the state.
“We are still assuring Mr President that these killings will not deter us from going ahead with the fight against polio disease. Your coming is very encouraging,” he said.
He said the state government had already made a head way in the fight against polio, adding that by December, 2013 polio would be eradicated in Kano.
“We are determined that the routine immunisation would continue and would also be persistent. When the journey is tough it is the tough that will keep moving. We are tough and we will continue to be one, until when we eradicate polio in the state,” he said.
However, Kwankwaso, who announced the cash donation during a meeting with family members of the victims at the Government House in Kano, said the money was to enable the families cushion the sorrow of the bereaved.
He also said the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, also donated N500, 000 to each of the bereaved families and N250,000 to each of the injured.
Kwankwaso, who sympathised with the victims, prayed to Almighty Allah to grant them eternal bliss. He assured that the state government will not relent in the fight against killer diseases, urging wealthy individuals and organisations to emulate Dangote by teaming up with the administration to eradicate diseases.
Meanwhile, a minor cabinet reshuffle was effected in the state executive council (SEC), with Dr. Binta Tijjani Jibril, a former lecturer at the Bayero University, appointed as Commissioner for Women Affairs, while the erstwhile commissioner in the ministry, Hajiya Saratu Umar Yaro, was dropped.
Similarly, two new Permanent Secretaries were sworn in to the state civil service. They are Lawan Badamasi, who was appointed Clerk/Permanent Secretary of the state House of Assembly and Baba Abubakar Umar, Permanent Secretary of the state Independent Electoral Commission (KANSIEC).
Speaking shortly after swearing in the appointees, Kwankwaso said the new commissioner was appointed on merit, adding that she is expected to bring her exposure to bear on her new position. On the two permanent secretaries, the governor charged them to justify the mandate by being loyal, diligent and exemplary in word and action.
The governor used the occasion to sign into law, the state Community Reorientation Council bill, as approved by the Assembly.
He stated that the law would strengthen the activities of the CRC, because it has been doing a lot towards improving the lives of the citizens of Kano, especially in terms of job creation and poverty alleviation.
“Government will continue to ensure the success of the CRC because its success is that of the entire people of Kano state,” the governor stated.