The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Thursday said northern elders were not doing enough to end the insecurity in the region, contending that their conspiracy of silence fuelled the escalation of the challenge.
Dogara spoke in Lafia during the party’s launch of its presidential campaign in Nasarawa State, where the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, asked the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, particularly in Lagos State, to account for their wealth.
Also speaking at the event, the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, promised to commit 40 per cent and 30 per cent of his government to women and youth.
Dogara wondered why the Borno elders that were so vocal in 2015 suddenly became silent despite the escalation of Boko Haram crisis in the state.
The speaker said the 2019 election is not about President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku, explaining that it is a referendum about insecurity and hunger in the land.
He stated, “On the issue of insecurity, all of us know what is happening at Borno, in Abuja, Kaduna, Zamfara and the Katsina States; even Sokoto and Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau States. I cannot even mention all, but I only mentioned the states where the situation is so endemic.
“Now, the issue is this, when this thing was prevalent in 2015, we heard Borno elders; where are Borno elders now? Where are the leaders of Northern Nigeria, where this problem has become endemic? What are they saying? The truth is that if we don’t rise to the challenge sooner than later if things continue this way, we are not going to have a country.”
He added, “So, it is our responsibility to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of insecurity because without security we cannot even understand the meaning of democracy.
“Now, the sad commentary about the elite in Nigeria is that we have all by our silence become an enabler to those who have been unable to tackle this insecurity. And you know what enabler do? Enabler doesn’t build a country, they only instigate or worship an individual to a position where they will compare such a person with God and none of us was built to receive worship. Any human being who accepts worship will meet destruction.
“That is why we are witnessing destruction in Nigeria because we have elevated some human beings to the status of God. And we need to rise up as a people to rescue the country from the clutches of insecurity,” he added.
On education, Dogara said that if you want to destroy a community, a state, a nation, all you need to do is to lower the standard of education in that society, community or nation, adding that once you succeeded in doing that you have killed the nation.
He said, “Right now in Nigeria universities lecturers are on strike, if it was a decent government that is committed to the future of this country, it wouldn’t take one week to resolve this problem. Unfortunately, this problem is lingering and if we shut down education, we have shut down progress, shut down the future for our teaming youths who are gathered here. We shut down progress for this country called Nigeria.
“So, 2019 election is a referendum on education, I have multiplied it from education to hunger, next time we will talk about the fight against corruption, health, social welfare and the rest.”
Imo Governor suspends LG chairmen
Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha has suspended chairmen, vice chairmen, councilors and political appointees of the local governments for six months. The suspension is contained in the instrument signed by the Governor, pursuant to the recommendation made to him by the Imo State House of Assembly.
This is in pursuant also, to the provisions of Sections 4, 5, and 6 of the Local Government Administration (Amendment) law, 2019 and S.73(3) of Imo State Local Government Administration Law No 15 of 2000 (as amended) and all other laws enabling him.
He set up Interim Management Committees to manage the affairs of each Local Government.
Consequently, the Directors of Administration and General Services(DAGS) of each Local Government have been directed to take over management, pending the confirmation of Interim Management Committees by the State Assembly.
He also removed the chairman and members of the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission (ISIEC).
This is following a resolution supported by a two-thirds majority of the State Assembly rendered on 6th June 2019 seeking their removal from office.
The action is also in accordance with the provisions of S.7(1) of the Imo State Independent Electoral Commission Law and all other extant laws of the State.
The Commission will be reconstituted in due course to put in place the machinery for conducting a credible election into the local governments.
The Governor further directed that these officers handover to the most senior civil servant in the Commission.
The governor also dissolved all statutory boards, corporations, agencies, and parastatals. This is in line with relevant enabling laws of the state.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary Chibuike Onyeukwu directed the chairmen and sacked to handover to the most senior civil servant in their various establishments.
Sanwo-olu floors AD, LP at Tribunal
The Lagos State Gubernatorial Election Petitions Tribunal sitting at Ikeja, Lagos on Monday dismissed petitions filed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the Labour Party (LP) challenging the victory of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the March 9 polls.
The tribunal’s chairman, Justice T.T. Asua, in a ruling, dismissed the petitions due to the failure of the petitioners to file applications for pre-hearing conference after the close of pleadings within seven days as prescribed by the law.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sanwo-Olu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner were listed as respondents in the petitions.
Other respondents were the Returning Officer for The Lagos State Governorship Election, the Commissioner of Police and the Army. The three-man panel noted that timely application for a pre-hearing conference was a condition to the hearing of the petitions.
It held that without the application for pre-hearing conferences, the petition cannot begin or get to the stage of judgment.
The panel also held that Section 285(4) of the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution was inapplicable because of the timely application for a pre-hearing conference was a precondition in election petition matters.
According to Justice Asua, the inability of the petitioners to serve any of the respondents was not an excuse and the consequence of failure to apply timely for pre-hearing conference amounted to a dismissal of such a petition.
Responding to the decision of the tribunal, counsel to the petitioners, Mr. Bola Aidi, thanked the tribunal for a well-considered ruling.
Sanwo-Olu’s counsel, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), had in a motion filed on May 22, raised an objection based on Paragraph 18(1)(4) of the Electoral Act.
Owonikoko argued out that the AD and LP had not filed applications hearings for a pre-trial conference within seven days after the close of pleadings.
In his response dated May 26, Aidi had said Section 285(8) of the Fourth Alteration of the 1999 Constitution does not permit any electoral petition to be terminated at the interlocutory stages.
AD and LP gubernatorial candidates, Chief Owolabi Salis, and Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi, had in their petitions challenged Sanwo-Olu’s victory on the grounds that he is not competent to run as a gubernatorial candidate in the election.
Gbajabiamila Meets Osinbajo, Promises to reform House of Reps
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Monday held a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Gbajabiamila, who fielded questions from State House correspondents afterward, promised to carry opposition lawmakers along in committee membership and leadership.
The speaker said that the meeting with the vice president was all about moving the country forward.
He said that meeting centered on Nigeria and charting a roadmap on how to tackle the problems confronting the nation.
“ Those were the issues we discussed; it was not a personal visit, but you can call it a hybrid between personal and official, but most official, addressing the issues of the problem.
“We discussed how the executive and the legislature can collaborate to make life better for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“Committees will be unfolded in the next few weeks and you will see how we intend to carry the opposition along; I am not letting anything out of the bag but you can be sure that they will be carried along.
“You heard my inaugural speech; we are going to be doing things differently; we are going to build on whatever the achievements are of the 8th Assembly.
“ It is going to be a reformed house; the reforms are going to be dished out piecemeal so as not to shut the system.
“ But there will be reforms that will be for the benefit of the country. We see how it goes,’’ he said.
The speaker said members of the 9th Assembly expected the cooperation of all arms of government, including the executive, journalists, and their constituents.
Gbajabiamila, who was a frontline candidate of the All Progressives Congress defeated his rival, Umar Bago, to emerge the speaker of the 9th assembly
Omo-Agege holds no grudges
Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege yesterday said that he harbors no malice or ill feelings against any senator of the Eight Senate. Omo-Agege made the declaration in his Asokoro Abuja home while addressing reporters on his election as Deputy Senate President on June 11, 2019.
He noted that the Eight Senate had become history, adding that focus for Senators in the Ninth National Assembly, is how to improve the well being and welfare of ordinary Nigerians through legislative interventions.
He added that the votes that made him Deputy Senate President cut across party lines.
Omo-Agege said: “Like all phases of life, the Eighth Senate has come and gone making all that happened then history.
“I begrudge nobody over any issue in the 8th Senate. Even the election that brought me in as Deputy President of the 9th Senate last week has closed the chapter of the 8th Senate as far as partisan issues were concerned.
“At the inauguration on the day of the election, there were 62 APC Senators, 44 PDP, and 1 YPP, meaning that the 68 votes I got, cut across party lines.
“With such bipartisan or multi-partisan confidence reposed in one, the era of partisanship is gone. I will assist the President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator Ahmad Lawan in making the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly, one for the benefit of all Nigerians. “
The Ninth Senate, he said, will flow with the next level agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said: “We shall give the required collaboration to the executive arm of government and help in putting in place the needed enabling environment for execution of the next level agenda “.