) Ahead of Tuesday’s resumption of lawmakers at the National Assembly, some members of the House of Representatives have expressed their expectations for the 9th parliament.
A cross-section of members who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria , on Monday in Abuja, were optimistic that the present assembly would make a positive difference in the nation’s history.
NAN recalls that the National Assembly had, on June 13, adjourned the plenary for a two-week break after the elections of its presiding officers by the lawmakers, to reconvene on July 2.
”The House that will be the pivotal of the needed restructuring that we desire for in Nigeria economically, politically and socially.
”The House that will also earn greater respect from members of the public,” he said.
He noted that the way for the house to earn respect was to do things differently ”and in a manner that will earn the respect of Nigerians.”
He said “We commence work on reforming our Electoral Act and the constitution very late and too close to the elections when so many interests would have come in and people would become suspicious of every move to amend one clause or the other.
”But the earlier we do this, the better for us as a people.
”So I am looking forward to a House that will start of early to make laws and amend laws that will make sure that we have more credible electoral system.
”A House that will allow for the processes of elections to attain greater acceptability, even in the eyes of international partners.
”So, I am looking forward to a more dynamic House, a more progressive House, a House that will be more responsible and more responsive to the public interests,”
Rep. Yusuf Yakub (APC-Adamawa), corroborated Salam’s statement, saying his expectation was for the 9th assembly to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
”We should make sure that wherever we see any challenge, we quickly bring it to the floor of the House in form of motion and where necessary, we make laws that are friendly to the people of Nigeria,” he said.
Yakub, who aspired to the position of speaker, said the legislature would not hesitate to carry out its oversight functions on the activities of the executive for the betterment of the country.
On his part, Rep Garba Chede (APC-Taraba), who said with the new leadership of National Assembly, he hoped that the executive-legislative relationship would help to enhance the delivery of good governance that Nigerians yearned for.
He described the parliament as ”the most important component of democracy that helps to put the executive on its toes in ensuring that appropriated funds are judiciously used for the good of the people.”
He said he was hopeful that the present assembly would work towards actualising the “Next Level Agenda” of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede
Bayelsa/Kogi: INEC condemns violence, assures voters of fair, credible conclusion
In a statement issued by Mr Information and Voter Education Committee in Abuja, INEC said that it was unfortunate there were violence in spite all efforts to ensure peaceful elections.
The commission, however, called for calm while assuring voters of INEC’s commitment to conclude the elections process in both states fairly and credibly.
It said that the commission was carefully monitoring the processes even as voting had closed in all polling units in both states.
“Reports from accredited observers and our officials in the field indicate that most voters who were willing to vote had the opportunity to do so.
“The commission delivered materials to its two states offices in good time and made adequate preparations for the movement of staff and materials to the various voting locations.
“There are reports indicating that electoral process was in several places affected by thuggery and violence, which the commission unequivocally condemns.
“We are still receiving, collating and evaluating these reports as we move into the critical phase of result collation,” the commission said.
The commission also said that results would be collated at registration areas, local government areas and state levels.
It added that its staff were ready to receive those results while advising stakeholders to keep to their commitments to ensure peaceful conduct.
The commission commended the security agencies, saying they had been supportive so far, in the face of many challenges.
The commission urged the public to remain calm, assuring voters in the two states of its resolve to ensure that the ”elections are concluded fairly and credibly.”
It said that it deployed staff and materials in 4,352 polling units in the two states for the governorship elections, Kogi West Senatorial rerun election and Brass I State Constituency supplementary election in Bayelsa.
“In addition, national commissioners, resident electoral commissioners and other staff were deployed to monitor and supervise the elections.
“These field officers are regularly submitting real-time reports to the commission on developments in the field,” the commission said.
Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka
Kogi Poll: FCT minister delivers polling unit, ward to APC
The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has delivered her Yagba Polling Unit and Kakanda Ward to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi Governorship and West Senatorial District elections in the state.
Aliyu, who was until her appointment as the FCT Minister of state, was the National Women Leader of the party, still enjoyed support and solidarity at the grassroots.
Announcing the result, the Returning Officer, Dr Okor Henry said that the APC governorship candidate got 350 votes to defeat the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate that got 62 votes at Yagba polling unit.
The returning officer also said that the APC Senatorial candidate polled 480 votes to defeat the PDP senatorial candidate who clinched 53 votes at the polling unit.
“While the APC Senatorial candidate got a total of 4,907 votes to defeat the PDP candidate that got 2,013 votes at the ward.”
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Why we’re at war with Obaseki: APC chieftain
A chieftain of the APC in Edo, Gen. Charles Airhavbere, explained on Sunday that a faction of the APC is at loggerheads with Gov. Godwin Obaseki because the governor has “refused to listen to voice of reason.’’
Speaking in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Benin, Airhavbere, a former soldier turned politician, said that Obaseki lacked interpersonal skills needed to make the difference in the exalted office.
The party chieftain said that the governor had resorted to use of raw power in dealing with his political associates, a development, he said, had alienated many APC stalwarts in the state.
Edo State is billed for governorship polls next August, in a high-stakes election, expected to be characterized by back-stabbing, violence and betrayals.
Airhavbere, who contested for the plum job with Obaseki in 2016, said the APC would never know peace in Edo with the way the governor was relating with other members of the party.
He said that contrary to what Obaseki wanted people to believe, agitations in the state were not because of “stomach infrastructure’’ or a quest for the resources of the state by the party members.
“It was never about godfather and god-son struggling for the control of government or resources of the state.
“It is all about ensuring governance with human face and our resolve is to check the destructive approach to governance in Edo State and put our party on the path of moral rectitude, transparency and inclusion.
“The struggle is all about a governor who lacks interpersonal relationship skill; who is vindictive and repelled by the presence of his party members and without provocation, resorts to anger and pugnacious display of raw power.’’
Airhavbere said that Obaseki had failed to fulfil his electoral promises and had refused to embrace dialogue, consultation, negotiation and compromise.
“This is a governor who believes in all ramifications that he is above the people and who has suddenly become a tyrant.
“We cannot fold our arms and watch helplessly. With these traits, it is obvious that the governor was never psychologically and emotionally prepared to be a leader.”
The party chief said it was because of these issues that `authentic’ members of the party came together on Nov. 13, to abolish the Edo Peoples Movement and suspend the governor, his deputy Philip Shaibu and the Secretary to State Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie.
He said that the suspension was also to send a signal to Obaseki that it was not going to be business as usual in the countdown to upcoming governorship elections.
“Edo is the only APC state in the South-South and we are not ready to lose the state.”
Airhavbere said that APC members remained loyal to the National Chairman of the party, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, assuring that everything would be done to protect the party from people bent on destroying it.
But reacting to the latest developments in the APC, the Edo Commissioner for Information, Mr Paul Ohonbamu, said the intra-party crisis was a battle for dominance and liberation between the national chairman of the party and the governor.
He described the purported suspension of Obaseki and other people from the party as an exercise in futility.
The commissioner said that Airhavbere and his group were being used to embarrass the governor, stressing that the governor was elected by the people and that the disgruntled APC members lacked powers to suspend him.
He recalled that the South-South Vice-Chairman of the party, Mr Elias Enag, had since described the suspension as null and void.
Ohonbamu described Obaseki as a “beautiful damsel of democracy’’, who is being sought by many political parties.
Edited by Silas Nwoha
Kogi election:Politicians engage in fake news to delegitimise INEC -CDD
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)said political parties used fake news to delegitimise Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)and the electoral process during Kogi governorship election.
Ms Idayat Hassan ,Director CDD ,made this known in the group’s preliminary statement on the conduct of Saturday’s Kogi governorship election.
Hassan said that CDD’ electoral environment observation report had previously predicted that political parties would use fake news during the election to cause confusion.
” CDD fact-checkers were able to debunk most of the fake news.
“The hoaxes are mainly intended at delegitimising INEC and the process; again, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are the leading platforms used to spread disinformation. “
Hassan said that earlier, voters across 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Kogi went to the poll to elect a Governor and in Kogi West, a rescheduled senatorial election also got underway following a court verdict .
She said that at the CDD Election Analysis Centre (EAC), reports have been coming from trained and accredited observers deployed across the 21 LGAs of the state.
She said that the preliminary statement was an overview of the initial findings on the conduct of the election.
She said that it was observed the use of financial inducements to affect the outcome of the election .
Hassan said that CDD also noted systematic and coordinated violent attacks at polling units and carting away of voting materials.
She said that in many polling units, observers and journalists were being blocked from access and taking photographs in what appeared to be an attempt to prevent the gathering of evidence of electoral malpractices.
She noted that the use of violence in the campaign and open threats of more violence in the election appeared to be a voter suppression strategy which played out on Saturday.
She said CDD EAC observers reported coordinated disruption of voting across many polling units with hired thugs invading polling units, shooting sporadically to scare away voters, and in several cases carting away voting materials.
“In polling unit 001 in Ward 4, Dekina LGA, CDD observers reported sporadic gunfire;violent caused by rival party thugs who battled one other over control of the polling environment.
“These were in Felele and Ganaja areas of Lokoja LGA, especially in Registration Area 08, Oworo, Felele Area, PU 004. In Ankpa 1 Polling Unit (PU) with number 2203-04-0 in Ankpa LGA,“she said
Hassan said that notwithstanding the fact that INEC enlisted EFCC and ICPC’s support in curtailing vote-buying, vote-buying was very rampant across the state.
She said that CDD observers reported that party agents in several polling units engaged in the financial inducement of voters to influence them to vote for their parties giving them between N500 and N3,000.
She said that as at 11 a.m, accreditation and voting had started in 55.1 per cent of polling units in which CDD deployed observers in Kogi.
She said that further information revealed that a good number of INEC ad hoc staff were knowledgeable and familiar with the operation of the smart card readers in some of the polling units observed.
Hassan,however, said that late delivery of materials experienced in some parts of the state was primarily due to logistics challenge and deplorable state of infrastructures like bad roads and difficult terrains experienced in the deployment of electoral materials.
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa
Minimum wage: Negotiations still in progress – Lagos govt.
The Lagos State government has said that negotiations are still ongoing with labour unions in the state over the implementation of the new minimum wage.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishments and Training, Mr Biodun Bamgboye, made the disclosure in a statement issued on Saturday, in Lagos.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Chairman of the state Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Mr Rasaq Falade, had said that necessary terms of settlement and agreement were reached at the end of the meeting held on Nov. 15.
However, Bamgboye said that the process of minimum wage negotiations with labour was still one, adding that the best modalities to implement it were being looked into.
He said that any agreement reached with the labour unions would be made public through government-recognised communication channels.
The permanent secretary assured public servants in the state that the outcome of the minimum wage negotiations would represent their best interest.
He reiterated that the Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led administration was committed to enhancing the welfare of workers in the state.
”Being a people-oriented government, we are committed to ensuring better service delivery through a competent and motivated workforce,” the permanent secretary said.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and ‘Wale Sadeeq
Tolerance Day: Respect one another’s views, cultures, religions, LASG urges residents
The Lagos State government has called on residents to ensure mutual respect for the views, culture and religions of one another.
The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, made the call on Saturday, as the state joined other countries of the world to commemorate the 2019 United Nations International Day of Tolerance.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the International Day of Tolerance is celebrated on Nov. 16 of every year.
Akinbile-Yussuf, in a statement issued in Lagos, urged residents to be tolerant of one another, regardless of differences in issues and beliefs, stressing that mutual understanding was a form of respect for human rights.
According to her, if mutual respect is observed by every resident, there will be less conflict and violence in the country.
She said that Lagos, being a cosmopolitan state and home to people of different backgrounds, underscored the need for tolerance during interpersonal relationships.
The commissioner acknowledged the hospitality of the people of the state, especially their receptive disposition to strangers, adding that the trait had earned the state accolades, both locally and internationally.
She commended the role of religious leaders in the state in instituting and maintaining religious harmony in the state.
”It is only in Lagos State that you will have a Muslim marry a Christian and they will live harmoniously without conflict,” Akinbile-Yussuf said.
According to her, the urge of wanting to impose one’s opinion or religion on another person is the basis for conflict and commotion being witnessed in other parts of the world.
The commissioner said that her ministry had put in place programmes to mark the Day, starting with a road walk on Nov. 16 from Ikeja Local Government secretariat to the state secretariat, Alausa.
She also said that there would be a symposium, with the theme: ”Enhancing Harmonious Relationship and Peace among Religious Bodies for Better Socio-economic Development in Lagos State” on Nov. 20, at Ikeja.
Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi and ‘Wale Sadeeq
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