• Ondo Election: protesters carry coffin bearing Jimoh Ibrahim, Abang’s names, say INEC must reverse decision

    30/Oct/2016 // 230 Viewers


    Thousands of residents including market women, traders, artisans, schoolchildren, political party stalwarts, religious leaders among others, on Saturday, trooped out in major cities and towns across Ondo State to protest the controversial removal of Eyitayo Jegede as Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] Candidate for the November 26 Governorship election in the state.
    The day 2 of the protests, saw protesters with placards with captions such as “The Federal and Judiciary should allow INEC to be independent” “RIP Jimoh” “Gone so soon Abang” “Ondo is not for sale, Go Jimoh”
    In Akure, the state capital, the protesters led by Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Jumoke Akindele and Ondo State PDP Chairman Clement Faboyede marched from Alagbaka through the popular Oba Adesida road and climaxed at the Palace of Deji of Akure chanting “Eyitayo is Our Choice.”
    The action paralyzed vehicular, business and commercial activities as all shops in the city were under lock and key in solidarity with Eyitayo Jegede.
    At the Deji’s Palace, the protesters who spoke through Faboyede said the protest was necessary to avoid a repeat of 1983 political crisis that started in Ondo State before spreading across the country.
    “Kabiyesi, as residents of Ondo state, we are peace loving but will resist cheating with the last pant of our blood in line with the Ondo spirit. We want to use you and other traditional leaders to tell the All Progressives Congress Cabals hell bent on turning our state to a theatre of war to desist forthwith. We know that that crisis which ended the second rebublic in Nigeria started in the Old Ondo State” ‎Jimoh is a member of the Accord Party and not the PDP! Faboyede warned.
    Reacting, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi appealed to concerned authorities to do the needful in correcting all wrongs that is about to set the state on fire, especially Akure his domain.
    Oba Aladelusi however urged protesters not to be violent as he is confident the controversial order by Justice Okon Abang will be reversed by the Appellate court.
    However, some of the protesters who vowed to continue the protests until the controversial judgment is reversed, later‎ carried round the town a coffin with the names of Jimoh Ibrahim and Justice Okong Abang on it and stopped at intervals to perform ceremonial the dust to dust rites on it. - DAILY POST

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  • It's sacrilegious for Onojie to apologize to his subject - Ms Betty Okoebor writes Gov Oshiomhonle, read letter

    30/Oct/2016 // 1617 Viewers

    PARIS, OCTOBER 30, 2016: (DGW) The end of the  brewing crisis at Uromi is already in sight as Ms. Betty Okoebor has accompanied the unreserved apology she tendered to the highly revered  Uromi  monarch with a complementary letter to Governor Adams Oshiomhole stating reasons why she would not ask for any form of apology from the Onojie of Uromi , HRH, Anslem Eidenojie.

    This was contained in a letter addressed to Gov Oshiomhole which we took delivery of a while ago here in our  Paris newsroom.

    The letter reads:

    Ms. Betty Okoebor  kneeling and genuflecting before HRH, Anslem Omhenlenmhen Eidenojie, however , it is important to note here that differences between 'a worthy daughter and her royal father has been resolved in the long run.  

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  • We need results please - Obasanjo tells FG

    30/Oct/2016 // 216 Viewers


    PARIS, OCTOBER 30, 2016: (DGW) Let the results of your development programmes impact on the lives of Nigerians, former President Olusegun Obasanjo has told the Federal Government.

    He made this remark in Lagoson Saturday while speaking at the Tony Elumelu Foundation  Entrepreneurship Forum.

    He praised the the Federal Government for its diversification drive but demanded the result must be felt by Nigerians.

    Also speaking at the event were the  Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Deputy Governor, Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe.

    Continuing, the former  president reiterated the need to support entrepreneurs in their states to develop products that would be fit for export.

    Obasanjo said, “What you say you are doing is commendable, please let us see the results. We have to ensure that doing business in Nigeria is easy. We have to make them (investors) come to Nigeria. We need to be able to register a company at a one-stop shop.”

    Also speaking at the event, Nigeria's information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed reminded Nigerians that Nigeria was looking into other areas to move the economy from mono-product  by investing in agriculture, minning and solid minerals sectors, among others.

    One of the dignitaries that spoke at the event include the Group Managing Director, Rose of Sharon Group, Folorunso Alakija. She  advised them to pursue their businesses with passion, adding that they should be ready to take risks.

    She said, “The hallmark of any entrepreneur is the ability to take risks. You need to fight yourself, friends, competition and government in order to succeed.”

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  • JUST IN: Army Generals ‘On The Run’ As Deadly Militants Attack

    30/Oct/2016 // 4136 Viewers


    POST.NG: The people of Azaka, Iguiye, and neighbouring communities around the ovia river, in Edo State, were thrown into confusion on Friday night, as loud explosion erupted at a facility of the Nigeria Gas Company, NGC, in the area.

    It was suspected that a valve station located around a power-line, was damaged by the explosion.
    Although what caused the explosion was not clear at the time of this report on Saturday, some locals say they suspect that it was bombed by militants.
    “We saw pieces of gas cylinder and other things that might have been used to blow up the station,” one local said.
    Anthony Odoyibo, a well known Farmer in the area, confirmed the report, and appealed to Nigerians to give peace a chance.
    “We heard a very loud explosion around 10 or or 11 p.m. Everybody was very afraid. Some people who went there, confirmed that it was the pipeline that was blown up,” Odoyibo added.
    This is coming, despite the huge military presence in the area, where the incident occurred.
    Post-Nigeria, gathered that top Army Generals, may be questioned over the latest spate of attacks in the region.

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  • I Am The Petroleum Minister

    30/Sep/2015 // 171 Viewers

    As the nation awaits President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list, the President on Tuesday said he would head the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
    Buhari dropped the hint in one of the interviews he granted one of the foreign media in his hotel shortly before departing New York.
    The President was in New York to participate in the 70th United Nations General Assembly.
    “I will serve as the Minister of Petroleum Resources myself,” Buhari told his interviewer.
    The nation’s petroleum sector has been said to be enmeshed in corruption with millions of dollars said to be missing in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
    Shortly after assuming office, Buhari sacked and replaced the management of the company.
    The new management had started a general reorganisation of the firm.
    Buhari had on Monday said the trial of those who looted the NNPC would commence soon.
    Meanwhile, ministerial list that President Muhammadu Buhari will submit to the Senate on Wednesday (today)will not contain all the members of his proposed cabinet, THE PUNCH has learnt.
    Buhari was inaugurated on May 29, having defeated former President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential election held in March.
    Investigation by one of our correspondents on Tuesday revealed that what would be transmitted to the Senate this week would not be a complete list of nominees.
    A top government official familiar with the arrangement confided in one of our correspondents that Buhari would send the names of the nominees to the Senate in batches.
    “What the Senate will be getting on Tuesday or Wednesday will not be a complete list. The names will be sent in batches but quite a number will be on this first list while others will be compiled and sent later,” the source said.
    The President may have decided to send the names in batches in order to meet the September deadline he set for himself rather than waiting to compile the full list and fail to beat the deadline.
    Efforts made by one of our correspondents to get an insight into the list of the first batch of would-be ministers did not however yield any positive result on Tuesday.
    The issue of the list has however been generating concerns among members of Buhari’s delegation to the 70th United Nations General Assembly holding in New York.
    Many of the politicians on the President’s delegation who felt they might be considered for ministerial positions were getting in touch with Nigeria intermittently on the telephone for latest information on the list while they also kept making themselves visible for Buhari.
    Some of them who could not hide their anxiety were heard asking Nigerian journalists if they had latest information on the list.
    Prominent chiefs of the All Progressives Congress on the President’s delegation include a former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi; a former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi; and a former member of the House of Representatives, Abike Dabiri-Erewa among others.
    Meanwhile, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said on Tuesday that his leadership would not employ vendetta in the screening of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s wise men.
    Saraki, who stated this in his welcome address to his colleagues at a plenary after their six-week recess, expressed confidence that Nigeria’s economy would experience a turn-around with the appointment of ministers.
    He said, “As we await the list of ministerial nominees this week, I believe the presence of ministers will create the space for greater policy engagement with the executive arm of government.
    “It will also enable us to begin to respond in a more systematic manner to the various economic and social challenges before us, especially through our various committees that will also be constituted soon.
    “On this note, I want to urge you all my colleagues to ensure that what is uppermost in our minds as we begin the constitutional task of screening of ministerial nominees is the overall interest of our country, informed by the enormity and the urgency of the challenges before us.
    “Once the list is submitted, let us ensure that we treat it with dispatch and thoroughness. We must not be held down by unnecessary politicking.”
    Source: The Punch

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  • INTERVIEW: I've No Hand In ‘Fraudulent’ Crude Oil Transportation Deal - Yinka Omorogbe

    30/Sep/2015 // 144 Viewers

    In December 2010, thw Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, entered a three-month trial crude oil transportation deal with PPP Fluid Mechanics, at the cost of $17.4 million.
    Another firm, Ocean Marine Securities, was called in to handle the security component of the project at the rate of $9.9 million. The details of this project, including how the pricing later escalated and how Nigerian procurement regulations were flouted was revealed in a recent PREMIUM TIMES’ investigation.
    In this interview, Yinka Omorogbe, the corporation’s former legal adviser, exonerates self of both the first deal and how it later turned out.
    Prof. Omorogbe said there was no board meeting during her tenure to discuss the crude oil transportation contract. She also said she was unaware of the security component of the contract and how the entire contract was later renegotiated while she was still in office.
    Read excerpts below.
    PT: The crude oil transportation contract (between NNPC and PPP FM/OMS) was awarded in December 2010, during your tenure at NNPC. Can you tell us what you know about the contract?
    Omorogbe: I can’t say it was during my tenure. If you look at the document you have shown me, it is a re-issued letter of intent. So, there was already something in the offering and there was a letter of intent that was brought out. It was part of a process. It had to do with PPP Fluid Mechanics and had nothing to do with any of the individuals you have mentioned in your story.
    PT: At the point the contract was initiated, the PPP Fluid Mechanics was owned by two Israelis?
    Omorogbe: I wouldn’t know. In one year, hundreds of letters of intent are signed. They are not negotiated by me at all. As secretary to the corporation, there were departments under me and these departments dealt with these things, after they have been brought by the
    issuing entities.
    The directorate that would go and check about whatever is behind any of these things is Refining and Petrochemicals. And in 2010, Refining and Petrochemicals was headed by Austin Oniwon, who was also the GMD at the time. So anything happening then would have to be directed to him. I have absolutely nothing to do with the contract and there was nothing like a board meeting concerning it during my tenure.
    PT: Are you saying there was no board meeting to discuss the crude oil transportation deal?
    Omorogbe: No. Not in 2010. If you look at that 2010 document you are talking about, it was a three-month stop gap measure. That is why they still issued another. It is to let business continue. Because you cannot basically allow the operations to stop, otherwise businesses grind to a halt. So there was no contract during my tenure. Nothing happened in my time. The board did not sit and discuss this contract and definitely, the people you are investigating had no contact whatsoever in the agreement you have.
    PT: But our findings show that the security component of the project was handled by Ocean Marin Securities which is owned by Tunde Ayeni and Idahosa Okunbor. They deployed six gunboats for the project
    and got $110,000 daily.
    Omorogbe: I know nothing about this. What do you see that links me with it?
    PT: But you were still the company secretary at the time the deal was sealed Ma?
    Omorogbe: I might have been the company secretary but did they tell you that this contract emanated at that point in time? No. They did not. I am categorically certain. It did not happen during my tenure. Show me an agreement with Ocean Marine and the NNPC prior to my entry into the NNPC and then we can talk. But if not, I you will just be speculating. In the absence of an agreement, I can’t answer your question. I can only tell you what I read in the newspapers.
    PT: But we have been told by top officials of PPP FM and OMS that the contract started in 2011?
    Omorogbe: With the Israelis, which I have only read about? That is not true. Who signed the letter of intent you have? Every letter of intent is signed by the secretary of the corporation or by somebody so delegated. The one you have is signed by the GM… Who, probably, delegated the power. But what do you have on Ocean Marine? Nothing.
    PT: Ocean Marine has shown us documents saying NNPC mandated them to provide security for the contract at $110,000 per day, which is about $3.3 million for a month of 30 days. Are you saying you didn’t know anything about that too?
    Omorogbe: Not even a pin. I have no clue. My source of knowledge would be the newspapers. I have nothing to do with that. Since it did not come up under my tenure, there was no way I would know.
    PT: But Madam, from the document we have here, it shows it was at the time you were there. The letter is dated December 2010 and you were still with the corporation at that time.
    Omorogbe: First of all, who is it with? It is with PPP Fluid Mechanics or is it with Ocean Marine Securities? Whatever they are doing with Ocean Marine has nothing to do with me. Not even me, it has nothing to do with the corporation on the face of the document you have (Letter of Intent with PPP FM), because it is based on the document that we are talking about.
    What is the reason for this? This is transportation of crude oil using specified marine vessels from Escravos to Warri Refining and Petrochemicals. It is a very legal entity because they have to transport crude.
    PT: We are not arguing the fact that it’s normal (to transport crude using ships)…
    Omorogbe: No no no no. Because you seem to be saying: oh, it was in my tenure, it was in my tenure. So what are you saying?
    PT: We have met with Ocean Marin Securities about the security component of this project
    Omorogbe: [Cuts in]: Let me be very clear, I have nothing to do with this. Except you want to discuss something else or discuss my link with them. My tenure ended in June 2011 in the NNPC and whatever my stand was in NNPC was clear: anything that occurred after June 2011, I cannot tell you. Ocean Marine is an entity unknown to me as the legal adviser of NNPC, unless you bring a contract to me… It is totally unknown to me in my capacity. So, I can’t even talk Ocean Marine. I can talk PPP Fluid Mechanics because of this particular letter of intent that you have. But any contract with these people (Ocean Marine) that were brought on board was after my time.
    PT: As you know, this contract continued after it (the trial version) ended in March 2011?
    Omorogbe: [Cuts in] No, it was re-issued. That is the thing. The contract came to an end. This paper that was during my tenure came to an end. And it was re-issued at whatever time? I don’t know.
    PT: Are you saying it wasn’t re-issued during your time?
    Omorogbe: If it was, bring me it to see. I did not see. You mean the letter of intent you have?
    PT: Yes. Are you aware it was re-issued in …
    Omorogbe: [Cuts in]: I wasn’t even aware. It doesn’t ring a bell. It didn’t ring a bell around me. No; not at all. Bring the re-issue thing and let me see.
    PT: Ocean Marine Securities and the guys who later headed PPP FM have told us they continued this contract since April 2011.
    Omorogbe: Maybe they did. Let me see the paper at that point in time. Maybe they did. I cannot say anything on that but I can say that I have nothing to do with any of the stuff you are talking about. My problem with your article was that you alluded that somehow the board was paid and the board now passed…
    PT: No. We never mentioned that the board was paid. One other thing we would like to ask is that from our investigation, the total cost of this project was (slightly) above $27 million … above the board’s approval limit.
    Omorogbe: [Cuts in]: Not in my tenure. Not in my tenure. I don’t know how you are going to get out of that one. We never went above the approval limit.
    PT: This is the part we are talking about in this contract.
    Omorogbe: Look at the document very well. It’s says the “NNPC shall provide security cover”… Where does Ocean Marin Securities come into this?
    PT: That is where they come in because they said they were paid $110,000 daily to…
    Omorogbe: They may have said. Show me the contract. Are you trying to link me to this thing?
    PT: No, we are not linking you. But we just want to find out if you were aware, because if you were not aware, this contract might have existed in illegality. It might have been an illegal thing happening which you might not have been aware.
    Omorogbe: No. You see, they are to provide security. Let me talk about this as a lawyer. I’m talking as a lawyer. When you do this sort of thing and you put a clause that assigns an obligation to the NNPC, it means NNPC must carry it out. So here, it is stated that the NNPC shall provide security cover, it means that if for example, PPP FM goes and does the job and there is no security cover, and something happens, they can say oh well, you did not keep to your own side of the bargain. They are covered by this. So that provided an opening for NNPC to provide security without a doubt, but a security cover, I knew nothing about it. That’s it.
    PT: Can that cover be provided without a valid contract?
    Omorogbe: No, there must be something in existence. Or maybe not. It depends on the security cover because remember that different entities patrol the Nigerian waterways. The Navy patrols the waterways, maybe Marine police, maybe even Tompolo’s contract too, who knows?
    PT: But is that a valid clause in a contract like this? Again, talking from my perspective, I would have to say yes, because put yourself in the position of somebody whose job it is to carry very valuable cargo on Nigeria’s inland waterways which are very unsafe, you will be concerned about the security. I would make them pay for the security or at least guarantee it. In fact, it will be easier for me to say you guarantee it so that I won’t be liable if anything happens. So, it makes sense on the face of it.
    PT: If it makes sense, it therefore means that it (security) can be considered as a valid component of the project.
    Omorogbe: Yeah. But again, it is not a component of the project. In this instance, it is a component that the corporation has said it will provide. So for me, if it was my contract, I will be happy in the sense that the corporation, by doing that, would have exonerated me in case something happens to the cargo and the vessel and there is no security, I can say well, it is not my legal obligation to provide security.
    PT: What I am driving at is that this could be said to add up to the total cost of the project.
    Omorogbe: NNPC is the one to provide that cost. So whatever the cost is for security is separate from the costs that are included in the letter of intent. But security costs may be inevitable when you are talking about a place where there have been so much unrest, vandalism and whatever.
    Source:Premium Times

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  • My Husband Didn’t Support My ........... - Remi Tinubu

    30/Sep/2015 // 143 Viewers

    Senator Oluremi Tinubu on Tuesday said she did not get the support of her husband, ABola Tinubu to run for second term in the 2015 National Assembly election.

    Mrs. Tinubu (APC-Lagos Central) made the disclosure while answering questions at the ongoing “Women in Government” conference organised by the South-West Region of the Department For International Development (DFID).

    The conference was organised in collaboration with the Lagos State Office of the Deputy Governor.

    She said that it was her district leaders who got the form for her and talked her husband into allowing her to run for the position.

    According to her, “Tinubu likes his wife to be at home and what is more confusing to me is that most Muslim men do not want their wives to work, but I am a hard worker.

    “People have been saying that I got to this position because I am Asiwaju’s wife.

    “What they did not realise is that in the past election, my husband asked me not to go for a second term.

    “It was the leaders in my district that got me the form and talked to him that they wanted me to go back.

    “You can go to my district, the elites might not know me but the grassroots are the ones supporting and voting massively for me.

    “I think that is enough for me and that is how you can get elected, you have to really identify with your people; if really know your people, they will stand up for you,’’ she said.

    Mrs. Tinubu said she fought and worked hard as it was difficult getting the vote of the masses.

    “When I got the bill to run for primaries, I told my husband that I needed money and he said no money.

    “I fought with the people in my constituency because they said I have to give them more money and I said no, what about the ones I have been giving to you before?

    “If you are not going to vote, so be it.

    “They said that they were just voting for me because of Asiwaju and I responded that Asiwaju is not even supporting me, then, you can go and vote for him.

    “But I’m grateful they voted for me.

    “I have realised that when you are elected, you have to go back and work with your constituency because that is where your support and vote rests,’’ she said.

    Source: NAN

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  • Why Senators Must Defend Me Against Persecution By Powerful Forces By Bukola Saraki

    30/Sep/2015 // 95 Viewers

    Distinguished colleagues, I heartily welcome you back from our annual recess. I hope you had a very rewarding time with your families and your constituencies. I also hope that the period of recess has afforded you opportunities to reflect on the enormous task before this Senate in the months ahead. I believe that we have all resumed today with greater vigour and higher commitment to serve our fatherland and serve the cause of democracy. In the face of the great challenges that our country faces on different fronts, which urgently demands our attention, we must be prepared to put in the long extra hours to make up for the precious time we have lost for sundry reasons. As we resume today, we must demonstrate clearly to Nigerians that we are prepared to fulfill our mandates and put Nigeria first in all that we do, no matter how we feel about anything else. To behave contrary will amount to a betrayal of the confidence repose on us by our constituencies and our country as a whole.
    Let me seize this moment to register my deep sadness over the death of yet-to-be-determined number of pilgrims who lost their lives in the tragic events that happened in Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. May the Almighty Allah grant them eternal salvation and comfort their families. Even though the incident in Mecca has global ramification, we must pursue a Nigerian angle to it. By so doing, we would begin to demonstrate to Nigerians and to the world that Nigeria cares about its people and will take care of its people wherever they may be. Pursuant to this, the Senate shall seek to determine the exact number of Nigerian lives lost in the incidents and through the Federal Government of Nigeria, work with the Saudi authorities to determine the remote and immediate cause of the tragedy with the general aim of averting such occurrence in the future.
    On the September 17, 2015, we woke to the shocking news of a military coup in Burkina Faso. This is a monster, which we thought has been wiped off the West African political landscape forever. I therefore, commend the prompt response of the leaders of ECOWAS, not only in unanimously condemning the coup, but in pushing hard to ensure that the constitutional order is restored in that country. A threat to democracy anywhere, is a threat to democracy everywhere. We must therefore remain vigilant and leave no one in doubt that only democratically elected government would be accepted on our Continent and our Sub-region.
    During the recess, I attended with some of our colleagues, the Inter-Parliamentary Union Conference in New York, United States. The high point of that visit for me was the conversation on Boko Haram and mobilisation of global support for Nigeria, especially in dealing with the serious challenges of Internally Displaced Persons and the overall development of the North East of our country. I argued that the significant military success that has been achieved under President Muhammadu Buhari must now be complemented by a robust economic strategy in form of a Global Infrastructure and Development Fund that can deliver the vital services needed by the IDPs today, and the key infrastructure they would need to live a more meaningful and more secured life in the future: homes, hospitals, schools and, of course, jobs. Even though the evolution of Boko Haram has been regional and it is primarily a Nigerian problem; the consequences in human catastrophe implicates the whole of humanity and therefore demands a global scale solution, which can only happen with the support of our richest global partners and the biggest companies around the world. The call for a Global Infrastructure and Development Fund for the North-East of Nigeria, is not only an appeal to our common humanity, but a call for a global platform that would demonstrate to Boko Haram and other terrorist groups everywhere that the whole world is united against them, and will ultimately defeat them.
    The biggest challenge faced by our country today is the state of our economy. The dwindling oil revenue has brought enormous shock to our economy and greatly limited the capacity of government at various levels to meet even basic commitments. Our country has gone through periods of recession in the past. What we face today is however unprecedented in ramification and potential gravity. We must think hard and work hard with the Executive to achieve greater clarity in policy direction and interventions. We shall therefore commence immediately, a review of the 2015 budget and begin now to lay down the fundamental principles that would determine the 2016 budget and the philosophy of our economy in times like this. Like I mentioned earlier, legislative agenda must take precedence over all other things in this Senate. I have no doubt that we are all capable of putting in the long hours, but those long hours must be invested primarily, in debating and making the laws that would move our country forward.
    We are here to proffer policy solutions and minimise hardship amongst our people. Any other objective must be secondary. The externalised distractions we have had recently have been unhelpful but I am more than ever focused and resolute to the course of our people to provide them leadership that will ease their pain and realise their dreams. It is in view of this that we set for ourselves the legislative agenda committee to help us identify priorities that will have substantial impact on the lives of our people.
    In the coming days we shall be considering the report of the committee. Adopt it and immediately begin the implementation of the priorities identified. There will be need to fast track issues – not with haste but with deliberate steps and diligence that would deliver results that can stand the test of time.
    We promised Nigerians that our actions would positively impact on their lives. This I intend to keep. In that light I will urge you my distinguished colleagues that we make priority the passing of bills that would ultimately and substantially expand our peoples livelihood and opportunities.
    As part of our agenda, we shall also be starting the journey to deliver the E-parliament blueprint. This we believe is a vital precursor to building a strong technology infrastructure that will engender greater public participation in law-making and enable real-time interface between committees in both houses, and between both houses and civil society organisations.
    I took opportunity of the recess to undertake tour of the facilities, staff offices, agencies and institutions attached to the National assembly with a view to understanding their various peculiarities and state of readiness to implement and drive the adoption of the E-parliament agenda.
    This will see us leapfrog into the ranks of efficient law-making entities able to solve 21st century problems. I believe that this will leapfrog our productivity and make lawmaking in this chamber much more efficient.
    As we await the list of ministerial nominees this week, I believe the presence of ministers will create the space for greater policy engagement with the Executive Arm of government and enable us to begin to respond in a more systematic manner to the various economic and social challenges before us, especially through our various Committees that will also be constituted soon. On this note, I want to urge you all my colleagues to ensure that what is uppermost in our minds as we begin the constitutional task of screening of ministerial nominees is the overall interest of our country, informed by the enormity and the urgency of the challenges before us. Once the list is submitted, let us ensure that we treat it with dispatch. We must not be held down by unnecessary politicking. The enormity of our national challenges at this time does not give room for pettiness or politics of vendetta.
    Distinguished Senators, I believe you have all followed with keen interest, my trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. I shall avoid discussing the details of that case here for obvious reasons. But let me say it again, that I am ready and will submit myself to the entire judicial process as provided by law. Meanwhile, I wish to reiterate my remarks before the Tribunal, that I have no iota of doubt that I am on trial today because I am the president of the Nigerian Senate against the wishes of some powerful individuals outside this Chamber. But what is clear to me also, is that the laws of Nigeria, and the rules of the National Assembly give consideration only to the wishes and desires of those of you who are here today as members of the Senate, to elect as you wish, one of your peers as president of the Senate. This, in your wisdom, is what you have done by electing me to be the first among all of you who are my equals. The laws of Nigeria do not give any consideration to any other forces outside the Senate in the election of its president. And to yield the ground on this note, is to be complicit in the subversion of democracy and its core principles of separation of powers as enshrined in our constitution. This is why we must once again, commend President Muhammadu Buhari, for refusing to interfere in the election of the National Assembly leadership even in the face of enormous pressures on him to do so. He has proven quite concretely that he is indeed a born-again democrat.
    Too many people have fought and died for the democracy that we enjoy today. We would not be honouring them and their memories if we allow the sad chapters of our history to continue to repeat themselves like a bad curse. As for me, I am prepared to do my duty in defence of our democracy and in safeguarding the independence of the National Assembly. My duty, as I see it, is to do justice and honour to the memory of those who have paid even higher prices to give us this democracy and this constitution. Primarily as a Senator of the Federal Republic and as Senate President I owe it to this Senate to stand strong in the face of relentless persecution. I invite all of you to stand with me to defend this Senate and preserve its sanctity. Ultimately, our legacies would not be defined by how long we stay here and in whatever position; but by what we did with this great opportunity that our people have given us by the grace of Almighty God.
    In the next couple of days, we would be celebrating our 55th Independence Anniversary as country. This is an auspicious moment for us to rededicate ourselves to all that which will advance our nation, move us closer to the dreams of our founding fathers and our attain our destiny as the greatest nation of the black race on the planet. All that we seek for our country is achievable in our life time if we all play our part and forsake our old ways. But the least we must do is to ensure that while we are here, we are able to lay the necessary foundation for our children and their children to live a more prosperous life.
    Distinguished Senators, once again, I welcome all of you and thank you for your abiding support and confidence in my leadership. Ladies and Gentlemen, Let’s start our work!

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  • FG begs ex-militants over delay payment.

    30/Sep/2015 // 158 Viewers

    Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.), has urged ex-militants, enrolled under the scheme, not to be agitated over the delay in the payment of their stipends for three months.

    Boroh, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

    He attributed the delay in payment of the outstanding allowance to the non-receipt of allocation to the Presidential Amnesty Office for July, August and September, 2015.

    He said, “I want to assure the ex-agitators under the programme that arrangements are being made to fast-track the payment of their July and August stipends as soon as the Amnesty office receives its July allocation.

    “The office has been conscientious in managing resources and has already cleared the July and August, 2015 in-training and accommodation allowances for international students under the scholarship programme; and will presently conclude the payment of the in- training allowances of scholarship students in Nigerian universities.”

    According to him, the Federal Government is aware of the pains the ex-militants are going through and will ensure that they get their stipends soon.

    The coordinator recalled that prior to his appointment, the payment of allowances to all beneficiaries had been stalled owing to the change in government.

    He added that the delay in the payment of allowances was occasioned by the introduction of the Treasury Single Account System by the new administration to ensure accountability.

    Boroh said his office was working assiduously to engage the relevant agencies of government to ensure the release of all accrued allocations to the Presidential Amnesty Office.

    Source: NAN

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  • Nobody should insult Buhari - PDP

    30/Sep/2015 // 204 Viewers

    .The Peoples Democratic Party has said it is wrong for anyone to abuse or insult President Muhammadu Buhari.
    The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in Abuja on Wednesday, congratulated the citizens for keeping faith in the Nigerian project and working together in building a strong nation and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
    It said this while charging Nigerians to use the occasion of the nation’s 55th Independence Anniversary to rekindle the spirit of patriotism, asking the citizens to exhibit actions that promote democratic ideals and peaceful co-existence at all levels in the country.
    The party said the occasion reminded Nigerians of their common root and destiny as well as the country’s resilience and determination to succeed in all spheres of life as a strong, united and prosperous nation, irrespective of her challenges.
    It urged Nigerians to use the anniversary to recommit to respecting their leaders at the local government, state and national levels, while paying adequate reverence to national symbols and institutions.
    The party added, “In this regard, the PDP urges all citizens to have full respect for the office and person of the symbol of the leadership of our great country, the President.
    “The President can be constructively criticised, but under no circumstance should he be abused or insulted in any way and under any guise whatsoever.
    “On this note therefore, we expect those around our dear President to be cautious and desist from actions and utterances that tend to set him up for public ridicule.”
    The PDP congratulated the nation on its giants strides since independence, especially within the 16 years under the PDP led-administration, during which he said enviable milestones were recorded in critical sectors of the polity.
    It commended the military for the success recorded in the fight against insurgency in the country, while commiserating with all those affected by the senseless acts of terrorism and violence.
    Source: The Punch

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