Bode George Set To Join APC — Lagos APC Chairman Says

The Chairman, All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State, Chief Henry Ajomale has hinted that former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George is on his way to joining the APC.

He said after Senator Obanikoro, the next big fish they were expecting in APC was George.

According to Ajomale, “He is coming to join us very soon, to join APC in helping to transform Lagos State into Dubai of Africa.”

The APC chairman was speaking in an interview with Sun, where he noted that Chief Bode George had shown interest in joining the ruling party.

He added, “I mean it. Mark my words, Chief Bode George will soon be in APC fold. George is on his way to joining the APC, and we will welcome him in a big way.

“Look at some of his recent comments, how he has been praising Governor Akinwumi Ambode to high heavens, commending the governor over developmental projects he has been executing in Lagos State.

“George is an eminent Lagosian who is passionate about the development and growth of Lagos State, and I praise him saying the truth about Ambode’s administration, that Ambode’s administration is an excellent one.

“But as I said earlier, it is not a joke, Bode George will soon follow Obanikoro to APC and we are waiting to receive him into APC fold.”

Kogi West Electorates Meet Constitutionally Required Signatures To Recall Dino Melaye

The constitutionally required signatures of Kogi West Senatorial District to oust the embattled senator, Dino Melaye have been gathered.
According to report, a total of 188, 580, electorate from Kogi West have signed the recall register form of Senator Dino Melaye.
Announcing the figure at the All progressives Congress State Secretariat in Lokoja, the returning officer for the recall of the serving senator, Adamu Yusuf explained that out of 360,098 of the total registered voters of the seven western senatorial districts comprising Yagba, Mopa Muro, Kabba Bunu, Yagba East, Koton Karfe, Lokoja and Ijumu, 188, 588, signed the recall register constituting 52.3% of the voters in senatorial district.
Yusuf while giving a breakdown of the recall exercise noted that for Yagba East – out of 35,331 registered voters, 18, 374 (52%) signed the recall of the serving lawmaker.
Others are Mopa 18,356 voters (9,186 signed comprising 50.04%), Kabba Bunu 60,522, voters (28,277 signed making 46.7%, and Yagba West out of 35, 966 registered voters 20,029 signed signifying 55.7%.
Lokoja local government recorded the highest with 63, 736 (54.8%) voters recalling the senator out of 116, 296 registered voters.
For Koton Karfe 24,703 (52.77%) voters penned their signature while in Ijumu out of 46,819 registered voters, 24, 238 depicting 51.8% passed a vote of no confidence on the senator to represent them in the National Assembly.
” Going by the above figures, it is important to let Nigerians know that we have met the Constitutional requirements of 51.1%. Dino has failed to represent Kogi West so we are calling him back home,” Yusuf added.
Meanwhile, the seven Local government administrators constituting Kogi West were all present during the exercise.

No Automatic Ticket For Buhari In 2019 – APC

The chairman of the North West Zone of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Inuwa Abdulkadir, has said that there will be no automatic ticket for President Muhammadu Buhari come 2019.

Mr Abdulkadir, a former minister of Youth Development, stated this while responding to questions from the Sun on whether there would be vacancy in Aso Rock In 2019.

The partly chieftain said there would be contest and a level playing ground for all, and that due process will take its course.

He said the party’s rule was that every member will be given a chance to contest in the primaries.

“2017 that we are in now, there is no vacancy. There could be vacancy any moment, anytime either in 2019, 2020,” he said.

“In 2019 the vacancy that exists is that whether you like Buhari or not, whether he wants to run or not, there will be a contest.

“What I mean is that the APC as a party is not a draconian party. We will allow the due process to take its course in terms of whoever wants to contest for the presidency.

“I am not a soothsayer, but I know that the rules and laws of the APC is that every member would be given chance.

“If you want to run for the presidency, you are welcome. When you say there is a vacancy it means there is nobody there.

“But for now in 2017, Buhari is the president of this country and by the present circumstances that we are, Professor Yemi Osinbajo is the Acting President and APC does not have inhibitions, this issue of giving automatic ticket to anybody. It is a party that allows democratic principles and norms to take its full course.

“How can you have automatic ticket? In any case the constitution of Nigeria and the electoral act do not allow automatic ticket.”

Jibrin Denies Claim Of Expulsion From APC, Says His Political Antagonizers At Work

Suspended member of the House of Reprensentative from Kano State, Abdulmumin Jibrin has denied his purposes expulsion from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sani Ranka, who claimed to be the chairman of the party in Bebeji local government, where Jibrin have his membership registered had said the lawmaker was suspended over some alleged anti-party activities.
Ranka accused the former chairman house committee on appropriations of promoting divisive tendencies.

“The party will not condone indiscipline and disrespect to leaders or duly constituted authority. We hereby inform the world that Jibrin has been expelled from our great party,” he said at a press briefing on Thursday.

But in a swift response, the Kano state lawmaker denied the claim of his suspension, saying it is another round of  character assassination from his political antagonists.
“My attention has been drawn to a false claim attributed to some mischievous impersonators that I’ve been expelled from my party, the All Progressives Congress, at the Local Government branch.”
“This report, I’ve gathered, came from a dubious character and known fraudster who is neither the chairman of my party at the local government level nor a part of the party executive at the state level. The party is not even aware of this impersonation making the rounds in the media.”
“This is yet another round of character assassinations from career political antagonizers who are perpetually threatened by our advocacy for transparency in public service and political leadership.”
“Recall that I honored the invitation of the EFCC in a bid to shed light on the cases of corruption perpetrated by some principal officers of the house of representatives, despite dissuasions by these saboteurs of my party’s change agenda and stand against corruption.”
“The initiators of this false claim of my expulsion by my party are hired hacks engaged by some politicians in Abuja in continuation of their futile bids to frustrate my anti-corruption campaigns.”
“I wish to remind the public, and especially the media, that this report did not originate from my party, the APC. I have a cordial relationship with my party, and we have been working hand in hand to actualize our agenda for a better Nigeria.”

Kano APC Expels Abdulmumin Jibrin

The erstwhile chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been expelled by the All Progressives Congress(APC) chapter in Bebeji local government area of Kano state .

Chairman of the party in the local government, Sani Ranka, accused Jibrin of promoting divisive tendencies.

“The party will not condone indiscipline and disrespect to leaders or duly constituted authority. We hereby inform the world that Jibrin has been expelled from our great party,” he said at a press briefing on Thursday.

Other party executives at the briefing said stakeholders reached a unanimous decision to expel Jibrin.

The House of Representatives had suspended Abdulmumin Jibrin for 180 legislative days after accusing Yakubu Dogara, the speaker, and some principal officers of the house of padding the 2016 budget, an allegation which those listed denied.

Apart from raising budget padding allegations, Jibrin had also ?said some lawmakers were not “worthy” to belong to the house.

Recall that earlier in the week, Jibrin was at the Abuja office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to answer questions bothering on the allegation. He was grilled for more than four hours and left at about 4pm.

The commission is set to invite House minority leader, Leo Ogor on Friday for questioning.

 

APC Expels Former House Appropriation Committee Chair, Abdulmumin Jibrin

The former chairman of the House of Representatives committe on appropriation, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin has been suspended by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The party chapter in Bebeji local government area of Kano state took the decision to suspend the lawmaker on Thursday.

Speaking on the suspension, the local government party chairman, Sani Ranka, said the suspension was as a result of the lawmaker’s alleged anti-party activities.

Details later…

Count Saraki Out Of Osun Local Politics – Kwara APC

The All Progressives Congress in Kwara State on Monday dissociated the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki from the local politics in Osun State.

Kwara APC has noted the irresponsible insinuations arising from the conduct of APC’s screening exercise for aspirants preparatory to Osun West Senatorial District bye-election.

The party has also noticed the failed attempt by a sponsored online platform to link the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki to the outcomes of the screening process.

By this press statement, the APC in Kwara State clearly declare that Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has no interest, either direct or remote, in the choice of APC candidate for Osun West Senatorial District bye-election.

Therefore, Dr. Saraki has no reason to move against anyone. In fact, Dr. Saraki did not move against anyone. He has no interest and played no role in the reported disqualification of any aspirant.

It should be noted that Dr. Saraki has never been accused of political meddlesomeness since he joined politics about 17 years ago. The irresponsible insinuation on the local politics of Osun State is, therefore, strange. It should be considered as outright falsehood.

Meanwhile, It should also be noted that this empty speculation is apparently being sponsored by those who are uncomfortable with the improved relationship between the Senate President and the party leadership across board.

The President of the Senate remains committed and focused on issues aimed at improving the standard of living of Nigerians. For him, this is not the time to play politics, but the time to work harder to consolidate on the landmark achievements and successes of the Nigerian Senate in the last two years.

Kwara Assembly Raising Bar Of Good Governance By Adebayo Abdullahi

When the 8th legislature of the Kwara state House of Assembly was inaugurated on Monday 8th June, 2015, following the proclamation by the state Governor Alhaji Abdul Fatah Ahmed, the current Speaker was unanimously elected to lead the 8th legislature.

Dr Ahmad, a former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Justice and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, said the task ahead was daunting in view of the prevailing economic recession, unprecedented increase in youth unemployment, and security challenges bedevilling the nation.

The Associate Professor of Law said the first arm of government in the state under his watch had no option than to set agenda to be accomplished within the stipulated period to justify the confidence reposed in the All Progressives Congress populated House of Assembly.

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

Dr Ahmad said as true representatives of the people who share the yearnings and aspirations of their various constituencies, the lawmakers must be creative in proffering short term solutions and enduring panacea to address their problems.

He promised to ensure that the Eighth Assembly under his watch, would not relent in providing platform for good governance and collaborate with the executive arm of government in ensuring protection of lives and property, ensure advancement of the people’s welfare and accelerate economic growth of the state.

The Speaker noted that the Eighth Legislature in the state, was unique as it a state House of Assembly without a single opposition. This, according to him, presents its own challenges of complacency, apathetic toleration and laid back attitude. He ,therefore ,stressed the need for the house to eschew drawback of consensus, saying that the consensus should be that the House was unified in ensuring transparency, as he said there should be no dissent in achieving the goal of accountability and good governance.

The legislature under the leadership of the Speaker assured that the House would be made to be a true House of people of all shades and orientation.

The head of the legislative arm of government in the state further promised to ensure that legislative intervention stimulate accelerated economic growth and development, pointing out that they would carry legislative assignments with thoroughness and dedication, fast track robust public hearing on all issues where stakeholders will have meaningful impact on how government function and collaborate with the state governor to quickly enact laws that would further rid the state of miscreants, drug addicts and cultists.

This write up therefore intends to examine the extent to which the 8th Legislature under the watch of an Associate Professor of Law and Lawmaker per excellence has been people oriented; to what extent has it been able to perform its constitutional responsibility of serving as the conscience of the people; check  the executive arm of government and provide platform for good governance in the state or better put, examine the extent to which the current legislature which is now mid way in its tenure attains it’s set goals and what legislative interventions have been provided by the current legislature to consolidate on what has been achieved; what  has been the feedback from the people they are representing, especially the opposition?

Also, a cursory look at the relationship of the House with the other arms of government, especially the executive, in the task of raising the bar of good governances in the State is explored.

ACHIEVEMENTS

The House which commenced full legislature session immediately after its inauguration, proved that it means business, by recording an unprecedented feat of sponsoring the first private bills since the inception of the House of Assembly in 1979. It is a bill for a Law on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill 2015 sponsored by a member representing Gweria, Bani, Adena Constituency, Hon. Baziki Suleiman.

The 8th Legislature however made history on 16th march 2017 when it finally passed the first Private Bill, a Bill for a Law to Establish Kwara State Health Insurance Agency and Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, sponsored by a member representing Kaiama/Kemanji/ Wajibe Constituency, Hoan. Ahmed Ibn Mohammed.

Other Private Bills sponsored by members of the current Legislature are People With Disabilities Bill 2016 by Hon. Aisat Boduarin Ibrahim representing Ilorin East Constituency, which has also been passed into law, while Prohibition Against Manufacture Sales and Consumption of Liquor in certain Areas of Ilorin Metropolis) Bill 2017 sponsored by a member representing Ilorin North West Constituency Hon Abdul Rafiu Abdul Rahman is still undergoing legislative process.

The State Health Insurance Scheme Bill which has been assented to by  Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed seeks to make all segments of the state have access to affordable quality health care delivery with payment of just N500 premium in five years, while Persons with Disabilities Bill intends to outlaw any form of discrimination against People with Disabilities, especially in terms of gainful employment opportunities, having access to government basic infrastructural facilities and cheçk stigmatization against them .

Equally, the pro active nature of the Legislature manifested in giving legal backing to the establishment of the State Internal Reverence Service to enable the state government to be less dependent on the Federation Account for survival. This feat on 26th April, 2016 empowered the state government to successfully carry on  with the business of governance during the economic recession which rendered most states of the federation incapacitated of paying workers’ salaries and pensions and gratuities, talk less of executing projects for the wellbeing of the people who voted them into power.

Apart from passing 14 Bills into law within the last 24 calendar months, 4 other Bills are currently at the final stage of passage into law, while 7 other Bills have passed through the First Reading stage.

The 8th Legislature under the leadership of the Speaker in the bid to ensure that laws enacted by the House were practicable and stand the test of time increased stakeholders’ participation in Public Hearings and inputs emanating from such public hearings were mostly reflected in the final passage of such Bills.Some of the Bills that had scaled through Legislative hurdle and had been assented to by the State Chief Executive have started having meaningful impacts on the people of the state.

Such Bills include Kwara State Revenue Administration (Amendment) Bill 2016, Kwara State Revenue Court (Amendment) Bill 2016, Secret Cult and Secret Societies (Prohibition) Bill 2016, Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme 2016, Kwara State Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education ( Amendment) Bill 2016, Kwara State Land Charge Court (Amendment)Bill 2016 and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision)(Amendment) Bill 2016.

The Legislature is also at the verge of passing 11 bills into law as the House had conducted all inclusive Public Hearings on each of the affected bills. The bills include Public Procurement Bill which seeks ,among other things, to increase mobilization fee to between 30% and 50%, a bill giving legal backing to the State Internal Revenue Service under the Revenue Court Amendment Bill,ex perte against defaulters, to enable the IRS maximize its  revenue collection ability, since the house has vowed not to allow increase in tax rate for the time being.

The Urban and Regional Planning and Development Bill before the House is a fallout of the experience of the Assembly with strong cabals in the planning and development industry, as the house had tried to control illegal petrol stations and other illegal changes to land uses.
The bill is geared towards correcting the weak laws in the sector and complement the People With Disabilities Bill just passed by the House to enrich the lives of the vulnerable people.

Equally, the signature and most revolutionary law in the history of criminal Justice administration in Nigeria is the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which our darling Speaker single handedly sponsored to apply across Federal Courts in Nigeria during his days at the National Assembly. Kwara State is now ready to enact the law in its newest and most progressive version.

Abubakar Sola Saraki University Bill which seeks to include Attorney General in its Governing Council, while other bills concerning hoteliers, hospitality and tourism industry, licensing for quarry and industrial goods and levy for manufacturing processing are also in the works.

The 8th Assembly has equally through its —Motions and  over 200 Resolutions arising from Public Petitions, Matters of Urgent Public Importance and Matters of General Public Importance significantly assisted in ensuring that relevant government agencies, governments at all levels, corporate organizations and individuals live up to people’s expectations of addressing the yearnings of the people of the state.

These include Extortion of Pilgrims for Free Saudi Arabia Visas, Proliferation of Petrol Stations in Residential Areas in Ilorin Metropolis in which 6 Filling Stations were unanimously resolved by the House through its resolutions, that they should be demolished to the forestall loss of lives and valuable property of the helpless downtrodden of  Ilorin, the speaker state capital.

The House equally succeeded in drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the deplorable Ilorin-Jebba Highway by collaborating with the Niger State House Of Assembly in moving the sessions of the two Legislative arm of government to the highway.

This, no doubt prompted the immediate response of the Federal Government in rehabilitating the highway which links southern and northern part of the country as well as the nation’s capital city.

It also resolved the contradiction arising from Issuance of Certificates of Local Government Origin, resolved motion in respect of Promoting the Welfare of Widows in the State; Appraisal of Corporate Social Responsibility of Companies and Industries in the state; Need for Awareness on Fire Prevention and Control; Need For Full Autonomy for the Judiciary of Kwara State; Putting Oke-Oyi Silos into use to ensure food Security; Extending the services of the Kwara State Road Traffic Management Agency(KWARTMA) to other cities in the State; Utilizing the Multi Million naira state of the art Vocational Centre in Ajase-Ipo; Urgent attention on Kaiama–Kishi road;  Need for the Construction of Second River Niger Bridge in Edu Local Government Area of the state and Need to check Indiscriminate Parking of Trailers in Oko–Olowo Area of Ilorin.

PASSAGE OF APPROPRIATION BILLS:
Equally the House has not been found wanting in the performance of its cardinal function of passing Appropriation Bills into law to enable the executive arm of government embark on both Capital Projects and Recurrent Expenditure which would, among other things, improve the quality of lives of the electorate, as members had always handled the passage of budget vigorously and with tenacity of purpose to make its implementation by the executive easier, hence the Speaker personally supervises  budget defence by Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in 2016, to ensure that  the 2016 budget model serves as template for the subsequent years.

The Speaker had in his opening remark at the 2016  budget defense, insisted vehemently that budget should be reality based by not unnecessarily bogus, adding that passing practicable budget determines the success or otherwise of any legislative arm of government.

Members equally during 2017 budget defense by MDAs raised critical  questions inspite of the fact that all the 24 members belong to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)and sought for verifiable explanations, new proposals to reflect the aspirations of the State Governor of using agriculture to stimulate sustainable economic development, job and wealth creation and food security for the people and  address the yearnings of the people of the State.

The Legislators were particularly dissatisfied with allocation of N133m to the agricultural sector, non inclusion of Owu f Fall road project, low allocation for payment of Bursary/Scholarship to indigent students of Kwara state in tertiary institutions across the country, Light Up Kwara project and unanimously resolved that allocation to agriculture sector be increased to N6.76m to enable peasant farmers have access to agric loan, tractor hiring scheme, fadama III project and other services that would boost food production in the State.

Apart from ensuring that for the first time communities initiated projects to be executed in their localities, the House ensured that Capital Expenditure takes the larger part of 2017 budget and resolved to be conducting oversight function quarterly for better appraisal and transform, the budget of hope into reality to enhance the wellbeing of the people of the state.

LEGISLATIVE INTERVENTIONS:
The current legislature had on several occasions intervened in resolving industrial disputes between the state government and labour unions to restore industrial harmony in the State. Examples of such interventions are the industrial crisis between the state government and staffers of the state owned tertiary institutions, industrial disputes between government and the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).

The Speaker equally demonstrated that he felt the pains of Basic Education Teachers and Local Government Employees not receiving salaries for months when he personally donated hundreds of bags of food items to cushion the effects of the harsh economic reality. To show that, security of lives and property were paramount to the legislative arm of government, the speaker recently personally donated mobility to the Ilorin East and Ilorin South chapters of the Vigilante Groups of Nigeria to enhance their surveillance.

 The former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of the State, showed his passion for teeming youths of the state to be gainfully employed when he established Free Computer Literacy and Free Internet Browsing Programme for youths in his constituency. He also successfully hosted Kwara State indigenes who bagged first class degree award in Universities across the Country, to inspire others and encourage more academic excellence in various disciplines of educational pursuit.

HOSTING OF CONFERENCE OF SPEAKERS OF STATE HOUSES OF ASSEMBLY:
The Legislature also within the period under review successfully hosted Conference of Speakers of State Houses of Assembly and Workshop on adoption of Dr. Ali Ahmad sponsored Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) by State Governments.

FEEDBACK:
The World Vice Chairman of Global Industrial Union (IGU) Comrade Issa Aremu in his assessment of the current Legislature in the state said the Speaker had put his wealth of experience into bar in making the legislature in the state the conscience of the people and succeeded in making democracy more meaningful to average Nigerian.

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in the State, through their Chairmen Comrades Yekini Agunbiade and Kola Olumoh noted  that the 8th Legislature under the watch of the speaker had demonstrated that it is a true Peoples’ Assembly and urged it to sustain the tempo to further reinforce the peoples’ confidence in it.

The State Chairmen of the Nigerian Union Teachers and National Union of Local Government Employees described the current Legislature as responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the People of the State.

The opposition members, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its weekly Radio Programme ” PDP Gbode”, on several occasions noted with delight that the legislature had served as effective check on the executive arm of government, as the lawmakers, they noted, had been critical of the executive arm of government, where necessary.

The state Governor, Alhaji AbdulFatah Ahmed, during his signing of 2017 budget into law, described the current legislature as one of the most vibrant Houses of Assembly in Nigeria, noting that the legislative arm of government had been a source of inspiration for raising the bar of good governance in the State.

As the 8th legislature begins the second lap of its 4years mandate, it is reassuring to echo the position and assurance of the leadership and members that in a every circumstance the House will remain the Assembly of the people
of Kwara State.

The Barrage Of Bile Against Tambuwal By Saifullahi Abubakar

It is normal for a public figure, a successful one for that matter, to attract occasional sneer, derision or outright envy. But it is abnormal when such a thing is turned into an organised mob of muckrakers with a mandate to smear the target personality by every available spit they could get. This is the case with an on-going mudslinging against Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, using the free passage of all garbage offered by the handy social media.

A recent example of such trashy offerings; one that went viral on account of the key words deliberately used to attract curious readers and to easily smear is titled “Tambuwal and the politics of Buhari’s illness,” penned under an obvious pseudonym of Mamman Abdullahi. The mudslingers got a lot of people there: Tambuwal, politics and the ill health of President Muhammadu Buhari. Ordinarily, people would want to find out what links a respected personality like Governor Tambuwal with the health condition of the president and, more still, the alleged politics of it.

However, from the very first sentence of the piece, the emotion of the hatched men is laid bare. The intent, as the opening line crudely puts it, is to paint Tambuwal’s 30 years of public life as one characterised by “betrayals and treachery”. The rest of the malignant article rode along this line. Lies upon lies are lined up; spun from contemporaneous events and purported historical antecedents of Tambuwal to paint him – as the agenda setting first line puts it – a betrayer and treacherous person.

The instinct initially was to laugh this off and move on, as one of those things politicians often encounter. However, on a second thought one is tempted to put out a response because the professional liar who authored the faceless hogwash presented tissues of lies in a way that may look factual to unsuspecting public who knows not.

First, let me say that I am an innocent bystander in this issue. I am intervening because I knowledgeable enough about most of the issues raised in the initial article. I am not holding brief for Tambuwal, and the fact that he knows nothing about this work gives me the pleasure to state what I know without inhibitions or guidance from him. The said article stands on no factual ground. It is sheer concoctions. At best, it is not more than a spectacular fictional narrative skewed together by a fertile mind with agenda for grave mischief. To accuse Tambuwal of selling himself to be appointed as vice president – a vacancy that does not exist, is not only funny but a clear assault on truth, and on the man’s personality and intelligence. In truth, chasing shadows (which is what vying for a non-existent post is) is the least thing that can be inferred in Tambuwal’s dealings as a public servant.

Additionally, from the searchlight some of us have kept on him over the years, Tambuwal is a man of faith with a strong sense of gratitude to the almighty who elevated him from being a legislative aide to first, Nigeria’s Number Four position, and now the first citizen of his state. This has never been lost on the Tambuwal that I know. For him, and all people of faith, chasing after another thing when you are not half-way into what God almighty blessed you with is some mark of ingratitude. For emphasis, Tambuwal has never had divided attention since assuming the position of the Governor of Sokoto State. He has executed his mandate in such a way that today, midway into his first term of four years, the consensus in Sokoto is for him to carry on for additional term.

It should also be stated that as someone who has been actively involved in politics since the beginning of this dispensation, Tambuwal has developed extensive network of friends, associates and admirers, so it is foolish and mischievous for any of his engagements with such associates to be interpreted in any narrow manner. From his time in the National Assembly, it is clearly evident that it is in his nature not to abandon his friends because of the trappings of power.

Will Tambuwal work to undermine Buhari? Certainly not! Recently, a story of Tambuwal’s 2012 visit to the then opposition leader, Buhari in Kaduna was shared online. That year, Buhari had returned from a medical trip and Tambuwal, as Speaker, led some of his colleagues to Buhari’s house for a sympathy visit. Not a few in the Green Chamber, especially those of the ruling party, raised eyebrows at the visit. Their thinking was that as a member of the PDP, Tambuwal should not be seen publicly hobnobbing with Buhari. But Tambuwal stood his ground and insisted that politics aside, Buhari, being a former Head of State, deserved respect and recognition.

As if sensing the little controversy the visit would elicit, Buhari asked Tambuwal why he wasn’t afraid to visit with a full compliments of reporters. “We’re here to see how you are feeling and to pray to Allah for bringing you back home safely,” the Speaker told him. At the end of the visit, Buhari thanked Tambuwal profusely; saying for identifying with him when it was risky to do that, Tambuwal had shown genuine concern for his well-being. He also prayed for him as he departed.

I brought this issue to show the bond, and respect between the two leaders.

While the writer and his sponsors ignorantly dropped the name of Abubakar Shehu Tambuwal in a bid to deceive the readers, we were all living witnesses to Shehu’s directive to his supporters to support the candidature of Tambuwal during the last electioneering campaigns in Sokoto even though they don’t belong to the same parties. If Abubakar Shehu Tambuwal has issues with Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, would he have supported him against his party in 2015?

Tambuwal’s brand of politics is one that embraces friends and foes alike. It is in public domain that the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, was one of the staunchest opponents of Tambuwal when he aspired to lead the lower legislative House in the year 2011. But immediately he won the election, Tambuwal made Dogara the chairman of the all-important House Services Committee. His opponent in that election, Mulikat Adeola-Akande, was made the Majority Leader, the first time a Female would hold such an important position in the country.

Do I need to remind us of Tambuwal’s relationship with former President Olusegun Obasanjo? After kicking against against Tambuwal’s emergence as Speaker, Obasanjo eventually became one of Tambuwal’s mentors and he had this to say a few days ago in Abeokuta: “Mr Governor, I would apologize that I am going to embarrass you small. When you emerged as the Speaker (in 2011), you know I was not satisfied; because that was not the arrangement of the then PDP. It was the former administration and the then leadership that did that and I expressed my view. When you came to me, I told you that you were not the problem, but the party then. I told you that I am pleased by the reports I got of you as the speaker, and again I am still getting good report of you in your state. You are one of the examples of the youth that have been doing well in politics.”

One person who cherishes Tambuwal’s political dexterity is the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu. Despite the seeming differences of opinion following the election of principal officers of the National Assembly last year, Tinubu had this to say about Tambuwal when he visited Sokoto for an event at Usmanu Danfodio University: “Governor Aminu Tambuwal represents the new hope of a new progressive political era. The people of Sokoto made a good choice in electing him governor. A man of and for the people and a true patriot, his commitment to advance the welfare of the people is remarkable. We must support him in his mission to bring greater development and prosperity to Sokoto for the benefit of all of her people.”

Adjudging Tambuwal as a betrayer because of changing political allegiances is a mark of political ignorance and dishonesty on the part of the mudslingers. Politics is opportunity and all politicians vie for opportunity to serve and to work with like-minds. If a platform or political alliance looses focus, is collapsing or no longer viable, it is unwise to wait for the roof to collapse on one’s head. President Muhammadu Buhari, for example, moved from the ANPP when it was obvious he was being frustrated internally, to form the CPC. And when CPC proved impotent as a political machinery to achieve his ambition for the nation, he collapsed into the alliance that formed the APC. There is nothing wrong with such moves.

Also, such political steps are sometimes taken out of patriotism as exemplified in the 2014 mass action against the unpatriotic PDP regime, in which Tambuwal incidentally played a prominent role to the admiration of vast majority of Nigerians.

One is entitled to disagree or even hate Governor Tambuwal for whatever personal reason, but the allegations labeled against him is almost the zenith such malicious undertaking could attain. It is not just because Tambuwal’s name is smeared but also because of the dangerous namedropping and dragging of the names of very important and responsible personalities just to achieve the sinister aim of portraying Tambuwal – who from all indications, is minding his business – in a very bad light.

*Saifullahi Abubakar, a Quantity Surveyor, wrote from Aso Drive, Abuja

Rep Member Urges FG To Declare State Of Emergency On Insecurity

Deputy Whip of the House of Representatives, Pally Iriase, has called on the Federal Government to declare state of emergency on insecurity as killings, kidnappings and raping continue unabated across the county.

Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, the Deputy Whip said that  residents of Owan East and West, Etsako and Akoko local government areas in Edo State were under siege by the bandits.

He said that the bandits carried sophisticated weapons like AK47 and machine guns.

Iriase, who represents Owan East/West Federal Constituency, alleged that the military and police had their barracks in the areas where these `agents of death’ carry out their activities.

He contended that there may be some connections between Boko Haram insurgents dislodged from the North-East and the bandits going by the sophisticated weapons they carry.

He said that the police with regular weapons and vigilance group carrying locally made guns could not match the bandits with their sophisticated weapons. The lawmaker advised the military and other security agencies to collaborate to curtail the activities of the invaders.

He said: “I will support the call for state of emergency on security. “If state of emergency is declared nationwide, all these statements and threats will be taken care of.

“These bandits may well be the terrorist gangs dislodged from the North-East judging by the sophisticated weapons they carry and the way they are kidnapping and collecting ransom from victims.

“If their activities are not checked, what we are experiencing in the North-East may be transferred to South-south.” Asked if the bandits were not local people disguising as Fulani herdsmen, Iriase said, “these people are not local people.

“If they are, they will be carrying local weapons; but these people carry AK47 and machine guns and they are sharp shooters.” He urged the federal government to take urgent step to address the development.

He alleged that the ransom the bandits were collecting was being used to fund other camps to execute deadly attacks. Iriase described the quit notice issued by Arewa youths to Ibos living in the north as “the most irresponsible statement ever made by a group.’’

APC Commends Northern Leaders For Stand Against Arewa Youths

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has commend the proactive and decisive action taken by northern governors and political leaders on the recent ultimatum and declaration by a so-called Arewa Youth Consultative Forum.

 National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi said: “We are delighted to see that the pressures mounted by the various leaders have forced the group to reverse its misguided ultimatum and threats.

However, our party remain disturbed by the increasing spate of separatist agitations by individuals and groups in the country.

While we affirm the inalienable rights of citizens and groups to agitate for legitimate causes as a key ingredient of participatory democracy, we believe that such agitations should be guided by the extant laws of the country and established democratic norms.

They must be peaceful and demonstrate respect for the constitutional rights of other citizens who may not share in their separatist aspirations.”

Bolaji said the nature and content of recent agitations clearly transcends the boundaries of the law and exceeds the limits of freedom of speech and therefore, patently inimical to national cohesion and the sustenance of our hard-earned democracy.

“The National Assembly, the courts and several lawful avenues are available to citizens, groups and sundry interests to make change, seek redress and advance legitimate causes.

“Therefore, we call on agitators to either join a political party which shares their ideology or form a new party to push their cause.

“For emphasis, APC strongly condemns any utterance, ultimatum or actions that threaten the corporate existence of our country.” He said.

The spokesman said the Party is hopeful that various security agencies will investigate and prosecute promoters and sponsors of these provocative, divisive, inciting and undemocratic declarations and actions.

“We express our firm belief that despite our challenges, our strength as a country lies in the diversity of our peoples. This we must use to our advantage in our quest to lift the country to its deserved heights.

“We hereby call on political leaders in the South East to emulate their northern counterparts by reining in separatist agitators in the region and arresting the spate of provocative and inciting declarations and actions.

“This is the leadership responsibility imposed on them by the positions they occupy. We are disappointed to see that non-state actors could effectively subvert civil order in the face of duly constituted political authorities. Certainly, this unfortunate situation cannot be allowed to repeat itself.” He added

Form A Political Party And Push Your Agenda” – APC Tells IPOB, MASSOB

The All Progressives Congress(APC) has issued a word of advice to two pro-biafra groups, The Indigenous people of Biafra(IPOB) and Movement for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra(MASSOB).

The ruling party, in a statement released on Thursday, advised the groups to join a political party or form a new one in order to ‘push their cause’ rather than opting for secession. This is coming a day after the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum(AYCF) issued an ultimatum to Igbos to leave all 19 northern states before October 1st, 2017.

In the statement, signed by the spokesman of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, the APC condemned the move, describing it as undemocratic.

The statement read in part;
“As a party, we submit to the inalienable right of citizens and groups to agitate for a legitimate cause. However, there are lawful laid down procedures for any form of agitation in a democracy. We observe that the nature and content of recent agitations clearly transcend the boundaries of the law and exceeds the limits of freedom of speech,”

“While agitations on many contentious issues in the polity are normal and key ingredients of the participatory democracy which the APC stands for and defends, such agitations must be peaceful and show respect for the constitutional rights of other citizens. The national assembly, the courts and several lawful avenues are available to citizens, groups and sundry interests to make a change, seek redress and advance legitimate causes. Therefore, we call on agitators to either join a political party which shares their ideology or form a new party to push their cause.

“The APC strongly condemns any utterance, ultimatum or actions that threaten our corporate existence as a country. The party is confident that our security agencies will investigate and prosecute promoters and sponsors of these provocative, divisive, inciting and undemocratic declarations and actions.”

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