Offa Robbery Case Will Be Reactivated – Kwara Governor-Elect Vows

Governor-elect of Kwara, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has promised to interface with the police to ensure that those implicated in Offa robbery were promptly prosecuted.

He said that he would ensure that the judicial process was logically concluded and perpetrators brought to book.

Abdulrazaq made the pledge at a media briefing on Sunday night in Ilorin where he delivered his acceptance speech amidst All Progressive Congress (APC) party supporters.

He noted that the state had become so insecure to the extent that banking operations had been suspended in the entire Kwara South senatorial zone, after the Offa robbery saga,

“This development is seriously affecting the economic development in the zone. We will interface with the Police to address the challenge of insecurity

“The Offa robbery where 33 people were killed, based on police investigation was linked to top government officials,’’ he said.

He also pledged that his administration will be accountable to the people and will not steal or loot the state’s treasury.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially declared Abdulrazaq of APC winner of the Saturday governorship election having polled a total of 331,546 votes to defeat Abdulrazaq Atunwa of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 114,754 votes.

APC also won all the 24 seats in the Kwara House of Assembly.

The governor-elect said that his administration would interface with the people across the three senatorial zones of the state from bottom to top and ensure that the people determine what government would do for them.

He said his government would be people-oriented because it was the first time since 1999 that Kwara peoples’ votes counted and their will come to pass.

Abdulrazaq said that in line with the party manifesto, his administration would place priority attention to security, agriculture, education and infrastructure development.

Abdulrazaq said that Kwara being an agrarian state, his administration would pay attention to farming and agro processing.

Specifically, he said the state would among other crops, increase cashew production and processing for export to create employment and increase internally generated revenue.

The governor-elect lamented the poor state of infrastructure in public schools in the state as well as non-payment of salaries of teachers and other civil servants, and assured to reverse the trend.

“We will set up a transition committee that will interface with the government and we will have a forensic audit of the paying system to formulate new policies.

“We will organise health care summit. Education summit and special summit on how to improve the state infrastructure,’’ he said.

Abdulrazaq reassured the traditional institution in the state that, contrary to the news making the round, his administration will not demote any traditional ruler but will work with them and count on their useful advice.

Recall that the Police authorities said the Senate President, Bukola Saraki had questions to answer on the robbery case.

(NAN)

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

An Award Winning Political Slogan, By Babafemi Ojudu

O TO GE, the battle cry by Kwarans in the last election wins my prize for the best slogan of this election.

Whoever came up with it is a genius and should be celebrated. No word captures their aspiration better than this . It’s equivalent in English is Enough is Enough. This does not adequately capture it nuances. Only a Wole Soyinka could provide an adequate translation.

The slogan reverberated across the country like a wild fire in a dry season. It resonated in a manner no one could ignore. Political communicators will for long see it as very effective as Wet e, the slogans Yoruba of South West used in their resistance of Ladoke Akintola during the political crises of the mid 1960s.

Did Kwarans lived up to their cry? Ask Sen Bukola Saraki, the one known as Oloye ,who scampered out of Ilorin as soon as results trickled in yesterday.

For weeks he was welcomed to Ilorin at the airport with the slogan and pursued all over the towns and villages with it as he campaigned for himself and Atiku to become a Senator and President respectively. It was a humiliating and humbling time for a man who had been the major domo of a political legacy handed over to him by his father.

Yesterday he was chased up to the airport with the shout of Ole! Ole! O To Ge, that is Thief! Thief! Enough is Enough. Certainly not a good way to end a political career. This is what happens when humans play God. It always end in disaster. It shall too for every other politician or ruler with such proclivity.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Yoruba Groups Blame Atiku, Saraki For Attacks On Osinbajo

A coalition of 45 Pan Yoruba groups has blamed the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki for the shooting incidence during Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’ s visit to local communities in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The groups describe the attack as an assassination attempt on the Vice President.

In a statement on Friday, the groups which earlier issued a proclamation supporting Osinbajo said the PDP leading politicians are plotting to harm and eliminate the Vice President.

It said Atiku and Saraki were desperate to portray Prof Osinbajo-s visit to Alamu Aluko in Ilorin as riotous and violent so as to fuel the impression that he was an unwanted guest in Kwara State.

The Pan Yoruba groups also accused the Government of Kwara State of complicity in the armed attack against the VP saying that as the host, the Kwara State Governor should have provided adequate security instead of exposing the VP to death by the gun. Two people were shot during the organised and premeditated incidence

” The atack on the Vice President Prof Osinbajo at Ilorin is nothing but an assassination attempt. We hold the PDP leaders represented by Atiku and his soul mate Saraki responsible for the dastardly and cowardly acts. From reports available to us, there was a conscious effort to kill the VP in order to put his victory and that of his party on Saturday in disarray and further hurt the Yoruba Nation”, the statement signed by Diran Obalola of Ibile Movement, Raham Adekunle of Oodua Peoples Congress, (OPC), Wale Balogun of Yoruba Revolutiinary Movement, (YOREM) Ayodele Rasaq, Assistant Secretary, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, (ONAC) and leaders of 42 other groups.

The groups described the incidence as a rehearsal of PDP plots in the coming days.

It described Atiku and Saraki as notorious for their hate and prejudice against the Yoruba people adding that it is a known fact that Atiku, Saraki and the current PDP national leadership hate the Yoruba with unhidden bitterness.

The groups said ” We are watching with keen interest the plot against the Yoruba Nation by the PDP leadership. It is not a new plot. The latest armed attack in the VP by PDP thugs was a clear attempt by Atiku, Saraki and his thugs to kill the VP.

It shows the level of desperation and wicked determination to set Nigeia on the path of anarchy”

It said “Atiku, Saraki and their tendency represent evil, murder and all known atrocious cultures. We warn that Atiku, Saraki
and their cronies will be held responsible if anything happens to the VP”

The group again reiterated it’s determination to resist plans by the opposition to create post election chaos

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Revealed: How Saraki Masterminded Election Postponement

It has been revealed that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki masterminded the postponement of the Presidential elections.

In a desperate move, Saraki is reported to have warned the INEC Chairman that if he was not going to furnish him with slots to nominate persons to sensitive INEC positions he would frustrate the passage of his budget.

A source close to the INEC Chairman disclosed that the National Assembly deliberately refused to touch INEC’s budget up until November 2018, knowing that his budget was to be sourced from borrowed funds.

“This plot was masterminded by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki to perfect the rigging plans of the PDP, either by having his way with his nominees or by delaying the elections and frustrating INEC.” the source revealed.

It is recalled that funds were not disbursed until December 2018, this made things difficult for INEC which had to import some of its electoral materials.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Kwara North Accord: Whether Pharaoh Or Saraki, Despots Are The Same! By Ibrahim Hamman-Pategi

History often repeats itself. Historical scenarios reoccur in almost the same pattern, even though the dramatis personae may not necessarily be the same. The recent political happenings in Kwara State bear serious semblance with the events of the last years of Pharaoh in the ancient Egypt.

Accounts by the holy books recorded how Pharaoh, having rejected God’s signs amid unprecedented ill-treatment of the Israelis and the prospect of God’s wrath ending his ignoble reign, started devising all tricks and delay tactics to continue his wayward conducts and arrogance.

Each time God sent down his punishment in return for his recalcitrance, Pharaoh would pledge to turn a new leaf and ask Moses to kindly intercede for him so that God can lift his anger! Exploiting God’s unparalleled forbearance, he continued this tricky habit amid cocky conducts until God finally drowned him and his goons in the sea.

Pray, save for the difference in name, place and time, is there any difference between Egypt’s Pharaoh and Kwara’s Bukola Saraki, who recently claimed to have inherited this state from his late father? I was travelling in a cab in Ilorin two weeks ago when a conversation ensued on the future of Kwara.

The cab driver refused to join the conversation. Challenged to contribute to the talk, the man yelled that he has children and a wife to look after and cannot afford being traced and silenced for his opinion on the goings-on in Kwara. This is a trend in the town, and across the state, where people have been intimidated for so long.

They have seen critics of Saraki’s politics getting killed. In many parts of Ilorin and elsewhere, Saraki’s thugs walk the streets with guns and weapons unchallenged. Led by the Bayo Ajias and the Ariyos, they often visit the homes of potential opponents to the dynasty to drop some warnings the Don Corleone way. Are you seeing a semblance to Pharaoh’s rule?

But, like Pharaoh’s hegemony, Saraki’s stranglehold on Kwara is breaking and he is, like Pharaoh, trying all the tricks in the book to prevent the dynasty from crumbling. He started by deploying massive violence on Ilorin and tried to blame it on the opposition — a rehash of the tactics used against Muhammad Lawal in 2003. While many people in and outside of Kwara appear to be aware of this tactic, there’s no telling that Saraki would back down from using it, no matter how many lives get lost in the process.

As a corollary to that, Saraki’s henchmen issued a statement at the weekend announcing that he had sealed a pact with traditional rulers in Kwara North. The pact, it is said, will see Saraki ceding governorship slot to Kwara north in 2023 in exchange for the traditional rulers mobilising their people to back Saraki’s proposed ‘viceroy’ Razaq Atunwa in the March 2 2019 governorship poll.

It is a very desperate measure which exposes a few things about Saraki. One, it confirmed that he is seriously shaken by the wave of opposition to his grip, especially so by the candidature of APC’s AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq. Like Pharaoh, Saraki fears losing power which he used for his grandiose lifestyle. Two, like Pharaoh, Saraki doesn’t believe in God as his arrogant posturing reveals.

No true believer talks about deciding what happens tomorrow, much less what happens in the next four years (2023). What made him think he will live until May 2019, much less 2023? Three, Saraki is a despicable gambler who sees the Kwara people as a game of chess. He even tried to manipulate the traditional rulers in his political chess game of deceit and brutality.

The reason Saraki has been running from pillar to post is simple. His reign has been a curse to the people of Kwara. Most of the state’s properties and businesses he inherited as a governor have been sold to himself or his cronies. As his lackey Atunwa confessed in a statement yielding to the pact (as if he had any say, anyway), Kwara north has been in the backwater of development. Atunwa was actually saying the truth that applies to all of Kwara which has one of the country’s lowest development indices. All of these explain the ongoing revolt against him.

Now, without underrating Saraki’s ability to cajole people and blackmail our poor traditional leaders, there are two issues our people of Kwara North must consider. One, how reliable is Bukola Saraki as an individual and as a politician? What is his history? Can they sensibly rely on him?

What were the outcomes of his last promises to Kwara North? Can our traditional rulers and people please ask Bio Ibrahim to tell his experience about the worth of Bukola Saraki’s promise? If he was so ‘mad’ about conceding governorship slot to Kwara North, why didn’t he simply allow Senator Shiaba Lafiagi, a son of Kwara North who came second in the PDP’s dubious primaries, to replace Atunwa who has been found to forge his National Youth Service Corps certificate? Is Saraki believable? The answers are a resounding no.

Two, let us assume that Saraki will live till 2023 and will fulfil his promise to Kwara north. He would handpick one of his lackeys as the candidate and make him his next viceroy. Now, I invite our people to ask Kwara South elders what their experience has been with Abdulfatah Ahmed, one of their sons who Saraki had handpicked to become governor in 2011.

Despite warnings from within the Kwara South against backing anything from Saraki, the majority fell for his trick. Eight years down the line, the region is now worse off as Ahmed not only couldn’t do anything for the region, he has wasted a slot which Kwara south elders and people felt could accelerate development statewide. They had thought Ahmed would be an executive governor who would operate independent of the leech called Saraki. They were wrong! The latest antics of Saraki are no different from those of Pharaoh. Ultimately, Saraki will remain Saraki. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

The time has come in the political history of this state that everybody must say no to anything that comes from Saraki. I dare say the options before our people have never been clearer: reject Saraki and anything related to his prebendal politics in exchange for a prosperous Kwara that promises equal sociopolitical opportunities or embrace him to further entrench a regime of under development, poverty and repression.

Hamman-Pategi writes from Edu Local government area of Kwara State.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Stop Dancing On The Graves Of Offa Robbery Victims, Minister Warns Saraki

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
warned the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to stop dancing on the
graves of the innocent souls who died in the April 5, 2018 armed
robbery attack in Offa.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by his media aide, Mr. Segun
Adeyemi, the Minister repeated his earlier warning against playing
politics with the unfortunate incident, after Dr. Saraki said in a
radio interview that he donated 10 million Naira when he visited Offa
to commiserate with the people in the aftermath of the robbery, even
when (he said) the amount that was stolen from the robbed banks’
vaults was 7 million Naira.

The Minister said the overly aggressive and crude response by Dr.
Saraki to that warning has shown that he is not ready to heed the
admonition, hence the need to re-state it, and to condemn any attempt
to denominate human lives in Naira and Kobo.

Alhaji Mohammed said that in the wake of his warning, the apparently
embarrassing radio interview was hurriedly edited to remove all
references to the Offa robbery and then re-aired across Kwara state.

”Instead of stopping at that, which in itself constitutes an
acceptance of wrong-doing, Dr. Saraki went ahead to hurl insults at
me, even when I have been largely restrained in issuing my earlier
warning. Had I not been restrained, I would have gone ahead to divulge
what actually transpired.

”For example, the claim by Dr. Saraki that he donated 10 million
Naira to care for the victims of the Offa robbery is patently false.
He did not! The 10 million he referred to was donated when the Offa
market got burnt, and it was made in Ilorin, not Offa. When Dr Saraki
visited Offa to commiserate with the community in the aftermath of the
robbery, he did not donate a dime! I challenge him to prove me wrong.

”But with politics in the air, the truth becomes the first casualty.
Realizing that he goofed, Dr. Bukola apparently caused the radio
interview in question to be edited to remove the donation reference,
and then re-aired. Is it not an irony that the people who engaged
in this egregious act of dishonesty are the same ones calling others
names?” the Minister queried.

He said he will continue to steer the debate on the political
developments in Kwara State to issues rather than exchange of personal
insults, which he has always been averse to.

”The people of Kwara, who are bone-tired of the long years of
‘bolekaja’ governance in the state, are all saying in one voice, ‘O to
ge’ (enough is enough), and will soon have the opportunity to express
their frustration with their votes,” the Minister said.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Thugs Allegedly Loyal To Saraki Invade Kwara Revenue House Over Unpaid Allowances

Suspected thugs allegedly loyal to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Wednesday, invaded the Kwara State Internally Generated Revenue office located at Commissioner’s Lodge Way in Ilorin, over their unpaid allowances.

According to a Twitter user with the handle @YAN_Lade the thugs popularly known as “GOOD BOYS” laid siege on the premises of the revenue agency till some undisclosed amounts of money was released for payment.

Recall that thugs wearing ‘PDP Atikulated T-shirts,’ and also reportedly loyal to Senate President Saraki, recently disrupted the federal government’s Trader Moni Scheme in Ilorin, the state capital.

The hoodlums stormed the Mandate and Ipata Market where petty traders had queued up to be enumerated by officials of the Bank of Industry (BOI) to disburse the N10,000 collateral free loans to them. Aside intimidating the traders, Trader Moni agents were also chased away by the thugs

The thugs insisted that the TraderMoni scheme could not be conducted, because the Senate President Bukola Saraki’s father donated the land to the state government to build the market. Calm was restored with the intervention of the police.

See pictures below:

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Thugs Allegedly Linked To Saraki Disrupt TraderMoni Scheme In Ilorin

Suspected thugs claiming to be supporters of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, invaded the mandate market and Ipata market in Ilorin, Kwara State, this morning, chasing away petty traders and TraderMoni agents from the markets, disturbing them from carrying on the business of disbursing money to beneficiaries of the TraderMoni scheme.
Eyewitness accounts said that as early as 9am, a small mob, some of them wearing PDP Atikulated T-shirts, stormed the market, led by Alhaja Gazali, insisting that the TraderMoni scheme cannot be conducted in the Mandate market, because the Senate President’s father was the one that donated the land on which the market was built to the government.
According to witnesses, including Bank of Industry (BOI) officials who were at the market to supervise the enumeration and disbursement of the N10,000 collateral free loans, the arrival of the mob caused an uproar in the Mandate market in Ilorin as many of the petty traders who were yet to receive their loans were annoyed that the thugs disrupted the process.
This led to chaos which forced the TraderMoni agents to escape as they were chased away by the thugs who were threatening, intimidating and harassing both the agents and the petty traders who had lined up to participate in the TraderMoni process.
Officials of the Bank of Industry also explained to newsmen that enumeration had been going on in two markets in Kwara State in the last few days and the vice president was expected in the markets on Friday, December 7 (today).
Eyewitness accounts said the thugs said to have been instigated by the Senate President had invaded the market this morning, were boasting that neither the Federal Government nor the VP can come and operate the TraderMoni scheme in a market that “belonged” to the Senate President.
At the Ipata market, where enumeration and disbursement of the TraderMoni loans was also going on, market leaders also reported that a call came about noon today from similar quarters asking the leaders of the market not to cooperate with the enumerators of the TraderMoni scheme. But the market leaders in Ipata insisted and the process of enumeration and disbursement in Ipata market reportedly proceeded without incident.
TraderMoni, which is part of the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) under GEEP, is designed to assist petty traders across the country expand their trade through the provision of collateral and interest-free loans from N10,000. The loans are repayable over a period of six months at which point the traders on repayment will receive a fresh N15,000 loan, which rises to N20,000 when repaid.
The microcredit scheme, which has since been formally launched nationwide and the FCT, is expected to reach 2 million petty traders by the end of the year.
NAN
[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

N3.5bn Fraud: Court Fixes Jan 10 For Trial Of Saraki’s Aide

The scheduled trial of Mr. Gbenga Makanjuola, a Deputy Chief of Staff to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, over alleged N3.5 billion Paris Clubs loan scam before a Federal High Court, Lagos, has been adjourned till January 10, 2019.

Makanjuola is on trial alongside Mr. Obiora Amobi and Kolawole Shittu, a cashier in the Senate President’s office and a company, Melrose General Services Limited, said to have been used as conduit-pipe in the alleged scam.

When the matter came up yesterday, both the prosecution, represented by Mr. Ekene Iheanacho and defence team, led by Mr. Paul Erokoro (SAN), were informed that the court would not sit due to an ongoing workshop for the judges in Abuja.

Consequently, at the agreement of both parties, January 10, 2019, was picked for the trial.

The EFCC had on October 7, 2018 arraigned the defendants on charges bordering on conspiracy and payment of some monies without going through financial institutions.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Saraki Explains Reasons Why He Is Against Buhari, Says “They Did Not Involve Us In Sharing”

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has explained why he is against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Saraki, while addressing his followers in Kwara State, stated that he is yet to benefit anything from the Buhari-led government despite the money he spent on his campaign in 2015.

Recall that Saraki, had in 2014, dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC), alongside some other Senators Shaba Lafiagi, Mohammed Ndume, Danjuma Goje, Abdullahi Adamu, Magnus Abe, and Wilson Ake.

However, in July 2018, the Senate President again announced his exit from the ruling party to the PDP, saying “inclusion and a general sense of belonging did not exist.”

In an audio recording of his Saraki’s address to his followers, he noted that the three and half years of the Buhari government have not been an easy one to him particularly in the area of empowerment.

His words: “All that you have complained about tonight is on point, I can not find anything you have said that is not on point, you complained about empowerment. Let us agree that the last 3 and a half years, things have not been easy at all, I agree and accept things have not been easy at all, particularly in the area of empowerment.

“Before 2015 I have always tried to empower the youth and get you involved in appointments, but this time around as a result of what I call human factor, things have not been the same, I believe it is the will of God. When you all are complaining and you give example of Gegele and co and you compare it to what is happening now, I am sure you are asking yourself, what is happening? how come all of you struggling with me are not rewarded, it is unacceptable.

“What is the point of putting everything into the emergence of a government and we could not benefit anything from the government, you are asking yourself, what have you benefited. If you have not benefited personally in the last 3 and a half years, how do you go to market us, wont people ask you what you have benefited for yourself?

“It got to a stage that people will be making fund of you and asking you what you have benefited, but what is happening from Abuja, use me as an example, in 2015 I carried APC on my head around Nigeria. Hardly any state in Nigeria that I did not campaign for President Buhari, up to the time of the election in 2015, out of 36 states I paid for the election of 30 states.

“Out of 36 states in Nigeria I funded Buhari’s campaign in 30 States; some states I paid 200 Million Naira, some 300 Million, some 400 Million, the only states I did not fund are South West States. Many times I will be calling my Banks to send money to fund elections across Nigeria for Buhari. My thinking was that when we get elected, the next thing is that we will get majority of our people appointments.

“In fact I had already promised some of you here that you will either be MD of Federal agencies, either road maintenance, NIPDA (inaudible) even Nigerian Ports Authority, SUBEB and so on and so forth. I know if I put someone amongst you from Kwara even in the smallest Federal agencies, the contract you will sign out, 1 Million, 2 Million, but for the first time that I have been in politics even speaker cant appoint a cleaner.

“I as President of the Senate, I could not even appoint a cleaner not to talk of Board appointment, if you look at Executive positions I have nothing even after spending Billions for 3 and a half years, I am as angry as you are. I am fighting President Buhari because of you, if it because of me I wont fight, it is not easy to fight the federal government, the sufferings you are all going trough is because they did not fulfil our agenda.

“In 2018 I told you all I wont be going with APC but in the last one or 2 months that I left I have been doing a lot for you people, my politics is for all of you, I am just here to empower you all, don’t mind the one who just bought form for 33 million. It was not my plan not to appoint you, when when David Mark was Senate President, every confirmation he made for the President came with something, if they really love us now you will be empowered.

“In the past we they have a cut for Senate President and Speaker but not anymore, so we are no longer going with APC as soon as we joined PDP they called me National Leader when I lost election Alhaji Atiku came to me immediately. Now we have seen the sign that if Atiku becomes President, things will come to us, he told me I am the only one that can run his campaign, I know it is not easy for you all, but let me assure you things will be better.

“God see my “aniyan” (Arabic word) now in PDP they have brought us closer, how many people in Kwara did APC bring together in Kwara, now we will soon have power, today in APC they want us to go to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in Lagos. If I am the only one in PDP I will fight alone, my Father made Kwara and took Kwara to the top 10 in Nigeria and I also took Kwara to between number 1 to 3 in Nigerian politics and they now want us to bow to Lagos.

“In the coming election we will put Youth into power in Kwara, let us take Hon. Atunwa as he his, he will take care of you all, all those who contested against him are loyal but Atunwa will….. inaudible. When I was Governor I gave a lot of young people contract, they buy land etc and then empower others, I want to return you to the days of when I was Governor when you were all enjoying, Atiku will open things when we win election.

“You know as a leader I see things that followers don’t see, when we followed Buhari, we felt after spending money, we saw that he failed to reward us, so we said this Baba is not coming back, no money, no patronage all over Nigeria. Even with all the problem we have with Buhari the little cut I get I always send to Kwara but I can tell you that we had to design a method to make the little we have, they did not involve us in sharing.

“The only agenda APC have for Kwara is to fight Bukola Saraki, they favour Osun State with empowerment, for the remaining time of Buhari we will still get some things, we gave them list for FIRS for three years they did not employ our list.

“Thank you for listening to me.”

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

PIGB: NASS To Mount Pressure For Presidential Assent — Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki has said the National Assembly will continue to mount  necessary  pressure to get  presidential assent on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB).

Saraki spoke at a dinner as part of activities at the ongoing 24th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the dinner which ended late in the night, was attended by trade experts, industrialists, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators and financial experts among other dignitaries.

According to Saraki, the resolve by the legislature to mount pressure to ensure the bill gets presidential assent has become necessary, given its importance to development of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had withheld assent on the PIGB following its passage by the National Assembly.

The President had also communicated its decline of assent to the PIGB 2018, citing constitutional and legal reasons in the bill.

The Senate president said that it was unfortunate that the bill had not been assented to, adding “we took it as a responsibility to drive that bill to a level it has never been in a decade’’.

“That bill, a lot of people when we started said we cannot do it, but we demonstrated we have the political will and the commitment to do it.

“We passed the governance bill and it went to the executive.

“What I expected considering the kind of work that was done was for us both arms to seat down, because the issues that were raised are not issues that are not surmountable.

“Unfortunately, after so many months, the bill has come back with query that can easily be trashed out in a day session.

“Those in the petroleum sector will agree with me that they have never seen the engagement we saw in the governance bill.

“Secondly, we had the fiscal bill and we have taken it to the point that has never been archived, but I believe a lot of the operators will want to ask what will happen to the fiscal bill if the governance bill was not assented to.

“Our intension is to go back to the executive and seat down with them in the interest of Nigeria.

“This is a very good bill as most operators and the technical people in the sector commended it.’’

He said the observation made on the bill was not enough reasons to stop its assent because of the huge positive impact it would make in investments in the sector.

“Because as you know, there is no serious investment going in the oil and gas sector because people are not sure of what to expect.’’

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Wike, Ortom Storm Kwara To Meet Saraki

The Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike has arrived Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, for official and yet to be announced engagements.

Wike is accompanied by Senator George Sekibo, Senator Adawari Pepple and the member Representing Tai/Eleme/Oyigbo Federal Constituency, Dr Barry Mpigi.

He is attending a meeting in Kwara state with his Benue counterpart, Governor Samuel Ortom who recently announced his resignation from the All Progressives Congress, APC, for a yet-to-be-determined political party.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]