Why Cross River State Was Absent in the Retreat of the National Economic Council

By Okoi Obono-Obla

The National Economic Council a body established under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended); and entrusted with the power of advising the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the coordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of various governments of the Federation, arose from a meeting yesterday to announce the pumping of N350 billion into the economy to revamped it.

The National Economic Council is composed of the Vice President ( who is Chairman); the 36 State Governors and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. However, the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade was conspicuously missing from such an important economic meeting. Governor Ben Ayade has traveled out of the country since January 2016 supposedly on a tour to attract investors to the State. However, Governor Ayade failed to comply with the provisions of Section 190 subsection 1 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 that provides that when the Governor is on proceeding on vacation OR is unable to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the Speaker of the House of Assembly to that effect, and until he transmits to the Speaker of the House of Assembly a written declaration to the contrary the Deputy Governor shall perform the functions of the Governor as Acting Governor.

Since January 2016, Governor Ayade has not being able to discharge the functions of his office because of his absence from the State. Till now, Governor Ayade has been absent from the State for more than 45 days. Section 190 subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution is to the effect that in the event that the Governor is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of Section 1 of the Constitution within 21 days, the House of Assembly shall, by a simple resolution of the vote of the House mandate the Deputy Governor to perform the functions of the office of the Governor as Acting Governor, until the Governor transmits a letter to the Speaker that he is now available to resume his functions as Governor.

The Cross River State House of Assembly has regrettably turned a blind eye to the failure of Governor Ayade to transmit a written declaration to its Speaker that he would not be unable to discharge the functions of his office because of his absence from the State since January 2016. The dialectical consequence of these infractions by Governor Ayade and the Cross River State House of Assembly was that the State was not represented in the summit of the National Economic Council, where far reaching measures to resuscitate the national economy were deliberated and important decisions taken because of the failure of Governor Ayade to comply with Section 190 (1) of the Constitution to enable the Deputy Governor of the State, Professor Ivara Esu take over the functions of his office as Acting Governor.

It is disheartening that Cross River State which is one of the States in the country hard hit by the present financial crunch caused by the drop in revenue allocation arising from unprecedented fall in the price of crude oil in the international market was not represented in such an important economic summit.

Despite, the economic crunch, the bureaucracy under Governor Ayade has astronomically increased with the appointment of 29 Commissioners; 40 Special Advisers and hundreds of personal assistants and members of Boards, Commissions and Parastatals. One of the important decisions taken by the National Economic Council is an advisory to State governments to reduce the number of Commissioners and other appointments in their bureaucracies.

Okoi Obono-Obla



Editor: Opinion expressed on this page are strictly those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of abusidiqu.com and its associates

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Group Condemns Violence And Killings In Rivers State

…Calls on politicians to conduct themselves within the ambit of the law

…Condemns Gov Wike’s reckless and irresponsible call for violence

The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG) unequivocally condemns the ongoing violence and killings in River state.

The group calls on the Federal Government to act swiftly to arrest the unfortunate situation to forestall total breakdown of law and order in the state.

The BMSG urges the Security Agencies to rise up to the task and fish out those behind the recent killings and prosecute them to serve as deterrent to those who are bent on throwing the state into a state of anarchy.

We appeal to all political parties and politicians in Rivers state to conduct themselves and their activities within the ambit of the law.

The BMSG also condemns the recent provocative statements by Governor Nyesom Wike and advise him to desist from making further reckless and irresponsible statements capable of emboldening his party members and supporters to unleash violence on opposition supporters and innocent citizens of the state.


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Kano State Govt. To Digitize Its Media Soon – Gov. Ganduje Assures

Digitization of Kano state-owned media outfits would be completed this year, the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has promised.

He gave the assurance while commissioning renovated structures and newly installed equipment at Kano state Radio Corporation on Tuesday, stressed that the budget for the exercise has already been approved by the state legislature.

Dr. Ganduje who was impressed by the number of the projects executed by the Managing director of Radio Kano, with the internally generated revenue, within a few month of assumption of duty, urged other parastatals to learn from the example of the media outfit.

“I must commend you for judiciously utilizing your internally generated revenue to do this work “, pointing out that not a single Naira was not given to the corporation by government for the projects.

While directing the state Ministry of Local government to revive the local governments retainership arrangement with the corporation and the state television station, ARTV, for additional income, he urged people of the state and beyond to patronize the medium especially by placing advertisement and sponsoring programmes.

Dr. Ganduje called on the management of the state media outfits not to give room for politicians to abuse one another, adding that unwarranted indictment of political leaders must not be condoned.

Earlier, Managing Director, Hajiya Sa’adatu Babaji assured the governor that the era of using the media to vilify leaders has gone in Kano, explaining that under her, new programmes that are meaningful and have direct bearing on citizens were introduced.

She told the governor that with the revenue generated by the station, the News room, AM and FM Studio as well as several other offices have been renovated, appealing to government to assist the station to build a befitting multipurpose conference hall within the premises of the station.

In their separate speeches, the state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba and the Chairman, Kano House of Assembly Committee on Information, Salisu Ibrahim Muhammad said the government is according priority to progress of its media outfits, noting that present administration is doing everything possible to reopen the moribund Triumph Publishing Company.

Meanwhile, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has announced that present administration would solve the problem that led to the closure of Triumph Publishing Company before it is reopening.

The governor stated this while briefing journalists on his activities last week before the commencement of the state Executive Council Meeting on Wednesday, maintaining that the administration want to put the company on right track.

The governor said that he promised to reopen it considering its contribution to socio-economic and cultural promotion not only for the state but for the entire country.

On the National Identity Card Registration, Dr Ganduje said he met the national the Director-general of the National Identity Management Agency, on how to improve the exercise in the state, lamenting that despite the commitment of the state government towards the programme, the exercise is still sluggish.

In his remarks, Director-general of the agency, Alhaji Aliyu A. Aziz thanked Dr Abdullahi for being the first serving governor to visit them, assuring that the agency would look into the issue and address it.

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Opinion: Who Will Save Rivers State From Predators? By Ibrahim Modibbo?

In Rivers state, things have fallen apart. Under Governor Nyesom Wike, Rivers is speedily drifting into a state of anarchy. Political marauders and serial killers are on the prowl, as human heads have now become trophies and souvenirs of electoral value. While ideas based on superior knowledge regulate the world, in Rivers, cutlasses and guns are now part of the dressing code that dominates the political space. Under Wike, there is a gradual but systematic display of native arrogance that is laced with Stone Age concepts and medieval policies that had been raised to an art of governance.

Not even under the evil and satanic regimes of Mobutu Sese Seko, Emperor Fidel Bokassa or legendary Idi Amin of Uganda did we see such a fascist regime that displays optimum barbarism and primitive parochialism as in Rivers. The state is currently buckling under the full weight of a heartlessly ravenous political brigand where life has lost its meaning and value. A cabal that swim in obscene opulence has made political power to be so critical to its survival that any opposition that stand on its way, even if it’s a fly, must be crushed with a sledge hammer. I am therefore not surprised that opponents are now hunted like a game with many beheaded, clubbed to death or buried alive like chickens.

I dare say that no nation can be built on scandalous political brigandage and deliberate impunity. No nation can progress and prosper when it languishes in the ignominy of lame duck leaders whose competence degenerate to a level where mediocrity and iniquity rules. The man at the centre of all these seems to be an angry man, as his combative and highly livid mood is vividly expressed whenever the names of ROTIMI Amaechi and Dakuku Peterside is mentioned even on Television. For now, Rivers is in a state of hopelessness and helplessness, poverty and penury, where despair and despondency takes the centre stage. The question then is who will save the state from predators that lack ground rules in the art of governance?

Using any parameter of democratic practice, Rivers is drifting and the time to act is now. The people recently killed in Rivers lately can only be compared to the exploits of Boko Haram or the holocaust of the Second World War. Finally, I hope Wike does not misconstrue the silence of the Federal government on the serial executions in Rivers as a sign of weakness..

Ibrahim Modibbo is an Abuja based National Commentator and can be reached either through, 08033138994 oribrahimmodibbo60

Opinion expressed in this article is solely that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Abusidiqu.com or its associates.

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The Youth Are 100% Behind Governor Yahaya Bello – Kogi State Youth Leader, Emmanuel Ayo

The recent happenings in the Kogi State House of Assembly is a confirmation of that God Almighty is in love with Kogi State. In His infinite mercy and grace, God has blessed us with a fair and courageous young leader in Executive Governor Yahaya Bello and we must all rejoice in it and give him our total support.

By divine intervention, as at the day of the Governor’s inauguration into office on January 27th, 2016, the three arms of government in the state were headed by individuals from the same senatorial zone. Given his vow to be equitable and just to all, Governor Bello sought to ensure power balancing and made clean and legal moves to ensure this.  Enemies of progress saw this as an opportunity to show their evil side and did everything to truncate it. But, God Almighty has won the battle for us and we have a brand new Speaker and a House with ten members seating and deliberating on how to secure a bright future for the state.

It is on this background that I, the APC Youth Leader of Kogi State, call on all members of the National Assembly to refuse all attempts to bring chaos into our state. The recent declaration by the Federal House of Assembly to take over the functions of the Kogi House of Assembly is a needless, thoughtless and evil plan that should not be entertained. There is no basis for such a move and we, the able youth of Kogi, will NOT stand for it.

The Kogi State House of Assembly is legally meeting its obligations and the state is not in crisis. Why, then, should the National Assembly seek to usurp it? Why the sudden need to overstep their legal boundary and scuttle a peace process that has reached an advanced stage? Why is Kogi so special and deserving of so much attention? When the entire Ekiti State House of Assembly was chased out of the state by thugs, why was a takeover not put on the table?

I hereby call on the President of the National Assembly, Senate President, Dr. Olubukola Saraki, and the entire senate to ignore the evil request of the Federal House of Assembly to take over the functions of the Kogi State House of Assembly. I further ask that the members of the committee that visited the state be subjected to a probe to find out why they have made such tasteless recommendations to the House.

We, the Kogi APC Youth, are in full and total support of the Governor Yahaya Bello administration. He has demonstrated wisdom that belie his age and we are happy with his commitment to fairness and accountability.

The granting of fiscal autonomy to the local government councils, the even spread of appointments across all local governments and the push to probe and reposition state finances are indications that Governor Bello is more than prepared for the task ahead. Keep it up, Big Brother! We are 100% behind you!

Kogi State APC Youth Leader
Emmanuel Ayo

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Needless Hysteria Over Regulation Of Kaduna State Preaching Bill, By Manasseh Istifanus

We are witnessing again the way that passion is easily mobilised to displace reason and subject society to danger when it comes to religion. This has been amply shown in the manner of responses to the proposed amendment to the Regulation of Religious Preaching Edict that has been law in Kaduna State since 1984. The hysteria has been incredible! The proposed amendment is said to be anti-Christian, anti-Muslim and discriminatory against other religions, that is when some adherents are not falsely claiming that it is targeted only against their own faith. Further proving the need for such a law, a preacher has come out to rain curses and decree death in a video clip that showed that he had not really read nor understood the legislation he professed to dislike. Ignorance is often made worse by bluster!

Lest we be distracted by all the display of piety and passion, let us get back to the edict and its proposed amendments. Air-Commodore Usman Muazu first enacted the law as military governor of Kaduna State in August 1984. This followed the Maitatsine upheaval in parts of the north of Nigeria, a convulsion caused by the unregulated activities of a preacher and that was quelled only by the intervention of the military. The 1984 Edict codified the principle of licensing of preachers, a practise that had in the past been enforced by the Native Authorities. It also restricted the playing of religious cassettes to homes, banned the use of abusive language against any person or religious organisation or religious leader and prohibited the playing of religious recordings in public places, the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes other than in a church or mosque, the abuse of religious books and the use of such terms as “infidels,” “non-Islamic,” or “pagans” in describing other religious groups. The penalty for violating the 1984 edict was two years’ imprisonment with an option of fine.

Then came the 1987 religious violence which followed altercations over a preacher’s comments during a student gathering in Kafanchan. The unrest reached Kaduna and Zaria, with soldiers having to be drafted to restore calm. The military governor, Lt. Colonel Abubakar Umar responded with a 1987 amendment to the 1984 edict, that removed the option of fine and extended the term of imprisonment upon conviction to five years. Colonel Hamid Ali further amended the edict in 1996.

Any casual observer of Nigerian history knows that Kaduna State has been torn asunder too often by religious discord of the most violent hue, and that even political differences rapidly degenerate into ethno-religious zero-sum games. Riots over the Danish cartoons took countless lives in Kaduna, as did the Miss World debacle and the 2011 elections. The result is a divided capital city, Kaduna, which has fallen from its pride of place as home to all as the capital of Northern Nigeria, the country’s most diverse region. The city is now divided into a mainly Muslim zone to the north of the River Kaduna and a mainly Christian enclave to the south. Its two other major cities, Kafanchan and Zaria have also tasted of the bitter grapes of religious violence. More recently, the claims of one religious group to decide who can use a public highway led to a tragedy that is now the subject of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

The proposed amendments to the law preserve the requirement for licensing preachers, a rational response to limit the irresponsible use of religion to stoke prejudice, violence and mass murder. Aside from this, it introduces only a few new features, including a prohibition on the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes after 8pm in a public place and expands the places where religious recordings can be played to include churches, mosques and any other designated place of worship. It also upholds the ban on on any religious recording that uses abusive language against any person, religious organisation or religious leaders.

Thus, neither the extant law nor the proposed amendments infringe on the right to faith or the right to worship. It is dangerous hyperbole to claim that it restricts any faith, Christian, Muslim or otherwise. In my view, it rightly seeks to ensure that those who will claim to exercise the power of spiritual leadership are known, and are certified to be equipped to reasonably exercise such powers. Muslims are already familiar with the fact that even in a very conservative and strict religious society like Saudi Arabia, all preachers need a license. One could concede that the idea of a license to preach may be novel to Christians but that does not render it anathema. Faith is too important an arena of the human experience to be left unregulated, and I daresay that any honest religious person (regrettably not a tautology) would concede that the potential for extremism is present in any creed. I have heard arguments that ordination as a religious minister should suffice as license for a global remit. License is permission to practice within a specified territory for a prescribed time the skills and knowledge that ordination have presumably bestowed. All rights are exercised within a context. A driver cannot reasonably interpret his right to freedom of movement as freedom to drive against traffic and imperil others. The cherished right to liberty does not bestow powers to constrain another’s. Just as the right to free speech is in many jurisdictions not an excuse for hate speech or incitement.

A government with a duty to secure lives in a climate of tensioned religiosity should be prudent and take the necessary precautions. The licensing of medical doctors and other professionals after long years of study reflects society’s view of the magnitude of the responsibility these professionals bear. Why should those who deal in the sacred realm, with the capacity to inspire both the finest human conduct and the most grievous orgies of prejudiced violence be without any supervision?

The Religious Preaching Edict and its amendment speak to the need to preserve good order in society, to secure the human beings who can practise and be nourished by faith only when they are alive. It seeks to remove noise pollution, penalise hate speech and preserve the practise of religion in the private sphere. I heard someone ask what it would mean for the Great Commission, that admonition to Christians to spread the Gospel. The Great Commission does not have to be practised as the Great Commotion, as an aggregation of the most noisome sound, or the passion of worship alone. The Christian is charged to be a light to the world, that is to be exemplary in conduct and in compassion. As for vigils, their solemn purpose should so thoroughly occupy the voluntary attendees that they should have no need to announce their piety by terrorising non-attendees with loudspeakers.

The amendment that the Kaduna State Government has proposed now brings the whole Religious Preaching Bill into a democratic setting. It restores the original two-year penalty for contraventions and is being subjected for the first time to scrutiny by elected legislators. During the public hearings and the process of legislation in general, grey areas can be clarified and further amendments made to help ensure that religion is no longer used to destroy humanity, but to enhance we frail homo sapiens that the Almighty God created and bestowed with different tongues, colours and creeds.

The nagging question then is why the hysterical and overboard reaction to a 32-year old statute in a state with such a painful history? No Christian or Muslim is hindered in the practise of his faith by this law, except perhaps those who may feel that their piety is measured only by the extent to which they can use it to disturb or form a menace to others. My view is that, even in our Third World morass, nobody should be allowed to insist on a veto over the preservation of security and good order.

Manasseh Istifanus  is an Abuja Based Political Analyst/Public and Social Commentator.



Editor: Opinion expressed on this page are strictly those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of abusidiqu.com and its associates

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On Ayade: Rev Fr Evaristus Bassey Is Sure That A Ghost Is From Cross River State? By First Baba Isa

Over a month ago Fr Evaristus Bassey wrote an article lashing Ayade for refusing to pay him and his friend monies Liyel Imoke pledged during his friend’s book launch. He raised other sundry issues bothering on Ayade’s leadership style. I felt (and I still feel) that Fr’s approach was wrong. I wrote a rejoinder to that article and two days ago Fr Evaristus Bassey wrote me a scathing reply.

He entitled his reply: “On Ayade, reply to a Ghost? Cc: @firstbabaisa.” The opening paragraph confirmed one of the issues I raised in my rejoinder to his initial article; that Bassey is a deft server of elementary psychology, playing with the minds of the readers while passing his points through turbo-charged emotional channels.

Fr Bassey: “Dear First Baba Isa, is this your real name or are you a ghost? Just to be sure, perhaps privately you could send me a photocopy of your national ID or your driver’s license, so I know I am not dealing with a fictitious person or a ghost. With the internet the potential for scams is enormous. This kind of name sounds like a name used to perpetrate internet scams. You say you are a legal practitioner; if I go to the supreme court, will I see your name in the register? I am really sorry if this is your real name but seriously it sounds so fake.”

With the deepest respect Fr, I don’t need your apology, because I’m not offended. I will pass it on to readers and any other person who might feel disappointed at this outrageous opening; for me I’m not outraged. I’m rather amused. This is elementary psychology every lawyer is taught in Law School. We are taught to deploy this psychological strategy during cross examination.

A lawyer should begin his cross examination by casting doubt in the mind of the court about the identity of the witness. This goes to shake the witness credibility, affecting his reliability and dependability. This is the strategy Fr Evaristus was deploying: begin your article by raising doubts of my identity, sow doubts of my existence in the hearts of the readers, shaking my credibility and attempt to push me aside casually.

I wonder why Fr will chose this strategy. He clearly underrated the intelligence of his teeming readers. People are wiser than you think Fr. They can see through the dust you are trying to raise, the befuddlement you are trying to inject into their consciousness. What does my identity even have to do with it? You wrote an article, I wrote a rejoinder, so what does this got to do with my name or profession? What does this have to do with internet scams?

Assuming without conceding that First Baba Isa is a fictitious name, how will that affect the content of my rejoinder to your first article? Fr should be exposed enough to know that people write with pen names na. Anyone can get a new name in less than 24 hours. Fr have you been involved in scamming people before? How do you know the kind of names scammers chose to use? I have seen a lot of criminal cases, including murders, where the accused is bearing either Evaristus or Bassey. Will it be logical for me to conclude that Evaristus Bassey is a name used in perpetrating crimes? Na wa o.

Why didn’t you go to the roll of lawyers (what you called register) in the Supreme Court to check if my name is there? Asking me to send you a document proving my identity is presumptuous. Again, I ask, how does my article disagreeing with your approach in lashing out at the Governor because he has not taken government funds to pay you for a private book launch made by his predecessor raises the issue of verifying my identity?

Do ghosts write articles? And you take out time to reply ghosts? Why do you even think your identity don’t need verification too? Is it a case of megalomania?

It is also ridiculously surprising that you say I might be a ghost but you stated categorically that “…you cannot fool me that you are not a Cross Riverian…” So a ghost is from Cross River State? You will agree with me that this is laughable. You also stated strongly in your reply to my rejoinder that you know that Ayade is my paymaster.

So because I rose in defense of the Governor, I’m automatically his aide? Is this how democracy works in your perspective? So will it be logical to say that because you criticized the governor you are a member of APC? This will be utmost untenable. Such an attitude pollutes the political conversation. Let’s stop this political segregation and labelling based on our stance on issues today. Tomorrow we might be on the same page, then what will you say?

Both of us want this same thing: the progress of the state. But we must not always agree. Concluding that I don’t want the best for the State because I don’t agree with you is very wrong. So every person who disagrees with you is dishonest and evil? Are you always right? Let’s learn to disagree while defending our rights to disagree. This is this beauty of democracy. Demonizing me because I don’t agree with you is primitive and retrogressive. It is unfair to arrogate the feeling of love for the state to yourself alone.

Fr the allegations of insults you raised, might respectfully, be the case of paranoia or you are being tetchy. I will never insult an elder. With all sense of modesty, I have acquired a decent “quantum” of words to project my views powerfully without resort to insults, even when speaking to a child. Show me, if you can, one insulting word I used in my last rejoinder to you.

I understand the apparent display of tetchiness. As a catholic priest you might not be used to your views being challenged. You might have spent your entire life enjoying the untouchable eminence provided for you by the church. If you want to pontificate, please do so from the safety of a pulpit; but if you chose to step into the arena of political debate, expect to be challenged. Welcome it. Don’t take it personal when others argue with you. Let’s learn from you Fr. And in the 21st century robust learning is unproductive through the unfettered instrumentality of pontification.

I still believe that writing an article to lash the governor for a debt he is not even officially owing is wrong. You conceded this much in your reply. I also still believe that criticism should be an ingredient that is added to sweeten the soup, not one that is thrown in to make it sour. Whether this ingredient sweetens or sours the soup has nothing to do with the ingredient but everything to do with the motive of the critic who is hurling it into the soup.


First Baba Isa (FBI) is a Legal Practitioner and writes from Abuja









Editor: Opinion expressed on this page are strictly those of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of abusidiqu.com and its associates

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Dogara Advocates Financial Autonomy For State Assemblies, LGs… Says Rep Will Devolve More Powers To States

The hijacking of funds meant for local government councils by states is stifling the growth of democracy in Nigeria, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said.

A statement issued by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, said Dogara spoke when he received chairman and members of conference of state legislators in his office in Abuja on Wednesday.

The Speaker maintained that the intention of the framers of the 1999 constitution was to have strong local councils where dividend of democracy will be delivered to the people.

If that had happened, Dogara said, even University Professors and Federal lawmakers may run for elections to become local government chairmen.

He opined that democracy is not just about elections, and that it is nothing if it does not deliver on its promises to the people but lamented that since 1999, Nigeria’s democracy has not been able to do so.

This, he said, was because some elections in the past have produced even enemies of democracy in Nigeria.

“Democracy must be able to deliver value to the people and as long as it does not deliver, we can’t say we are truly practising democracy, but a mere nominal one,” he noted.

“We must ask ourselves; what prevents us from delivering the promises of democracy to the people? No one should pretend that there is sanity at the local level”, he said.

“I must urge you to listen to the voice of the people and not just that of leaders or elites. That is what has stifled the growth of democracy in the country.”

“The intention of the framers of the constitution is that we should have very strong local governments so that they are able to meet the immediate needs of the people at the grassroot”

“This noble intention could not be achieved because funds meant for them are being hijacked elsewhere and it never gets to them…. it has deprived the local level the needed calibre of leaders that will engineer development at that level.”

“If the funds get to them directly many people or even professors may decide to be local government chairman. We have to start our development from the base to the top because as someone says, anything you do where you start from the top you are digging a grave. We have not only dug a grave for democracy in Nigeria but are also in the process of burying it.

The Speaker then called on the state assemblies to endorse financial autonomy for themselves and the local governments when the National Assembly eventually transmits the documents to them.

He regretted that the last alteration exercise was vetoed by former president Goodluck Jonathan but assured that the House won’t start work on the Bill denovo.

He said state assemblies in the 6th assemblies rejected clauses granting them autonomy but appealed to them to summon courage because “if they had the courage to vote yes by now we will not be here on it.”

“Without courage and sacrifice there cannot be leadership. Sometimes, you need to take decisions that are not popular with some power blocs but you must do it as a leader.”

“If our motivation is to always do right then we must do things that will protect our democracy and our people. The Federal Government cannot reach out to all the local levels to deliver dividend of democracy to them.”

On request for devolution of powers by the state assemblies, Dogara said it is one of the issues that will be looked at by the House in the ongoing amendment.

“Concentration of powers is dangerous to democracy. Democracy itself abhors concentration of powers in the hand of one individual or body. We will look into the constitution and come up with what is best for the system.”

Speaking earlier, chairman of conference of speakers of parliament Hon. Abdulmumin Ismaila Kamba commended Dogara’s exemplary leadership in the House.

Hon. Kamba called on the House to grant financial autonomy to the states assemblies and local government councils.

He reiterated the commitment of the state assemblies to expeditiously pass any constitution amendment bill that will be forwarded to them by the National Assembly.

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Tambuwal Sets up C’ttees oOn School Feeding, State Of Emergency In Education

Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has inaugurated three committees that will oversee the implementation of the school feeding programme and the state of emergency declared in the education sector in the state.

A third committee, the state of emergency council, will supervise the other committees and ensure proper policy implementation.

A statement issued in Sokoto Wednesday by Tambuwal’s spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, quoted the Governor as saying that the committees have important roles to play since the major policy of his administration is the revamping of the education sector.

He said the success or failure of his administration should be gauged by what he will achieve in the sector in the state.

“To say the least, the story of education sector in this state is that of dilapidated school structures, inadequate schools and classrooms, lack of teaching and learning materials, low morale of teachers and educational administrators as well as lukewarm attitude of communities,” the Governor said.

The committees, according to Tambuwal, will develop realistic work-plan and budget based on sound technical managerial expertise, monitor implementation of approved plans with due diligence and efficiency and also develop modalities for rationalising, upgrading and streamlining education sector infrastructure, manpower and community development.

While the Governor heads the state of emergency council, Professor Risqua Arabu Shehu will head the technical committee. Alhaji Mainassara Ahmed, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education will chair the school feeding committee.

The committees were given six weeks to present interim reports.

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Hunting, Killing of APC Members In Rivers State Continues [Photos, Viewers Discretion Advised]

…One killed each in Buguma, Opobo Monday

Ahead of the rerun election into the State and National Assembly Elections in Rivers State, the killing of opposition figures in the state has continued unabated.

Just 2 days ago, a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of the state, Franklin Obi was murdered by some unidentified men.

The killing happened less than 48 hours after late Franklin Obi, APC Ward 4 Chairman in ONELGA conducted an APC congress in Omoku Thursday March 3, 2016.

Today Monday 7th March in Buguma, Asari-Toru LGA of Rivers State, the All Progressives Congress (APC), alleged that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs working for the illegal Asari-Toru CTC, Sobomabo Jackrich, went on rampage and in the process killed and burnt Mr. Ofinjite Amachree, an APC Chieftain in Asari-Toru LGA. 

He was attacked by known PDP thugs, beaten to coma before setting him ablaze, APC alleges. His burnt corpse is attached herewith.

The APC wishes to also announce that same today, an APC member by name Tubotamuno Wariso was also attacked and beaten to death at Opobo Town, Opobo/Nkoro LGA by known PDP/Icelander cult boys. The dead corpse of Tubotamuno Wariso is also attached herewith.

It would be recalled that last Saturday by about 8pm, an APC Chieftain, Franklin Obi was killed and beheaded by assailants in his home. His wife and son were also killed. 

The APC says it believes that the present killings are part of the scare tactics of the PDP, something the state governor, Nyesom Wike  referred to after his Supreme Court victory.

“He had said that if the annulment of his election was upheld by the Supreme Court, so many people would have died in Rivers State.”

“We are rather surprised that even with the affirmation of his election by the Supreme Court, many people are already being killed by the PDP in Rivers State because of the national and state legislative rerun elections scheduled for March 19.”



Ofinjite Amachree[a]







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I Can’t Be Intimidated By One Million Buhari, DSS – Fayose… Threatens To Eject DSS From State

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has declared that even if the State was invaded by one million armed men of the Department of State Service (DSS) on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari, the government and the people of the State will never be intimidated to surrender governance of the State to political desperadoes, whose four years reign destroyed the economy of the State.

The governor, who said the DSS under President Buhari was operating beyond its constitutional mandate, added that “the government of Ekiti State may have to reconsider the usefulness of men of the DSS in the government house and other institutions of the State government.”

In a release issued on Sunday and signed by the Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government was pursuing a clandestine agenda of truncating democracy in Ekiti State and other Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) controlled States like Rivers and Bayelsa.

He said; “If Buhari likes, let him relocate all DSS men in Nigeria with the entire ammunitions in their armoury to Ekiti, the will of Ekiti people can never be broken. They will only try, and like they have always done, they will fail because dictatorship has never triumphed over the people. Even Buhari’s dictatorship between 1984 and 1985 ended one day and Nigerians will also outlive his present dictatorship.”

The governor said the DSS under Buhari’s kinsman; Lawal Daura has abandoned its core mandate of providing intelligence for the protection of the internal security of Nigeria as provided in the Security Agencies Act Cap. N74 LFN, 2004 adding that; “Instead of assisting the Police, Military and other security agencies with classified matters, we now have a DSS that is running after perceived opponents of the president, arresting goat and fowl thieves as well as husbands who assaulted their wives.

“If the DSS was alive to its responsibilities, we won’t be having Boko Haram insurgents killing Nigerians, all these kidnappings and Fulani Herdsmen killings, raping and destroying farmlands in the South-West, South-East and North-Central zones in the country would have been nipped in the bud.”

He said the same way President Buhari used the National Security Organisation (NSO), headed by Ambassador Mohammed Lawal Rafindadi from Katsina State is the same way the President is using the DSS, headed by another of his kinsman, Lawal Daura to harass, oppress and intimidate Nigerians.

Governor Fayose said; “it is obvious that democracy in Nigeria is becoming unsafe in the hands of Buhari and his APC and those keeping silent now because of politics may also end up in the belly of this roaring lion that is threatening to consume our democracy.

“Therefore, Nigerians and the international community should take special notice of the use of the DSS and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to muscle opposition.

“As for me, I wish to say once again that I am not among those Nigerians that are afraid of harassment by any agency of the federal government.

“I make bold to state that in the overall interest of democracy and well-being of Nigerians, I will continue to speak my mind on issues bordering on governance in Nigeria. I will not be intimidated!”

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Minister of State For Labour, James Ocholi Reportedly Dies In Car Crash

Daily Trust is reporting that the minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi is dead.

According to the report, Ocholi died in a ghastly motor accident on his way to Kaduna on Sunday.

An eye wtiness told Daily Trust that the crash occurred some 45 kilometers to Kaduna town where he was headed.

It was learnt that the minister’s wife and son were also in the ill-fated car including his aide-de-camp, but it is yet unclear if they survived the crash.

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