Dogara Denies Hatred For President Buhari

The Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has debunked insinuation that the National Assembly hate President Muhammadu Buhari.

Yakubu Dogara was speaking at a flagging off of the PDP Gubernatorial Campaign held at Bununu in Tafawa Balewa local Government Area of Bauchi State.

The speaker said the National Assembly was not in anytime against President Buhari but was doing everything within its powers to set things right for Nigerians.

He explained that the face off that resulted in shutting US government on the needed funds by the US President to build the mexico border wall as example.

Speaking during the campaign rally, the PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state Senator Bala Muhammad charged all eligible voters to come out enmass and vote all PDP candidates in the state.

Senator Bala Muhammad urged PDP members to shun violence before, during and after the forth coming general elections.

Hundreds of thousand of party supporters as well as musicians attended the event.

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Dogara’s View On SIP Most Irresponsible, Uncharitable – BMO

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has described House Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s comment on the Social Investment Programme (SIP) as irresponsible and an insult to beneficiaries of the initiative. 

Dogara had described the social welfare scheme as vote buying at a one-day ‘Public Hearing on Vote Buying and Improving Electoral Processes in Nigeria’, on Monday, in Abuja

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said it is shocking that Dogara could descend so low just to score political points. 

“Here is a man who presides over an arm of the National Assembly which approved a budgetary allocation of N500bn for 2016 and N400bn for 2017 respectively, for this same social welfare scheme.

“Speaker Dogara and his colleagues in the Senate are also aware that all the initiatives, including the very popular TraderMoni, began in 2016 after a total sum of N110bn was released. 

“Cash disbursement was done throughout the previous years and it is on record that the National Assembly was even keen on monitoring compliance of the SIPs 

“Clearly Speaker Dogara is not sincere, otherwise he wouldn’t describe an initiative that started in 2016 as vote-buying. 

“And like the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity Mr Laolu Akande once said, any attack on the TraderMoni scheme is an attack on hardworking petty traders and Nigerians in general; and we dare say that Speaker Dogara has shown clearly that he does not have the interest of the masses at heart.” 

The pro-Buhari group also questioned Dogara’s understanding of the components of SIP when he said that the funds were being disbursed by public officials. 

“That was a subtle dig at Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who has had to launch the TraderMoni scheme in markets across the country including the very successful one in Ilorin, Kwara state that got the National Assembly leadership fuming on seeing the large turnout of people. 

“Surely, the Speaker would not want Nigeria to wonder at the calibre of people in charge of the two legislative chambers when even the average people on the street know that disbursement is not done physically but through the Bank of Industry. 

“Or is he saying that he did not fully grasp a programme he led the House of Representatives to approve when he was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress? 

“For the avoidance of doubt, the SIP schemes are organic poverty-fighting policies based on a World Bank template, not like the tricycle-sharing or wheel barrow-distributing initiatives that Dogara’s Peoples Democratic Party is known for 

“At the last count, the programme is providing direct support for over 13 million beneficiaries and 3,999,000 secondary beneficiaries out of which the National Cash Transfer alone is touching lives in 26 states where more than 300,000 poor Nigerians receive N5, 000 monthly, while beneficiaries of TraderMoni are 2.3 million people,” BMO added.

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2019: Don’t Recontest Your Seat To Avoid ‘Humiliating Defeat’, APC Warns Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has been warned against recontesting his seat in the 2019 general elections.

The warning came from the Acting Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, who noted it was not surprising Dogara joined the opposition in view of his anti-party activities in the National Assembly.

His words: “We would advise Dogara against his ill-advised decision to recontest his House of Representatives seat under the opposition party he is linked with because a crushing and humiliating defeat surely awaits him.”

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time, judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly where in connivance with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he exploited all available avenues to sabotage and undermine the APC-led executive.

“Dogara’s anti-party activities which enabled one of the opposition Party’s sole victory in Bogoro Local Government Area (Dogara’s council) during the recent Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election won by the APC is another pointer, among several others.

“Indeed, all politics is local. As a party, we empathise with Dogara on his confusion and despair over his bleak political future given the fact that he is not on ground and a political paperweight in his home Bauchi state.

“In his emergence as Speaker, Dogara was merely used by his political master to achieve their selfish political ends at the time. They have since moved on to pursue their individual political aspirations and left Dogara in the cold,” Nabena added.

 

 

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Day Of The Girl: Let’s End Discrimination, Says Dogara

All forms of discrimination, violence and harmful cultural practices which stunt the development of the Girl Child must come to an end, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara has said.

In a statement to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child, Dogara raised concerns about the discrepancy in literacy statistics for girls, and said all hands should be on deck in order to attain a future where there is equal opportunity and a better quality of life for Nigeria’s female population.

“It is disheartening that in this century, as a nation, we still grapple with actions and attitudes which are aimed at repressing and suppressing girls and women. It is high time we all acknowledged the reality that discrimination, violence and lack of equal opportunity have no place in civilised society and do all we could to ensure a better lease of life for our female  population.”

The Speaker lamented that statistics from UNICEF and UNESCO show that 50% of all sexual assaults are targeted at girls below 16. Girls account for 80% of the 800,000 people trafficked annually. Two-thirds of the global illiterate population are female and 116 million women across developing countries have not completed primary education and argued that “these statistics forecast a gloomy future, and such negative trends must be arrested with genuine efforts made towards correcting the situation.”

“Harmful traditional practices such as genital mutilation must be discouraged and met with punitive measures in cases where they occur. The news is replete with stories of assaulted children and we must demonstrate that such acts of evil will not be condoned by applying stiff penalties.”

“In light of the many challenges faced by girls in Nigeria, it is important for more states to adopt the Child Rights Act. Where this has already been done, full implementation and enforcement are necessary.”

“As parents, we must protect our daughters and empower them by not denying them access to education. We must uplift them with words of encouragement and support, and assure them that their dreams and aspirations are attainable.”

“The girl child is of utmost importance to us at the House of  Representatives. We have stayed the course in seeking the release of our beloved Chibok Girls, and all other matters relating to gender equity have consistently enjoyed our full support.”

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Increasing Environmental Disasters Proof Climate Change Not A Hoax, Says Dogara

The increasing spate of environmental and natural disasters across the world is a proof that climate change is not a hoax, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said.
Delivering a remarks at the opening of a national stakeholders summit on legislative framework for environmental law and policy in Abuja Tuesday, Hon. Dogara, argued that the Nigerian environment currently presents the picture of a threatened heritage.
He said environmental change is expected to increase the likelihood and impact of extreme weather variability while the parallel and paradox of climate change continue to exacerbate the plight of many local communities in Nigeria.
“Climate-related disasters have increased displacement and vulnerability of exposed populations. It’s like these disasters convey a brutal message to those who believe climate change is a hoax that they can only continue to ignore environmental issues at unremitting peril,” the Speaker said.
“Some of the emerging national environmental concerns include depletion of biodiversity and illegal trade in wildlife. This fast growing habitat alteration and illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing mankind of our natural heritage and driving important species to the brink of extinction. It only stands to reason, that this National Summit should proffer practicable policy and legislative solutions to this menace.”
 Hon Dogara maintained that leadership of the National Assembly is very conscious of the grave threats posed by such issues as global warming, climate change, ocean surge, drought/desertification, oil spillage, erosion, waste management and gas flaring, degradation of agricultural lands, soil loss, erosions, landslides, bush burning, unwarranted and uncontrolled grazing, deforestation and general environmental pollution.”
 One of the amendments being proposed is to move environment from residual to concurrent list to enable the Federal parliament legislate on it.
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Jibrin Slams House Spokesman, Says Comment On His Resumption Is “Insensitive And Insult” To His Constituents

The erstwhile chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation,  Abdulmumin Jibrin, has described comments credited to spokesman for the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, as ” insensitive and insult to the people of his constituency.”

This was contained in a statement signed by his media aide, Godwin Onyeacholem, and released to pressmen in Abuja, on Friday.

The statement reads in full:

“The attention of the Honourable Member Representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency, Abdulmumin Jibrin, has been drawn to a statement by the spokesman for the House of Representatives, Abdulrazak Namdas, who claimed he was speaking on behalf of the House.

“According to him, Hon. Jibrin, having been denied access to the House, Chamber and his office in the last one year, has not completed the said “suspension”, and that even when he completes it, he would have to tender a written apology.

“The Honourable member views Mr. Namdas’ comments as insensitive and insult to the people of his constituency, coming on a day Kiru/Bebeji constituents gathered to further deepen their protests and mark a one year of brazen impunity and injustice meted on them and the member representing them (who it is a public knowledge committed no offense).

“For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to state that Hon. Jibrin’s position on this issue remains, as always, immutable. He has maintained that denying his constituents representation for ONE good year is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and negates all known democratic principles, just as asking him to apologize for doing no wrong is a negation of all known social norms.

“It is somewhat weird that the official spokesman of the House claims that he does not know the exact date that Hon. Jibrin’s purported suspension would lapse. That in itself speaks volume of the subterfuge and sinister motives around the whole issue.

“Hon. Jibrin is aware of sacrifices required during struggles like this. He is therefore prepared to make whatever sacrifice for the good of the House of Representatives and Nigeria as a whole, so that posterity will remember him on the good side of history.

“Namdas, had on Thursday, during a media briefing with pressmen in Abuja, said that Hon. Jibrin has not completed his suspension, and even when he does, he still has to tender a letter of apology to the House before he can resume his fully as a member of the green chamber.”

Recall that Hon. Jibrin was suspended for 180 legislative days over alleged budget padding by the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, and three other principal officers.

 

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Jibrin’s Suspension Not Over Until He Writes An Apology Letter – House

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaq Namdas, has said that the 180-day suspension given to former Chairman of its Appropriations Committee, Abdulmumin Jibrin, is not over until he writes a letter of apology to the House.

Namdas stated this during a weekly media session in Abuja, on Thursday.

According to him, Jibrin must notify the House formally after the completion of the suspension, and must meet other conditions listed by the Ethics and Privileges Committee of the House.

His words: “I have also asked the Ethics and Privileges Committee  Chairman about the issue and he said the 180 days suspension is not over.

“Jibrin will also have to notify the House.  He will write an apology letter too. You know there are other conditions he will have to meet to complete the procedure.”

 

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Criticism Of NGO Bill Is A Welcome Development, Says Dogara

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that public criticism of the content of the NGO regulatory bill is a welcome development, “and there are many who are doing just that.”

Dogara said this on Tuesday in his welcome remark after the House reconvened from a two months recess.

According to him, criticism from major stakeholders and many Nigerians is the reason why the institution subjects every bill to public hearing so that it can have inputs from concerned stakeholders and can also stand the test of time.

“I hasten to say that all Nigerians and other corporate persons including non Nigerians, are stakeholders and have a right to support or oppose a bill,” he said.

“However when opinions are targeted at disparaging the institution of the legislature then it becomes imperative to interrogate the motives driving such, especially when this emanates from those who should know.”

The speaker said that the principal objective of the bill is to inject transparency, accountability and prevent the subversion of national security from both within and without.

“No one can nor indeed should gag the operations of NGOs in Nigeria, but just as they aspire for this freedom, it must be stated that freedom does not come without responsibility as there is no such thing as freedom to be irresponsible,” he said.

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Dogara Applauds D’Tigress For FIBA AfroBasket Victory, Qualifying For World Cup Tourament

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has hailed the national female basketball team, D’Tigress, on their victory over Senegal in the 2017 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket tournament in Mali and for qualifying for the 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain.
The Speaker praised the doggedness of the team, for putting up an excellent performance in the final of the 2017 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket tournament last Sunday.
He noted that their victory portrays the spirit of determination of Nigerians, who are known to make outstanding successes, even in the midst of daunting challenges.
“I salute members of the glorious team and urge them to hold on to this winning spirit.  We are aware that our sports men and women are faced with enermous challenges but wish to assure  that the House of Representatives will not relent in its effort to improve the welfare and working conditions of our sportsmen.
“We, as a parliament, will support you in all ways we can as you prepare for the forthcoming FIBA World Cup,” he stated.
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Dogara Congratulates Ex President Babangida At 76

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with former military President, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida on the occasion of his 76th birthday anniversary.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, Speaker Dogara said the former Nigerian leader has over the years displayed qualities of a true leader and elderstatesman.
“Over the years, you have displayed qualities of a true leader, most of all in the personal sacrifices you have made for the  betterment of Nigeria’s political environment and for the overall Unity, development and wellbeing of the country.”
“As an elder statesman, you have made yourself accessible to us, the younger generation of leaders, in times when we needed advice from more experienced elders for purposes of taking important decisions”.
He prayed almighty God to bless, protect, preserve and grant the former leader many more fruitful years of selfless and meritorious service to fatherland.
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Anambra Church Massacre Is Abominable, Barbaric, Inhuman – Dogara

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described Sunday’s attack on worshippers in a Catholic church in Anambra state as abominable,  barbaric, inhuman, and the height of wickedness.
Scores of worshippers were murdered by gunmen  inside a Catholic church in Ozubulu in Anambra State. The shooting is said to have occurred during church service while worshipers were still inside the church building on Sunday morning.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs,  Mr. Turaki Hassan, the Speaker said his heart is broken by the sad news of the massacre of innocent worshippers in cold blood by people he described as ” sons of perdition whose souls will rot in hell.”
“Have we lost our humanity? Where is the place of sanctity of life and sacredness of worship places in our society? What offence did the worshippers commit to warrant their massacre in cold blood by wicked souls and heartless men?”
The Speaker lamented that increasing insecurity is reducing Nigeria to the state of nature as life is increasingly becoming cheap.
He again reiterated his call for the overhaul of Nigeria’s policing architecture that will lead to reform of the Police Force, equip them with modern and sophisticated gadgets so as to discharge their duties of protecting lives and property effectively, and ensure social order in the society.
Dogara further called on security agencies to fish out perpetrators of the heinous crime and bring them to justice speedily.
He extended his heartfelt condolences to families of the victims, people and government of Anambra state, Nigeria and the Catholic Church over the sad and unfortunate incident.
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Youth And Women Inclusion: Complementing Efforts By Speaker Dogara And The House Of Representatives

“This Bill is in the interest of the youth whom we must empower, because if we empower them, we are empowering the future generation” – Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on the Not Too Young To Run bill.

“Not too young to run!”

“Not too young to run!”

Chants rent the air in the House of Representatives as Members waved fliers. Any onlooker, oblivious to what was going on, would think that young people in their dozens had somehow managed to infiltrate the chamber and take over proceedings. The date was Thursday, 27th July and the Green Chamber was packed full. It was a special occasion. The highlight of legislative work; for what could be more important than the process of amending the nation’s guiding document, Nigeria’s operating manual, the Constitution?

With bated breath, youth advocates waited. There had been rumours earlier that day that the House was planning to kill the bill which had the potential to finally secure political representation for Nigeria’s teeming youth population. The Senate had already voted in favour of the Bill, and so tensions were high. Were young people’s hopes about to be dashed? Was the political class about to prove notions about deliberately suppressing young people right? Would Speaker Dogara go back on his promise? Was the House going to let us down?

For months, youth and women advocates and Civil Society Organisations lobbied; they paid courtesy visits to principal officers of both chambers of the National Assembly, attended public hearings, approached legislators personally, and executed media campaigns with the aim of gaining public support and building momentum. Although the demographies differed, their mission was the same. All they wanted was to secure political representation for women and young people who, incidentally, make up the bulk of the Nigerian population but are grossly underrepresented in governance. They play active roles at grassroot level during campaigns, yet, are barely able to successfully aspire to political office and appointive positions for a myriad of reasons.

For young people, the Constitution currently places the minimum age for standing for elective office at 30. The exclusion is, therefore, not only due to societal norms which may be combatted via reorientation, but also actively enabled by legal constraints. Many opine that this provision is inherently discriminatory, and anyone with a sense of justice would agree.

For women, the challenges are many. There are cultural and quasi-religious norms which restrict women’s aspirations. These are in addition to systemic inequalities so deeply entrenched that it requires very strong will, an extensive network and enormous resources to break the glass ceiling. Most Nigerian women simply do not have these resources and are therefore relegated to wearing aso-ebi, clapping, singing and dancing at campaign grounds in support of the candidacy of their male counterparts who do not have such restrictions to do battle with. Young women face a particularly dire predicament, as they are further restricted by law.

The Legislature is the arm of government where every Nigerian can lay claim to direct representation. Representatives are elected to both chambers in terms of population and equity, and this is why the House of Representatives is often referred to as “the House of the People”. “The People” include youths and women and in recognition of this, Speaker Yakubu Dogara threw his weight not only behind Nigerian youth’s quest for representation, but also Nigerian women’s demands for equity.

Before the lobbying for inclusion even began, Speaker Dogara had, during a meeting with student leaders from higher institutions across the country, declared his unwavering support for youth inclusion in governance. It therefore came as no surprise that the Not Too Young To Run Bill was granted expeditious consideration by the House when it was eventually presented by Hon. Tony Nwulu.

From meeting with women members of State Assemblies to the courtesy visit by the Not Too Young To Run team, Speaker Dogara demonstrated a deep sense of compassion and justice, listening keenly to everything advocates had to say.

The demands were as follows: young people asked for a reduction in the age of eligibility for elective offices and the introduction of independent candidacy into the nation’s electoral process, in the hope that this will go a long way in circumventing the often torturous political party process. A process which many have decried as being needlessly expensive and, ironically, undemocratic. Women asked for affirmative action: a set percentage of ministerial appointments (at federal level) and of commissioners (at state level).

The importance with which the Speaker and the House as a whole considers youth issues was also demonstrated with the speedy response to public outcry following reports that the Not Too Young to Run Bill had been excluded from the report of the Committee on Constitution Review. Speaker Dogara assured Nigerian youths that he had made a promise and that promise would be kept.

Yet, many were doubtful.

This doubt did not last for long as the House voted overwhelmingly in support of independent candidacy, reducing the age of eligibility, and affirmative action for women at both federal and state levels.

The only clause pertaining to political representation which failed to scale through at the House was the one which would confer indigeneship on women, thereby enabling them contest for office where they are married. Although this failed to garner the required number of votes, the Speaker called for a second round of voting, in hopes that more numbers would be gotten and the clause would eventually scale through. Alas! This was not meant to be.

The special consideration given by Speaker Dogara has been commended by many gender advocates, who believe granting a second vote provided further proof of his support for the gender equity campaign, especially as this courtesy was not extended to any other clause.

It is imperative that these efforts be sustained as the fight for inclusion now proceeds to state level. Having won the first round at the National Assembly, youth and women advocates must organise and engage at state level with as much vigour, if not more.

The advocacy must now go to state assemblies and a media strategy which entails crafting messages in support of the aims and objectives should be implemented. Local languages should be used in driving the points home, and public debates need to be held across states in order to generate discussions on youth and women inclusion in governance.

The Dogara-led House of Representatives has fulfilled its promise and now is the time for us all to ensure that these efforts are complemented, so that the Nigerian political space may be truly representative.

[Writer’s note: As an advocate for gender equity and youth representation in politics, and one who fits into both the youth and women demography, it has been an honour to watch my principal make good on his promises and fully support the campaign for youth inclusion and gender equity.]

 

Rinsola Abiola is SA (New Media) to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, founding PRO of the All Progressives Youth Forum, Ag. President of the APC Young Women Forum, and a Youth Representative on the APC’s Board of Trustees. She writes from Abuja.

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