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Buhari’s 2019 Budget, Hopeless Document -Saraki …NASS Demands Probe Of Badeh’s Assassination

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Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, yesterday tasked Nigerians not to expect much from the 2019 Appropriation Bill, describing the budget proposal as hopeless.
Saraki, who spoke in his capacity as the Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, PPCO, also declared that Nigerians were safer in 2015 than they are today.
He stated this at an interactive session between the PDP presidential candidate, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Abuja.
PDP Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, at the event lamented that 60 percent of the 2019 budget is dedicated to debt servicing of the APC government which he noted has surpassed what was accrued in the 16 years of the PDP government.
Saraki in his opening remark, argued that the budget proposal presented by Buhari last Wednesday had no future because the statistics does not indicate the financial model by which it will be funded. He said, “Yesterday (Wednesday), we all heard the 2019 budget.
That is a budget that has no hope for anybody because if you look at the statistics and the figures there’s poverty, if you look at the figures based on revenues that are coming in, there is nothing left. So where’s the future?
“There must be an alternative and that is what we hope that by this evening speaking to our candidate and vice presidential candidate, not based on sentiments. We are not voting on sentiments, we are voting on what is the need for you.
“How is your life going to be better? Which party offers you a better future because we see you as those who are patriotic and committed . It’s not about what you’ll get today. It’s about the great country a lot of you expect to see.
The Senate President who noted that the President will fail to attend the January 19, 2019 Presidential debate stressed that any President that wants to lead the country and the African continent should be able to sell his blueprint to the people.
He said, “This is an interactive session. I’m not sure whether the other political parties will give you an opportunity like this to ask them any question. I’m told that one has debated and you already know the answer to that debate. On the second one, I’m very sure he’s not going to debate.
So how do you assess somebody who is not ready to tell you what he’s going to do. “Those days are gone, my good people.
A country that leads the continent that is not ready to show example is not what we want for this continent.
The whole world is going in a direction, if you’re seeking a position, you must come and tell people what you want to do. You must sit down and they will ask you questions and that is why we’re here. “Today is your day, we will sit down and take questions.
I hope at the end of the exercise you will stand up and say yes this is the team that will secure Nigeria, this is the team that will unite Nigeria , this is the team that will fight the poverty in town and bring a bright future.”
Atiku’s running mate, Obi, who also faulted the 2019 budget said “When you look at the revenue, we will spend 60 percent to service debt. So what is left? And they will borrow more. “What they borrowed in 2016 and 2017 is the same PDP borrowed in 16 years.
When you ask them, they say they use it for capital project.”
He lamented the level of poverty in the country and lambasted the President for urging Nigerians to tighten their belts, saying “Nigerian people have no belt again to tighten up”, stressing “we now wake up everyday with a sense of helplessness.”
While he noted that APC administration didn’t heed warnings over the alarming rate of job losses and unemployment in 2017, he said the recent rise in the unemployment rate from 18.8 percent to 23 percent is only going to get worse because “nobody is doing anything.”
He promised that immediately they get elected into office, their administration will show numbers of persons who are unemployed and correspondingly provide daily statistics on the number of persons that will get jobs.
Meanwhile, Senate yesterday urged the Federal Government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the assassination of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh on Tuesday, December 18 along Abuja-Keffi Highway.
The upper legislative chamber also charged the security agencies to ensure the rescue of personal staff of the late Air Chief held hostage by the assailants.
The resolutions followed a motion moved to that effect by Senator Binta Masi Garba and co sponsored by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah.
Senator Garba in the motion “the late Chief of Defence Staff died from gunshot wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked while returning from his farm alongside his driver while one of his personal staff is still held hostage by the assailants.
Senator Binta informe d. the Senate that the late Badeh retired in July 2015 in line with the military tradition at a pulling-out parade held at the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja where he gave his valedictory speech before proceeding to his home state of Adamawa.
Senator Garba stated that the deceased was born in Vimtim town in Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa State into a family of peasant farmers where he attended Vimtim Primary School and Villanova Secondary School before proceeding to the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of the 21 Regular Course on 3rd January, 1977 and was commissioned a Pilot Officer on 3rd July, 1979.
In his contribution, Senator Shehu Sani, who lamented that the killing was an addition to the cases of unresolved assassination, warned that the state must take the issue very seriously.
He said: “Badeh served his country from the beginning to the end, meritoriously. It is sad that he is a victim of assassination. He was killed few kilometers from the state capital. The state has failed Badeh. We should take the issue of security serious. He is a victim of an assassination
“This should bring to light a national discourse. If this can happen to Alex Badeh, it can happen to anybody. It is an addition to the cases of unresolved assassination. The state must take this issue very seriously. We owed him a duty to ensure that such a thing never happen again. The security agencies should deploy necessary security technologies to fish out the killers.”
The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, in his contributions, lamented that the killer, like the case of Bola Ige and others might never be found.
He said: “The killers might never be found because this is not the first time we would have such incidence. The time has come for us to ensure that assassins are found.
“Abuja, the FCT is becoming unsafe for the residents. We must ensure that all the CCTV are working in memory of Badeh and ensure that the killers are found.”
In his remarks , the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki noted the need to do more in the area of security. “ . Necessary measures must be taken to ensure that lives and properties are protected.” he said
Also, the House of the Representatives yesterday urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, and the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Yussuf Bitchi, to fish the those responsible for the killing of the late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, a one time Chief of Defence Staff.
This followed the adoption of a motion moved under matter of public urgent importance titled “need to investigate the killing of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh” by Hon. Abdulrahman Shuaibu Abubakar at the plenary yesterday.
While moving the motion, Hon Abubakar noted that “Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, was killed by unknown gunmen on December 18, 2018, in his car while returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi road.
He pointed out that the driver of the former Chief of Defence Staff sustained serious injuries of gunshot and now receiving medical treatment while his Farm Manager, Engr Joe was taken away by the fleeing gunmen.
In his contribution, Hon. Toby Okechukwu who blamed the nation’s Security agencies for the recent killing in the country declared that the way people were now being killed in the country showed that the country was no longer working and that the security agencies were not alive to their responsibilities.
According to him, “our security outfit is not working, they are not doing what they are supposed to do. If a general can be killed like that, you can now imagine what ordinary Nigerians are going through everyday.
“It is very sad. I understand that the first thing that will come is about corruption allegations against him, unfortunate he is not here to answer all of that, it is a pity that after risking his life to service Nigeria, he now died like a commoner and this shows that Nigeria democracy is gone”.
Also Hon. Chike Adamu who expressed fear over the rate of killings in the country stressed the need for urgent action to stop the madness , saying, “ this is an inccident that happened close to the seat of power where you have the president, his Vice, Senate President including you Mr Speaker.”
While adopting the motion, the House condemned the killing and directed the Police, DSS and other security forces to fish out the killers And made them to face the full weight of the law.

 

Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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PH Law School Campus’ll Be Best, Chiroma Confirms

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Director General, Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Hayatu Chiroma, has expressed optimism that the new Port Harcourt campus of the institution would be the best in the country.
Chiroma made the assertion when he paid a working visit to inspect ongoing civil construction work at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The director general was accompanied the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to assess progress of work at both the Nabo Graham Douglas Campus, Rumueme and staff quarters at New Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
He expressed gratitude to the state government for the intervention to build and deliver the Port Harcourt campus in order to help address the challenge of inadequate lecture and accommodation space for the ever-increasing number of students seeking to acquire vocational legal training at the current campuses of the Nigerian Law School in the country.
“The last time we were here was when the ground-breaking ceremony took place, and today, there is massive construction going on, and there is progress. I want to thank the governor and the good people of Rivers State for this progress.”
Chiroma, who observed that the teeming rainy season in Rivers State has slowed down the pace of work, noted that the amazing aspect of the project is that the quality of materials used for the raft foundation at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas campus is world class.
“The kind of materials used with what we have seen on ground, it is unimaginable, it is excellent. I can assure you that the problem we will be having is about our students, who will prefer to be posted to this place with what I have seen.
“That is the battle we are going to be faced with. But, I can assure you that all our Law School Campus are the same, but with the development going on here, it is going to be a problem for us to decide who comes to Port Harcourt. From what I have seen it is going to be the best.”
Facilities under construction at the Port Harcourt campus will comprise 14 structures, including 1,500-capacity classroom blocks, hostel blocks, students’ multipurpose hall, 16 units’ 3-bedroom flat staff quarters with swimming pool, gymnasium and lawn tennis court.
Other facilities are, library, moot court/law clinic building, sick bay, administrative block, cafeteria and sporting facilities for students.

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Nigeria, Suffering From Leadership Failure, Wike Affirms

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that it was regrettable that 61 years after Independence, Nigeria was still grappling with leadership challenge.
The governor pointed out that because of such leadership failure, Nigeria was now at a point in its history needing God more than ever.
Wike made the assertion at the Interdenominational Church Service organised in commemoration of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor stated that there was hardly anything for Nigerians to celebrate as the country marks 61st Independence anniversary because its leadership continues to entrench hatred, mediocrity, promote ethnicity and religion.
“This is the time that Nigeria needs God more. The country is gone. Insecurity everywhere! Everyone needs to say God; we need you because man’s leadership has failed this country.”
The governor noted that, perhaps, the only thing Nigerians can boast of celebrating was the existence of the name, Nigeria.
“At 61 years, Nigeria is full of enmity, full of divisions, hatred, and ethnicity: A country that cannot put itself together.
“Everybody has responsibility; so, ask yourself questions, have I done my own part?”
Wike also observed the sorry state of Nigeria, and said at 61, it was far removed from being a country that can compete favourably with prosperous countries of the world, given its abundant resources.
The governor bemoaned what has become of the nation’s Legislature that continues to approve anything for the Presidency, and not minding the consequences.
He also decried how the nation’s Judiciary has succumbed to intimidation because its judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear, and wondered what fate Nigerians would have under such seeming tyrannical atmosphere.
“We cannot do the right things. Other countries are talking about how their elections will be transparent; we are talking about how we will rig the election in 2023.
“Simple thing, transmit election results electronically to show transparency, that really that the person you’re declaring won the election but we are afraid.”
“Where is the Legislature? A Legislature that cannot think, a Legislature, anything they bring is right, a Legislature that cannot say that Nigeria has nothing to regret from conducting free and fair election.
“A Legislature that you’ll close your eyes, anything they bring, about borrowing, you say borrow. A Legislature that cannot say that this money we are borrowing, where is it? Where are you applying it? You have no confidence to ask questions.
“The courts have been intimidated. The judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear. You’re seeing something that is wrong, but because you will be summoned in the night, you abandoned your responsibility.”
Wike also blamed the woes the country has suffered on all Nigerians who have refused to do the right things, but rather allowed the wrong things to be perpetrated in all facets of the society.
He noted how ascendancy to leadership was no longer by merit but by ethnic affinity and religious consideration, even when such persons do not have the capacity required to function in such offices.
Speaking further, Wike berated the church leadership over the inordinate dressing of a young man that he saw in the church, and attributed such sight to lack of enforcement of discipline in the church.
In his sermon, Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, noted that only foolish people despise God and attribute their successes in life to personal efforts and ingenuity.
Ihunwo said such foolish people abound in Nigeria because they have hearts of corruption, treat humanity with disdain and delight in doing abominable things and divert public funds for personal use.
According to Ihunwo, it was baffling that despite having leadership over the country, there was unabated spree of killings, a seemingly thriving kidnapping business with some officers of the military killed without drastic measures taken to return Nigeria to the path of sanity.
While charging the church to rise to speak courageously against wickedness in the land, Ihunwo declared the judgement of God upon the sponsors of such killings and kidnapping that have put Nigeria in a pitiable state that its people cannot celebrate independence of the country at 61 years.
Special prayers were said at the service for God’s favour and grace upon Nigeria and its leaders, Rivers State Executive Council, Judiciary and the Legislature, for the governor and his family, as well as the church and its leaders.

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Dreams To Achieve Peace, Dev In N’Delta Achieved, FG Boasts

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The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, has said that the Federal Government has achieved its dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development.
Dikio said this, last weekend, when an ex-militant, High Chief Biobopere Ajube, was conferred with a chieftaincy title in Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Beleukoriwei (Pathfinder) by the Paramount Ruler of the kingdom, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, in his palace in Arogbo, Ondo State.
According to him, the present administration has succeeded in curtailing the restiveness in the region through engagements with the ex-militants.
He assured them that government would not renege in its promises to ensure that the region and its people are developed.
Dikio called on ex-agitators to emulate the disposition of Ajube in peace and entrepreneurship.
He lauded Ajube for leading the charge for a peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta, noting that he was the face of what can happen in the region.
According to him, “with the likes of Ajube, who had undertaken the task of having 400 ex-agitators trained in his Bradama facility under the PAP’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, the dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development is achievable.
“We’re here to tell this community and indeed the world what Ajube means to us. He is very special and we’re excited that he bought into our vision in PAP which is tailored to change the narrative in the region.
“He took the lead of our Train, Employ and Mentor initiative and has pledged to have 400 of our people trained in his facility.
“He is the face of what can happen in the region and there is no doubt that with people like him, the Niger Delta can truly be the place to live and do business”
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, described Ajube as a proud son of Ondo, who had made a tremendous impact in the lives of his people.
He said the honour was a testament of all he had been doing for his people, and urged him not to relent but extend similar gestures to other parts of the state.
“We’re gathered here to celebrate a man who through self-development and engagement is where he is today. We’re proud of him as a true son of Ondo State. All he thinks about is development, peace and empowerment which is a good thing”.
Also speaking, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe said Ajube, during the height of militancy in the Niger Delta, was grossly misunderstood by the Federal Government but as head of the Amnesty Programme, he stood firmly by his side, to explain that he meant well.
He said, “This honour is well deserved. The story and struggle of the emancipation and dealing with the issues in the Niger Delta will not be complete without the mention of High Chief Bibopere Ajube. The story is deep for some of us.
“So, I’m proud that we’re gathered here to celebrate peace, excellence, leadership, strive for sustainable development, honest, and sincere man that loves his God. I know him when he had nothing. He is a man that has the interest of his people in his heart”.
The Traditional Ruler of Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, said it was not a mistake that Ajube was honoured with the highest title, noting that the kingdom has been blessed by him and decided to display that by conferring the prestigious title on him.

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