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Don Charges Politicians To Imbibe June 12 Lessons

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A university don and legal practitioner, Edwin Jonathan has called on political leaders in the country to build on the lessons of the June 12,1993 general elections.
Barr. Jonathan who teaches law at the Rivers State University (RSU) stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Port Harcourt, the state capital ahead of Nigeria’s new democracy day now slated for June 12 yearly.
He expressed regrets that the country has not benefitted from the June 12 poll because she was yet to come to terms with the lessons needed to have been learned therefrom; but noted that it was laudable for an incumbent President to have realised that the date is of great importance.
According to him, We have not benefitted in any way from June 12. We have thrown away all the lessons we needed to learn from June 12. Whether we have gotten anything from the deliverables is no.
“However, I am glad that at least we have been able to take the first step which is recognizsing that June 12 really matters to Nigerians. The next thing is built on it. How? Those who are already in governance should realise the legacy that Chief Moshood Abiola left. Abiola left the legacy of unity of one nation
“Though it was Lord Fedrick Lugard that put us together. Now that we are together, let us stay together as a nation irrespective of our background,” the university teacher said.
Jonathan expressed the need for the country to reflect on what Abiola lived and died for, describing him as a detribalised Nigerian and phenomenon whose huge acceptance across the nation shows that a free, fair and credible poll is possible.
“We must look at what Abiola lived for and died for. He lived for one Nigeria. Secondly Abiola is a phenomenon to the fact we can have a free, fair, violent free and credible elections. Nobody died during the ‘Abiola election’. At least not to my knowledge. The North, the West, the South East and the South-South all voted for Abiola. Nobody died. Which means that phenomenon called free, fair and credible election is possible.
“The third point here is that it is possible to have a detribalised Nigerian in a fully tribalised nation where everybody talks about where he comes from, what type of God he worships and that determines his political philosophy. “And that determines his political followership. Politics must be taken away from religion,” he stated.
While commenting on the issue of derivation and resource control and all of that he said the solution to even the issue of resource control and resource agitation is proper resource governance, saying: “If the resources are being properly governed you will not care who governed it. If what is important to you gets to you, if what you deserve gets to you, will you worry whether it is a Yoruba man or Hausa man or a Niger Delta man that govern the resources?
“You will not bother! The reason we bother is when somebody gets there he governed it according to his family lineage and the rest of the nation go begging. The only time we are really united is when Nigeria, Super Eagles plays a foreign nation. Beyond football when the games are over we get back to our cocoons. But Abiola set it aside. He (Abiola) did not take advantage of it,” he said.

 

Dennis Naku

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Tambuwal Tasks NASS On Electoral Reforms

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has called on the leadership and members of the National Assembly (NASS) to consider electoral reforms and constitutional amendment.
“As a matter of urgency NASS should consider starting the process of electoral reforms and constitutional amendments in the interest of the nation,” Tambuwal pleaded.
The Governor made the plea on Wednesday in Sokoto when he received the EU Ambassador and Head of delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil Karsen, who visited him in Government House Sokoto.
Tambuwal said that the process would no doubt ensure that all the new innovations introduced in the current electoral process were captured constitutionally.
The Governor further said that the process would give legal framework that would go along in strengthening and deepening the nation’s democracy.
Amb. Karsen said he had come to dialogue with Tambuwal on various issues including security situation in the Northwest part of Nigeria.
He said that during their discussions Tambuwal informed him of the efforts being made by the Governors of the zone to curtail the menace of banditry and insecurity.
Karsen explained that peace effort provided opportunity for development pointing out that their discussions also focused on development challenges in Sokoto state and future support of EU to the state.
The Ambassador further said that they also discussed the need for early reform of the electoral act with discussions centered on how to deepen and consolidate the nation’s democracy.
He further said their discussions focused on general health, education, environment, women and gender streamlining among others.

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NASS Ready To Work For Nigerians -Lawan

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The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has said that with the recent constitution of the standing committees, the ninth National Assembly (NASS) is more prepared to work for Nigerians.
Lawan made the promise in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Ola Awoniyi, in Abuja yesterday.
The statement quoted Lawan making the remark at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, shortly on his return from this year’s Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, in the early hours of the day.
He was said to have been received on arrival by Senators Barau Jibrin, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele and his Deputy Chief of Staff, Mohammed Karage.
He said: “The ninth National Assembly has been properly constituted, especially with our committees in place.
“We are ready, we are willing, we are capable, we are enhanced to work as an institution, to ensure that we provide those ingredients and inputs that the executive would want for it to implement laudable projects to develop the country.”
Lawan departed Abuja on August 5 to perform the Hajj, the first since his emergence as the President of the Senate.
In his company were Senators Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u (Deputy Minority Whip), Teslim Folarin, Bello Mandiya, Ajibola Bashiru and Sani Musa.
The statement said Lawan was full of gratitude to God for the opportunity to be part of the over 60,000 Nigerians that participated in the pilgrimage.
“We prayed for our country to achieve optimal security, to have stability, peace and progress.
“We prayed for the National Assembly too. It is our prayer that the ninth National Assembly will be one to work for Nigerians and for the benefit of those who voted for us.
“Nigerians in Saudi Arabia came together with other Muslims worldwide to pray for global peace. I’m sure that with the message that we heard as part of this year’s pilgrimage and Eid generally, is a message of sacrifice, brotherhood and unity.
“Nigerians should thank God that we are still together, as such we should work to ensure that the unity of this country is not compromised,” Lawan said.
The president of the senate urged Nigerians to continue to pray for their leaders, pointing out that “leaders are meant to serve the people, and no leader would like to deliberately fail to perform.
“Also, in times of challenges like we are going through presently, Nigerians should continue to be behind their leaders with prayers and support, backed by understanding, and by the Grace of God, Nigeria will reach those great heights that for long we have prayed for”.
Lawan reiterated his appeal to the executive arm of government on the need to be on the same page with the NASS to reverse “the undesirable trend of the current budget cycle in Nigeria”.
“We need to work for a budget that will be passed by the National Assembly by December.
“That requires that we work assiduously with the executive arm of government, to have the budget laid before the National Assembly by the end of September, and for the National Assembly to lock up the whole of October this year for budget defence, so that it can be processed and passed before we go on Christmas break.
“It is doable, it is achievable and attainable.
“I’m sure if we are able to achieve that, Nigeria’s economy will witness a boost. Businesses in Nigeria will have something predictable to work with.
“I believe that together with the executive arm of government, we should be able to do this, as this is fundamental to us in the National Assembly, and I’m sure the executive arm is also looking forward to that,” Lawan said.

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Rep Draws FG’s Attention To Constituency Roads

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A member of the House of Representatives, Mr Ganiyu Johnson, yesterday, called on the Federal Government to fix some major roads in Oshodi/Isolo area of Lagos State.
Ganiyu, who represents Oshodi/Isolo 2 Federal Constituency, made this appeal in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
He said some major roads in his constituency including Mushin and Okota roads were in deplorable state, thus hindering movement and causing hardships to people in the area.
“I am calling on the Federal Government to help fix Mushin road linking the Lagos State Polytechnic to the NNPC.
“The NNPC depot is in Ejigbo, motorists haul no fewer than 350 trucks through that road daily and the situation has always been very chaotic.
“Since there is an NNPC depot in Ejigbo, I am appealing to the federal government to take responsibility of upgrading that road and the bridge across.
“If that is done, there will be some relief because you can hardly drive on that road without a breakdown and there is always a gridlock in that corridor.
“The federal government should also intervene on Okota road by rehabilitating it from Pako to Cele to ease movements on the road,” he said.
Johnson lauded the state government for the dual carriageway on Isolo road, saying the intervention had improved the flow of traffic on the road.
The lawmaker added the state government’s intervention on Airport Road was good for the image of the country, as it would give visitors a good impression.
Johnson, a former commissioner for works in the state, called for the dredging of a major canal in the area to address the problem of perennial flooding.
‘The canal is supposed to be an asset to our constituency but today, as I speak, it is a death trap.
“Once there is a downpour, everywhere is flooded. So what we are pushing for is that they should dredge the canal, so that we will be able to have enough headroom.
“So that all the estates in the area including those in Ejigbo that are usually sacked by flooding will have a new lease of life.
“We can also dredge the canal for water transportation to move people from Ejigbo to Lagos via Mile 2,” he said.
The lawmaker said he would on his part, intervene in the fixing of some inner roads in the area as part of his constituency projects.
He assured the people of the area a quality representation at the House of Representatives, saying he would work hard for the progress of his constituency.

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