There may be an imminent clash between the Presidency and the Senate over the status of the newly confirmed board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, yesterday insisted that with the approval of the Senate on November 5, the approved board has become the authentic authorities in charge of the NDDC.
The Senate President reiterated yesterday that the Senate will only deal with the board members of the Delta Development Commission, NDDC it screened and confirmed this month.
Speaking shortly after the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North read the Executive Communication on the 2019 and 2020 Budget Estimates of the NDDC that the Senate do consider of President Muhammadu Buhari.
President of the Senate who refereed the request to the Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North led Committee on Niger Delta Affairs to return at plenary in two weeks. Lawan said,” I want to reiterate for emphasis that you deal with the Governing Board that this Senate approved.”
Recall that President of the Senate had on Tuesday read a letter from the President on the 2019 and 2020 budget estimates of NDDC.
The President of the Senate said, “ I believe that the executive arm of government will attend to that quickly so that we have the right people to come and defend the Appropriation request of Mr. President.”
Lawan had read the President’s request at plenary which is contained in a letter dated November 21, 2019 and addressed to him on the approval of the budget proposals for the NDDC. .
The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 18(1) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) (Establishment) Act, I forward herewith, the 2019 and 2020 Budget Estimates of the Niger Delta Development Commission, for the kind consideration and passage by the Senate.
“While I trust that the Senate will consider this request in the usual expeditious manner, Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration
Recall that President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan had said on Tuesday that the onus was now on the President to do the needful by inaugurating the Dr. Pius Odubu led NDDC following the confirmation by the Upper Chamber in consonance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Also recall Lawan had said that those it screened and subsequently confirmed as Chairman and board members of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC are the only rightful people that will come and defend the budget of the Commission before its Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.
The Senate had also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency, swear in the Dr. Pius Odubu led NDDC Board. Recall that the Senate in the first week of November, confirmed President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees for the board of NDDC.
The former Deputy Governor of Edo State, Dr. Pius Odubu, was confirmed by the Senate as Chairman of the NDDC Board, just as a nominee from Delta State, Chief Bernard Okumagba, was also confirmed as the NDDC Managing Director.
The confirmation followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs by its Chairman, Peter Nwaoboshi, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Delta North.
Also confirmed were Otobong Ndem who is now the Executive Director, Projects and Maxwell Oko as Executive Director, Finance and Administration.
The Senate had also confirmed Prophet Jones Erue (Delta), Chief Victor Ekhator (Edo), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Olugbenga Elema (Ondo), Hon. Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo), Aisha Murtala Muhammed (Kano), Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa) and Amb. Abdullahi Bage (Nasarawa). Only a nominee from Rivers State, Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh was not confirmed by the Senate as she did not appear for screening.
The expired 2018 budget of N346. 5bn of the agency had N2.883bn as Capital Expenditure, while N311.371bn was approved for development projects.
The sum of N19.521bn was for Personnel Cost, while N12. 737bn was for Overhead Expenditure.
Similarly, in 2017, the NDDC got a total of N364bn as its annual budget out of which N329.850bn was approved for capital projects.
Meanwhile, the Senate President yesterday , referred the consideration of the budgets to the Committee on NDDC.
He specifically told the panel to work strictly with the new board approved by the Senate.
He said, “Please make sure you deal directly with the board of the NDDC that the Senate approved.”
Investigations by our correspondent, however, revealed that the interim management team which Akpabio inaugurated, on the orders of the Presidency is still controlling the affairs of the agency. The NDDC panel is expected to start work on the document next week.
In another development, the Senate has begun moves to again improve on the process of nipping in the bud, the security challenges in the country and to have national inclusion by introducing process a bill for the establishment of a National Institute for Security and Strategic Studies in Orumba, Anambra State.
This bill which was read the first time at plenary, will help fill the void that was already in existence and achieve a holistic and comprehensive coverage of strategic security development institutions across the country. The bill is being sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah, Young Progressives Party, YPP, Anambra South.
After the introduction of the Bill by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, All Progressives Congress, APC, Kebbi North, the Clerk of the Senate, Nelson Ayewor affirmed it.
On the Bill, Senator Ubah said that the proposed legislation “is a strategic intervention geared towards deepening and strengthening Nigeria’s capacity to train and equip our people to tackle the several security and defence challenges of the 21st century.”
“This bill will help fill the void that is already growing, the last piece of the puzzle to achieve a holistic and comprehensive coverage of strategic security development institutions across the country.
“The institute which will see the South East host and complete the circle of zones with tactically placed instruments of state defence and security has been applauded by the Senate as worthy to pass through the first reading”, expressing the hope that the legislative initiative will be approved and passed.
“It is worthy of note to state that out of the six geo-political zones, it is only the South East that does not have a key institution for internal and external security. There are already existing institutions in other geo-political zones.”
According to Senator Ubah, such Institutions include the Staff Services Academy, SSA in Lagos, South West; State Services Technical Academy, SSTA in Calabar, South South; Institute of Security Studies, ISS, recently upgraded to National Institute for Security Studies, NISS in Abuja representing the North Central; Staff Development Centre- SDC in Kaduna, North West, and the Senior Staff Development Centre-SSDC in Bauchi, North East.
The Senator further said that these institutions are mostly saddled with the training of Department of State Services, DSS staff as well as other national security staff/recruitment which is managed by the DSS.
Ubah said, “certain occurrences have in recent times, further exposed the dire need for greater capacity building, institutional strengthening and the strategic integration of all parts of the nation in the security architecture for total national cohesion and unity.
“This, therefore, brings home, the urgent need to establish a security training institute in the South East so as to augment the already existing institutions in other geo-political zones and strengthen our national security architecture,” he added.
Senator Ubah who recalled that the institution was existent in Enugu before it was closed, said however that “the essence of this bill is to create a regional balance/inclusion and cultural background which is a core and pivotal element of intelligence, especially now that security and national inclusion are top priorities of the federal government.”
He said that the institute would nurture and develop dynamic and quality security services in Nigeria through training, examination and certification, adding that it would also be saddled with the responsibility of training students on high standard strategic security studies and intelligence reports.
He further noted that the establishment bill, would also promote and enhance the general development of security by conducting research programmes into security and allied subjects with special emphasis on innovative global security practices while creating security awareness among the general public.
Ubah added that it would not only create employment opportunities, but also engender social inclusion as well as intensify security awareness in the South East.
Insists Tinubu Can’t Determine Obaseki’s Fate …Urges Edo People To Use Election To Liberate The State …Assures Of The Support Of All South- South Governors
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to use the Edo State Governorship election to create hope in the electoral process.
Wike, who is also the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Campaign Council for the Edo Governorship Election, made the appeal during a Live Television Programme in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
He stated that the outcome of the election would provide hope for the general elections of 2023.
“Let everyone that loves this country ensure that the September 19, 2020, election is credible, free and fair.
“The police and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should show Nigerians that they can support credible elections.
“INEC should ensure that result sheets are not in the hands of unauthorised individuals. Security agencies should not whisk away collation officers and later bring them back with cooked results.
“Complete manipulation of the electoral process causes violence. No politician will cause violence, if the police and INEC do not compromise,” he added.
Wike said there would be high turnout of voters on Saturday because the people of Edo State were prepared to put an end to godfatherism.
He stated that he carried out an independent assessment of Governor Godwin Obaseki’s achievements, and was quite satisfied that he would win the election convincingly.
According to him, “no amount of money or intimidation will make the people of the state not to vote massively for Governor Obaseki”.
The governor urged the people to be vigilant and protect their votes because enemies of the state were hovering around to truncate their will.
“The agenda of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is to win at all cost for us to go to the tribunal. That is why Edo people must be vigilant.
“I must commend the United States and the United Kingdom for the visa ban placed on election riggers in the country.
“They should go ahead and publish their names so that a lot of things will change in our electoral process.
“Election rigging is worse than armed robbery. So, whatever sanctions that can be imposed will be highly welcomed by the PDP,” he added.
Wike also disagreed with Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu over his comments about the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, not being a democrat.
The chairman of national campaign council on Edo election, said that despite his respect for the Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Tinubu cannot determine if Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki was a democrat or not.
He said only Edo people can determine and decide if they want Obaseki or not.
Wike maintained that without the interference of the Federal Government and its agencies, Obaseki would win Saturday’s election squarely.
“I will say it anywhere; Bola Tinubu is one of the politicians I respect highly.
“Going by what happens in Lagos that one person determines everything, it can be allowed to happen in Edo. You cannot allow that.
“And with all due respect, if Bola Tinubu says Obaseki is not a democrat that is his own view. Many of us know that Obaseki is a democrat, and it is left for Edo people to determine if Obaseki is a democrat or not.
“If it is by popular voting, we can go and sleep knowing that the election is over but because we know that it is not over because they are relying on the Federal Government, that is why I am calling on all Edo people to take this election as their own contribution to the development of Edo State,” Wike added.
Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says Edo electorate must be mobilised for the gubernatorial election with a focus at liberating the State.
Governor Wike gave the charge at a meeting organised for leaders and elected representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in Benin City.
He said they have done extensive campaigns from ward to ward and should work together to deliver the PDP during the election.
The governor who is also the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council advised them not to be violent in their determination to liberate the State from godfatherism.
“This is an opportunity for you to fight for the liberation of Edo State.
You must all say enough is enough.
“One man should not be allowed to continue to insult Edo people. The godfather thinks what he says will always be. This is time to stop him.
“We want all the States in the South- South to be united. So, it is the best time to join your kits and kins from other Niger Delta States. This election is a fight for the destiny of the region. Edo State cannot continue to be alone,” he said.
He said party faithfuls also need to know how to be part of history in securing the future of the State.
Governor Wike urged them to discard fear and threats of violence as they resolve to participate in all the electoral processes.
He charged them to monitor the distribution of electoral materials and be vigilant to protect their votes.
“The electoral battle may not be easy. But God is with us. With the people also on ground, we will win.
” Let me tell you, God forbid that APC wins. If they do, all of you here would have failed because your political life will be in jeopardy.
“They will come with federal might. But do not fear because we have the electorate on our side.
“They did the same in Rivers State. The people resisted them by protecting their votes,” he stated.
Also speaking the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki said the meeting was at the instance of Governor Wike, the Chairman, PDP National Campaign Council for Edo State.
He noted that the meeting would address grey areas and other important issues required to secure electoral victory for the Party.
Edo State Chairman of the PDP, Hon. Anthony Aziegbeme said they have started to be vigilant and would resist any form of hijack of electoral materials.
Buhari Signs Police Bill 2020 Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law the Nigeria Police Bill, 2020.
Buhari, in a memo dated September 16, 2020, communicated his assent to the Bill to the National Assembly, through the Clerk of the Legislature.
A statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, yesterday, explained that the Act repealed the Police Act Cap. P19. Laws of the Federation, 2004, and provides for a more effective and well organized Police Force, driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.
According to the statement, “Among others, the Act establishes an appropriate funding framework for the police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions, enhances professionalism in the Force through increased training opportunities, and creates enduring cooperation and partnership between the Police Force and communities in maintaining peace and combating crimes nationwide.”
RSG Redeems N30m Bounty Pledge On Bobosky
The Rivers State Government has redeemed its promise of N30million bounty to anyone with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the notorious criminal, Honest Digbara, a.k.a Bobosky.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tammy Danagogo, at the presentation of a cheque for the amount to the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Mr Joseph Mukan.
Wike said the gesture was in fulfilment of the pledge he made to facilitate the capture of the notorious criminal.
He said when Bobosky was terrorising Rivers State, he made a promise that anybody that would give the police information that would lead to his arrest would be rewarded with N30million.
“We were elated last week, when your command reported that the elusive Bobosky has been arrested after a serious gun battle.
“I want to thank the police officers under your command for the gallantry displayed in arresting that deadly criminal. Let me also thank the informant who had confidence in you and also trusted government.
“My administration will continue to support security agencies to rid the state of criminal elements.
“I thank the police officers for the gallantry in arresting the criminals and I also thank the informants who cannot be mentioned here.
“As a government, we keep our promises. That was why in the case of Don Waney who was terrorising the state at that time, the sum of N200million promised was also redeemed”.
Responding, the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mukan, thanked Governor Nyesom Wike for redeeming his promise, and assured that the gesture would go a long way in motivating security agencies to perform their duties.
Mukan announced that the command has been able to dislodge three criminal camps in Ogoni and that a notorious criminal known as VIP terrorising Ahoada area would soon be rounded off.
“On behalf of the Inspector General of Police, we appreciate the governor, and we assure the people of Rivers State that we shall do our best to keep the state safe”, he added.
Mukan stressed that the capture of Bobosky caused the police sleepless night, even as he said police exhibited professionalism throughout the operation.
The CP said that the IGP Community Police Scheme was working well in information and intelligence gathering which helps the police in reducing crime in the state.
He assured that the police would not relent in their duties of restoring sanity in the state, promising to capture the remaining members of the Bobosky gang.
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