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‘Legislators Should Enlighten Nigerians On Legislative Duties

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The spokesman for the 2020 National Legislative Conference, Amb. Chibuzor Okereke, says the Legislative Arm of Government must continue to engage in national conversations to sensitise Nigerians to its function, powers and deliverables.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, Okereke, said that the Legislature, which is the youngest of the three Arms of Government had suffered the most under successive military regimes.
He said that the Legislature had also come under serious attacks by Nigerians in recent times, blaming it on lack of proper understanding of the roles of the Legislature in a democratic system of government.
The spokesman said that the theme for the 2020 National Legislative conference, which will hold today, November 30, in Abuja is “Legislative Investigation Powers, Expectations and Challenges and the Way Forward’’.
According to him, the conference is being put together by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with HallowMace Communications Ltd and will bring state and national legislators to discuss salient issues with other stakeholders.
“We are bringing this conference to address the grey areas associated with the powers of the National Assembly.
There are people who ague the content of the investigative powers; we have seen cases where people have queried National Assembly’s investigative powers.
“People are also asking question about the powers of the National Assembly to increase or reduce the national budget.
“But we know that sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution give the National Assembly far reaching powers when it comes to issues of investigation.
“However, there are some schools of thought who argue that the National Assembly are only to expose corruption and most of these issues are in the Executive Arm.
“When the Legislature finishes its work, it still hands over the findings to the Executive for implementation.
“These are the challenges; so the conference will focus on us examing and beaming x-ray lights on how the National Assembly can effectively utilise its investigative powers and also look at the challenges.
“In the most recent hearings, we have seen party stalwarts go and air and asking the Senate President and the Speaker questions like, who is the majority in the National Assembly?
“Why do you have opposition members heading committees that are now embarrassing our government.
“So that perception that any investigative hearing being carried out by the National Assembly is a witch-hunt or if it is being done by a committee headed by the opposition is being done to embarrass the government, these are things to be looked at,’’ he said.
Okereke, who is also the Convener, Nigeria’s Peoples Assembly, said that of the four major functions of the legislature – lawmaking, representation, oversight and constituency services – the oversight function has come under serious scrutiny.
According to him, it is through the oversight function that the assembly institutes public investigative hearing.
Okereke said that since 1999, the National Assembly had conducted many investigative hearings including the most recent ones on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and Chinese Loans.
 He said that there was a need to ensure that the outcome of such investigations met the demands and exceptions of Nigerians.
 ”Political interference by the political parties, the political will of the National Assembly to deliver and how open and transparent these process have been and most importantly, what have we done with report of previous investigative hearing.
“And looking at the way forward, it is the committees either standing or ad hoc, that carries out these investigations.
“So how are people appointed into committee either as chairman or as members and how can viable committee members help in conducting very efficient investigative hearing that will deliver the kind of result Nigerians expect.
“Majorly this oversight is put in place to ensure value for money, to ensure that Executives do not abuse their powers and to ensure efficiency in government and curb waste.
“It is important to pay less attention to lawmaking because every Legislative Assembly wants to score themselves on the number of laws they have made.
“But there are key issues about waste, cost of governance, abuse of power, human rights violation and poor delivery of jobs with government fund,” he said
The spokesman said that the keynote speaker for the conference will be the Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC).
He said that the Senate president and Speaker are the special guests of honour while the Majority Leader of the House of  Representative and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami will be speaking at the panel section among others.
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Anambra Guber Poll: PDP Chieftain Tasks Aspirants On Manifestoes

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Ahead of November 6 governorship election in Anambra State, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in the state has advised interested party members in the election to sell their manifestoes to the public, and not to the national secretariat of the party.
A contestant for the Zonal Women Leader of the South-East PDP, Amb. Juliet Anaeme, gave the advice in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by her Media Consultant, Soji Bamidele.
She recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had scheduled Anambra governorship election for November 6 and the period should not be seen as long for adequate preparations to achieve success.
“I call on the aspirants in the forthcoming Anambra governorship election to showcase their manifestoes, programmes and grassroots capacity not to the party’s national headquarters but to Anambra people on how they intend to govern the state when elected.
“This is because it is the people of Anambra that will vote and not Abuja connections that will vote any aspirant as the governor of the state.
“I call on the party also not to work against the will of the people of Anambra so as not to allow the ticket to be driven by the highest bidder aspirant against the will of people,’’ she said.
According to her, if PDP candidate cannot win Anambra, automatically the ticket becomes useless.
“So the big question remains that after you must have got the party’s ticket, what next are you going to do with it.
“There is always a winner and not winners when it comes to governorship election, nothing such as second position and the only way of becoming the winner is by venturing into grassroots mobilisation and getting closer to the voters,’’ she advised.
She also noted that PDP relied on the masses’ votes, advising the aspirants to identify with the grassroots, especially the students and groups to feel the pulse of the people.
According to her, party members ought not to wait until they have the party’s ticket to begin mobilisation in the grassroots to have a resounding success and victory in the election.
She further urged the executives of PDP in the state to, as a matter of urgency, put in place an internal mechanism that could bring all hands on deck to ensure the party’s victory in the November 6 governorship election in the state.

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C’River CP Vows Not To Dabble Into Politics

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The New Commissioner of Police, in Cross River State, CP Sikiru Kayode Akande has said that he will not dabble into politics.
Speaking to newsmen in Calabar, Cross River State Capital, CP Akande said he was in the state as Commander Mopol 11 and vowed not to dabble into Politics.
On what he would not like to do, the CP said he will not dabble into politics and that he was not going to replace wrong for right or right for the wrong
The CP said the Command would use technology to look at crimes in Cross River State so that crimes can be identified and tackled immediately.
On the operation of a Security Outfit code name ‘Operation Akpagu’ introduced by the Cross River State Governor, CP Okande said “I am studying the operational plan of Operation Akpagu.
“It came into existence before I came, one thing I know, I have told the Governor, if we want internal security to be 100%, give all that you have to the police”
“If you look at the headquarters, it is as old as Nigeria itself, when you go around, you observe that the oldness seems to have affected the ways we are doing things.
“I have mandated my Provost to take a structural appraisal of all that we have. I saw the PRO’s office, that building should be like about 100 years and it should be in the National Achieve.
The CP, however, regretted that the State Government was not providing adequate assistance to it, “All the DPOs are complaining that they don’t have operational vehicles, what do you want them to do, the moment you give us what we want we will clear everywhere the moment, we are empowered”.

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Ondo: OPC News Era Lambasts Presidency

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The Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) New Era has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to allow Governor Rotimi Akeredolu fix the security situation in his state.
OPC New Era made this disclosure while reacting to a statement credited to Mr. Garba Shehu Special Assistant to President Muhamadu Buhari on Media and Publicity.
It will be recalled that Akeredolu had given an ultimatum to herdsmen to vacate Ondo forests.
Shehu in his reaction however said that Akeredolu does not have the power to do so.
But, National Publicity Officer of OPC New Era, Comrade Adesina Akinpelu, while reacting, hinted that the group is ready to mobilise all militant groups in the South Western States of the country in favour of Akeredolu.
Akinpelu who spoke with newsmen in Ibadan yesterday condemned in totality the reactions of Buhari’s spokesman on the ultimatum given by Akeredolu to the unregistered herdsmen grazing on the soil of Ondo.
Akinpelu added that Yorubas both at home and in the diaspora should not allow the struggle of their leaders to be in vain.
He said, “Why is it that President Buhari is only responsive to issues that concern the Fulani more than other tribes in the country.”
Akinpelu disclosed that when the daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti was allegedly killed by the Fulani kidnappers, there was no tangible response from the Federal Government except a condolence letter sent to the family without any action to fish out the killers.
Akinpelu, however, disclosed that all militant groups in the Southwest will be mobilised to defend Akeredolu and the entire Yoruba speaking states.
Akinpelu hinted that it was obvious that the herdsmen have President Buhari as their patron.
“During the reign of the former governor of Oyo State, late Lam Adesina, Buhari rushed down to Oyo State when a crisis erupted between the Fulani and Yoruba people, and that was an indication that President Buhari maintained a bond with the Fulani herdsmen.

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