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National Issues Require Bipartisan Approach – Lawmaker

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The lawmaker representing Etinan Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Mr Onofiok Luke, said in Uyo yesterday that for the country to develop and make progress issues of national interests required bipartisan approach.
Luke told newsmen that critics, who believed that as a PDP member, he should oppose issues brought to the House by the ruling APC every time did not mean well for the country.
He said that as politician with integrity, he remained a loyal member of the PDP, but must debate national issues dispassionately and without political bias.
“I am a man who stands by what he believes. I believe I have demonstrated discipline in my political sojourn and will not compromise it now when I am getting towards the curve of my political journey.
“What my critics don’t understand is that at the national level, bipartisan approach to governance is essential if not pivotal.
“Your ability to coalesce the inputs of various stakeholders, regardless of party affiliations to drive home the interest of your constituency is a necessary survival instinct.
“You cannot be defining PDP/APC when there are pressing topical national issues seeking attention and legislations. Acknowledging this shouldn’t suddenly make you disloyal to your party.
“Today, with this bipartisan approach to politics, I have advocated the granting of license for the operation of Ibom Deep Seaport, reviving of Aluminium Smelter Company in Ikot Abasi, and the creation of a division of the Court of Appeal in Uyo,’’ Luke said.
Luke, a former Speaker at the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly and member representing Etinan, Nsit Ibom and Nsit Ubium in the House of Representative, said he would remain the voice of the people.
He said that within his short period of stay at the National Assembly, he had sponsored 14 Bills and four motions that would be beneficial to the people.
The lawmaker said he also advocated for several issues that would advance Akwa Ibom and Nigeria as a nation.
“When we began our campaign for the House of Representatives, we drove with the mantra: `A voice to speak and a heart to give back.’ ‘’ Seventeen months on this project, I’ll leave you with the privilege of evaluating me, if I have truly lived to the principles of my campaign poetry.
“Worried by the slow pace of justice dispensation, I have championed the course of speedy dispensation of justice in Nigeria. In a manner of a motion, I called for more justices to be appointed to the Supreme Court. Today, more justices have been appointed to the Supreme Court.
“I have spoken for the welfare of judicial officers and increased security around judges in the country.  My belief is that, if these judges feel insecure or suffer kidnap, they may be afraid to dispense justice,’’ he said.
Luke said he had also attracted 10 projects to his constituency since he got to the House of Representatives in 2019. He added that six of the projects had been executed while others would be delivered within the timeframe given.
He solicited for continuous support of his constituents to enable him to perform better and to provide more dividends of democracy to the people.
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CUPP Cautions NASS On Party Primaries

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The Coalition for United Political Parties (CUPP) has said that direct or indirect primaries should be left at the discretion of the leadership of political parties. 
A statement on Wednesday by CUPP’s National Secretary, Chief Peter Ameh, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) should not use its majority in the National Assembly to manipulate the Constitution in its favour and force its decision down the throat of other parties.
Ameh added that “this authoritarian will of APC majority is not good for our democracy.”
He further stated, “Why should the method of selecting/electing political party representatives be forced down their throat? It is totally absurd and uncalled for. 
“This direct primaries is a direct assault on parties to freely determine the most suitable means of conducting its internal affairs. 
“This is interference in the affairs of the parties by taking away the right of party organs to make decisions for the smooth running of party activities. What party ‘A’ wants is different from party ‘B’. 
“APC is using it’s majority in the National Assembly to manipulate the constitution in their favour and force the decision of APC down the throat of other parties, this authoritarian will of APC majority is not good for our democracy.
“They can’t dictate for political parties their means of party nomination. Do they give political parties grant? No!, So they should allow political parties to look for the most cost effective ways to manage internal issues as it relates to the conduct of party primaries. 
The CUPP scribe urged them to use their legislative powers “to approve ‘Option A4’ as the means of voting in an election, if truly they want things to work in Nigeria.” .
“As for the approval of electronic transmission of election results, we should not applaud the Senate for doing the right thing after so much public outcry, this is why I have insisted that only mass action from citizens can give our democratic process needed growth..
“Citizens must continue to engage the process to protect our democracy or else those elected to serve their interest will remain self serving senators..
“The hallubaloo over the amendment of Section 53 to give INEC the rights to determine the rightful mode for the transmission of election results was expected but unnecessary because if not that the senators were to be clouded by their own need for self-preservation, this wouldn’t have dragged for so long..
“It was wrong to have reduced the independence of the commission to that of consultation commission when the former amendment required that the commission seek approval from NCC before  applying technology that will aid the improvement of our elections.”

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State Congress: Kano Announces Drug Test For APC Contestants

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The Kano State Government, has announced that all contestants vying for positions in the All Progressive Congress (APC)’s executive council position must undergo a mandatory drug test.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Muhammad Garba, on Wednesday in Kano.
According to Garba, interested persons should report to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in the state for the screening.
“The directive is part of government’s policy to rid Kano of illicit substances,” he said.
He warned that no contestant would be screened without undergoing the mandatory drug test ahead of the October 16 state congress of the ruling party.
“Similar tests were carried out for contestants into local government election, as well as political appointees including members of the state executive council before offering them a portfolio,” Garba said.
He further noted that Governor Abdullahi Ganduje mandated the state office of the NDLEA to ensure thorough conduct of the tests.
The commissioner reaffirmed Ganduje’s commitment to riddle drug abuse among political leaders.
“The government will not hesitate to issue necessary disciplinary measures against anyone found with the trace of illicit substances, including a compulsory recommendation for rehabilitation,” the commissioner said.

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PDP Mocks APC On Bad Governance

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to accept their mass failures in party management and governance and stop bothering Nigerians with their regular lamentations.
The PDP said that its position was predicated on a statement by the APC in which it claimed to have improved on electoral process in the country, whereas what abounds in the nation is a painful story of how the APC has destroyed the economy, the electoral process and the national unity, to the extent that life has become despondent to the average Nigerian.
The party, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “we accept the fact that the APC lacks the capacity for feedback mechanism, however, the PDP wishes to bring to the attention of the APC that all Nigerians today would wish this administration had come to its end.
“Notwithstanding, our party counsel is that the APC should begin to prepare their handover notes because Nigerians are not ready to endure this anguish beyond May 29, 2023.”
The PDP urged Nigerians to continue to rally with PDP as “we collectively prepare to rescue our nation from this incompetent, divisive and thoughtless APC and its administration.”

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