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PDP Urges Ayade To Return Party’s Secretariat, Vital Documents

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The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Cross River State, Mr. Efiok Cobham, has called on the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to call the latest entrant into the party in Cross River State, Governor Ben Ayade, to order over what he described as forceful conversion of PDP secretariat two days after his defection to APC.
PDP also wants Governor Ayade to return what it called “all missing documents belonging to the party,” which he allegedly took alongside office furniture.
Cobham said this while briefing journalists on the issue at the Ernest Etim Bassey Press Centre, Calabar, in company of other caretaker committee members, insisting that they were shocked when they realized that the APC had taken over Cross River PDP Secretariat, which it had occupied in the last 22 years.
Stressing that the PDP would not use violence in recovering its secretariat from the APC, he added “ we will exhaust all avenues to recover our building”.
The PDP however, urged the APC in Cross River State to return all the PDP documents that got missing at the time of the invasion of the secretariat.
Cobham, a former Deputy Governor to former Governor Liyel Imoke, told the APC not to take the quietness of the PDP as a sign of weakness.
“The quiet walk of a tiger shouldn’t be taken as weakness.”
According to him, even if the PDP were in breach of any term of the tenancy, there are laid down processes and procedures for ejection of tenants and recovery of premises, which need to be followed.
When asked whether the PDP would resort to the use thugs to recover its secretariat, especially now that the courts are not in session because of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN’s) strike, Cobham stated that the PDP had so many lawyers in its fold, and as such would never be associated with any form of illegality to recover its secretariat, but use of legitimate means to recover its secretariat.
But in a swift reaction to the issue shortly after the PDP’s warning to Governor Ayade over the forceful conversion of its secretariat two days after defection to APC, Ayade’s Chief Press Secretary/Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita, stated that the office accommodation was paid for by Governor Ayade and not the PDP.
On the accusations that the governor collected N19 billion from the Federal Government for road maintenance refunds without letting Cross Riverians know the purpose the money was meant for, Ita said that the money was not even N19 billion, but N18 billion, stressing that there was no time the governor had collected money from the federation account without using the money for the common good of the people
Ita said, “From the well documented figure of N18 billion, wailing wailers of the PDP, apologies to Femi Adesina, have now found it convenient to juggle the figure, all in a bid to blackmail the governor and incite the public against him.
“Therefore, while the vanishing clan of PDP tells unwholesome lies about N18 billion refund, it should also in good conscience tell Cross Riverians how the state incurred over N300 billion indebtedness, thus making it the most indebted state in Nigeria.
“Clearly, the PDP in Cross River State is on a free fall and on an uncontrollable hemorrhage.”
Urging the PDP caretaker committee members not to be crying over spilt milk, Ita added that all the lies being peddled in several quarters just to bring Ayade’s hard earned reputation into disrepute would do Ayade no harm.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Sanwo-Olu Signs Anti-Open Grazing Bill Into Law

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Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, signed the bill to prohibit open cattle grazing and trespass of cattle on land in the state into laws.
With the law, Lagos has joined some states in southern Nigeria that have anti-open grazing laws in place.
The law is coming more than two weeks after the September 1 deadline set by the Southern Governors Forum for states.
The governor also signed the Lagos State Domestic And Sexual Violence Agency Bill, into Law.
Meanwhile, the state government has said it is committed to tackling the menace of drug abuse frontally to reduce the ravage among youths in the state.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Monday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the delegates of Anglican Communion Church of Nigeria, led by the Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate, Most Reverend Henry Ndukuba.
Sanwo-Olu said his government was building a massive rehabilitation hospital at Ketu-Ejirin to tackle drug abuse, adding that his administration would  partner with the Church to ensure that the people lived a better life.
He said governance started from the leadership of spiritual homes, noting that government and church can jointly build a community that would outlive all, while restating the commitment to improve the movement of people on road, water as well as building rail infrastructure to make Lagos a livable city.
Speaking earlier, Ndukuba thanked the governor for partnering with the church in the welfare of the people and commended him for his outstanding performance in tackling Covid-19. 
 Also present at the courtesy visit were the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Tayo Ayinde, Secretary to the State Government, Folashade Jaji, Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, among other dignitaries.

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Okowa Tasks NASS On True Federalism

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Delta  State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the National Assembly to embody in the 1999 Constitution being amended, true federalism and independence of Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The governor made the call on Monday at a nationwide sensitisation on the review of the existing revenue allocation formula held at Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.
He explained that an independent RMAFC would carry out its functions independently, including laying its proposals directly before the National Assembly for approval.
According to the governor, the current practice where recommendations of the commission are presented to the President has led to the non-review of the revenue allocation formula since 1992 as no President demonstrated the political will to forward the amendments to the parliament.
He commended RMAFC for ongoing sensitisation of the states before a zonal exercise where recommendations from the states would be received.
“For quite some time a lot of talks have gone on in the revenue allocation and it’s very unfortunate that in this country we are still operating a revenue allocation formula that was actually reviewed in 1992.
“As we look forward to a new revenue allocation formula, we hope that you come out with something that is fair, justifiable and equitable.
“But, the challenge is that when you have done all this work, you are going to eventually, by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, lay this before the President and the President ought to lay it before the National Assembly.
“There is a challenge there and there has always been a challenge there, because what is there in our laws that will ensure that the President lays the recommendations of RMAFC before the National Assembly?
“We hope that the National Assembly takes a look at this amendment because RMAFC is supposed to be an independent commission, a commission on behalf of all federating units and component parts of the federation.
“They cannot tie your hands; the constitution ought to be amended to enable chairman of RMAFC to directly lay before the national assembly whatever review it has come up with so that nobody stands it down,’’ he said.
Okowa stated that the National Assembly must do what was right because “a nation is a nation.

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Reps Query Presidential Committee Over Assets Seized From Past Leaders

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The House of Representatives on Monday ordered the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Landed Property to produce reports of all assets seized from former Nigerian leaders.
Members were more particular about the late Head of State, Sani Abacha, whose property and money were recovered by the Federal Government. 
 The chairman, ad-hoc Committee on Abandoned Property, Ademora Kuye, said the House wanted a report on all assets seized from Nigerian leaders in and out of Nigeria, particularly Abacha.
He said this when the Executive Secretary of PIC appeared before the committee in Abuja.
“We need to know the state of those property and to also know if the property have titles of deed,’’ Mr Kuye said.
The committee also queried the sale of federal government’s assets held in trust by the PIC.
Mr Kuye said the committee discovered that some of the property the PIC claimed to have sold were either not sold or were not paid for, contrary to claims made by the PIC.
He added that some of the seized houses which the PIC claimed were vacant were still being occupied.
He directed the PIC to furnish the House of Representatives committee with up-to-date reports of federal government’s assets sold, amount realised from the sales, those yet to be sold and those under litigation.
Mr Kuye also asked that the PIC must state the amount of money remitted to the federal government from the sales with evidence of remittance, adding that all assets pointed out to the committee but not included in its first report should be forwarded to the House of Representatives committee.
Responding to Mr Kuye’s submissions, the Executive Secretary, PIC, Bala Samid, stated that some of the people occupying government quarters had refused to vacate them.
He added that as soon as the occupants were approached for payment or to vacate the houses they went to court to obtain injunctions restraining the PIC.
“We approached the federal government to report them and the federal government said that we should give them time”.

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