Despite calls by many Nigerians for the wholesale adoption and implementation of the recommendations of the Mohammed Uwais Electoral Reforms Committee, Second Republic Governor of Old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, says the report was not the panacea to Nigeria’s electoral woes but Nigerians themselves.
Musa argued in an interview with The TIDE in Umuahia at the weekend that the Uwais report could not guarantee free, fair and transparent election is 2011 as many people erroneously believed.
The foremost opposition leader in Nigeria rather urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity offered by the on-going amendment of the 2006 Electoral Act by the National Assembly to prevail on the lawmakers to enact a law that would guarantee credible polls next year. He insisted that no electoral reform would yield positive results unless something concrete was done to reduce the influence of money politics, elections in the country would continue to be for the highest bidder no matter electoral reforms
Musa, the National Chairman of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) as well as the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), maintained that there was nothing new in the Uwais Report, describing it as a set up to give the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to continue holding unto power.
In an interview with newsmen in Umuahia at the weekend, Musa who was on an official visit to the Abia State chapter of the CNPP, said “the establishment of the Uwais Electoral Reform Committee and its recommendations, if you examine it very well, are really a set up, deliberately arranged to make Nigerians accept less than what can bring about free, fair and transparent elections.”
“Unfortunately,” he continued, “the Nigerian politicians in particular, are apolitically asking for the implementation of the so-called Uwais report. The Uwais report has not contributed anything credible.”
To buttress his claims, the opposition leader said right from the beginning, elections in Nigeria are rigged, not only by the use of thugs, but by principally using money powers. “Today if you have money, you can organise and get yourself declared the winner of any election. And there is a lot of loose money around in Nigeria, 100 per cent of it, stolen money.”
“In short, what I am telling you is that no matter how the electoral process is, as long as the law does not do anything about this stolen money in the hands of thieves who have political ambition, there would never be free and fair elections because those with this money will use it to be elected from the local government council to the Presidency. “It (Uwais report) is a set up to give the PDP the opportunity to emerge. If you do not deal with the deciding role of money power in elections, PDP can even win a legitimate election because it can buy every one.”
He also faulted the Uwais Committee recommendations on independent candidature, describing it as being contemptuous of the Nigerian politician. He said the recommendation that an independent candidate running for any office should first of all deposit a tenth of the election expenses allowed by law for any elective office would put such contest beyond the reach of the poor.
“We have made our investigations. We found that Nigerians should not be deceiving themselves that there will be free, fair and transparent elections in 2011. But Nigerian can force this to happen. At this moment, there is one chance: the constitution review by, the National Assembly (NASS) which is preparing now to amend the 2006 Electoral Act, let us to talk to the NASS as they are still conducting public hearing, let us tell them what Nigeria needs to have free, fair and transparent election.
“If we do not continue to fight at NASS and they come up with something that will not lead to a free, fair and transparent election and, of course, a legitimate government, then we will be blamed,” he said.
He said that the socio economic system in control of every development in Nigeria has produced a political leadership that is not credible and has brought about the leadership of the country by thieves.
Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room
The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”
Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill
The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.
2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria
Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.
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