Mixed reactions trail the proposal by the Senate to terminate grants given to registered political parties by the Federal Government, according to a survey. .
The plan generated comments from politicians, political groups and other stakeholders throughout the country.
A cross section of those interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) either supported the plan or rejected it outrightly while some called for its modification.
Alhaji Ali Kyari, a PDP chieftain in Yobe, said: “Some of the political parties are not physically on ground and have been feeding on the funding for different purposes”.
He said there would be more commitment when members invested in the parties.
“Personally, I support the proposal as this will check proliferation of parties in the country.”
In Maiduguri, Alhaji Abba Kale, the National Vice President of the Africa Liberation Party (ALP) told NAN that the Senate plan was laudable.
‘Well the Senate plans has both negative as well as a positive consequence. That means that it is good in one way and bad in the other.
“What I am trying to say is that some parties with wide spread presence actually require the annual grant to take care of certain things,” Kale said.
He said rather than stop the grant entirely the Senate should modify the funding in such a way that only parties with wide spread would benefit.
“The annual grant should be given based on performance of the political parties.
Mr Ayuba Bello the Borno Chairman of the Conference of Political Parties disagreed with Kale.
“I don’t think there is any basis for the Senate planned stoppage because funding of parties is not peculiar to Nigeria. The annual grant has helped in many ways
to stabilise the parties,’’ Bello said.
He pointed out that the practice of funding parties existed even in countries with advanced democracy like the U.S. because it help to sustain them.
“We should try and copy from advanced countries of Europe who still assist parties with grant to sustain them,” Bello said.
In Nsukka (Enugu State) Some of the people interviewed see the stoppage as a move to cripple party activities while others say it is a welcome development. Pastor Emeka Abugu, Chairman, PDP Igboeze-North, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the move should be dropped as it would cripple political party activities and starve them of funds. “If the proposal sells through political parties will be starved of funds to run their affairs. “Money Bags will bring their money to fund parties and convert them to a personal business since he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Nigeria democracy is too young for such decision that will place political parties at the mercy of wealthy politicians. “Internal party democracy will be destroyed,” he said. Mr Timothy Ugwueze, ANPP Chieftain, said that if the proposal was approved it would only favour the ruling party hence it would indirectly be using government money to fund the party. “It decision will kill parties that have no access to government money. It will destroy parties that will serve opposition to ruling party. For the interest of our nascent democracy, that idea should be dropped for now,” he said. Mr A chieftain of ANPP in Zamfara, Alhaji Ibrahim Wakala has declared support for the bill before the National Assembly, seeking INEC’s withdrawal from funding of political parties in the country.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill, which scaled through the crucial second reading at the Senate chamber on Wednesday, is committed to public hearing for broader views before passage into law.Wakala, while reacting on the bill told NAN in Gusau on Thursday that “there is no problem with such bill so long as anti- corruption agencies will strictly monitor finances of the parties“.The chieftain, who is the Zamfara ANPP Vice Chairman, noted that “allowing the political parties to fund themselves would encourage politics of ideology and systematically trim down the number of political parties in the country to a reasonable number“He said that “when political parties are funded from within, genuine and credible membership that is committed to the progress of the party will emerge“.Wakala however expressed fears that “a situation where ruling parties would be funded with public resources at the expense of the opposition parties would pose serious threat to democracy in the country“.“We must not deceive ourselves, there must be a level playing ground where political parties are strictly funded from membership not government resources“. In Bauchi, the CNPP, LP and Justice Party (JP) described the decision to stop government funding of political parties as “undemocratic”.Alhaji Abdullahi Idris, Malam Safiyanu Maisalati and Alhaji Magaji Tungal, Bauchi State Chairmen of CNPP, JP and LP said the action was inimical to the growth of democratic culture in the country.The chairmen told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews that the action would encourage corruption.”It is sending a bad signal to the nation’s democratic process. This will encourage money politics and destroy political ideology.”Looking at the economic and political nature of the country, there is need for the government to maintain funding of the parties adequate to sustain a durable and workable democracy. In Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi Chairman of Congress for Political Change, CPC, Alhaji Musa Danmaliki,called for the retention of financial grants to political parties,”with stringent modification”. Danmaliki said that to expunge the law granting financial support to political parties by government entirely was counter productive, but introduction of stringent measures were preferable. He said he was in support of the reduction of political parties, adding that “some of the parties have functional offices only in Abuja where their leaders wait for the annual grant for sharing by a few”. He called for the registration of parties with national outlook , adding: “the parties should be expected to have functional offices at the state, local council area and ward levels to qualify for such grants”.
In Umuahia, Mr Emeka Nwachukwu, Chairman, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Abia chapter, hailed the proposed termination of grants to political parties. Nwachukwu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the system where political parties were funded by government was an aberration and abuse of democratic norms. He said that such practice had bastardised the political environment “because many parties only exist as a result of the money they receive from government through INEC and they are not contributing anything to the development of the nation. “Some of these parties do not even have a national party office in the real sense of it,” he said. Nwachukwu said that that it had become imperative for the number of political parties in the country to be reduced to ensure an effective and competitive political landscape. “The agitation for the reduction in the number of political parties is in the best interest of the nation because it will enthrone a healthier competitive environment and a stronger opposition. “In my view, I will recommend for a three party system and once this is announced all these smaller parties will be forced to collapse into the more vibrant ones,” Nwachukwu said. In Abakaliki, Okeosisi Inyaeburu, Chairman Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) Ebonyi branch, has condemned plan to stop grants to political parties. Inyaeburu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the decision would adversely affect operations of political parties in the country. “It is surprising that the decision was contemplated by government that is professing a desire for electoral reforms. “This development will weaken the operations of political parties, especially the opposition parties to PDP as they will not be able to meet their obligations to themselves and the people,” he said. Ebonyi in said the stoppage of the grant was a ploy to impoverish the opposition “This development will enable the PDP, which had amassed stupendous wealth from the present government to explore all avenues of perpetuating themselves in power to the detriment of Nigerians. “Stoppage of this grant will eliminate all forms of opposition in the country as almost all political office holders in the country are PDP members who make returns from their involvement in government to the party,” he said. (NAN) Friday in Yola during a telephone interview that the move was undemocratic as it would extinct other powerless political parties.He said that it was compulsory for the government to fund the political parties because they were part of government organs. In Gombe, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports while some people were in support of the move, others called for caution. Inuwa Garba, Deputy Speaker of Gombe House of Assembly, observed that some political parties were just created for the purpose of collecting the grant and then ‘disappearing into the oblivion’. Yola, also supported the idea of terminating the grant. “I am in support of withdrawing the grant because most of the political parties are fictitious and do not represent the people. “They just sprang up for the purposes of grabbing the funds. I will suggest that if the grant is to remain, government should establish two parties like was done in the past, and whoever is not interested in registering with them can contest as an independent candidate”, he proposed. But Mr Ado Solomon, Gombe State Director of National Orientation Agency (NOA), called for caution in taking a decision on the matter. Jacob Lawan, PDP Legal Adviser in Gombe, was also against the withdrawal of the grant, saying such a measure, if taken, will have some repercussions. “At this stage of our still nascent democracy, political parties need to be nurtured and catered for, in order for Nigeria to reach the Promised Land politically. “To think of withdrawing whatever assistance they get now is too early and could result in grave consequences,’’ he warned In Katsina, PDP stalwart and former Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Lawal Kaita kicked against the proposed removal of grants to political parties in the country. Kaita who spoke to NAN in Katsina through a telephone call said, “grants to political parties should be maintained because such grants do help the parties.” He however suggested that instead of removing the grants, INEC reduce the political parties to three or four in the country. According to him, some of the political were there only for grants, hence the need to trim them, so that the grants were maintained for the remaining few parties. Also a prominent politician in the state, Dr Mustapha Inuwa said, “right from the beginning the grants are not helping larger parties as they are not enough, while the small parties exist only because of the grants.” Inuwa who is a former secretary to Katsina state government (SSG), however said that INEC should work out a cateria for the party coverage before giving out grant to any political party or abolish the grant completely. He also said, “if at all INEC wants to give the grants, it should reduce the political parties’’. (NAN)Reporters/HKOAll Sufferings in the country are due to human errors-Atiku NAN-H-19AtikuJada (Adamawa), May 16, 2010 (NAN) Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that the sufferings being experienced by Nigerian masses were as a result of human errors.He made this remark on Saturday in Jada, headquarters of Jada Local Government Area of Adamawa, while addressing party faithfuls from Ganye Chiefdom which comprised Jada and Ganye council areas.He said most of the problems bedevilling the country were caused by human errors, “deliberately done by politicians through the imposition of leaders on the electorate’’.
Abuja, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is not influenced by the presidency before deciding on which case to investigate or take to court. This was contained in a statement signed by Mr. Femi Babafemi, Head of Media and Publicity of the Commission and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday. It said the clarification became necessary following persistent insinuations in the media that the anti-graft agency had come under pressure from the presidency to prevent investigations or trial of some people believed to be close to government. “We wish to state emphatically that these insinuations are mere fabrications that have no root in reality.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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