The Senate last Wednesday rejected a bill proposing the option of wearing of skirts by female members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
This followed the presentation of the lead debate on the general principles of the bill which was sponsored by Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba) during plenary.
According to him, the bill is intended to amend Sections 13 and 16 of the Principal Act.
He said the bill sought to ensure that regulations made by the NYSC Directorate prescribing uniforms and exercise regimen did not violate the religious practices and beliefs of corps members.
He said the objective of the bill was to also increase the penalty for the offences contained in the Act, to make such fines reflect the present value of the naira.
Bwacha, who is Deputy Minority Leader, noted that the NYSC was a laudable scheme established in 1973 by the then military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.
“It was part of the effort by the Federal Government to rebuild, reconstruct and reconcile Nigerians following the unfortunate incidents of the civil war which ended in 1970.
“It is important to point out that while the scheme has lived up to expectation as a reliable platform for nurturing young patriotic Nigerians, fostering unity and promoting a better understanding of our religious and cultural differences, it has, however, become necessary to amend the Principal Act.
“This is with a view to address observed lapses and shortcomings. One of such lapses is that the penalty for offences contained in the Act is now outdated and in need of urgent review.
“Secondly, Section 16 of the Principal Act mandates the NYSC Directorate to make regulations or by-laws relating to discipline, exercise regimen, uniforms, welfare of corps etc.
“Uniforms and drills adopted by the Directorate have become a basis for tension and controversy between the Directorate and corps members and other members of the public.
“The major bone of contention is that some of the uniforms and drills contravene religious beliefs and practices of corps members and invariably their right to freedom of religion, thought and conscience under the Nigerian Constitution.
“This bill essentially addresses the above mentioned lapses in the Principal Act,” he said.
Contributing, Sen. Suleiman Adokwe (PDP-Nasarawa), said “the amendment being suggested is not even worth the trouble”.
“This is because the powers to prescribe uniform is what the NYSC Act is to the Directorate.
“I believe if the directorate wants to change the uniform at any time, it is a matter of deciding because it only has power to prescribe the type of uniform.
“The type of uniform is even not prescribed; so I don’t know why we should trouble ourselves; all you need to do is to put pressure on the directorate to change the uniform but not necessarily to change the law.
“All the religious organisations that are feeling oppressed by it should put pressure and lobby the directorate to change its dress code,” Adokwe said.
Similarly, Sen. Sam Egwu (PDP-Ebonyi) said “we should not waste our time on an issue that we have no constitutional right to amend. That is a minute issue that we should not waste our energy on.”
Also, Sen. Jeremiah Husseini (PDP-Plateau) “there is no need for this bill”.
In his remarks, the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu who presided over the proceedings, said: “I am not trying to stop the bill; even if you pass the bill, you must send it to all the states in accordance with section 9(2).”
After a voice vote by Ekweremadu, the bill was rejected by the lawmakers.
Ekiti 2022: Oni’s Campaign Slams Fayemi
The Segun Oni Campaign Organisation(SOCO) has described the alleged boast by the Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, that he has the judiciary in his pocket to legitimise the election of governor-elect, Biodun Oyebanji, as a product of hallucination.
The organisation said that it is very disgusting and debasing for a failed governor who during his tenure destroyed the legacies that used to make the state one of the enviable entities to now weave the nest to cage the judiciary in order to sustain his hold on Ekiti State resources.
In a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, on Monday by the Director of Media and Publicity of the organisation, Mr Jackson Adebayo, the action of the governor was described as primitive, barbaric and callous.
The statement further read that the impunity with which the All Progressives Congress (APC) rules Nigeria and carries out the activities of their party is too glaring to be ignored by Nigerians hence, the national calamity bedevilling the country today.
Adebayo stressed that Governor Fayemi should explain to the whole world why his party presented candidates with forged results for election and how his party’s governorship primary was manipulated to bring out Biodun Oyebanji who was nominated by an illegal authority elected through front loading of election results.
The group maintained that Fayemi and his party deliberately perpetrated all these political heresies, basking on their culture of manipulating the judiciary as the boasting and antecedents suggest.
According to SOCO, the emergence of Governor Fayemi both in 2010 and 2018 also took the same route, hence, his belief in shortcut to the Ekiti Government House, forgetting that some people in the judiciary can still protect their integrity.
“Fayemi who said that those challenging the election of Oyebanji in court and tribunal are mere entertainers, that they don’t know that he has the judiciary in his pocket, should avail Nigerians how many Judges he has bought for the intended coded outcome of the court and the tribunal.
“We want to remind the governor that the ground which is before the tribunal goes beyond an ordinary technicality and legal masquerading. There are constitutional issues which had been decided at all levels of court in Nigeria, so any clandestine movement becomes suspicion”, the statement read.
The organisation added that leaders, sons and daughters of Ekiti and the leadership of the Nigerian judiciary should beam their searchlight on Ekiti State matters so as to save the last hope of the masses who voted but were cornered by the APC government.’’
PDP Forum Gives Ayu, Anyanwu, Others 48Hrs To Resign
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over recent corruption-related accusations has escalated as National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, National Secretary, Samuel Anyanwu and Deputy National Chairman (North), Umar Damagum have been given a 48-hour ultimatum to resign at the risk of legal action.
The threat followed a resolution by the Forum of PDP Candidates and Aspirants, which passed a vote of no confidence on the three officers.
They have also petitioned the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party on the unanimous demand of candidates for the resignation of the above-mentioned officers.
The candidates who gathered and held their brainstorming session in Abuja, also alleged that the leadership of the party extorted several aspirants during the congresses, primaries and national convention of the party and swapped the names of candidates with the names of persons who did not win.
They pointed out that these “underhand actions of the leadership of the party are largely responsible for the nullification by the courts of the governorship primary in Zamfara State and all primaries held in Ogun State”, while noting that many more are still pending in court.
Chris Ogbu, who presided over the session as the Forum Coordinator and House of Assembly Candidate, also read the communiqué. He was flanked by Dauda Yusuf, the Forum’s Secretary and former governorship aspirant as well as several other members.
They demanded that Ayu, Anyanwu and Damagum step down immediately or be sacked by the party within 48 hours, at the expiration of which a legal action would be instituted to force them out of office, beginning from today.
The candidates/aspirants said that the alleged sharing of money paid for nomination forms by Ayu instead of utilising it for the prosecution of the historic 2023 election was very provocative and impacting negatively on the image of the party.
“Voters now see them as a come and chop or share the money party and that removing Ayu and his gang of party treasury looters will go a long way in showing that PDP is now a party that is intolerant of corruption,” the resolution reads.
FG Disowns National Honours List
The Federal Government has disowned the list of National Honours nominees that has been in circulation in the last four days.
The list contained the names of many public servants, retirees and even some who have died.
A statement signed by the Director of Press in the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and InterGovernmental Affairs, Julie Jacobs, the Federal Government said that the list did not emanate from its officials and that it would publish the authentic list at the appropriate time.
It said, “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs has been drawn to a purported list of nominees for National Honours being circulated by some online media organisations.
“While it is true that President Muhammadu Buhari, will be conferring National Honours on deserving Nigerians and friends of Nigeria on 11th October, 2022, the authentic list of nominees is yet to be released to the public. The Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs will publish the list at the appropriate time and medium.
“Members of the public are hereby enjoined to discountenance the list in circulation as it is an attempt by overzealous reporters whose aim is to break news even when such news is fake.”
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