NASS May Consider Report On Security Crisis, Next Week -Lawan
President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, disclosed, yesterday, that the Senate may, next week, consider the report of an Ad-Hoc Committee on Security Challenges with a view to finding solutions to Nigeria’s security problems.
Lawan made the disclosure during the plenary sequel to the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (APC – Adamawa Central).
The Senate had on January 29, 2020, set up the Ad-Hoc Committee chaired by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, to interface with the security agencies on the level of insecurity in the country and report back to the Upper Chamber within two weeks.
According to Lawan, the Senate would engage with the Executive arm of government on the resolutions of the ad-hoc committee as contained in its report.
He added that the Upper Chamber would also work closely with the House of Representatives and Nigerian citizens towards ensuring that solutions are found to the lingering security problems in the country.
Lawan said, “The Senate discussed and debated so much on the insecurity in the country and set up an ad-hoc committee under the leadership of the Senate leader.
“The committee is working very hard; we are trying to look for solutions to the insecurity bedevilling the country. We are not going to rest on our oars until we are able to provide solutions.
“This is the essence of our being in government. Of course, it will require that we work with the House of Representatives and the Executive, as well as the citizens because I believe that the citizens have to be taken into confidence in the fight against insecurity.
“So, we will not waste any time, as soon as the report is ready, I believe by next week, probably the report will be ready. We are going to look at the report of the ad-hoc committee and take those important and very viable resolutions, and engage with the Executive arm of government.
“I think we are on the same page with the Executive arm of government, everybody is worried, and we will do whatever it takes, and I normally say, if we have to invest so much money, so be it, because there’s nothing more important than life, even infrastructure.
“Life is more important than anything, so, we need to protect the lives of Nigerians who have sent us here,” Lawan added.
Earlier, Senator Aishatu Ahmed, while coming under a point of order on matter of urgent public importance, bemoaned attacks on Gombi Local Government Area of Adamawa State by an insurgent group armed with seven gun-trucks and motorcycles on February 21, 2020.
According to the lawmaker, “three soldiers were killed in the dastardly attacks, while properties worth millions of naira were burnt or destroyed, including: public hospital, school, telecommunication facilities, police stations and so on”.
She added that “the Garkida crisis, which has led to the destruction of lives and propriety, was planned by insurgents to have a religious connotation considering that churches and residences of some prominent indigenes were burnt, an act aimed at destroying the foundation of peaceful co-existence among Garkida community and Adamawa State as a whole.”
The lawmaker warned, “As a result of this, the urgent need to take more drastic actions in the face of such affront on the national security architecture, the region, and indeed, the entire nation is long overdue.
“In view of the enormity of the situation, the Federal Government needs to put more innovative measures in place to frontally confront these challenges.”
Consequently, the Senate, in a three-point resolution, urged the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai, to re-establish a military command base in Garkida, and also all major settlements bordering the Sambisa forest.
The Upper Chamber called on the North East Development Commission to immediately embark on rehabilitation of public and religious institutions destroyed and provide relief materials to victims of the insurgency.
Meanwhile, the Senate, yesterday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately” reconstitute the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in line with extant laws.
The call followed a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on the “urgent need to reconstitute the Federal Character Commission.”
The Upper Chamber noted that the tenure of the present commission had elapsed and that failure to reconstitute the commission would amount to a “breach of the Act establishing the Federal Character Commission and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
In his contribution, the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, noted that the FCC was one of the national tools that work to ensure equity, unity, fairness and justice in terms of employment distribution across all the 36 states and the FCT.
“It is very important we have the full complement of the commission in place, and I believe that with this resolution, it will expedite action to reconstitute the membership of the commission,” Lawan said.
In his lead debate, Abaribe noted that Act No. 34 of 1996 and Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provided for the establishment of the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
He said that the subsection 1, 2 and 3 of the Act stipulate the establishment, membership and tenure of office of the chairman and members of the commission.
Abaribe said that Section 3(1) of the Act states that the chairman and members of the commission shall hold office for a period of five years in the first instance and for a further term of five years on such terms and conditions as may be specified in their letters of appointment.
He added: “Further aware that (the) Federal Character Commission body has lapsed since 2018 as against its Act.
“Observes that since 2018, the Federal Character Commission has been run by an acting chairman, who has now become a sole administrator.
“Further observes that no provisions of the Act or the Constitution stipulate the need for the office of a sole administrator or an acting chairman.
“Note that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) has been a tool for unity, equitable formula distribution and good governance of the nation,” Abaribe said.
He insisted that failure to reconstitute the commission amount to a constitutional breach of the Act establishing the FCC.
Wike, Promise Keeper – Eze Gbakagbaka
His Majesty, Eze Oha Evo III, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, has described the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, as an astute leader and a promise keeper.
Eze Eke stated this when he spoke with newsmen at the commissioning of Rumuigbo internal roads in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, yesterday.
Governor Wike, he said, has so far proven that he has the interest of the state at heart, and expressed satisfaction over the Governor’s continuous project execution even towards the end of his administration.
According to him, the internal roads built by Governor Wike have opened the area to new trench of business and economic activities.
He noted that the community has now become a bee hive of business activities due to the roads.
The Evo King recalled how floods ravaged the area in recent times, but said such now belong to history due to Wike’s intervention.
On the recently commissioned phase one of the Trans-Kalabari Road, he said it has exposed the riverine communities to business activities as well.
He noted that the prices of commodities in the area will now stabilise as more business operators will be trooping into the place.
“The jinx of monopolistic operation is now broken. Everyone in the area will now be moved to do one business or the order. I think the Trans-Kalabari Road is one in million. Kudos to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike”, he said.
He also called on the people to jettison all forms of rancour and acrimony and give the in-coming administration under the leadership of Sir Siminialayi Fubara the needed support in order to enable him execute more people-oriented projects like the out going governor.
The monarch, who supported the idea of ‘Consolidated Government’, revealed that it would bring about rapid development in the state.
“My thinking is that Consolidation is necessary. For instance, the beauty of governance in Lagos State is that they maintained one party over the years, which has addressed the issue of abandoned projects”, he said.
The Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration has executed more projects in the state than any other government with no record of abandoned project.
By: King Onunwor
Pensioners Demand Separate Ministry Under Tinubu’s Govt
Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has called on the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to create a ministry that will be saddled solely with the responsibility of addressing the plights of retirees in the country.
The South-West zone of NUP made the call after its quarterly meeting in Abeokuta, yesterday.
The Tide source reports that the meeting was attended by chairmen and secretaries of NUP from Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Osun, Lagos and Ekiti states.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the Zonal Public Relations Officer of NUP in the zone, Olusegun Abatan, said that the creation of the ministry would turn the fortunes of pensioners around in the country.
Abatan called on Tinubu to do more for pensioners when he assumed office as president.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has done quite a lot for pensioners. He really helped them and so we are appealing to Tinubu to please give the matter of pensioners serious attention.
“We want a separate ministry that will be solely addressing matters that have to do with pensioners under the administration of Tinubu,” he said.
Abatan alleged that governors of South-West states were owing pensioners in the zone huge sums as gratuities and pensions.
He urged all the governors in the zone to implement the consequential adjustment and the 35 per cent increment in pensions without further delay.
Abatan particularly cited Ogun, Ekiti and Osun states where he claimed that the gratuities of pensioners were paid last in 2012.
“They are owing arrears of pensions, gratuities and other entitlements, including gratuities and entitlements to the next of kin of some deceased pensioners.
“We want to appeal to our governors to step up their interests in the affairs of pensioners,” he said.
We’ll Defend PDP’s Mandate Secured During The Election In Rivers -Wike
Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State will defend the mandate that was been given to all of its candidates in the 2023 general election.
The governor noted that soon the various election tribunals will commence sitting where the mandate will be challenged, but the PDP will stand in defence of its candidates to ensure that the mandate is not stolen.
Governor Wike gave the assurance when he spoke at a luncheon organised to celebrate the PDP candidates who won their election and have been presented with their Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Those honoured with the luncheon at the Banquet Hall of Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday were the Governor-elect, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, Deputy Governor-elect, Prof. Ngozi Odu and other elected Representatives of Rivers State to the National and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Governor Wike pointed to the fierce political battle that was experienced during the general election and that if not for God, the victory that PDP is celebrating today would have eluded it.
The Rivers State governor told those who have been elected to the National Assembly to support every cause that promotes national unity, while placing the interest of the State paramount at all times.
He explained the importance of working in tandem with the State on any cause, whether it is suiting to them or not, but because it is expedient in advancing the interest of the State.
Governor Wike pointed to some Rivers leaders who went to Abuja and betrayed the interest of the state. He said they have become the greatest losers and fallen out of relevance in the State.
The governor also urged the elected representatives to trend with caution and never use their elevated positions to undermine or antagonise existing leadership structure in their various local government areas.
He told them not to abandon those who have contributed sundry efforts to ensure that their emergence at the polls was successful.
Governor Wike scolded Hon. Nwanaka Okpokiri, the member representing Ahoada West State constituency, for working against the success of the PDP in the last general election, but failed.
In his speech, Rivers State Chairman of PDP, Ambassador Desmond Akawor, said there is massive celebration across the State over the victory of the party in the last general election.
He noted as astute the leadership governor Wike provided in leading the party in a fierce electoral battle that has produced youngest governor-elect in Nigeria, Sir Siminalayi Fubara.
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