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Nigeria Needs New Constitution – Ex-Lawmaker

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A former member of the House of Representatives, Mr Peter Ede, has called for a brand new constitution written by the people themselves.
Ede argued that the ongoing constitutional amendment would not address Nigeria’s many problems saying that the present constitution was foisted on the people by the military and contained many flaws.
Ede made the call in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Abakaliki at the wedding of Dr Lillian Mbam, daughter of Chief Elias Mbam, Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Former Miss Mbam got wedded to Mr Paulicarp Ori, a Fight Lieutanant in the Nigerian Air Force at St Theresa’s Catholic Cathedral Church, Ogoja Road, Abakaliki.
The former lawmaker, who represented Ishielu /Ezza North Federal Constituency between 1999 and 2007, said amending sections of the constitution would not solve Nigeria’s socio-political and economic challenges.
Ede explained that the 1999 constitution which had undergone some amendments had yet to address some burning issues affecting the unity, oneness and indivisibility of Nigeria.
“Many have called for a stop of the ongoing review process.
“I remember that we amended the constitution eight years ago and some of the amended sections were later signed into law while some were not.
“A lot of issues have arisen over time since the last amendment and majority of the people are saying stop the review process and I am beginning to see that they are actually correct.
“The 1999 constitution (as amended), no matter how we beat it up, no matter how we amend it can never assume the sovereignity that is supposed to be its nature.
“A constitution is supposed to be an ‘organic’ document that evolved from the people.
“Hence, I am a proponent of a brand new constitution because what we have seen so far is a military document foisted on us.
“The more you try to amend the document, the more contentious it becomes, the more problematic it becomes.
“There are more fundamental things that are supposed to be built into it that the present arrangement will not allow,” Ede said.
He opined that a new constitution would address festering insecurity bedevilling parts of the country including armed agitations as well as create a socio-political order where equity, justice and fairness would prevail.
“If we write a new constitution, it will be handled by a select few called ‘constitutent assembly’ and contentions will be less because the number of members are less.
“The partisanship involved in saying that I am trying to protect certain interests will be less.
“So, a brand new constitution will capture the mood of the people and address many social and political challenges we are facing as a nation,” added.
Ede, one time Commissioner for Education in Ebonyi, noted that a new constitution would also address the new realities that had dawned on the country including separatists agitations, fiscal federalism, devolution of powers among others.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the wedding attracted dignitories across political divides including Gov. Dave Umahi represented by Mr Francis Nwifuru, Speaker of the Ebonyi House of Assembly. (

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Group Urges FG To Ignore Campaign Of Calumny Against Sylva

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The Movement for Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) has urged the Federal Government to ignore the ongoing campaigns of calumny against Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Prince Marley, and Mr Godwin Opiuyo, Chairman and Secretary of Eastern zone of MOSIEND in Yenogoa.
The group said it had noted  with dismay that some unpatriotic individuals, envious of the performance of some political office holders, had resorted to cheap blackmail to discredit them.
MOSIEND stated that as a leading advocacy group in the Niger Delta, it would not fold its arms and watch faceless groups haul malicious and baseless claims to leaders from the region.
“The latest is the unwarranted media mudslinging from one shadowy bunch of fugitive agent provocateurs parading themselves as Nigerians for Transformational Change (NTC).
“The group with no known address, calling for the sack of the Chief Sylva over summons by a US District Court in Pennsylvania over a defamation of character case, which he instituted against one Jackson Ude is frivolous,” MOSIEND stated.
The group, in dismissing the call noted that the case of libel was instituted by Sylva against  Ude in the US, adding that Sylva was the plaintiff while Ude was the Respondent/Defendant.
MOSIEND also noted that the matter has not been concluded thus the brains behind the blackmail was to whip up public sentiment against Sylva amounts to prejudice because the case was in court.
They urged the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to go after the masterminds of the smear campaign and bring them to face the extant laws as it concerns inciting the public based on falsehood.

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Parties’ Campaign Committees: Group Makes Case For PWDs Inclusion

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The Centre for Citizens with Disabilities has said that persons with disabilities should be included in campaign committees for elections.
The CCD Executive Director, David Anyaele, stated this on Friday during a press conference, at the Elomaz Hotel, in the Ikeja area of Lagos State.
Anyaele stated that political parties had the responsibility of taking appropriate measures to create space for equal opportunity for persons living with disabilities.
He said, “Political parties need to ensure that persons with disabilities are included in the campaign committees and campaign podiums should be made accessible to all with the provision of sign language interpreters, access to information and disability inclusive manifesto.
“INEC should ensure that they take appropriate steps to review all the previous off circle elections reports submitted by organisations of and for persons with disabilities, for the identification of forms and patterns as well as extent of complaints on persons with disabilities struggle on election days.
“This is with the view of finding solutions with scenario building. Findings from previous election reports shows that a bulk of the problems faced by Persons with disabilities participate on Election Day.”
The Executive Director urged the media to continue its support to the disability community.
He said, “The media is our eyes, ears and legs. With the help of the media, issues of concern to persons with disabilities would be mainstreamed in the 2023 general election conversations.”
The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State Inter Party Advisory Council, New Nigeria Peoples Party, Richard Echigbue, stated that there was a need for people with disabilities to belong to a party in order to have a voice.
He said, “We encourage people living with disabilities to come and join a party and we can start the conversation from there.
“Our party for example, is based on egalitarian principles where equity reigns, there’s no discrimination or inequality.
“As long as you’re human, and you have the capability to perform, you’ll be given a chance. Other parties should also try and incorporate people living with disabilities into their system.”

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Osun APC, PDP Trade Blame Over Killings

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The Osun State chapters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) last Saturday traded blame over reported killing of two members of the ruling party.
Three people were reportedly killed in Ede, the hometown of the Osun State Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke, last Friday and Saturday while members of PDP were allegedly sharing balance of governorship election fund.
The incident also led to razing of residence of Osun Assembly Minority leader of PDP, Babajide Kofoworola.
A statement by APC Chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun through his media aide, Kola Olabisi, stated that the alleged killings of the two APC members by suspected PDP thugs in Ede during the fracas over disagreement on the sharing formula of the PDP left-over election fund was senseless, primitive and wicked.
Famodun noted that the shameful and wicked act of killings of fellow human beings over electoral loots by the suspected PDP thugs was an indication that the Osun PDP is fundamentally challenged.
He urged the Osun State Commissioner of Police to thoroughly investigate the incident, especially in the area that concerns an alleged compromised police chief who is said to be eyeing the position of the Chief Security Officer(CSO) to Senator Ademola Adeleke.
However, the PDP in a statement by the Governor-elect, Senator Ademola Adeleke through his spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, alleged that Governor Adegboyega Oyetola is planning to destabilise Osun State ahead of his exit from office in November.
He tasked the security agencies to swing into action and bring to book perpetrators of fatal attack and razing of the house of Osun State House of Assembly Minority Leader, Akogun Babajide Kofoworola in a reprisal attack.
The statement maintained that Adeleke strongly condemned the arson attacks on the lawmaker’s family and warned Governor Oyetola not to plunge Osun State into chaos as a consequence of his loss at the poll.

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