Members of the House of Representatives from the southern part of Nigeria have adopted the resolutions by the Southern Governors’ Forum on the Petroleum Industry Bill, Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill and the rotation of the Presidency in 2023.
Chairman of the Southern Caucus, Victor Nwokolo, made this known in a statement issued, yesterday and titled, ‘Southern Reps Backs Southern Governors On Presidency, Electronic Transmission of Election Results, PIB, Others.’
Seventeen governors from the region had met in Lagos on Monday, where they took position on sundry issues in the polity.
The lawmakers said members of the House from the 17 southern states “unanimously and unequivocally endorse the patriotic resolution of the SGF on the resolve that the next president of Nigeria should emerge from the southern region.”
According to the caucus, the resolution by the governors reinforces their stance, as federal lawmakers, that “our nation must and should exist on the pillars of justice, equity, fairness, peaceful co-existence and mutual respect, particularly in the political, economic and structural management of our national diversity.”
The statement read in part, “We note that the demand that the next President of Nigeria should come from the southern region unambiguously represents the opinion of the majority of Nigerians across board, in tandem with the already established rotation of presidency position between southern and northern Nigeria.
“Furthermore, against the backdrop of our commitment towards free, fair, credible and transparent elections, the members of the House of Representatives from the South also back our governors in rejecting the moves to outlaw the electronic transmission of election result in the Electoral Act, as well as the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.
“We hold that electronic transmission of results directly from the polling unit is a firm step towards the elimination of result collation related malpractices, including alteration of figures, mutilation of documents, snatching and diversion of ballot materials on transit to collation centres, among others.
“The attempt to tamper with the Electoral Act to remove electronic transmission of result is therefore a malicious and unpatriotic act aimed to emasculate our electoral system, undermine our democracy and destabilize our dear country, and such cannot be condoned or justified under any guise whatsoever.”
The statement further read, “On the PIB, the southern members of the House of Representatives also back our governors in rejecting the proposed 30 per cent share of profit for the exploration of oil and gas in the basins.
“We also reject the moves to vest the ownership structure of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited in the Federal Ministry of Finance and support the governors in their resolve that such should be held in trust by Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, since all tiers of government have stakes in that agency.
“As lawmakers, we insist that the 30 per cent share of profit as well as vesting ownership structure of the proposed NNPC on the Ministry of Finance instead of the NSIA do not reflect the desired essentials of justice, equity and fairness.
“We, however, note the support lent by our governors to the 5 per cent share of the oil revenue to the host community as recommended by the House of Representatives and we assure that every effort would be made to sustain our position at the harmonisation level.”
On security, the southern lawmakers restated their support for the establishment of state police and ban on open grazing by southern states, stressing that governors, as Chief Security Officers of their respective states, must be duly informed before any security institution undertakes any operation in their states.
“We also fully support the resolution by the governors that deductions from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the states and Federal Government to combat security challenges.
“We believe that these steps are imperative in guaranteeing the security of lives and property in the states under the prevailing situation and circumstance in our country.
“The southern members of the House of Representatives restate our commitment to the unity, stability and peaceful coexistence in our country while applauding the southern governors for their unwavering patriotic stand on national issues, especially at this critical time in our national life,” the statement added.
2023: Vote Out APC, PDP Youth Leader Urges Nigerian Youths
Suleiman made the appeal at a media briefing ahead of the PDP PVC collection sensitization road show, scheduled to commence in Abuja, on Tuesday.
He said, “Indeed, we can no longer deny or pretend that we are now at the start of the lowest point in our national life.
“The youth of our country have become weary of the future. It is on this note that we call on all Nigerians to go out and get their PVC because this is the only tool to unseat them, these monsters are the corridors of power.
“The rate of insecurity is alarming and calls for urgent national attention. Ladies and gentlemen, the Nigerian students have been out of school for over five months, with no solution in sight.
“The APC led federal government has paid deaf ear to the plight of the Nigerian students, thereby forcing them to roam about the street and become vulnerable to negative tendencies.
“It is therefore imperative for the Nigerian youth to go out and get their permanent voters card in order to use their vote to unseat the wicked APC led federal government. “
The youth leader further said, “The persistent insecurity that has plagued the nation now for a while with no solution in sight is another manifestation of the complete incompetence and abandonment of government by the All Progressive Congress-led federal government.
“We call on all well meaning Nigerians to take up their destinies in their hands and activate the office of the citizen by going all out to get their permanent voters cards.”
He assured Nigerians that the PDP on its part was prepared to give Nigerians quality leadership at all levels when given the chance.
Also speaking during the event, the PDP National Woman Leader, Prof. Stella Effah-Attoe, urged Nigerians especially women to collect their PVCs.
She said, “Your PVC is your power to determine your future and the destinies of your family members.
“Take it seriously and use it wisely. No one will use his own hands to destroy himself. It is not enough to register.
“Please ensure that you physically collect your PVCs. On Collection of your PVCs, it is not enough to dump them in your drawers and wardrobes, ensure that you make effective use of the PVCs by coming out en mass to vote in the forthcoming General Elections in 2023”.
Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Umar Damagun, in his remarks, said the PDP was now more than ever before resolute in its determination to provide leadership for Nigerians to rescue the nation from the precipice which the APC has led it to over the last seven years.
C’River PDP Guber Candidate Unveils Ex-TV Broadcaster As Running Mate
The Tide source gathered that there has been internal squabble on the selection of a deputy governorship candidate but her unveiling has put all that to rest as the party can now forge ahead in unity with its quest to take over leadership of the state in the 2023 general election.
Speaking during the unveiling at the PDP Secretariat, Mary Slessor Rd, Calabar, Monday, Sandy said in the quest for a deputy governorship candidate they consulted stakeholders widely in a bid to ensure that everyone was carried along and on board with the decision to pick Emana as running mate.
He said that there were no 100 per cent decisions in politics adding that everyone would sooner or later accept the choice they have made because of the painstaking consultation they embarked on.
His words: “When you make up your mind to lead it means you are ready to serve, leadership is service. The decision to pick Emana was a “double-barrel proposition” considering her youthfulness and gender.
“In taking the decision, there was no segment of the party that was not reached; men, women, youths, leaders, elders amongst others.
“We came to the conclusion that there is need to brighten up and strengthen our ticket. If you are a politician, you will know that you can’t mobilise without women.
“Since the time of Cecelia Ekpeyong as deputy governor, we have not been carrying the women along again. So, we came to the conclusion that we need to carry our women along again.
“To simply put it, all the men who available for the position were adequately qualified but we thought that we should not be selfish. Women cannot just be chair leaders all the time, they need to be given a pride of place.
“We needed a double-barrel proposition, a woman that can appeal to the youths, a mother, visionary and a deep intellect who will be determined to work to change Cross River for good and take the state to where it ought to be.
“We find all these qualities in Ambrose-Amawhe. She has momentum, vision, resilience, integrity and character. She is a woman of double-barrel proposition,” Onor said.
In her acceptance speech, Emana described her nomination as victory for every hard-working woman, stating that she was ready to go on the journey with her principal to rescue the State from lack of governance.
“Women must be resilient and never give up on their dreams, the ticket does not belong to me, it is yours, it belongs to the people who have only given it to me to hold in trust for them.
“Let us keep aside our misgivings, and take back our dear state, Sen Sandy Onor and myself cannot do it alone, we need your support, we need you to achieve a new Cross River of our dreams,” she stated.
Osun PDP Alleges Police-Assisted Harassment By APC
A press statement signed by the Caretaker Chairman of the party, Dr. Akindele Adekunle, said members of the party in Ijebu-Jesa and Eti Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East Local Government Areas respectively were victims of the APC harassment.
According to him, police being supervised by a member of the state cabinet, forcefully arrested PDP members and inflicted on them bodily harm, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action.
The statement read in parts, “Reports reaching the state secretariat of our great party, the PDP, indicate that a serving Commissioner in the government of Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has been taking police operatives to private homes of PDP members in some local governments in the state to forcefully arrest them without any just cause.
“Specifically, police were reported to have invaded private homes of innocent members of our party members in Ijebujesha and Eti Oni in Oriade and Atakumosa East local governments respectively, effecting the forceful arrest of our members and inflicting on them bodily harms, even without any warrant of arrest to justify such cause of action against harmless citizens.
“More worrisome is the fact that, the police chose the dead of the night to invade citizens homes, embarking on sporadic gunshots, thereby subjecting the victims and their relatives to unnecessary psychological trauma.”
But while reacting, Osun APC Publicity Secretary, Wole Adunola, dismissed PDP’s claim saying, no state Commissioner was working with the police to harass anyone.
“The said Commissioner is not working with the police neither is he an intelligence officer and will not put his life at risk going to thugs, wielding gun in their homes at night. So, they should tell the world how their thugs disrupted PVC distribution in Ilesa and suburbs,” Adunola concluded.
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