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2023: Northern Presidency’ll Worsen Secessionist Agitations – Group

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Leaders of thought under the aegis of the Southern and Middle Belt Alliance, SAMBA, have faulted the statement credited to the Northern Governors Forum regarding power rotation and declared that it is capable of fuelling secessionist agitations in the country.
The group gave the warning in a statement signed by its spokesman, Rwang Pam, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
SAMBA noted that despite the fact that there was no express provision for zoning in the Constitution, but that Section 14(3) explicitly provides for distribution of offices in the composition of government in the country.
It therefore, expressed its disapproval for any attempt by any region to dominate other regions.
Part of the statement read, “SAMBA therefore warned the Northern Governors Forum that any further attempt by the northern region to retain power in 2023 will defeat the purpose of a united Nigeria where every man and region’s right to rule is equal and will endanger the already fragile unity of the country.
“The recent statement credited to the Northern Governors Forum that power shift is unconstitutional is an attempt to stand history on its head and could fuel separatist agitations in the country.
“The section of the Constitution referenced by the northern governors only refers to the requirements for someone to be declared as elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but the relevant constitutional provision for power rotation is section 14(3) which explicitly provides for the spread of political offices in the country to prevent one ethnic group or region from dominating the others for the sake of peace and unity in the country.
“Section 14(3) states: The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.
“Therefore, it is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution and a danger to the unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the core North to spend eight years in office as and still be thinking of seeking another eight years.
“Nigerians are aware, that after former President Olusegun Obasanjo completed his 8-year term in 2007, the South unanimously agreed for the Northern Nigeria to produce the President. In 2007, the South did not cry that zoning is unconstitutional, and President Obasanjo duly handed over Power to a northerner, the late former President Umaru Yar’Adua.
“It is also public knowledge that former President Goodluck Jonathan lost the 2015 Presidential election to President Muhammadu Buhari partly because of the global sentiment, that it was the turn of the North to produce the President, even though Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had only spent one term in office as elected president.
“Therefore, it is not in the interest of the country for the North to hold onto power in 2023; because doing so will be to the detriment of the already fragile unity of the country and more likely to lead to an increase of separatist movements across the country.
“The position of the Middle Belt region is categorically clear, that it agrees with the rest of Nigerians, that the South should produce the president in 2023.”
“We therefore unequivocally advise the Northern Governors Forum to perish the thought of holding onto power in 2023 and the same applies to the various political parties (APC, PDP, or any other party) to bury the thought of zoning the Presidency to the North.
“We further advise the governors of the 15 states where the middle belt ethnic nationalities constitute the dominant population, that any governor from the Middle Belt that supported the notion that power should remain with the Northern region is not reflecting the views of their people.
In the spirit of fairness, moral justice, national peace and equity, SAMBA stands with the majority of Nigerians: power must shift to the South!”

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LG Chairman-Elect Blames Insecurity On Parental Failure

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Chairman-elect of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Hon. Target Segibo has alleged that the prevalent security challenges in some communities of the local government area could be traceable to parental failure on one hand, and frivolous lifestyle of children and wards involved in crime and criminality in the area on the other hand.
Segibo, who was a pioneer member of the State House of Assembly between 1999-2003, stated this in Yenagoa, the state capital recently while fielding questions from newsmen shortly after receiving his Certificate of Return from the Bayelsa State Independent Electoral Commission (BYSIEC).
He indicated his continued desire to work for the peace and rapid socio-economic development of the local government, noting that having been actively involved in the politics of the area for decades now, he was more grounded in working on modalities towards ensuring enduring peace and unity in troubled communities of the area.
The Chairman-elect who also lauded the state governor, Senator Douye Diri, the state’s leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the electorate for finding him worthy to be elected Chairman of the local government, called on parents/guardiance not to renege on their primary responsibilities of watching over their children and wards, arguing that as the largest local government area in the state, Southern Ijaw should also be noted for peace and development.
“For over 20 years, I’ve been living peacefully with all my neighbours, both at home in Oporoma, headquarters of Southern Ijaw LGA and here, in Yenagoa.
“I’ve grown up children, but I don’t give them more than what they needed as students to go to school and stay okay as a father because I discovered that most of the security challenges we’re facing today in the Southern Ijaw LGA, and other parts of the state, is traceable to parental failure and children’s wanting to lead a frivolous lifestyle”, he said.
“As parents/guardians we should be able to know the kind of friends our children/wards keep. We must not pamper them. We must tell them that they have to do something legal to earn a living. We must question any source of sudden wealth and affluence on the part of our children and wards.
“But I want to assure our people of Southern Ijaw that as their incoming Chairman, when I’m sworn-in, having been actively participating in the politics and other activities of the area, collectively we’ll work to ensure enduring peace, unity and development of the LGA”, he added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Bayelsa Assembly Grills, Confirms Diri’s Commissioner- Nominees 

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The Bayelsa State House of Assembly has screened and confirmed the first batch of Commissioner-nominees for Governor Diri’s second term State Executive Council.
The Tide gathered that the State Chief Executive in a bid to form his cabinet for his second tenure had earlier submitted a list of 14 names to the state legislature for confirmation as commissioners.
However, The Tide reports that only 13 out of the 14 nominees attended the constitutional exercise of the lawmakers.
Though no official reasons have been given, the immediate past Commissioner for Sports, who is also a former member of the state Assembly, Hon. Daniel Igali, was conspicuously absent during the screening exercise.
Inline with the House’s rules and Standing Orders, two other former members of the state Assembly who were also part of the nominees, Dr Gentle Emelah, immediate past Commissioner for Education, and Mrs Ebiwou Koku-Obiyai, were simply asked to take a bow and leave.
Following the exhaustive grilling, however, the immediate past Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr Biriyai  Dambo, SAN, his Finance counterpart, Mr Maxwell Ebibai, were confirmed.
Also confirmed were the immediate past Works and Infrastructure Commissioner, Moses Teibowei, Mrs Koku Obiyai, Dr Gentle Emelah, Ayibakipreye Brodericks, George Ekpotuatein Flint and Komuko Akari Kharim.
Furthermore, Mr Perepuighe Biewari, Dr Jones Ebieri, Barr. Peter Afagha, Mrs Bidei Elizabeth and Michael Magbisa received the nod to be appointed commissioners by the state lawmakers.
In his advice to the nominees shortly after their screening, Deputy Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Michael Ogbere, enjoined the Commissioner hopefuls to work as a team with those they will meet on ground, admonishing that they remain loyal to the government at all times.
On his part,  Leader of the House, Hon. Monday-Bubou Obolo, said the people of the state expect a lot trom them and that the House will do its best to keep them on their toes through its oversight functions while giving them the needed legislative support where necessary.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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NEC Meeting: PDP’ll Wax Stronger – Farah Dagogo 

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A former lawmaker representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Farah Dagogo, has described the outcome of the 98th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as another demonstration of the resilience of the party to weather any storm that comes its way.
This is contained in a statement released bythe Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the estwhile federal legislator, Ibrahim Lawal, at the weekend.
In the build up to the NEC meeting,  suggestions and permutations had been rife of the likelihood of the PDP running into another round of crises as the party tries to navigate a path for the North Central Zone to produce a substantive National Chairman to complete the truncated tenure of former Chairman, Dr. Iyiorchia Ayu.
Speaking on the sidelines of the NEC meeting that saw Umar Damagum retain his position as the party’s Acting National Chairman until the next NEC meeting scheduled for August, Dr Dagogo said those who genuinely have the best interest of the party at heart made timely sacrifices to keep the party firm and afloat.
The former member of the National Assembly said but for the political maturity and sagacity employed by the party’s National Leader and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, alongside other leaders, before and during the NEC meeting, the party would have ‘played into the hands of some individuals, who wanted the party to implode in order to improve their political fortunes’.
He expressed optimism that by the adjourned date of August, Damagum would have seen that  “it is in the best interest of the party for him to vacate the position for a more purposeful and result oriented leadership’’.
“ For me, the outcome of the NEC meeting was a win-win situation. Against all odds, the party came out unscathed and will continue to wax stronger.
“Yes, the Acting Chairman retained his position, but it is obvious to him now and others that it would be in the best interest of the party for him to vacate that position for a more purposeful and result oriented leadership by August.
“The so called tension generated in the build up to the NEC Meeting was actually orchestrated by the inordinate desire of some few individuals who wanted to thwart the sterling call by party faithful for a review of its failing leadership and directionless.
“ The Party however did not play into the hands of those individuals, who wanted the party to implode in order to improve their political fortunes. Thanks in good measure to the political maturity and sagacity employed by the Party’s National Leader and Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, alongside other leaders, before and during the NEC Meeting. We are where we are now because of their sacrifices and dedication to the party, “ he added.

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