INC Faults Obasanjo On Ownership Of Crude Oil
The President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba, has picked holes in the argument of former President Olusegun Obasanjo using the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria to buttress his claims that crude oil in the Niger Delta belonged to the country and not the people of the region.
According to Okaba, Obasanjo was relying on the 1999 Constitution which several groups have rejected for the fact that it was imposed on the country by the military
Okaba, who stated this on ‘The Morning Show’ programme of Arise Television, yesterday, said the unitary characteristics of the 1999 Constitution which Obasanjo celebrates had become the major reason Nigeria was collapsing on all sides as the Constitution remained a faulty foundation of the country.
“The Nigerian (1999) Constitution, which OBJ is now relying on, is a product of unrepresentative drafting and, to a large extent; most of the provisions therein are military-driven. So, the Constitution is fraudulent, satanic and it has not served anybody any good.
“In fact, the 1999 Constitution is a foundation for the collapsing of Nigeria; every fabric of Nigeria, the economy, educational system, infrastructure are all collapsing. Reforms will not serve the situation. We need overall restructuring, because OBJ talked about reforms believing that, that will help to bring normalcy to Nigeria.
“But we know that under a Constitution that is faulty, not people-driven but hurriedly put together a few weeks before the ascendancy of OBJ to power (in 1999), cannot do us any good. So, the various agitations across the country are clear evidence that for Nigeria to work, we must do away with this Constitution and go back to the basics.
“And in a federation, resource ownership, fiscal federalism are paramount and every Constitution that talks about federalism and does not recognise ownership of resources by the people is faulty.”
According to him, Section 140 of the 1963 Constitution, which Obasanjo made reference to in his open letter of reply to that of Ijaw nation leader and elder statesman, Edwin Clark, gave 50per cent of proceeds from mineral resources to regions in recognition of their ownership of the resources.
“So, the 1999 Constitution remains an albatross, a problem and is the reason why we are where we are today. And those who are fighting tirelessly to sustain the status quo are doing it for self-seeking purposes; to protect their hegemonic interest.
“It is high time we restructured and allowed people who feel dissatisfied with the current system to seek self-determination. If not, like we said earlier, if they make restructuring impossible, they make the re-bundling of Nigeria inevitable.”
Tinubu Signs Bill Unifying Retirement Age For Judicial Officers
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday signed his first piece of legislation as President, when he assented to a constitutional amendment bill bringing uniformity to the retirement age and pension rights of judicial officers in the country.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the State House Director of Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye, yesterday.
The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu assents to constitutional amendment Bill on uniformity in retirement age of judicial officers’.
The statement read in part: “In exercising the powers vested in him under the 1999 Constitution as amended, President Bola Tinubu yesterday at the State House assented to a fresh amendment of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“President Tinubu signed into law the ‘Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fifth Alteration) (No.37), 2023’ presented by the outgoing 9th National Assembly”.
It added that “With the signing of the Constitutional amendment Bill, retirement age and pension rights of judicial officers have been effectively brought into uniformity and other related matters”.
While signing the amendment Bill into law, Tinubu pledged his administration’s dedication to strengthening the judiciary, ensuring the rule of law, and empowering judicial officers to execute their responsibilities effectively.
Democracy Day: FG Declares Monday Public Holiday
The Federal Government has declared Monday, June 12, as a public holiday in commemoration of 2023 Democracy Day celebration.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr Oluwatoyin Akinlade, on behalf of the Federal Government.
While congratulating Nigerians on the occasion, Akinlade stated that the country’s democratic journey has encountered stormy and smooth sails, just like in many other climes.
She said, “But the ship of State, its institutions and most importantly, the Nigerian people have remained steadfast on the tenets of democratic governance.”
“On this memorable occasion therefore, Nigerians and friends of Nigeria are invited to appreciate the progress that has been made, celebrate the milestones covered and look forward to a better future for the country’s democracy.
“The Permanent Secretary wishes all Nigerians a Happy Democracy Day celebration, “ the statement added.
RSHA Screens Five For Commissioners, Today
Five commissioner nominees are to appear before the Rivers State House of Assembly, today for screening.
The nominees include Engr. Chukwuemeka Woke, Barr.(Mrs) Inime Aguma, Hon Nwafor Uchechukwu, Dr. Kenneth Chisom Gbah and Hon. Henry Ogiri.
In a statement signed by the Acting Clerk of the House, Dr. Emeka Amadi, the five commissioner nominees are expected to appear before the lawmakers by 10am.
The nominees are also requested to submit 40 copies of their original credentials to the office of the Acting Clerk on or before 9am, today.
Four commissioners had earlier been screened by the Assembly and sworn in by the State governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, last week.
These nominees, if screened and confirmed, will therefore, bring the number of commissioners in the State to nine in the last one week.
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