In what appeared to be a step further on moves to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari over endless attacks by terrorists, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the upper and lower Legislative Chambers, yesterday, met behind closed doors in Abuja.
Briefing reporters at the National Assembly, after the closed-door session, the Senate PDP Minority caucus, Senator Philip Aduda, stressed that the meeting afforded them to explain the scenario that played out in the Red Chamber, last Wednesday with regards to a “walkout” by senators.
Aduda said, in a bicameral legislature, as it was in Nigeria, there was a need for both Chambers to be on the same page for impeaching a president to work, hence, the minority caucus in the Lower Chamber was called for a proper briefing.
He said the opposition senators were not alone, disclosing that a good number of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) senators agreed with them, and promised to be bipartisan on the issue.
He said: “Members of the press, we are here this afternoon to brief you on the meeting we just have with members of the House of Representatives. The meeting was necessitated by the need for us to be on the same page on issues that have to do with the state of the nation.
“I believe you are all aware of what transpired yesterday on the floor of the Senate, and we saw the need for us to be on the same page with the members of the House of Representatives.
“Am sure members of the press must have interacted with some of our colleagues on the issue that happened yesterday to know that this is not about the PDP caucus alone.
“It was all a bi-partisan issue. We all agreed that security architecture is failing and there is a need to address it. We all agreed, to some people who don’t know, the issue is we agreed that we must issue an impeachment notice to Mr President because the primary responsibility of the government is to protect the lives and property of citizens.
“The issue of impeaching President Buhari was discussed at a closed-door session and to include other parties in the move.
“We now invited the PDP caucus in the House of Representatives so that we can brief them on the happenings so that they can understand what happened, yesterday.
“We are calling on the leader of the House of Representatives so that we can hear from them as well”, Aduda in said.
Reacting, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon Ndudi Elumelu, noted that the same feeling took place on the floor of the Green Chamber, adding that he personally drew the attention of members to the unsafe capital city.
While acknowledging the protest in the Senate, Elumelu maintained that they would concur with the position of the Senate in removing President Buhari from office.
The lawmaker drew attention to comments by President Buhari’s aide who described the impeachment move as “laughable”, insisting that when legislators resumed from long vacation amid persistent insecurity, they would resort to constitutional means to impeach President Buhari from office.
He said: “Of course, the Senate has been awash with what happened yesterday. Our colleagues in the Senate have to walk out in protest of the state of the nation as regards insecurity.
“Concurrently though, we didn’t do the way senators did it, but I drew the House’s attention to what is happening in Nigeria, particularly the FCT, Abuja.
“In FCT, few days ago, Kuje prison was invaded. This week on the road to Law School in Bwari, some very, very important persons in the armed forces were butchered in their youthful age by the insurgents.
“As if that was not enough, the Minister of Education gave an order that all schools in FCT be shut. Yesterday, the FCT Minister directed that all FCT schools should be closed and I gave a warning to my colleagues on the floor of the House that Abuja is no longer safe.
“If Abuja is safe, why should the minister serving under APC-led government instruct that all students should vacate?
“Why should FCT minister himself direct that all private schools be closed? Of course, this is a signal that Abuja is not safe.
“This is why our colleagues are calling for the impeachment notice to be put forth to APC-led government’s inability to safeguard the country which our founding fathers envisaged that nobody should suffer”, he said.
Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa
Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.
Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.
He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.
Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.
According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.
Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.
He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.
“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.
Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.
Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.
He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.
According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.
“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.
The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.
He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.
In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.
Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.
Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.
Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.
Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers
The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.
The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.
Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.
She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.
The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.
“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.
“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.
“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.
“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.
“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.
“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”
While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.
“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.
“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.
Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.
Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.
However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.
Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023 -NBS
Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.
In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent
It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.
Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.
The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.
“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.
“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”
In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.
“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.
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