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.
Tai APC Collapses As Hundreds Return To PDP …Say They Were Blinded By Fake Promises
Over 500 former members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Tai Local Government Area have returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The returnees led by the first PDP Chairman of the area, Hon Peter Gwezia, announced their return to the PDP, last Saturday, during the GDI’s sensitisation programme for the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) at the Council Secretariat, Saakpenwa.
Speaking on behalf of the rest of the returnees while renouncing membership of the APC, Hon Peter Gwezia, said he and other APC members decided to leave the party due to failure of leadership.
While promising to work for the success of the PDP in the 2023 election, Gwezia said the APC lacked ideas, and was like a vehicle without engine, could not take them to their desired destination, hence their decision to leave the party.
In his remarks, Deputy Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Hon Chukwuemeka Aaron, who received the returnees on behalf of the Chairman, PDP Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor, assured them of equal treatment, saying there are no new members in the party.
“I want to welcome you all and to say that in PDP and GDI where you are today, no person is new. We all have equal status, we all have equal rights. Some of the people that were with you there doing the jamboree that came back today, they are commissioners; they have gone to the National Assembly, become chairmen of councils.
“So, having seen what our leader, Chief Nyesom Wike has done in Rivers State, and in Tai, and what your chairman of council is doing in Tai, they have come back to take their rightful position. We want to thank all of you, and to say that the party chairman and the chairman of council will integrate you into the activities of GDI”.
Also speaking, GDI President-General, Chief Bright Amaewhule, said the performance of the present administration in the state was enough testimony for any Rivers son or daughter to reckon that PDP was the only party which had their interest at heart.
Amaewhule said that of the candidates lined up for the governorship seat in the state, only the PDP Governorship candidate, Sir Siminialayi Fubara, was competent and qualified to give the state good governance from day one.
He, therefore, challenged eligible voters who have not collected their PVCs to do so as soon as possible, and prepare to cast their votes for the right party which was a master of good governance and quality projects’ delivery in the state come 2023.
The returnees, alongside GDI members from the 10 wards of Tai, including youths, women and students groups, later engaged in a wild gyration, turning the entire arena into dance frenzy.
The event also featured solidarity speeches from stakeholders among them former and current National and State Assembly members, former and serving council chairmen, former commissioners, party stalwarts, and captains of industry, among others.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
MOSOP Tasks SPDC On Fresh Oil Spill
Factional President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, has called on Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) Joint Venture (JV), the oil and gas multinational company, to take full responsibility and appropriate action to curb a fresh oil spill in Bodo Community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke, who noted that the spill was first noticed in the community early last week, blamed Shell for the spill and urged the Dutch multinational to alleviate its impact on the community, curtail its spread and commence proper remediation and compensation in accordance with global best practices.
The MOSOP leader noted that the oil spills from the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by the Shell JV, suddenly erupted within the residential area of the community, alleging that it must have been caused by equipment failure.
He observed that although the cause of the spills, which was occurring 11years after the release of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reports, was yet to be ascertained, the spills have affected residential areas and community dwellers have been asked by the MOSOP to evacuate the area, to avoid causality in case of a fire.
“This massive spill is occurring 11 years after the UNEP released a damning report exposing Shell’s devastation of the Ogoni environment.
“We have communicated with community leaders to cooperate with investigations and ensure that every detail about this spill is communicated to our secretariat as soon as possible”, he said.On his part, Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said, “the cause of the crude oil spill which occurred inside the community where people live is not yet known at this time.”
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
Nigeria’s Freedom Of Expression Attracting Global Attention, Buhari Claims
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Sunday, said it was instructive that Nigeria was attracting positive international attention as a country that promoted media freedom and freedom of expression.
He said this was premised on the government’s understanding of the important roles that information literacy and media education played in sustainable development.
According to a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said this while pledging his “full support” for three major international events scheduled to hold in Nigeria in October and November 2022.
They include: the 2022 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Global Media, Information Literacy Week in Abuja, in October, the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos, as well as the second Global Association of Literary Festivals Conference, Abeokuta, in November.
In the statement titled ‘President Buhari pledges support as Nigeria hosts major cultural, tourism and literary events,’ he said the global events were opportunities to showcase the nation’s rich heritage in culture, arts, tourism and entertainment as well as advancements on media freedom.
Earlier, the Minister of Information ad Culture, Lai Mohammed, said that hosting the 2022 UNESCO Global Media, Information Literacy Week, would help to address the rising spate of fake news, misinformation and hate speech.
Expressing his delight to welcome international visitors to Nigeria, Buhari urged citizens to leverage the events to exhibit the values “that make us a unique, friendly and peace-loving people.”
The statement read in part, “Welcoming the decision by the UNESCO’s World Tourism Organisation and the Global Association of Literary Festivals to grant Nigeria the right to host these separate historic events, the President assures all relevant stakeholders and participants of the warmth and hospitality of the people of Nigeria.
“On the MIL Week, Buhari notes that it is instructive that Nigeria is attracting positive international attention as a country that promotes media freedom and freedom of expression, recognising the important roles information literacy and media education play in sustainable development.
“On the first Global Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry, the President says the rapid growth of Nigeria’s film, fashion, music, and the Information and Communications Technology sector, and the increase in international appeal and acceptance would continue to spur government to devote more resources to the sector.”
Among other initiatives, Buhari noted that the Creative Industry Financing Initiative, established by his administration and managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in collaboration with the Bankers’ Committee, had provided single-digit financing to many young Nigerians in the fields of fashion, film, music and information technology.
He noted that the $100 million re-development of the National Theatre, Lagos, into a world-class creative park is also ongoing, following the handover of the facility to the CBN and the Bankers Committee.
The President, therefore, expressed confidence that the literary world would find many good things to celebrate about Nigeria when they meet in the historic city of Abeokuta, homeland and birthplace of one of Nigeria’s finest literary icons and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka.
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