A People Democratic Party (PDP) presidential hopeful, Alhaji Ahmed Markarfi, has said if elected as president of the country, the first thing he would do is to restructure the country.
Makarfi made this known, on Friday, in Lokoja, the Kogoi State capital, when he visited the PDP Secretariat in the state on a familiarisation tour.
The presidential hopeful who said there is so much hunger and starvation in the land, said Nigerians needed a trusted leader who will carry out restructuring that will be beneficial to every Nigerian.
He stressed that he would first commence on institutional restructuring saying the current situation where government agencies like EFCC, police and others are made answerable to the government of the day would not be so as they would be made to be answerable and accountable to Nigerians.
Markarfi said he has adequate knowledge of every part of Nigeria and their teething problems , saying if given the chance , he knows best on how to fix those problems.
While appealing to PDP faithful to remain united and focused, he said he brought back the party to where it is today when some people were bent on destroying it.
He urged members not to allow some people who are found of jumping from one party to the other to hijack the party saying he has been a loyal PDP member right from the scratch adding ” we should not create the impression that loyalty does not pay”.
Markarfi, who said in 2007 when the tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was coming to an end, the then party chairman, Ahmadu Ali, called on all the governors to appoint somebody among them to succeed Obasanjo, and he was appointed, only for some people to scuttle it.
He said he did not leave the party for that purpose like some are fond of doing, but that he believed power comes from God.
2023: North Has Learnt Its Lessons With Buhari — Sheikh Gumi
Islamic scholars, Sheikh Ahmed Gumi, has described Nigerians as very sentimental people who do not learn lessons.
In an interview with Sunday Sun, the Islamic scholar spoke about the 2023 elections, President Muhammadu Buhari and what is going on in the country.
Speaking on the coming 2023 elections, Gumi said stability is what is important now and not regional politics.
He explained that Nigeria is not about who leads from which region. He said what Nigeria needs is a crop of smart and intelligent Nigerians and it has nothing to do with whether the person is from the north, south, east or west.
According to him, the north has learnt its lessons with President Buhari. He said: “The north has learnt its lessons. Now, north is worse hit with Buhari. Jonathan was building 150 Almajiri schools, nine universities in the north. He was doing things. This Kaduna-Abuja rail, although the late President Umar Yar’Adua started it. So, let’s have somebody who can do it.”
Listing the qualities of the kind of leader Nigeria needs, he said such a person must be alert, intelligent, not take revenge, be forgiving, rehabilitate and not kill or imprison.
He added that the person’s mind should not be about catching people, but correcting them.
Asked if he has noticed any difference in the country since its return to democratic rule in 1999, he said there is development in the world as technology has made things better. He, however, said there is retrogression in government.
“Things are supposed to improve because science and technology have brought development close to the people. Government is retrogressing simply because we don’t have the right people in the right place and at the right time. Nigeria’s situation now is worse,” he added.
We Won’t Declare Kalu’s Seat Vacant — Senate
The Senate on Friday ruled out the possibility of declaring vacant, the seat of its Chief Whip, Senator Orji Kalu, following his conviction by a Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment over a N7.65bn fraud charges against him since 2007 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The judgment was delivered by Justice Mohammed Idris, 12 years after the EFCC filed the suit against him.
Kalu was convicted alongside his firm, Slok Nigeria Limited, and Jones Udeogu, who served under him as the director of finance and account at the Abia State Government House in Umuahia.
Reacting to the calls on the leadership of the Senate to declare his seat vacant, the Spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, said it was not possible.
He said such a request would only be considered after the embattled senator had explored all the legal options available to him without success.
Akwashiki argued that the constitution of Nigeria does not mandate the Senate President to unilaterally declare the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted by a lower court, vacant.
He said, “The Senate has no reason to declare his seat vacant. This is not the first time that such a thing would happen.
“There is no provision in the constitution that says the seat of any senator facing prosecution or convicted at a lower court should be declared vacant.
“He still has the opportunity to appeal the case.
“Even the tenure of a former governor Joshua Dariye, who has been in prison for some time now, ran its course until the end of the 8th National Assembly. Nobody declared his seat vacant.
“The Senate President cannot declare the seat of Kalu vacant. It is against the law.
“Tell those who are canvassing such things that there is nothing like that, it is a non-issue,” the Senate spokesperson added.
On whether Kalu will continue to receive salaries while in prison, Akwashiki said the National Assembly bureaucracy determines the payment of senators based on the template from the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Commission.
N40m Allegedly Stolen In Bayelsa Govt House
Not less than N40 million was on Friday, December 6, declared missing in the office of Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, the deputy chief of staff to the Bayelsa state Government House.
The Nation reports that about seven policemen and officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have been arrested and detained as possible suspects linked to the development at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state police command.