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Tinubu Backing Lawan, Gbajabiamila Because Of 2023 – Saraki

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Saraki

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Monday took a swipe at the former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju BolaTinubu, saying that the continuous attack on him by the APC Chieftain was all about his 2023 Presidential ambition.

According to Saraki, Tinubu should leave him alone, just as he stressed that his support for the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan, APC, Yobe North for the position of Senate President and honourable Femi Gbajabiamila for the Speaker, House of Representatives respectively for the 9th National Assembly are all geared towards the realisation of his 2023 Presidential ambition.

Reacting to Tinubu yesterday, Saraki who noted that inspite of smear campaign and hatred for him, Tinubu should at least dwell on facts, adding that while he awaits his attack for the next quarter, he can only be advised to stay on facts.

Saraki said that as a leader of the Eighth National Assembly and the Upper Chamber under his watch, the Senate has surpassed the records of all previous ones in the number of bills passed, adding that the bills are significant to the revival of the economy, the fight against insecurity and corruption, improvement in the provision of health service and the education sector, as well as better social service delivery to the generality of the people.

A statement yesterday by Saraki’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu read, “Let us repeat again that we know that a Machiavellian politician like Tinubu will forever agonize over his erroneous belief that Dr. Saraki frustrated his ambition from becoming running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari through a Muslim-Muslim ticket in 2015. In his usual cavalier manner, he will stop at nothing to punish Saraki for that. We know that this attack is not about the interest of the nation or that of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is about his 2023 ambition and it is obvious in the statement as he struggled to explain this away

“However, Tinubu should leave Dr. Saraki out of his schemes and manipulations towards 2023. It is obvious his arbitrary and tactless interference in the process for the emergence of the leadership of the Ninth Assembly is already falling through. The frustration from this experience might have been responsible for this needless and baseless outbursts. Our only advice for him is that if he is interested in the stability of the National Assembly, he should allow the members to elect their leadership in consultations with the party leadership. He should stop treating the legislators like hapless pupils receiving orders from a cane-wielding headmaster. A situation where he, Tinubu, is dictating to elected legislators and ordering them to either comply with his directives or get out of the party, will not augur well for the legislature in the next dispensation. History should have thought him that only a leadership that truly enjoys the support of members can help the President and his administration to achieve their objectives. It is a good development that the candidates for the various positions are already reaching out to their colleagues and forging alliances. We can see that after he realized that he has misfired, he is trying to retrace his step and in his usual devious manner, he is looking for scapegoats. We advise him to leave Dr. Saraki out of his manipulations and “jockeying and maneuvering for influence and power”, as he termed it.

“Yesterday, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, released another of his now well expected quarterly vicious attack on the person of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, the President of the Senate. In the statement, one could see the master of media spins getting ensnared in his own game as he struggled to extricate himself from the narratives about the contest for leadership positions in the Ninth National Assembly.

“Since we have taken it for granted that Tinubu’s attack on Saraki every three months (Quarterly) will come as expected, we would just have ignored his statement but for the fact that it was filled with untruth, fallacies and misrepresentations. The statement was another effort to sell a concocted narrative about the Eighth National Assembly and its leadership.

“First, he alleged that national budgets were delayed, distorted, padded, new projects introduced, funds for projects reduced, “to halt progress of government”. It is unfortunate that a man like Tinubu who had been in the Senate (though for 22 months and under a military regime) should not have a better understanding of how the legislature works. The passage of budgets is definitely not the exclusive responsibility of the leadership of the Senate. Most of the work is done by the various committees. These committees are headed by Senators representing different parties. It is the level of co-operation between the committees and the MDAs in the timely defence of the budget proposals and the ability of the two chambers of the National Assembly to reconcile their figures that usually determine how soon the budget is passed. To put the blame of budget delay on the Senate President or Speaker can only be mischief, or at best, playing to the gallery.

“It is also a known fact that any so-called delay in the passage of budgets under the Eighth National Assembly is traceable to the refusal of heads of MDAs to defend the budget proposals for their agencies on time. Last year, the President himself had to direct the Secretary to Federal Government to compel heads of MDAs to appear before the National Assembly committees following the report made to him by Dr. Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara. So, if a man like Tinubu is spreading this falsehood about budget passage and delay being deliberately orchestrated by the National Assembly leadership, one wonders whether he tries to even understand what happens in the federal legislature at all or is that the only thing that is of interest to him is “jockeying and maneuvering for influence”, as he puts it.

“To further make the points here clear, we invite Tinubu to look at the records of the time of submission of budgets and their passage since 2010 and he will see that with the exception of the 2013 budget which was passed on December 20, 2012, all the budgets have been passed between March and May of the same fiscal year. This should give him a better understanding of the fact that the date the Appropriations Bill is submitted to parliament and the readiness of the MDAs to defend the proposals submitted as well as timely agreement on the figures by both chambers of the National Assembly are the main determining factors in when the budget is eventually passed. So, Tinubu should see that the facts cannot support his spins and fake narrative.

“In all the three budgets already passed by the National Assembly, we challenge Tinubu to make specific reference to where Dr. Saraki and the leadership of the National Assembly “sought to pad with pet projects” as he alleged. Tinubu should be graceful enough to substantiate this allegation. We consider that allegation careless, irresponsible and callous. We therefore demand that he should withdraw it.

“However, there is need to let him know that it is the constitutional responsibility of the National Assembly to review the proposals sent by the executive and where it deems necessary, it is within the power of the legislature to make changes. A good example, is the decision by the National Assembly to include in the 2018 budget the one percent of the total budget, amounting to N33 billion, as allocation for Universal Health Coverage as provided by an extant law, which had been hitherto observed in the breach. Is this what Tinubu considers as budget padding? And this was a decision which was praised across the world as a real benefit to ordinary people across the country.

“Tinubu also claimed that the Senate leadership “stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious reactionary and self interested legislation on the nation”. We wonder what these “legislative initiatives” are because in the four years of the Buhari administration, it has only forwarded 11 bills to the Senate, apart form the routine annual appropriations and supplementary budget proposals. Two of these bills, the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill and the National Minimum Wage Bill, have been passed. One of the bills, the Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act (amendment) Bill was withdrawn by the executive following the disagreement between the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Also, another one, the National Water Resources Bill was rejected because it infringed on the rights of states to develop their water resources. The remaining seven which are the National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Establishment Bill, Federal Institute of Industrial Research for the Development of Micro, Small and Large Industries Bills, the Suppression of Piracy Bill, Communications Service Tax Bill, 2015; Federal Institute of Industrial Research Bill, 2017; Raw Materials Research and Development Council (Repeal and Re-enactment Bill 2018; Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (Establishment etc) Bill, 2018- are at various stages of passage.

“As a leader of the Eighth National Assembly, Dr. Saraki is proud that under his watch, the Senate has surpassed the records of all previous Senate in the number of bills passed, the significance of these bills to the revival of the economy, the fight against insecurity and corruption, improvement in the provision of health service and the education sector, as well as better social service delivery to the generality of the people. The bills passed, motions moved, intervention made and frequent engagement with the people were all directed towards addressing the day to day issues that affect the lives of the ordinary Nigerians. This Senate has passed 282 bills (the highest any Senate had passed is 129 bills recorded by the 5th Senate), among which is the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act, Public Procurement Act (amendment) Bill, Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Electoral Act (amendment) Bill, Police Reform Bill, Police Trust Fund Bill, Nigeria Railways Authority Bill, Company and Allied Matters Act (amendment) Bill, Secured Credit Transactions Act, Whistleblowers Protection Bill, constitution amendment bills, Discrimination Against Persons With Disability Bill, Electronic Transaction Bill, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, North East Development Commission (NEDC) Act, Witness Protection Programme Bill, Credit Bureau Reporting Bill, Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill and Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, National Financial Intelligence Agency Act, Federal Audit Services Commission Bill, among others. It will be good to know which of these Bills Tinubu believes is “self interested” and not in the interest of Nigerians.

“We will like to point the attention of Mr. Tinubu to the fact that most of the bills listed above got international and national endorsement from stakeholders who lauded the Senate for the move. For example, the Financial Intelligence Database Agency (Ultrascan) commended the Senate for passing the NFIU Act which enabled the country to be re-admitted into the Egmont Group. Also, the Nigerian Police leadership have praised the Senate for passing the Police Reforms Bill and the Police Trust Fund Bill. Again, when the National Assembly in the 2018 budget gave effect to the law allowing one percent of the budget to be devoted to Primary Health Care Delivery, it got kudos from Bill Gates, Bono, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of WHO, and various national groups who believe the move would bring health care delivery to the poor people across the country. The passage of the UBEC Act (amendment) Bill was praised by Pakistani child education campaigner and youngest Nobel Laureate, Yousafzai Malala. When the PIGB was passed, APC led by Tinubu, National Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), among others, hailed the Senate for a good job. Even, the World Bank commended the National Assembly for the passage of the Company and Allied Matters Act and Secured Transactions in Movable Assets and Credit Bureau Reporting Act. Of course, all these initiatives will be ignored by a man who is still sulking because his vow in 2015 that Saraki and Dogara will never lead the National Assembly did not materialize.

“Tinubu and his mob have been sponsoring the narratives in the media that the emergence of the present leadership of the National Assembly was a mistake. We hereby submit that Dr. Saraki and other leaders of the National Assembly were democratically elected by their colleagues. And it is because they are the choice of their colleagues that they have remained in office for the past 46 months, despite all the plots hatched by anti-democratic, reactionary and fascist elements pretending to be ‘progressives’. In fact, Tinubu should know that if there was any mistake made on June 9, 2015, It was the miscalculation by himself and his small cabal in the APC who felt they could decide for the Senators-elect and House of Representatives Members-elect. When they failed after their grand-standing that they could always got whatever they desired, they resorted to undermining the institution of the legislature and waging a campaign of calumny against the law making body. It is now clear that those who took Senators away from the chambers contrary to the directive contained in the proclamation signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 9, 2015 are ‘mistake personified’. It is obvious that If they repeat that arrogance during the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, they will fail again because Nigeria is greater than them. The institution of the legislature is bigger than the over-bloated egos of these power mongers and dirty schemers.

“The Eighth Senate has done very well and will leave a good legacy. Despite all the underhand tactics to undermine the legislature by outsiders and the public posturing, members have always worked as a team on critical issues that have benefits for our people and our nation. That is why hitherto unachievable legislations like the PIGB, Police Reforms Act and other bills or amendments to existing laws were passed with ease because the members and the leadership know that they are elected as Senators of the Federal Republic and not as party representatives.

“Tinubu should know that while we await his attack for the next quarter, we can only advise him to stay on facts.”

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BREAKING: Ekweremadu To Run For Governorship In Enugu Under APC

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Former Deputy Senate President and Senator representing Enugu West Senatorial district, Mr Ike Ekweremadu has reportedly concluded plans to dump his political party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of 2023 Enugu governorship tussle.

THE NIGERIA DAILY quoted a source close to the former deputy Senate President to have said that Ekweremadu has renewed his high-level negotiations with the top echelon of the APC from the South East.

The source told THE NIGERIA DAILY that Ekweremadu’s defection to the APC has nothing to do with disagreement with his own party, the PDP, but solely on his desire to pursue his governorship ambition in 2023.

It will be recalled that Ekweremadu is one of the longest-serving senators in the national assembly having represented his senatorial zone for 16 years and still counting.

During his re-election in 2019, Ekweremadu has promised his constituents he would not be seeking another term in the Senate come 2023.

He was first elected to the senate in 2003. In 2015 he attempted to run for Governor but the then Governor, Sullivan Chime denied him the ticket insisting it was the turn of another zone. This prompted Ekweremadu to renegotiate his way back to the Senate.

THE NIGERIA DAILY reports that Enugu PDP has insisted on following the zoning arrangements of 1999. Enugu East produced Governor between 1999-2007, followed by Enugu West (2007-2015) and now Enugu North (2015-date ) The tenure of Enugu North is expected to elapse by 2023.

But Ekweremadu’s close aide told THE NIGERIA DAILY that since all zones have benefited from the zoning arrangements, it doesn’t matter which zone produces the next governor.

Meanwhile, Enugu East which has former governors Chimaraoke Nnamani and Jim Nwobodo have made it clear that they are leaving no stone unturned in producing the next governor and the incumbent governor, Rt. Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is strongly in support of Enugu East, this Newspaper still learnt.

With Ekweremadu leaving no stone unturned on his interest to occupy the Lion Building (Enugu State Government House) and without the support of the incumbent governor, his alternate vehicle to achieve his long time dream is through the APC.

This online Newspaper confirmed that Ekweremadu has activated all his governorship structures and is on the verge of concluding all necessary measures before he finally announces his defection to the APC.

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Edo Guber Poll: You Are No Match For Wike, PDP Replies Ganduje

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Wike and Ganduje

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Monday, described the chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, national campaign council for the Edo governorship election, and governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, as a “barefaced treasury looter who has no moral rectitude to speak on corruption.”

The party stated this while reacting to comments credited to the Kano governor over the manner the APC would take Edo, specifically saying that his counterpart and governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike would be “isolated” until the conduct of the poll in Edo on September 19 this year.

In a statement issued by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described as a huge irony that Governor Ganduje, “who has become a butt of national shame after being seen on viral video stuffing his robe with gratification in foreign currency,” would accuse the PDP of corruption intentions in the Edo state governorship election.

The statement read: “It is a paradox that an individual who has earned himself the disgraceful public sobriquet of “gandollar”, after being caught collecting gratification, would attempt to accuse others of having intention of looting the treasury of a state.

“The PDP points out that it is only in a party like the APC, under a Buhari Presidency, that such a tarnished individual can be selected to speak in public, let alone lead a governorship election campaign.

“Apparently, Governor Ganduje and other APC leaders are so used to looting public treasuries that such is his first mental direction after his inauguration to lead the Edo governorship campaign.

“Governor Ganduje has further confirmed the real intention of the APC, which is to use their morally embattled candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu for their desperate effort to regain access to Edo state treasury, after Governor Godwin Obaseki liberated the state from the stranglehold of APC treasury-looting godfathers.

“Our party invites Governor Ganduje to note that there is no free dollars for him and other APC leaders to loot in Edo state. Under the PDP, the resources of Edo state, and indeed other PDP states, belong to the people and not to any political cabal and their godfathers.

“Of course, this is why the people of Edo state are solidly behind Governor Obaseki for firmly resisting APC looters.”

“Moreover, Governor Ganduje, with his infamous “gandollar” video, is no match to the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo election, Governor Nyesom Wike.

“Whereas Governor Wike is a highly respected, upright, honest, transparent, people-based and development-driven leader, who is firmly in touch with the people of Edo state and enjoys their confidence and trust, Governor Ganduje, on the other hand, represent a leadership that is fraught with dishonesty, corruption, non-performance and public shame.”

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BREAKING: Integrity Group Emerges From APC NEC

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APC

In a bid to further sustain the repositioning efforts of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CEONCPC) of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a group of party faithful in the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, have formed APC NEC – Integrity Group.

The group which emerged from the Non-National Working Committee of National Executive Committee (Non-NWC NEC) has also appointed it’s leaders and conveyed same in a letter to the caretaker committee chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni.

The Group in a jointly-signed letter by Hon. Abubakar Sadiq Saadu (Chairman) and David Okumba (Secretary) and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Monday assured the CEONCPC Chairman of it’s support and readiness to work with the Caretaker Comitee in order to restore the party to it prime status.

Pledging it’s support the group wrote, “As NEC members we are always ready and available for the Caretaker committee and shall support committee in which ever way require in cause of steering the party’s affairs.”

It also commended President Muhammadu Buhari over the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and expressed optimism that the Caretaker Committee will engender genuine reconciliation and peace in the party.

Eulogising the leader of the caretaker committee, the group described the emergence of Mai Mala Buni, the Yobe State governor, the chair of the Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee as a well thought out move.

The executive committee of the group as conveyed to the caretaker committee include, Hon. Abubakar Sadiq Saadu – North West (Chairman), Dr. Mrs. Racheal Akpabio – South South (Deputy Chairman), David Okumgba – South South (Secretary), Abubakar A. Musa – North East (Asst. Secretary), Lawal Kolade – South West (Treasurer), Terver Aginde – North Central (Organization/Mobilization), Hon. Muhammed S. Ibrahim – North West (Publicity/Strategic Communication) and Barr. Tanko Zakari – North Central (Legal Adviser).

Others are Muhammad Azare – North East (Welfare), Nduka Anyanwu – South East (Auditor), Bolaji Repete Hafeez – South West (Dep. Publicity/Strategic Communications), Hon. Ihuoma Onyebuchukwu – South East (Deputy Treasurer) and Abubakar Ajiya – North East (Coordinator) while is to serve as Abdulmunaf Muh’d – North West (Coordinator, John Uwaedu – South East (Coordinator), Adie Ferdinand Atsu – South South (Coordinator) and Jock Alamba – North Central (Coordinator)

For the Board of Trustees (BoT), the group appointed Alh. Nasiru Danu – North West (Chairman), Sunday Jacob – South East (Secretary),v Chief Koteteh Ibadan – South South (Member), Alh. Zakari Muhammad – North Central (Member) and Alh. Shuaibu Abdulrahaman – North East (Member).

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