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Buhari ready to address Reps on insecurity, says Speaker

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to address the House of Representatives on the security challenges across the country.

He stated this while speaking with State House correspondents on Wednesday after meeting Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the date of the address would soon be made public.

The House on Tuesday resolved to invite Buhari to address lawmakers on efforts being made to tackle the security challenges in the country.

Gbajabiamila said the group was in the State House to convey to Buhari the House resolution summoning him to appear before it.

He said they also had the intention of fixing the date for the President’s appearance but they later declined fixing the date in deference to the President’s office.

However, he added that they eventually reached an agreement with the President on the date he would appear before them, but declined to make the date known.

“We came to see the President on developments in the country. He was so willing to listen as typical of the President; the usual democrat that he is.

“What we basically sought was to convey the resolution of the House and to fix a date which we did not fix out of respect for Mr President and his very tight schedule, what date will be convenient.

“We have agreed on a date and he will meet with the House to address the situation. We have fixed a date but we will communicate with you. He is a perfect democrat. He will come to the House to address members in the nearest future.”

According to Gbajabiamila, when Buhari appears before the House, he will not be there to address only the lawmakers, but will rather use the floor of the House as a platform to address the entire citizens of the country.

“I think he is more concerned than me and you. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. We will leave everything until when he comes to the House. Let me not pre-empt him. All I can tell you for now is that he is fully committed to the security of lives and property of Nigerians.

“He is coming to talk to Nigerians through the House. You know that the House, as it is constituted, every Nigerian is present in the House. Every constituency in this country is represented in the House. So, when Mr. President is talking to the House, he is talking to Nigerians through their representatives,” he added.

The House had degenerated into a rowdy session on Tuesday following a motion presented by a member from Borno State, Hon. Satomi Ahmed, on behalf of other 10 Borno State lawmakers.

Ahmed’s motion which was the fallout of the heinous killings of 43 farmers on their rice farms in Zarbamari by Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday, also demanded a declaration of a state of emergency on security matters in the country by the President.

Ahmed had disputed the claim that the number of people killed was 43, saying the exact number was not yet known, recalling how the insurgents tied up farmers and slit their throats.

However, Ahmed had in his motion deliberately omitted the prayer summoning the President, prompting one of the co-sponsors of the motion, Hon. Ahmadu Jaha, to raise a point of order, drawing his colleagues’ attention to one of the prayers in the motion which Ahmed had failed to express.

According to Jaha, all sponsors of the motion agreed that Buhari should be summoned to tell the House what he’s doing about the security situation in the country.

Jaha’s point of order, calling for the House’s resolution summoning the President, received the backing of majority of members, but some opposed it, thus throwing the House into a rowdy session, until Gbajabiamila called for the dissolution of the House into an executive session.

The motion to summon Buhari to appear before the House was raised again after the executive session.

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Former Ondo deputy governor agrees to return vehicles

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Former Ondo Deputy Governor Agboola Ajayi has finally agreed to return the two vehicles in his possession to the Ondo State Government.

The state government last week said it would embarrass Agboola if he failed to return the four vehicles.

But Agboola, who said he had only two vehicles, insisted they were part of his benefits.

The state government also petitioned the Ondo State Police Command to help recover the vehicles.

In a statement on Sunday, the former deputy governor said he was not the problem of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration.

Agboola stated it was in the interest of everybody that Governor Akeredolu demonstrated good governance, transparent policy making and effective change.

He said it was unfortunate some members of the inner circle of Akeredolu have prioritised harassing him on a number of issues most especially the return of vehicles

Agboola said he hoped “these petty interactions would have ceased after the recent inauguration.

“To be clear – if the return of these two vehicles will make the administration focus more on the avalanche of pressing needs, challenges and predicaments facing the state most especially insecurity, the absence of governance and unpaid salaries across the entirety the Ondo public sector – then I’m ready to make the sacrifice and return the two vehicles which they so desperately need.

“I am not the problem of the present administration. I have moved on.”

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Pensioners demand payment of N35bn arrears

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Nigeria pensioners who retired from the electricity sector have urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to come to their aide in order to resolve the lingering issue of their owed N35billion pension arrears.

The pensioners under the aegis of Electricity Sector Retiree Welfare Association (ESREWA), led by its  President, Elder Benjamin Amako, asked President Buhari to save countless dying pensioners whose fate are tied to the delayed payment of their pension arrears.

Rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja, Amako said every Nigerian, including President Buhari, knows the pathetic situation of pensioners in the country.

Amako said: “First we thank God that Mr President returned from his medical trip healthier, stronger and successfully. The news of his return gave us pensioners so much joy because we know  he will not sit quiet and watch more pensioners lose their lives because of humanly inaction. So far, his administration has ensured that pensioners gets their rights and this arrears we are asking for is our right.

“Interestingly, President Buhari had already directed that this same arrears (N35billion) be paid to us, but for over five years ago he issued the directive, the relevant authorities who it is their responsibilities to ensure we get this arrears for our dying members seems to be working contrarily.

“So for the past five years, these arrears have always been part of the National Budget under Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) budget and accordingly transferred to Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD). But sadly, we have not been paid a dime even as I speak, for reasons that are totally and obviously human making.

“So we are pleading with President Buhari, the SGF, Minister of Finance, Chairman Senate Committee on Power, Accountant General of the Federation, PTAD and other relevant authorities to save our lives by paying us this money without further delay.”

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We’ll make South-East hot for governors if…, IPOB warns

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The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, has raised the alarm that South East governors in collaboration with Ohanaeze Ndigbo and some “treacherous’ tradinonal rulers, and President Generals of some communities, are compiling names of suspected operatives of the Eastern Security Network, ESN as well as IPOB members and supporters for persecution.

The group stated that if the governors don’t rescind their plan, “IPOB will make the zone too hot for them.” IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary Emma Powerful, claimed that its intelligence unit uncovered “a secret file” containing the list of the suspected ESN and IPOB members.

The list according to the statement is to be handed over to the security agencies for torture and elimination. IPOB which said the idea was suggested to South East Leaders by the federal government to weaken ESN regretted that efforts of the security outfit for flush out killer herdsmen from the zone were being sabotaged by the selfish political elite. It noted that since the establishment of ESN, efforts to rid the zone of bandits and killer herdsmen had intensified, a development that has making the masterminds uncomfortable.

The statement read in part: “The South-Eastern Governors in collaboration with Traditional Rulers in the Zone and some PGs of communities are compiling names of suspected IPOB members in their respective communities to hand over to Nigeria security agencies for possible executions. “The arrangement has been perfected to help Nigeria Police and Army to quickly pick anybody suspected to be IPOB member and ESN operatives in the zone. “Our intelligence further revealed that they took this decision to launch this joint military operation to quench and permanently silence what they termed as IPOB and ESN menace in the zone. “IPOB intelligence unit gathered that these enemies within and without have perfected arrangements to abduct our people and put them incommunicado in the security dungeons in unknown locations. “It is unfortunate that our so called leaders could not see or observe how Fulani terrorist herdsmen are raping and murdering our mothers, wives and sisters in the farms across the Biafra territory but they see us as their problem.” IPOB denied any link with the unknown gunmen suspected to the behind the wave of bloody attacks against security formations in the zone and wondered why its members would be marked for elimination. “We have severally explained that ESN has nothing to do with the unknown gunmen responsible for the attacks in South East. The unknown gunmen are not ESN or IPOB.

We wonder why Government will continue to associate us with that group without investigations.” IPOB argued that a government that treats bandits and killer herdsmen with kid gloves cannot claim to be unaware of the said unknown gunmen.

The pro-Biafra movement warned South East Leaders to retrace their steps or brace up for the grave consequences of their action. “If South East Governors do not stop this plan against their people, IPOB will make the zone too hot for them. “We expect all tradinonal rulers and PGs in the South East communities to retrace their steps before it gets too late. The land will also rise against them if they allow this to happen! “Any IPOB member or ESN operative killed shall be avenged! The statement also advised the federal government to jettison any plans to persecute pro-Biafra groups as doing so would come with some price. “We advise Nigeria government and her partners in crime in the zone to desist from this evil agenda because it will backfire. We are aware of their secret file, but we are not going back until Biafra is finally achieved.”

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