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Insecurity: Buhari scheduled to appear before Reps next Thursday

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 The House of Representatives has scheduled next Thursday December 10  for President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before the lawmakers to brief them on what his administration is doing on the worsening insecurity situation in the country.

The lower chamber also gave an indication that the President could choose to come on December 15 if December is not convenient for him.

Spokesperson for the House, Ben Kalu, gave the dates on Thursday when he spoke to newsmen on the issue in Abuja.

He said although the date was not definite yet, the President might appear next Thursday (December 10) or the upcoming Tuesday (December 15).

According to him, the President is coming to meet minds with the lawmakers and proffer solutions to the insecurity challenges in the country.

The House had on Tuesday invited the president to come and discuss with the lawmakers, steps being taken by his administration to arrest the worsening insecurity.

It reached the decision after debating a motion moved on behalf of 10 other Borno State lawmakers by Hon. Satomi Ahmed.

The motion came on the heels of Saturday’s killing of over 43 rice farmers in Zabarmari village of Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents.

The lawmakers, among other things, had prayed that the president should declare a state of emergency on security matters and for the House to cause Buhari to appear before it to brief lawmakers on what his administration is doing to combat insecurity.

House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday, led a delegation to the State House to meet the President, after which he told reporters that Buhari had agreed to honour the invitation.

He, however, declined to say when the president would appear before the lawmakers.

But Kalu, while addressing journalists, clarified that the president was never summoned by the House, but was only invited so that they could meet minds and seek better ways of tackling the insecurity in the country.

He said, “As the speaker said yesterday (Wednesday), it will be out of place since we were not summoning, when you summon, you give date and time, but this is back channel diplomacy, legislative diplomacy. We are not compelling, we are inviting, and when you invite, you rub (sic) minds to find out the availability of the person you’re inviting. That was what the leadership did yesterday (Wednesday). They engaged with Mr. President and instead of mandating him to appear on a particular day, they rubbed (sic) minds on when it will be convenient for him to appear and he accepted.

“We have an estimate of when we think it’s going to be. In every matter of urgent public importance, time is of the essence and based on that, and in the wisdom of the president, he’s not delaying but prioritising it. So, security is topmost on his agenda at the moment and that’s why in the course of next week since we just finished today, I’m sure he will be able to adjust his programmes. I know Tuesday may not be feasible because we have NEC meeting. So, we are looking at Thursday or upper Tuesday, the date is not yet definite.”

Asked why the House was still demanding the sacking of service chiefs since the president has refused to sack them, Kalu explained that the call for the sacking of the service chiefs would be one of the issues that the House would discuss with the President.

He said, “The (sacking of the) service chiefs will be one of the issues the House will discuss with the president. We are looking for solutions. It’s not about the visit of the president; it’s about solution-seeking mechanism. We are looking for strategies that will help us find solutions. The visit of the president happens to be one of them.

“What we want from him is to do a SWOT analysis of the security sector. Mr. President, what are your strengths so far, your weaknesses? We think these are your weaknesses.

“If we believe that not changing the service chiefs is a weakness, we will mention it as well. Mr. President, what are your threats? How can we help with this your threats, to covert them to opportunities? For example, declaring a state of emergency on security. We will lay everything on the table for him to see so that he will know what we think based on what they informed us at our constituents. It’s going to be a discussion.”

He explained that the House is still engaging the service chiefs because they are still serving the nation and the legislative arm can’t boycott them.

According to him, if the House refuses to engage them, it means it is doing a disservice to the nation and to the citizens.

He said the right thing was to keep engaging them and keep asking the president to explain why keeping them is the best strategy to curb the security problems in the country.

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Ondo gov poll: Tribunal dismisses Jegede petition

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The Ondo Election Petitions Tribunal in Akure on Tuesday threw out the petition challenging the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in last year’s governorship election for want of jurisdiction.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, had filed the petition seeking to be declared winner of the election on the grounds that Governor Akeredolu was not properly nominated by the All Progressives Congress.

Justice Abubakar Umar, who delivered the judgment, said Jegede had no justification to interfere in the internal affairs of the APC.

He said, “Issue raised therein in this petition are settled issue of internal affairs and Management of a political party which this Tribunal has no Jurisdiction.”

He dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

The tribunal declared Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as duly elected in the October 10 governorship election.

Governor Akeredolu hailed Ondo residents for the confidence reposed in his administration and urged Jegede to join him in developing the state, saying there was no need for further litigation.

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Why northern governors opposed Jonathan’s second term bid – Babangida Aliyu

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Former governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has said northern governors rose against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015 because of the perceived threat of his victory to the North.

Aliyu said in Minna on Friday that the northern governors felt at the time that their part of the country stood in a disadvantaged position and would be shortchanged should Jonathan win a re-election.

He claimed that Jonathan had earlier reached an agreement with the north to complete what was left of the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and then run for only one term.

He said the ex-president’s insistence on going for another term in 2015 was against the agreement he had with the northern governors.

“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party along with the state governors under the flagship of the party had series of meetings on the presidency and the future of our great party,” he said.

The ex-governor also said, “All the governors in the North under the PDP supported the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to complete the remaining years of Yar’Adua’s tenure and to contest the next presidential election as a sole candidate of our great party.

“However, midway, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of our earlier agreement.

“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we the governors in the north felt the North would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had.

“On that premise, we opposed Jonathan. But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and the entire region.”

The former governor said it was wrong for anyone to say that he opposed Goodluck Jonathan.

He added that as the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum then, it was his responsibility to tell the people about the stand of the governors.

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Makinde’s candidate, Arapaja, emerges PDP South-West chairman

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Former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Taofeek Arapaja, has been declared the South-West chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He was pronounced winner of the hotly contested poll by chairman of the region’s congress and Benue Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu.

Arapaja, backed by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, polled 343 votes to defeat Dr Eddy Olafeso, who scored 330.

Olafeso is of the camp of former Ekiti Governor Ago Fayose.

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