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Insecurity: Reps apologise to Buhari over invitation

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The House of Representatives may have dropped the idea of inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to address it on the security challenge in the country.

A report by The Nation on Sunday quoted House leadership’s sources as saying the decision was taken since the initial invitation had assumed ethnic and political dimension.

It was also learnt that some of the lawmakers behind the motion to invite Buhari had apologised to the Presidency.

They claimed that their motion was not intended to embarrass the President, contrary to insinuations in some quarters.

Some members had sponsored a motion to seek the urgent intervention of the Presidency following the recent killing of 48 farmers in Zabamari, Borno State.

Those who demanded action were Hon. Ahmed Satomi, Hon. Mohammed Tahir Monguno, Hon. Zainab Gimba, Hon. Muktar Betara, Hon. Mallam Bukar Gana, Hon. Haruna Mshelia, Hon. Ahmadu Usman Jaha, Hon. Ibrahim Mohammed Bukar, Hon. Usman Zannah and Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis.

But Ahmadu Usman Jaha said the prayer to invite the President was omitted from the motion read on their behalf by Ahmed Satomi.

 

The motion to invite Buhari was later adopted by the House, leading to a follow up audience with the President by its leadership.

 

Although the President initially agreed to appear before the National Assembly, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the House lacked the power to summon the President.

The Senate leadership also sharply disagreed with the House and rejected moves to ask the President to address a joint session of the National Assembly.

Despite the legal opinion of the AGF and political stand of the Senate, the Presidency has not been forthcoming on what becomes of the invitation of the President.

Findings by our correspondent however revealed that the House decided to foreclose the invitation following what a source described as the body language of the Presidency.

The source said apart from disagreement between the two chambers, the invitation assumed ethnic and political dimensions in the House.

Some of those behind the motion were shocked at the political colouration given to it.

 

The House leadership was alleged to have a hidden agenda on the motion with a view to undermining President Buhari.

 

It was learnt that the invitation was almost sliding into a North-South divide, especially over security reports that the opposition lawmakers wanted to use the invitation to embarrass Buhari.

 

A principal officer said: “The House of Representatives has foreclosed or dropped any immediate or future plans to invite President Muhammadu Buhari over insecurity in the country because a harmless motion has become political.

 

“I can tell you that we will no longer revisit the invitation. But we will be interacting with Service Chiefs and other ministers in charge of the nation’s security.

 

“The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its lawmakers capitalised on the motion to cast aspersions on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. What we never intended became the issue.

 

“Some governors and strategists in government insinuated that the House leadership was working for a different political interest. That was why they pulled the strings from the Senate.

 

“At a point, the row over the invitation was turned into a North-South divide if not for the political dexterity of the House leadership.

 

“We also got intelligence that some of those  lawmakers who sponsored the motion because of Zabamari rice farmers went through the back door to the Presidency to apologise over their insistence that the President must appear before the National Assembly.”

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Gov Ortom, deputy, 22 LG chairmen shun Atiku’s Benue PDP rally

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Samuel Ortom and Atiku Abubakar

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, his deputy, Benson Abounu, commissioners, aides, and the state’s 22 local government chairmen were all absent from the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar’s campaign rally in the state.

Benue is controlled by the PDP, where the national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, is from the state

Former governor of the state, Senator Gabriel Suswam, former president of the Senate, David Mark, and the three senators representing Zones A, B, and C, Suswam, Orker Jev, and Abba Moro, were, however, in attendance.

The rally was also attended by the party’s governorship candidate and his deputy, Titus Uba and John Ngbede, as well as some state working committee members.

Speaking at the rally, Ayu urged Ortom, who had not supported Atiku, to join forces with the party in order to save the country.

Ayu stated that he met with one of the G-5 governors, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, two days ago and urged him to work with them.

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SaharaReporters had in January reported that Ortom insisted that the five aggrieved governors would not work for Atiku Abubakar in the February 25 election.

“We read a fictitious, online report which claimed that the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, and his colleagues in the G-5 have resolved to work for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to win the 2023 elections.

“The report is not only false but also mischievous as it is targeted at embarrassing the five governors who have chosen the path of justice, fairness and equity.

“Manufacturers of the said report were apparently on a desperate mission to score a cheap political point. The report could not mention the place and date of the said meeting of G-5 Governors. The writers only sought to take advantage of the crisis within the PDP for their selfish purposes. Governor Ortom and other members of the G-5 have not endorsed the said presidential candidate.

“When the Governor met with the expanded state caucus of PDP yesterday, January 9, 2023, at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi, his message to them was crystal clear that the national leadership of PDP has failed to utilise its internal conflict resolution mechanism, which has led to the crisis rocking the party,” a statement had partly read.

SR

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Anti-June 12 elements behind naira shortage, court injunction – Ganduje 

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje yesterday raised the alarm that  ” anti-June 12 elements” were bent on scuttling the nation’s democracy.

He said the elements were “regrouping and dangerously masquerading” in the prevailing crisis generated by the new cash policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to achieve their goal.

Ganduje alleged that the elements consisted of “unknown political parties” working in consort with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor was reacting to an interim injunction by a Federal High Court in Abuja stopping the CBN from extending the 10-day deadline for swapping old naira notes for new ones. The extension ends on Friday.

Also yesterday, the Federal Government blamed its failure to end the impasse generated by the naira redesign on ”some opposition political parties.”

Ganduje had in a statement in Kano alleged that open support for the naira redesign by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, showed collaboration between the opposition and the CBN to weaken the masses through harsh policies and thwart democracy.

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The statement by Kano State Commissioner for Information   Muhammad Garba reads in part: “The group’s latest attempt is camouflaging in unknown political parties through the use of a legal instrument to further impose unfeasible cash policy that is taking its toll on the masses.

“The unknown political parties are also allegedly colluding with the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to execute this fiendish scheme.

“It is unfortunate that the CBN and its collaborators are insisting unnecessarily on the imposition of an unreasonable time frame for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender, in total refutation of the obvious national dearth in the necessary technological infrastructure for the process.

“The rigid insistence on the implementation of these harsh, inhuman and insensitive cash policies to a point of neglecting their widespread rejection by the vast majority of Nigerians, including the National Assembly and all state governors, is an ominous agenda for the undermining of the nation and consequent scurrying of a smooth transition to a freely and fairly elected successive administration.”

In Abuja, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed also took a swipe at the opposition parties for rushing to court for the order that restrained   President Muhammadu Buhari and Emefiele from extending Friday’s deadline for the naira swap.

He accused the “unscrupulous” parties of playing a political game with the redesigning of the naira and working against efforts that could have reduced the pains being experienced by Nigerians.

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Mohammed, who spoke at the 23rd Buhari administration’s scorecard series in Abuja, however, assured Nigerians that the naira redesign brouhaha would end soon.

His words: “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is mindful of the inconveniences currently being endured by citizens as a result of fuel supply disruptions and the recent redesigning of naira notes.

“The government is working assiduously to restore normalcy to these critical enablers of economic activity and to take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians.

“Recall that after his meeting with progressives governors on Friday,  President Buhari urged citizens to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the Naira redesign policy.

“Unfortunately, on Monday (yesterday), some opposition political parties ran to the court to obtain an injunction restraining Mr President and the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.

“The court action came after a number of opposition parties threatened to boycott the 2023 general election if the deadline was extended.”

The minister said the move by the parties amounted to legally hamstringing the President.

The Nation

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2023 Presidential Election: Yoruba Elders’ Union (YEU) declares support for Atiku!

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A socio-cultural group of Yoruba leaders under the aegis of the Yoruba Elders’ Union (YEU) has declared support for the former two terms Vice President of the federal Republic of Nigeria during the General Olusegun Obasanjo administration from 1999 to 2007 – His Excellency Abubaka Atiku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – during the forthcoming 2023 general election. This decision was taken at their meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, 7th of February, 2023.

Prof. Muhammad Omolaja, the president of the union, said that YEU considered all the presidential candidates from various political parties using, inter alia, criteria such as competence, experience, health, and general acceptability of the candidates. Alhaji (Prince) Muhammad Omolaja said that H. E. Abubakar Atiku stands clear among his presidential candidate colleagues as regards competence and health.

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In terms of the experience at the presidency level, the Yoruba leaders found that only Alhaji Abubakar Atiku has it among the candidates having served as the Vice President for eight years, and therefore, it will be easier for him to take off upon his election than for a new person who will have to spend about 6 months or more to study the situation in the office before taking off! The challenges in Nigeria now would not allow that to ameliorate the prevailing suffering of the Nigerian masses. As regards acceptability, the Yoruba leaders also agreed that H. E. Abubakar Atiku is the most widely accepted across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Abubakar Atiku has been building his network of politics and business for over 40 years! Hence, he is well known in the north, south, west and east of the country.

At the human relations level, Prof. Omolaja said that H. E. Abubakar Atiku is the most detribalized among all the candidates. He relates well with people from different parts of the country. He married from the southwest (Yoruba), Southeast (Igbo) and from the north(Hausa/Fulani), and he doesn’t discriminate on religious affairs. His choice of a Muslim/Christian ticket makes him superb in that respect!

The group therefore urges all well meaning Nigerians especially Yoruba sons and daughters to forget about all sentiments and come out en masse to cast their votes for H. E. Abubakar Atiku of the PDP during the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

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