Senate Withdraws Grazing Bill

Senate Withdraws Grazing BillThe Senate has withdrawn a bill seeking to establish a Grazing Management Agency which would ensure the creation of grazing areas across the country.

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso was withdrawn along with two other similar bills sponsored by Senators Barnabas Gemade and Chukwuka Utazi.

While Senator Gemade’s bill seeks to establish a National Ranches Commission for Regulation, Preservation and Control of Ranches, Senator Utazi’s bill is seeking to control keeping and movement of cattle in Nigeria.

However, the bills were withdrawn as lawmakers noted that they all had different objectives and could not be merged.

Also, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, pointed out that the Senate lacks the power to legislate on livestock and grazing matters which the bills are intended to address

“The issues at stake here are neither in the exclusive list nor in the concurrent list. I believe therefore that it is a residual matter. It is for states to decide how to deal with it.

“I believe the matter here concerns everybody, given the level of carnage and the conflicts going on in different states. So, I feel the concern of my colleagues but unfortunately we do not have powers to legislate on matters relating to livestock in this Assembly. It is a matter reserved for the states.

“So, I believe that the bills for Senators Kwankwaso, Gemade and Utazi are beyond the reach of this National Assembly and should be accordingly withdrawn so that the states under the constitution should be able to deal with the matters which the constitution has prescribed for them.

“I will like to see somebody to show me anywhere in the exclusive list or concurrent list that has given us powers to legislate on this matter because they are not in existence,” he said.

Senate Recommends Return Of Toll Gates

senateThe Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately reverse the toll gate policy by ensuring that every federal road has a toll gate.

The Obasanjo administration had scrapped toll gates across the country.

However, the Senate‎ adopted the recommendation on the reversal of the toll gate policy contained in the report of the Ad-hoc Committee on Works, which investigated the total collapse of federal roads in Nigeria.

The Senate also mandated its Committee on Works to meet with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission to look for new methods of funding federal road projects.

In his presentation, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Barnabas Gemade, recommended the rebuilding and constant maintenance of existing road infrastructure as well as introduction of weigh bridges to protect roads.

Senate Committee Inspects Federal Highways In Anambra

AnambraThe Senate Adhoc Committee on Works has stormed Anambra State to inspect the federal highway and the erosion devastated sites.

This was the result of the joint outcry by the people of Anambra State and the motion moved by the Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial Zone of Anambra State, Uche Ekwunife, calling for immediate intervention of the federal government on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway which has collapsed completely as well as assistance in checking the increasing devastation of erosion in the state.

The leader of the delegation, Senator Barnabas Gemade, expressed surprise at the extent of dilapidation on the expressway as well as the magnitude of erosion in the state. He raised the alarm for urgent attention to prevent continued fatalities in the affected areas.

The inspection commenced from Amansea axis of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway.

They also inspected the Awka to Nkpor road in spite of the difficulty they went through accessing the highway which had been described as a slaughter slab by Professor Emeka Anyaoku in 2009.

At Nkpor flyover where erosion had destroyed the dual carriageway with two service lanes completed by the federal government just two years ago, the Chairman of the Adhoc Committee decried the extent of devastation and urged the state government to write an application to the Ecological Office in Abuja immediately and access funds to embark on palliatives.

He also gave an assurance of strong recommendations from the Senate for the actual intervention from federal government.

The team also visited the Nanka Erosion site before finally visiting the State Governor, Willie Obiano.

During their brief interaction, the Governor further highlighted the challenges of the state with high hopes of immediate intervention and he got more assurances from the leader of the team, Senator Barnabas Gemade.

Gemade Accuses Army Of Harassment, Petitions NHRC

GemadeThe Senator representing Benue North-East Senatorial District, Senator Barnabas Gemade, has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission over what he describes as the illegal and unlawful harassment of his person and members of his family by the Commander of 72 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, Makurdi during the last governorship election.

Presenting the petition to the Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission in Abuja, Senator Gemade said that some members of his family and constituency were unlawfully detained for over three hours and prevented from exercising their civic rights during the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly election.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Professor Bem Angwe, has promised to investigate the alleged unlawful invasion of Senator Gemade’s house by men of the 72 Battalion of the Nigerian Army.

Jonathan Meets With PDP BOT At Presidential Villa

goodluck_jonathan_pdpattire1The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, on Wednesday, held a meeting at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, with President Goodluck Jonathan presiding.

Also present were Vice President, Namadi Sambo; Senate President, David Mark; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and the Chairman of the BOT, Chief Tony Anenih.

Former chairmen of the party present include Dr. Ahmadu Ali, Chief Barnabas Gemade, Chief Olabode George. Also present was Josephine Anenih and Former Minister of Aviation, who is the current women leader, Dr. Kema Chikwe.

The meeting also had in attendance, three governors of Jigawa, Plateau and Katsina states.

Journalists were barred from the coverage of the meeting which started around 8pm.

It was said to be in preparation towards the NEC meeting of the party, scheduled to hold at the party secretariat on Thursday.


Metuh Insists PDP Has Challenges Not Factions

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisah Metuh has denied any form of split within the party claiming that “what we have now is challenges”.

Metuh, who spoke from the Abuja studio of Channels Television during Sunrise Daily, said the challenges are arising from differences on how the party should run its affairs.

He however maintained that the challenges facing the party are common because of its nature.

“We are a big party, we are a large family, it is common that in big associations, even in families, companies you do have differences, you do have challenges” he said.

Metuh also welcomed the reconciliatory move by former heads of state, retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida and Olusegun Obasanjo, two former party chairmen in persons of Barnabas Gemade and Ahmadu Ali and the Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the Party, Tony Anenih.

He noted that the National Working Committee of the party (NWC) is solely focused on supporting the government of President Goodluck Jonathan in ensuring that Nigerians get the benefits of democracy from the government they put in place to rule them.

He described the sealing of the Baraje-led party office as “an interpretation of a court order” maintaining that “there is nothing wrong with the decision”.

Metuh said the factional party never existed adding that we went to court and obtained an injunction that all parties should maintain “status quo antebellum”, meaning that “we should maintain the status before the crisis and that people should not take actions to change the position”.

He then noted that “if you open an office, you are not maintaining the status quo antebellum. If you go ahead to hold meetings, you are not holding the status quo antebellum. So it is an interpretation of a court order and there is nothing wrong with the decision”.

He further welcomed the differences of party members from the state chapters with the NWC but was quick to add that they went to court to address some of the issues because “to carry it further will be dangerous to the growth of the party”.

Meddlesome Interlopers

Metuh described the All Progressives Congress (APC) as “meddlesome interlopers” claiming that “they have no reason, whatsoever to interfere in our affairs”.

He warned that the feelings and thoughts of the newly formed party “is insignificant” and is “of no effect whatsoever”.

He further said “this is an opposition party that has not been able to sustain any kind of opposition except abuse, except hauling insults at the president or the leadership of the ruling party” adding that “they have nothing that they have offered, they have never debated any issue, they have never offered any alternative”.

He also noted that “they have no other platform to discuss except to interfere in the  internal affairs of the party”.

He went further to call the APC a tribalistic party, formed by individuals that are built on the fiefdom of a state, warning that “issues of corruption and tribal and ethnic politics cannot come together and form national interest”.