I Rate The Eight National Assembly Low On Patriotism – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that he rates the Eight National Assembly very low on patriotism.

According to President Buhari, this is because the National Assembly stayed seven months without passing the budget his government presented.

In an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), The President said a wrong culture was developed in the National Assembly, suggesting that they (the Legislators) dictate the terms.

Buhari said the Legislators were acting like they were the government of the day, adding that by so doing they were holding the nation to ransom.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs 2019 Budget

He said, “I think a culture was developed in the National Assembly, that they should dictate the terms, I think it was wrong.

“It is the Executive that dictates the terms and take it before the Legislature that will examine it and agree or disagree with it.

“But when they go around posing that they are the government and not the Executive then that is a problem”.

President Buhari went on to reveal that he had to speak with the leadership of the National Assembly to ensure that they put aside their own interests for the good of the nation.

“I personally spoke to the Senate President, Saraki and the Leader of the House, Dogara, they could not deny it, I asked them how do they feel to hold the country to ransom for seven months without passing a budget?

“I told them that personally they are not hurting me, they are hurting the country.

“So really, in terms of patriotism, I think I rated them very, very low indeed”.

President Buhari said that holding the budget to ransom for seven months cannot be justified.

He said that he is frustrated because his government cannot move faster with all the projects that they have set out to achieve.

The President however said that some success have been achieved in his first term including bringing a relieve to the people in Nigeria’s Northeastern region.

Eight Assembly The Most Performing In Nigeria’s History, Says Dogara

Dogara Wins In Bauchi, Retains House Of Reps Seat
A file photo of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara. Photo: Twitter – @HouseNGR

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has described the eight Assembly as the most performing in Nigeria’s history because of the manner in which it worked with the Executive Arm of the Federal Government.

In a statement on Wednesday, Dogara disclosed that the House, under his leadership, cooperated with the Executive arm of the Federal government under President Muhammadu Buhari by giving speedy consideration and passage to legislation and other requests forwarded by the President that will fast-track implementation of the administration’s policies and plans.

Noting that there were times the House passed Executive Bills within two days or one week, he added that the 8th House of Representatives is the most performing in Nigeria’s political history from independence in 1960 to date.

He spoke in Abuja when he received the Euro Knowledge Award in recognition of his exemplary leadership which was conferred on him last month at the United Kingdom’s Parliament and another one by Nigeria’s Federal government for his contribution to passage of Ease Of Doing Business Bills in Nigeria.

Receiving the award, Speaker Dogara said, “We have done exceptionally well. It is on record that this has been the most productive National Assembly ever, as well as unparalleled House in the history of the House of Representatives.

“We hope that those who are coming after us, those who will take over from us will do better and be able to rededicate themselves and to achieve the ideals they set out for themselves. When we started out on the 8th Assembly, it was our desire and thank God we can say today that we have cleaned up virtually all Laws we inherited from even 1800. For some of us who read Law, we may have knowledge on the Statutes of General Application.”

“Before we embarked on this massive exercise, some of our Law books were still containing Pounds Sterling, in some Laws, some addresses in the United Kingdom were even mentioned. To the credit of the 8th Assembly, all those things are no longer reflected in the body of our Laws. “

“For the Ease of Doing Business, anyone who thinks we have not supported Government enough in the bid to create a conducive business environment to attract better investment into Nigeria should check what we have done in the area of the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“There were times when we ensured that within days or weeks, we passed these Bills that were required to jumpstart this process to bring Nigeria out of recession and prosper. This made Nigeria jump about 24 places in the Global Index of the World ranking of nations in the Ease of Doing Business. Words like these only spur one to do his best, we will continue to do our best in the interest of our country and of its people in whatever position we are.

“I want to specifically says that I am deeply indebted to the entire Membership of the 8th Assembly, they made all this happen, so I dedicate these Awards to the ever wonderful Members of the 8th Assembly.”

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Second Term Is For Legacy Building – Adesina

Speaking earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics & Privilege, Hon Ossai N. Ossai (PDP, Delta), who received the awards on behalf of the Speaker, stated that Hon Dogara was found worthy of the recognitions due to the impact and the kind of Laws passed by the House that have made great impact in Nigeria.

“One of such Laws is the ease of doing Business Law that you have championed, guided the House, shown positive contribution to, this has made the Nigerian economy which had gone into recession to jump another 24 points on the economic index and because of the positive impact you have, as well as the leadership stand you always bring to bear. Many people are placed in authority; very few, however, actually lead, you are one of such few. Your name will be positively etched in the history of Nigeria.

“This other Award was also handed to the House of Representatives for all the impactful Laws made, even the President has acknowledged your impact in effective Lawmaking. For your visionary leadership and for the path you have laid; we will continue to celebrate you because of your knowledge of the Legislature as an Institution of Government, and because you have protected that Institution very well.

On his part, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Publicity, Hon Abdulrazak Namdas, who also received an award on behalf of the Speaker from the Arewa Online Publishers Forum said, “the forum believes that you have done credibly well to steer the ship of the 8th House of Representatives in the National Assembly. To be specific, they singled out the Legislative Agenda that you campaigned on for particular commendation as it has greatly improved the business of Lawmaking in the National Assembly.

“You also brought some positive reforms, for example when presenting budget, a Committee of the House was put in place to interact with external stakeholders to bring suggestions, even though the House could do it, but it was done to give Nigerians a say. As watchdogs of the society, they thought it necessary to honour you. I also collected on your behalf, a lifetime achievement award, no need to repeat myself, this is also for the same exemplary leadership you have continued to show.”

Saraki, Dogara And Their Ilks Hijacked The Budget This Last Four Years – Tinubu

NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu
APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu, speaks at the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquim in Abuja on March 28, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

All Progressives Congress national stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has accused the leadership of the 8th National Assembly of hijacking the national budget in the last fours and by extension, constitute a brake on progress and good governance.

In a statement from his media office on Sunday, the former governor while noting that the National Assembly’s positions are important to the fulfillment of the President’s agenda, lamented that a painful lesson was learned in this respect in the last four years.

Tinubu said, “With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. “The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.”

Outgoing Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and their ilk, he said, hijacked the budget process these past four years.

“National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them.

“Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly,” he added.

He pointed out that in 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. “He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position.

“Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty”.

He said: “Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influence to get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians.

“In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the president’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it”.

READ ALSO: NASS Leadership: Why I Am Backing Buhari, APC’s Position – Tinubu

The full statement titled “TINUBU FOCUSING ON THE ISSUES OF TODAY: TOMORROW IS THE MASTER OF ITSELF,” is as follows:

“We have monitored, with rising incredulity, the rash of news stories claiming Asiwaju Tinubu is manipulating the APC nomination process for the National Assembly leadership. The stories claim this supposed manipulation is the first salvo in Asiwaju’s effort to position himself for a presidential run during the 2023 election cycle. Not only are these reports utterly false, based as they are in the febrile imaginations of those persons by whom they are being peddled, they are injurious to President Buhari’s historic quest to reform Nigeria. It is for this latter reason that we find cause to speak out where otherwise we would have continued to watch on in silent amusement.

“Nigeria has barely emerged from President Buhari and the APC’s resounding victory in the last election. The President, with the support of an APC majority in both chambers of our National Assembly, is now preparing to lead the nation forward for the next four years. Instead of covering the President’s exciting Next Level agenda and what it promises in terms of economic and social growth & development, these people want to skip ahead to the next election as if they can cast aside the next four years.

“However, the Nigerian people do not elect politicians to office simply to watch on as they maneuver and jostle for position at the next election. The people elect those who they believe will be the best public servants, committed to the national wellbeing. This is why they reelected in President Buhari while rejecting the horde of political jobbers that constitute the PDP.

“The peddlers of these rumors have arrogated to themselves the preternatural ability to read Asiwaju’s mind more than he himself can know it. They also seem to have acquired the unique gift of bending time so that 2023 appears before we even reach the midway point of 2019. If these people would only enlist their uncanny talents in the service of the nation instead of in the service of political intrigue and gossip mongering our country would be much the better.

“This attempt to caricature Asiwaju as if his words and actions are all aimed at grabbing power will fail because this portrait distorts the plain truth. While the headlines are sensational they are also senseless because they are not grounded in fact. Asiwaju has not run for elected office since 2003. He last held office in 2007. He has never vied to become chairman of the APC nor has he tried to insinuate himself into any major government office.

“If you were asked to name another political figure who has exercised such forbearance, you would be hard pressed to identify another person with a comparable record when it comes to restraint in seeking office. Where others, upon leaving one office, tend to set their eyes immediately upon another, Asiwaju, uniquely in Nigerian politics, has foregone his personal ambitions as his political ideas and policies have flourished in the hands of his allies and mentees.

“This track record does not evince a man obsessed with power and office. While the intrigue-mongers seek to depict Asiwaju as a man hungering for position, his deeds speak of something else. These peddlers of tales do not know the measure of the man nor can they understand what motivates him. Thus, they project their own petty ambitions and designs on to him. The rumors reveal more about the mongers than they say about Asiwaju. They merely reveal what these people would do if they were Asiwaju. But they are not him and thankfully he is not motivated by the same selfish designs that fuel such people. Perhaps because these people have nothing to contribute regarding statecraft or providing actual solutions to actual problems, their minds remain forever mired in political machinations.

“What afflicts them does not affect Asiwaju. Since he last held public office, Asiwaju has, with unprecedented success, dedicated himself toward building a political party that would furnish a progressive alternative to the regressive policies of the PDP. Joining forces with President Buhari and others who shared his progressive ideology, he helped form the APC. Since the inception of the APC, Asiwaju’s focus has been to assist President Buhari develop, refine and implement a progressive agenda that would give every Nigerian a fair chance to prosper and provide for his loved ones.

“As he enters his second term, President Buhari has stated that he will give the economy special priority. His goal is to defeat poverty and joblessness while spurring the type of growth and development that will make Nigeria’s a durable and flourishing economy. These goals are laudable and necessary to move Nigeria forward. However, the obstacles before us are vast and complex.

“Asiwaju’s mind, heart and efforts are focused on supporting the President in achieving their shared vision of a flourishing economy and a prosperous people. He is committed to doing what he can to help President Buhari surmount the challenges in order to achieve the economic reform the nation sorely needs. Given that the imperatives of today are sufficiently daunting in and of themselves, Asiwaju is neither inclined, nor sufficiently naïve, to take his eye off the present in the futile attempt to peer through the thick fog that is the future.

“It is against this backdrop that Asiwaju’s support of the party position regarding the National Assembly leadership must be interpreted. There is no surprise in him supporting the party and the president’s position regarding the National Assembly positions. Nor is it wrong that he do so. As a loyal party member and progressive leader, he would have committed a terrible wrong by navigating against the president and party in these matters.

“That Asiwaju has actively and publicly supported the party and president should not result in such public backbiting. We all know how important these positions are to the fulfillment of the president’s agenda. One need only look to the last four years to see how painfully this lesson has been learned. With the Senate leadership usurped by regressive elitists that chamber constituted a brake on progress and good governance. The Senate leadership, and to a lesser degree the House leadership, stymied APC legislative initiatives while attempting to hoist noxious, reactionary and self-interested legislation on the nation.

“Just look at the way Saraki, Dogara and their ilk highjacked the budget process these past four years.National budgets were delayed and distorted as these actors repeatedly sought to pad budgets with pet projects that would profit them. Even worse, they cut funds intended to prosper projects that would have benefitted the average person. After four years of their antics halting the progress of government, we should do all we can to prevent a repeat of their malign control of the National Assembly.

“If we are truly committed to optimal governance, then we also must be equally committed to ensuring that the National Assembly leadership be competent and experienced as well as imbued with a progressive mindset and a desire to work in close cooperation with executive. This is all Asiwaju has hoped to achieve. There are no ulterior motives. Everything he has done is in concert with and in furtherance of the wishes of President Buhari and the party.

“Thus, those who cast aspersions at Asiwaju, in reality are bucking against the stated position of the President. This is a democracy and people have the right to oppose whomever they wish to oppose. However, if these mongers oppose the president let them be of sufficient courage to plainly say so. They should not disparage Asiwaju as an indirect way to contend against the President.

“What everyone who cares about Nigeria should now do is rally around the president to give him all possible support in driving to reality his economic policies and objectives. This is how we progress as a nation.

“In the end, the rumor-mongers should court greater discipline and wisdom. As Asiwaju recently said there is no action a person can take that constitutes a political guarantee as to what may come four years from now.Moreover, that having allies in the national assembly leadership positions will greatly enhance someone’s presidential ambitions is a spurious claim.

“In 2015, Senator Saraki finagled his way into the senate presidency. He planted himself at the apex of legislative power. But his actions as Senate president showed a man devoid of compassion for the average Nigerian. All he cared for was power and position. Soon he will be deprived of both. House Speaker Dogara has fared only slightly better. Occupying these positions is not a guarantee of future success. It is only a guarantee of present duty.

“Politics requires jockeying and maneuvering for influenceto get the right people in the right positions. To be beneficial, politics must be tied to the greater purpose of governance such as with President Buhari’s goal to reform the national economy for the good of all Nigerians. In supporting the party and the president, Asiwaju has shown his commitment to achieving the President’s goals. Nothing more should be read into it.

“Elections are over. Now is the time for governance to take primacy. Those who have taken to intrigue about 2023 reveal themselves to be lacking in essential concern for the people and the substantive issues that confront us. Our challenges are steep and multiple. Resolving them will occupy all of our time and energy. We do not have the luxury to embark on fantasies about the future. Let the future stay where it is for now. In due time, it shall come and shall decide the shape it is to take regardless of the plans we mortals hold for it.

“As for Asiwaju, he lives in the here and now. His words and deeds are geared toward perfecting progressive governance and resolving the substantive issues of today. Nothing more, nothing less. Those so enamored with gossiping about him, would do themselves and the nation well if they would follow his more productive example”.

Tinubu Media Office,

Tunde Rahman,

April 21, 2019.

Ends.

It Still Appears That We Are Having A Hangover Of Military Rule – Dogara

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has said that though the nation has experienced about two decades of civil rule, some are yet to come to terms with the reality of the pivotal role of the legislature in a democracy.

This, he stated in Kaduna Saturday, at a retreat organized for members of the House of Representatives press corps.

Dogara, while giving his address, also highlighted certain factors responsible for the seemingly insufficient understanding of the roles and duties of the legislature, such as the long period of military rule.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Grants Gombe Governorship Candidates’ Request To Inspect Electoral Materials

“Almost two decades after Nigeria returned to civil rule, it still appears that we are still having a hangover of military rule as some are yet to come to terms with the reality of the pivotal place and role of the legislature in a democracy. We urge the media to help in sensitizing Nigerians on the powers, functions, and responsibilities of the legislature in democracy,” the Speaker argued.

He urged the media to partner with the National Assembly in order to correct the situation and called on media practitioners to imbibe values such as objectivity and constructive criticism.

“The legislature is the institution that represents and protects democracy without which we will have a dictatorship. Thus, the mass media should partner with us to deepen democracy, check abuses in government and enthrone rule of law and transparency in our polity. In doing this, we don’t expect you to sing our praises but give us fair, balanced reportage and constructive criticism of our activities.”

“Objectivity should be the soul of the business of the press, especially when reporting the Legislature. It is important that the happenings and events in the Legislature are properly reported to avoid public backlash that could cause discontent and misunderstanding of the intents of the Legislature at any given situation.”

While making reference to the impact made by the CNN expose on the Libyan slave trade to highlight the importance of investigative journalism, Hon Dogara assured that the House is committed to strengthening liberties such as freedom of speech and expression.

“We are ever committed to providing legislative support and framework that will enhance freedom of speech and expression as provided for in the 1999 Constitution. This informed the reason for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act in 2011.”

The Speaker further restated the commitment of the House to providing a conducive environment for members of the press corps and expressed appreciation for their efforts towards deepening democracy and good governance.

He also called on proprietors of media organisations to pay salaries of their staff promptly saying, “it is the only ethical and proper thing to do. Yes, you are watchdogs of the society. That also places a huge burden on you to act in an exemplary manner”.

The retreat was organised by the House Committee on Media and Publicity, the Policy and Advocacy Centre (PLAC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

Dogara surmised that the National Assembly is committed to protecting and enhancing press freedom within the country.

‘Be Courageous To Serve Effectively’, Dogara Tasks 9th Assembly Lawmakers-Elect

Dogara Congratulates Bala Mohammed, Says It’s Time To Rebuild Bauchi
A file photo of Mr Yakubu Dogara

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has tasked members-elect of the 9th National Assembly to muster courage and work for the country.

Dogara said this while making remarks at the opening ceremony of the orientation programme for members-elect of the 9th Assembly in Abuja Sunday night.

He said as representatives of the people if they lacked courage, they would not be able to serve the electorate.

“Now let me say something about the National Assembly that we may not learn in the course of the lectures that will be delivered.

“I have said that the hallowed chambers of the National Assembly require people of courage. Very soon, we members-elect of the National Assembly, whether distinguished senators and members of the House of Representatives, will be required to take an oath of office.

“But we must always remember that our democracy is organised in such a way that it is made to be driven by consensus.

“Where consensus fails, it is always the prerogative of the Parliament or the National Assembly of Nigeria to go first, in the sense that when it comes to bills for instance, even where the President has vetoed the bill, if the National Assembly can muster two third of its members, they can override the bill.

READ ALSO: Banditry: ‘We Are Buying Guns Because We Were Not Buying Books’ – Ben Murray-Bruce

“And so, with regards to appropriation, no monies will be appropriated or spent in the absence of express legislative authorisation.

“That means the budget is the work of the National Parliament. So this work, of course, requires courage.

“And we must always remember that as elected members of the National Assembly, let us do the work of the National Assembly.

“We are meant, as the first institution of democracy, to work with the Executive and the Judiciary.

“It was never designed that the National Assembly will work for the Executive or work for the Judiciary.

“That is the aspect that I want all of us to pay attention to as we take oath as members of the National Assembly. We should know that it is about courage.

“It has been said that internal vigilance is the price for liberty. If liberty must be preserved in Nigeria because there is an institution that is internally vigilant.

“That institution has always been the institution of the National Assembly.”, he said.

He urged the members-elect to ensure that they work for the people that elected them and not for any other interest.

While congratulating the members-elect on their victory at the polls, the Speaker urged them to be attentive during the orientation as topics had been drawn up to benefit them in all aspects of their duties.

INEC Setting Dangerous Precedence With Inconclusive Polls – Dogara

Dogara Commends Buhari, ECOWAS Leaders Over Gambia
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has cautioned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) against setting dangerous precedence in the political history of Nigeria by declaring elections inconclusive.

The speaker, who was addressing a PDP NEC meeting in Abuja Wednesday, also warned against craving for power at all costs just for the sake of being in power and not for impacting lives positively.

Citing examples of elections recently conducted in Ghana and other African countries, he noted that it is only in Nigeria that it is a practice to declare elections inconclusive as there’s nothing like that in other climes.

Observing that there is always a consequence for every action, Dogara said, “It will be very, very unfortunate that INEC, which is led by a first-class professor of HISTORY, will set this dangerous and unacceptable precedence in our political history.

READ ALSO: Supplementary Elections: Secondus Charges Military To Be Professional

“What has happened is pure evil. Our consolation as faithful members of this society is that evil does not last forever and no evil doer has ever escaped punishment. …it is a law of nature, that whatever you sow is what you will reap.”

Furthermore, he averred that “For those who believe in power for the sake of power and not because they want to empower people, not because they want to better the lives of our People, there are also lessons they can learn from history.

“History is replete with examples of all those who pursued power for the sake of power. Whether it is Hitler, I don’t want to name more, one example is enough. Their lives have always ended up in some tragedy, that is the fate of anyone that seeks power for the sake of power. We have seen that displayed in Nigeria and I wish we can take heed from the lessons of history.”

He, however, charged PDP members not to despair because of the supplementary elections that have been ordered by INEC for positions they are contesting for, saying that the party won five out of the six states where there will be reruns and God willing, victory will be theirs after the exercise has been concluded.

Nigeria Is Still Stuck In The Dark, Primitive And Uncivilised Age – Dogara

 

 

Speaker of the House Of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has said that the manner in which the elections were conducted in most parts of the country, is an affirmation that the nation is still stuck in the dark ages. 

Dogara spoke in reaction to the news of the death of Mr. Temitope Olatoye, a colleague who was shot to death in Oyo state.

The Speaker noted that the do or die nature of Nigerian polity is primitive and uncivilized.

He said, “Nigeria is still stuck in the dark, primitive and uncivilized age where elections are seen as war and a do-or-die affair. The killers of Hon Sugar and all those who lost their lives in election-related violence must be brought to book”.

READ ALSO: Suspected Hoodlums Set INEC Office In Imo On Fire

 

Dogara, in a series of tweets also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a commission to look into killing and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The lawmaker said the news of Temitope’s death came to him as a shock. He condemned the killing, stating that it was barbaric.

Dogara defined the deceased as a gentleman who was committed and patriotic. He noted that elections are no wars and as such must be conducted in a very civil manner.

Upsets, Triumph From Nigeria’s National Assembly Elections

 

 

The 2019 general elections are set to record major upsets and, in some cases, very shocking outcomes, as already being indicated in the results of the National Assembly polls being announced across the country.

Whatever the case may be, the 9th National Assembly promises to throw up many new faces, from the South to the North of the country, with many unlikely candidates emerging to redefine the political landscape.

Against the expectation of many, the Oyo State governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Oyo South Senatorial District yielded to the superior firepower of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Kola Balogun.

Governor Ajimobi could not but congratulate his PDP rival shortly after the announcement of the result.

“I hereby accept the result as announced. Although there were a number of grievous infractions and established electoral malpractices, I have decided to let go in the interest of peace. I, therefore, congratulate the declared winner, Hon. Kola Balogun,” he said.

In a statement on Monday, Governor Ajimobi said there was nothing to feel sad about because his party won two out of the three Senatorial seats and nine out of 14 federal constituency seats.

Governor Ajimobi may not have been lucky, but his counterparts in Ogun and Imo States, Ibikunle Amosun and Rochas Okorocha, have clinched Ogun Central and Imo West Senatorial seats respectively.

READ ALSO: Akpabio Loses Senatorial Seat In Akwa Ibom

All the senatorial seats in Ekiti State were swept by the APC, with the former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Dayo Adeyeye, who defected to the APC emerging winner of Ekiti South Senatorial District, defeating Senate Minority Leader, Abiodun Olujimi, who is currently occupying the seat.

While Olubunmi Ajetumbi of the APC won the Ekiti North seat by beating Senator Duro Faseyi of the PDP, Opeyemi Bamidele of the APC beat his closest rival, Obafemi Adewale of the PDP to take the Ekiti Central senatorial seat.

Governor Amosun, who has had a running battle with the leadership of the APC over the choice of the governorship candidate of the APC in his state, thrashed his closest rival, Solomon Sanyaolu, of the PDP with a whopping 88,110 votes to 33,276 votes.

The governor, who dedicated his victory to the people of the state, vowed to resume the campaign for his preferred governorship candidate, Adekunle Akinlade, of the Allied Peoples Movement.

The scenario in Ogun State played out in Imo State, where Governor Rochas Okorocha of the APC defeated his closest rival, Jones Onyereri, of the PDP who raised the alarm that the returning officer was forced to declare Okorocha winner of Imo West Senatorial District election.

Like his Ogun State counterpart, Governor Okorocha has been at daggers drawn with the APC leadership at the national level, causing a split in the state chapter of the party, and forcing him to throw his full weight behind his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu’s quest to take over as the state chief executive under the platform of the Action Alliance.

In Anambra State, businesswoman and former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, is making a return to the Senate to represent Anambra North Senatorial district after trouncing her closest rivals, Emmanuel Chinedu of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Mr. Nelson Onubogu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

She has promised to continue to represent her people well, adding, “it is a duty to further improve the livelihood of the people of my senatorial district.”And call it a battle of the “Ubahs” in Anambra State and you would not be wrong, as businessman and chairman of Capital Oil and Gas Limited, Ifeanyi Ubah, emerged winner of the Anambra South Senatorial district seat.

Running under the platform of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Ifeanyi Ubah, who previously contested for the state’s governorship seat and failed, beat the Uba brothers, Chris Uba of the PDP, and serving senator for the district, Sen. Andy Uba of the APC.

In neighboring Abia State, a former governor of the state, Orji Kalu of the APC is joining the 9th Senate to represent Abia North Senatorial District. Kalu who is battling alleged N7.6bn fraud charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), defeated his closest rival from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, who is currently occupying the seat.

Embattled Senator Peter Nwaoboshi is also returning to the upper legislative chamber to represent Delta North Senatorial District, having defeated his closest rival Doris Oboh, of the APC, in what could be termed a landslide victory after polling 186,423 votes against Oboh’s 36,350 votes.

A few would recall the name, Ndudi Elemelu of the PDP, as a former lawmaker who once represented the Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency of Delta State. He has now staged a comeback to the green chamber.

He defeated the APC candidate, Paul Adingupu, in the election conducted in four local government areas that make up the constituency in the state, namely: Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Aniocha North, and Aniocha South.

Up North, a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has been declared the winner of Kano Central Senatorial District. The APC candidate who defected to the ruling party from the PDP in the run-up to the general elections, defeated his rival, Aliyu Sani-Madawakingini of the PDP to emerge the winner.

Just like Governor Ajimobi of Oyo State, another serving state chief executive whose hope of making it to the upper legislative chamber has been dashed is the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo. He was defeated by Senator Saidu Akali of the APC for the Gombe North Senatorial District seat, denying him the chance to join his colleagues who are also seeking refuge in the Senate, having completed their second tenure.

The Nasarawa State governor, Tanko Al-Makura of the APC, has also joined the league of former governors headed for the Senate after displacing the senator representing Nasarawa South Senatorial District, Suleiman Adokwe of the PDP, in an election that seemed like a walkover.

Perhaps, the most striking upset is the defeat suffered by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who was out-maneuvered in the Kwara political chess game by the APC candidate, Ibrahim Oloriegbe. It was an election that pitched the progeny of the established Saraki dynasty against a population that yearned for what they described as political freedom, united by the sing-song “Oto ge” (‘enough’ in Yoruba).

Saraki’s close ally in the lower chamber, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, however, managed to secure his re-election after defeating his APC rival, Abubakar Abdullahi, to represent the Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa, Dass Federal Constituency.

The red chamber may yet witness some drama as controversial Senator, Dino Melaye of the PDP, has defied all hurdles before him and made his way back to the Senate, defeating his rival, Smart Adeyemi, of the APC to emerge winner of the Kogi West Senatorial District.

Melaye’s win is remarkable, coming against the backdrop of the efforts made by his constituency to recall him and the face-off with the Nigeria Police, culminating in his eventual hospitalization, leaving him with little or no time to campaign for his re-election.

I Dedicate This Victory To God And My Constituents, Says Dogara

2017 Will Bring Succour To Nigerians- Dogara

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, says he dedicates his victory in the just-concluded National Assembly election in Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency to God and members of his constituency. 

Dogara stated this, on Sunday, in a series of tweets after he was declared the winner of the election. He said, “I dedicate this victory to God first and our ever peace loving and resilient people of Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency who defied all odds to return me to the House of Representatives for an unprecedented 4th term”

The speaker noted that with his reelection, history had been made in Nigeria.

He said his constituents despite unwarranted provocations, threats, intimidation and attempts to subvert their will, by undemocratic forces, made history by re-electing him.

LIVE UPDATESSenators, Reps Emerge As Nigerians Await Presidential Election Results

Here is the thread of tweets.

Card Reader Breaks Down At Dogara’s Polling Unit

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, experienced a minor glitch as he tried to vote at his polling unit in Gwaranga primary school.

Dogara arrived the polling unit in his village Gwaranga, Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State, alongside his wife.

At the point of accreditation, the card reader failed to authenticate his fingerprints.

READ ALSO: Atiku, Wife Cast Their Votes In Adamawa

INEC officials, however, found a way to fix the situation, allowing the lawmaker and his wife to vote.

After casting his vote, Dogara commended the voting process at his polling unit, describing it as a reflection of a truly democratic process.

He said, “But this is just one polling unit in perhaps hundreds of thousands across Nigeria.

So, if what is transpiring here is what is happening across the length and breadth of Nigeria, then I can say that this meets the standards of a democratic election.”

Earlier, the card reader had failed to authenticate his fingerprints but he was later allowed to cast his vote after his identity was verified using the voter register.

On what how he would assess the conduct of the polls, the Speaker said, “I think to some extent, INEC has shown that they intend to deliver a very credible, transparent and free and fair elections.

I think that intention is known but you know it doesn’t just take INEC. They would need the cooperation of the security agencies to be able to do that. My fear is that maybe that is where INEC may be betrayed.”

Similarly, three card readers broke down at the polling unit of Governor Nasir El-Rufai in Kaduna.

According to our reporter on the ground, the incident took place at Unit 024 Ungwar Sariki ward where the governor is expected to vote.

The three card readers developed a technical fault midway into accreditation and voting.  But INEC officials are making efforts to fix the situation.

Dogara Criticises Buhari, Oshiomhole Over Comments On Postponed Elections

Yakubu Dogara, Lawmakers,
Dogara

 

More criticisms have continued to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s comment at the caucus meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abuja on Monday, calling on the security agents to deal ruthlessly with those who attempt to disrupt the electoral process on Saturday.

While expressing his displeasure with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for postponing the general elections originally scheduled to commence last Saturday, the President said that anyone who snatched ballot boxes during the rescheduled elections would do so at the expense of their own life.

But the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has described the statement as a call for extra-judicial killing. Mr. Dogara who briefed journalists at the PDP Presidential Campaign Council office in Abuja said such comment was an indication that Nigeria’s democracy had become a full-blown dictatorship.

READ ALSO: Shehu Sani Raises Concerns Over Buhari’s Comments On Ballot Snatching

“In this context, we categorically deny these false claims and unnecessary blackmail and regard the President’s statement as a call for extra-judicial killings considering the fact that there are adequate provisions in our laws to address electoral offences,” he said.

“These statements clearly indicate that our democracy has become the victim of a full blown dictatorship, when one considers that a democratically elected President would give a directive that is in clear violation of the laws of the land which by his oath of office he is to defend and protect,” the Speaker added.

He also condemned the comments of the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, who alleged at the meeting that the PDP colluded with INEC to postpone the elections.

According to the APC National Chairman, the PDP was given prior notice of the postponement of the elections.However, the House Speaker described APC National Chairman’s comment as mischievous and inflammatory.

Minimum Wage: N30,000 Can Barely Feed A Small Family, Says Dogara

Workers Day: NASS Will Speed Up Passage Of Minimum Wage Bill – Dogara

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said that the N30,000 minimum wage was proposed by the tripartite committee of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) can barely feed a small family unit.

Read Full Statement Below: 

The 30, 000 naira minimum wage being canvassed can barely feed a small family unit, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara has disclosed, adding that it is only when workers are dignified with wages that can provide them minimum comfort that their productivity level will increase.

Speaking at the National Assembly during a public hearing on the New Minimum Wage organised by the House Ad-Hoc Committee on New Minimum Wage, 2019, the speaker noted that the two focal points that must be given priority by government are poverty and corruption because while the former, caused mainly by underemployment and unemployment, is a threat to democracy, the latter fundamentally undermines democratic institutions and values.

Hon Dogara, therefore, proposed for a more reasonable living wage that will not only provide for basic needs of the workers but also enable them to make provisions for themselves that will lift them out of poverty and lead to a reduction in corruption.

He explained that poverty as a threat to democracy is evident in vote buying and in the use of money to compromise electoral and security officials during elections, thereby subverting the will of the people on account of the sense of despondency and powerlessness that their lack breeds, and therefore, making them ever ready tools in the hands of tyrants and demagogues, who in the course of history, have always found it easy to mobilise for the purposes of subverting democratic Institutions.

The speaker stated, “While we are not oblivious of the current economic downturn and the dwindling revenue of Government, we cannot also be blind to the fact that all economic indices indicate that even the 30,000 Naira Minimum Wage that Labour is asking for is not enough to sustain a small family unit. The nation may not have enough to satisfy the minimum demands of the Nigerian worker, but as a nation, we need to set our economic priorities right and ensure that we dignify our workers by making allowance for their minimum comfort. I know of no alternative if we hope to up the productivity level of our workforce.

READ ALSONo Going Back On N30,000 Minimum Wage, NLC Insists

“It is said that the promise of democracy is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. According to Thomas Jefferson, these are God-given rights. Therefore, it is not enough to merely be alive and free, one must also be engaged in the pursuit of happiness in order to enjoy the promise of democracy. If that is the case, can we say that Nigerian workers are enjoying the promise of democracy? Can we say that millions of our youth who roam the streets daily in search of non-existing jobs are enjoying the promise of democracy? Absolutely, no. This is because, although they are alive and free, they lack the means with which to pursue happiness.

While the workers are underemployed, the latter are unemployed. So as a country, we are battling twin evils, namely: underemployment, which is as grave a problem, as unemployment. Dr King Jnr aptly summed it up when he said, while talking about underemployment in America, that ‘Most of the poverty-stricken people of America are persons who are working every day, and they end up getting part-time wages for full-time work.’ Of course, America has moved on since Dr King’s time. We must make Nigeria move on in our time.

“I have said before that poverty is the greatest threat to our democracy. Those who doubted me have seen that threat manifest itself in vote buying and in the use of money to compromise electoral and security officials during elections. On account of the sense of despondency and powerlessness that poverty breeds amongst the poor, the poor have and will always remain ever ready tools in the hands of tyrants and demagogues, who in the course of history, have always found it easy to mobilize for the purposes of subverting democratic Institutions. Since underemployment and unemployment are bedmates of poverty, eliminating them must be the focal point of the government’s policies.

“The next evil is corruption. It is not in doubt that corruption fundamentally undermines democratic institutions and values. Corruption affects the poor most because they depend more on the government for support. How then do we fight corruption from the roots rather than dealing with its symptoms as is currently the case? The answer is for us to begin to pay workers living wage, not minimum wage.

“When we do not pay a living wage, we cannot tame corruption. When workers take home is not enough to take them home, the temptation for them to cut corners in order to get home will always be there.

Workers keep and process our national wealth and the only way to insulate them from the temptation to want to help themselves to it, is to ensure they are well remunerated. It is not in contention that it is a meaningful job to muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain. Leaving workers to their temptations is dangerous unless we can show that they are greater than Oscar Wilde, who in his vintage wicked wit, proclaimed, “I can resist everything except temptation”.

That we cannot pay a living wage in a nation that represents a major promise for economic prosperity in the world speaks to the bane of our leadership. In order to reverse these tragic narratives, we must invest in proactive and innovative leadership, not the reactive leadership model that we practised all this while. Reality is, I am not a believer in minimum wage although it is a constitutional issue and the practice in many nations.

I believe in living wage and wish the framers of our Constitution had provided for a living wage instead. No wonder the UN Covenant on Economic, social and cultural rights speaks to rights to a living wage in Article 7(A)2 as incorporated in International Labour Organisation document.

“Therefore, I cannot wait for that Nigeria to emerge wherein workers are paid wages that would not only take them home but have a portion to spare in savings in order to pursue happiness and give their children the training that they could ever dream of.

That should be our national goal going forward if we hope to ever make it to the club of elite nations. If we do not ever make it to the point where we can have a conversation about Economic justice, it would not be because it’s impossible to achieve but because we lack the right leadership. We have talked about ending so many things in Nigeria, now is the time to talk about creating wealth and ending poverty, and those who bear the burden of the nation must be the first beneficiaries.”

He said the House of Representatives is giving accelerated consideration to the very crucial Bill to forestall the threat by the labour force to go on strike and because it is long overdue since the current National Minimum Wage, which was fixed in 2011, has become unrealistic due to supervening developments in the nation.

“As most of us here must be aware, the National Assembly will need to go on a short recess for the purpose of the General Elections, which is less than three weeks from now. We must, therefore, conclude this public hearing as quickly as possible today to enable the House to proceed with further legislative actions on it at its plenary tomorrow as already resolved in our last sitting,’ he said, adding, “more importantly, the consideration and passage of this Bill is equally exigent because our country is at the brink of a national industrial crisis that we can least afford at this time. Passions are extremely high within the entire organised labour on this issue.

Even before the consideration of the Bill by Parliament, the Labour leaders have rejected the 27,000 Naira recommended to us by the Executive Arm as National Minimum Wage.

At the slightest opportunity, the entire workforce in the country could be called out by Labour leaders to resume the strike action that was recently put on hold without any further notice.

The effect that such a scenario can have on the ongoing electioneering process is better imagined than experienced. There is no doubt, therefore, that the entire nation is waiting and looking up to the National Assembly to do the needful with the promptitude it deserves.”