PDP NASS Caucus Backs Southern Governors, Rejects Alleged Move To Alter Electoral Act

A file photo of the National Assembly complex in Abuja. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The joint caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the National Assembly has backed the Southern Governors resolution on the electronic transmission of election results in the country.

Meeting on Monday in Lagos State, the 17 southern governors rejected the removal of the electronic transmission of the election result from the Electoral Act, saying the move was necessary to consolidate the nation’s democracy.

Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had issued a communique after the meeting, kicking against the confirmation of exclusive jurisdiction in pre-election matters on the Federal High Court.

Two days after, the PDP National Assembly caucus threw their weight behind the governor, “vehemently rejecting the clandestine moves to manipulate and alter the Electoral Act to remove the electronic transmission results from the law.”

They warned that any move to “tamper with a critical component of transparency and credibility of the electoral process is an unpatriotic and mischievous attempt to subvert our democratic process, institutionalize rigging, bastardize and frustrate genuine efforts towards credible elections in our country.”

“Electronic transmission of results is the only way to eliminate malpractice and manipulations associated with manual collation of results, including alteration, switching and disappearance of election materials while on transit to various collation centers,” the statement partly read.

See the full statement released by the PDP NASS Caucus below:

Press Release

July 7, 2021

Position of Joint PDP Caucus the Resolution of Southern Governor On Electronic Transmission of Election Results, State Police, Others

After due consideration and extensive deliberations on political and security situation in the country, the Joint PDP National Assembly unanimously upholds the resolution of the Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF) in vehemently rejecting the clandestine moves to manipulate and alter the Electoral Act to remove the electronic transmission results from the law

Such furtive venture to tamper with a critical component of transparency and credibility of the electoral process is an unpatriotic and mischievous attempt to subvert our democratic process, institutionalize rigging, bastardize and frustrate genuine efforts towards credible elections in our country.

Electronic transmission of results is the only way to eliminate malpractice and manipulations associated with manual collation of results, including alteration, switching and disappearance of election materials while on transit to various collation centers.

The Joint PDP caucus is already taking very strong and uncompromising steps to ensure that the provision guaranteeing the electronic transmission of result is not tampered with in any form whatsoever.

On security, the Joint PDP Caucus reaffirm our unwavering support for the establishment of state police as well as other measure adopted by the governors to ensure the security of lives and property in the respective states, including those curtailing unauthorizes movements and occupation of forest areas.

We also affirm the demands by State governors, that as Chief Security Officers in the states, they must be duly informed before any security institution undertakes any operation in their states.

The Joint PDP Caucus, also lends full support to the demand by our governors that deductions from the Federation Account for the Nigeria Police Security Trust Fund should be distributed among the states and Federal Government to combat security challenges.

These resolutions by the governors, regarding security does not offend but rather reinforce genuine efforts towards guaranteeing adequate security of lives and property given the current situation in our country as a federation.

We call on governors, lawmakers and critical stakeholders from other regions to support these patriotic initiatives of the Southern Governors’ Forum in the interest of security of lives and property in our dear nation.

The Joint Caucus agrees with the position of the Governors in rejecting the 3% percentage of share of the oil revenue to the host community as passed by the Senate and supporting the 5% as passed by the House of Representatives.

As a Joint Caucus, we have set up very strong machinery to ensure that, in the interest of justice and fairness, the percentage of share of the oil revenue to the host community does not fall below expectation.

The Joint PDP Caucus commends the Southern Governors’ Forum for the continued patriotic stand in always proffering solutions on critical issues boarding on the security, stability, as well as economic and political well-being of our dear nation at all time.

 

Signed:

We Have Not Heard From Our President Despite Daily Killings – Minority Caucus

 

The Minority Caucus of the National Assembly on Tuesday lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari has remained silent despite insecurity in the nation.

The caucus also said the All Progressives Congress (APC) –led administration of President Buhari has continued to breach the constitution.

Leader of the caucus and Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe who said this at a media briefing in Abuja also noted that the caucus will soon “do the needful to save the country from collapse.”

READ ALSO: Insecurity: PDP Demands State Police, Border Protection Squad

“We have not heard from our President despite the daily killings that are going on and have turned Nigeria into a killing field of unimaginable proportion.

“Therefore, the caucus has taken note and will continue to take note of the constitutional breaches that is happening at this time by the government of the APC and will at the appropriate time utilise all constitutional methods and measures available after consultation with our colleagues to do the needful to save the country from collapse.

“We also as a caucus want to put on notice to all Nigerians and the international community about the threat to the lives of our members that comes out to say things that are true about the state of Nigeria today and these threats have come in various forms, including the threat to life.

The criticism from the minority caucus comes on the heels of increased insecurity in the country with the insurgency in the northeast region, herder-farmer clash in the middle belt, banditry in the northwest, and separatist tensions in the southeast.

Buhari Needs To Come Out And Condemn Herdsmen Violence – Abaribe

 

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe on Monday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the nation’s herdsmen crisis.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Abaribe suggested that the President’s posture appeared to give fuel to the activities of these violent herdsmen.

“The President needs to come out and say I do not support these types of actions, these criminal elements,” Abaribe said. “He has to come out and everybody sees that he is owning this problem.”

But “We have never heard it,” he added. “Where did the President ever say that these criminal herdsmen will never be tolerated in this country? What we’ve heard from 2016 all the way down is ‘live in peace with your neighbour’ and ‘try to accommodate your countrymen’ and stuff of that nature.

“And that now enables those who are committing these crimes, that there is no punishment.

“And when you see the rest of the country, eruptions here and there, all targetted at a particular segment of people, you should be very worried. And why you should be very worried is, what is it that gives these people the impetus to continue to commit these crimes?”

Abaribe is ‘Uncharitable’

Responding to Abaribe, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu described his comments as “uncharitable.”

He stressed that the President, through his spokespersons, has condemned such violent activities.

“Senator Abaribe dwelt a lot, attacking President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he has not, even at a rhetorical level, spoken against this kind of violence,” Sheu said. “That is most uncharitable.

“When Femi Adesina or myself speak for the President, people should accept that it is the President that is speaking.

“For this President, it is the actions that should speak for him. He is not a showman. He doesn’t have to be there.”

#EndSARS: I Will Reveal Five Most Notorious SARS Officers, Says Abaribe

A file photo of SARS officers.

 

The Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said he will reveal the identities of five ‘most notorious’ officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.

He made the remarks on Tuesday in his contribution to a motion on the #EndSARS protests and the need for comprehensive police reforms in the country.

Senator Abaribe, who commended his colleague from Ekiti State, Senator Biodun Olujimi – the sponsor of the motion, also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on the issue.

He said, “I support this motion. I think part of what is going to resolve this issue is for the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to look at the issue and address the nation on them.

“I will also forward to you (the Senate) the names of the five most notorious SARS Officers who have been fingered in killing so many Nigerians.”

A file photo of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.

 

Should the President address the nation, the lawmaker believes the #EndSARS protesters will listen knowing that he has come out directly to deal with the issues raised.

He, however, stated that giving a speech would not totally calm the tension in parts of the country but for the President to put his words into action.

“I suggest also that in doing that, he (Buhari) must try a way of setting up a judicial panel that will have people that are well respected by the same youth so that they can address a certain issue and that issue is those notorious SARS officers that have been identified and even identified by the Presidential Panel,” Senator Abaribe suggested.

Following various contributions to the motion raised by Senator Olujimi, the Senate asked President Buhari to address the nation as soon as possible on the issues raised by the #EndSARS protesters.

The lawmakers also appealed to all Nigerians to resort to the use of legal institutions to resolve disputes and conflicts, adding that all tiers of government should put in place and sustain policies of social-economic reforms that would raise the standard of lives of the people.

They called on police authorities to operate strictly in accordance with the rules of engagement appropriate in a democratic environment and ensure a holistic comprehensive reform of the police.

The senators sought an increase in the overall welfare of police personnel, including training and medical insurance of all members of the Force.

But they asked the #EndSARS protesters to kindly, in the interest of everyone, stop their actions and embrace genuine dialogue.

Senate Tells Buhari To Urgently Reconstitute Federal Character Commission Board

 

The Senate has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, re-constitute the board of the Federal Character Commission.

According to the lawmakers, any contrary action amounts to a breach of the Act establishing the Commission and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

This was a sequel to the consideration of a motion brought to the floor by the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Abaribe while citing Section 3(1) of the Federal Character Act, said that “the Chairman and members of the Commission shall hold office for a period of five years in the first instance and for a further term of five years on such terms and conditions as may be specified in their letters of appointment.”

The lawmaker lamented that though the tenure of the Federal Character Commission had lapsed since 2018, the body was still been run by an Acting Chairman who has become a sole administrator.

Abaribe observed that “no provisions of the Act or the Constitution stipulates the need for the office of a sole administrator or an Acting Chairman.”

He noted that while the Commission remains a tool for unity, equitable formula distribution and good governance, failure to reconstitute its leadership amounts to a constitutional breach of the Act establishing the Federal Character Commission.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his concluding remarks after the motion was considered, said “The Commission guarantees unity, equity, fairness, and justice in terms of employment distribution across the thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“So, it is very important that we have the full complement of the Commission in place, and I believe that with this resolution, the executive will expedite action to reconstitute the membership of the Commission.”

PHOTOS: Secondus, Abaribe Lead Protest To US, UK Embassies Over Supreme Court Judgement

PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, with other party chieftains in Abuja on January 31, 2020. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, and the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Thursday led a protest to the embassies of the United States and the United Kingdom in Abuja.

The PDP leaders, in company with other chieftains of the party, sought the intervention of the US and the UK, as well as the European Union in the judgement of the Supreme Court on the governorship election in Imo State.

In the petitions presented at the embassies, they rejected the apex court judgement which sacked the PDP candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, as the governor of the state.

See the photos below:

PDP chieftains protest in Abuja on January 31, 2020. PHOTOS: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Abaribe Emerges Senate Minority Leader

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has named senator representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe as the Senate Minority leader of the ninth Senate.

Also, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba South retains his position as Deputy Minority Leader.

The Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory, Phillip Aduda, also retained his position as the Minority Whip.

READ ALSO: Now, I Choose To Be Called First Lady Aisha Buhari

These decisions were reached at a meeting held on Thursday between PDP leaders and PDP Senators in Abuja.

The party is expected to formally write the Senate, later today on its decision.

Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is yet to release a list of its choice candidates for other leadership positions in the ninth assembly following the National Assembly inauguration where the party’s choice candidates clinched all the four leadership positions in both chambers.

APC Is Doing What It Accused PDP Of And Worse – Senator Abaribe

File.

 

The Senator representing Abia South Senatorial district, Enyinnaya Abaribe, has said that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is doing the same things it accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of doing and even worse.

“The same thing that the APC accused PDP of doing, they are doing more and worse, the PDP Government was paying around N800 billion in subsidy when the fuel pump price per liter was N85, now the fuel pump price per liter is N145 yet APC is paying N1.4 trillion, so they should tell us how.

“There is no need calling it a name, under-recovery, what is wrong is wrong, even the change of name does not change it,” the Senator said on Saturday during a reception held in his honour in Aba, Abia State.

His comments come days after he was arrested and eventually released from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

According to him, he was incarcerated for doing nothing and detained alongside 11 Nigerians from all part of Nigeria.

“The reason that was given when they came to search my residence is that I was accused of being a sponsor of the proscribed organization called IPOB.

“Those who accused me have done their search and since then, I have not heard anything from them, which means that certainly have not been able to find a reason for the arrest and detention,” he said.

He further accused the APC of attempting to arrest all those in the opposition, adding that the party should rather learn how to manage criticism.

“My party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the Ekiti State Rally sounded it loud and clear, that what the APC government wants to do is to take everybody out of circulation by arresting all of us.

“Of course, it is very sad for Nigeria, because PDP has been here for 16 years and all manner of people criticize the party and they were not arrested, so APC government should learn from us on how to manage criticism”.

Read Also: Senator Abaribe Appears In Court Days After Arrest

On the issue of insecurity, Abaribe also decried the spate of killings in the nation, noting that part of reasons for his arrest was to prevent him and anyone else who stands for the truth, from speaking out.

He, however, said he will not be deterred from doing what he believes is the right thing, adding that come 2019, the APC will be voted out of power.

“People are being killed everywhere in Nigeria, and somebody is telling us that we should not blame him. They started by saying that it was the Libyans and then they turned around and said it was because of the laws that were passed.

“When we pointed out to them that the people were being killed in areas where there were no laws passed, they turned around and said, please try to live with your neighboursrs.

“When we said no, and questioned who are our neighbors were, they said, oh no, what you have to do is to pray. We have also prayed, and I prayed over there where they kept me, and I said “Oh God, our help in ages past” who has always helped us at every perilous moment like this, Our God will also save Nigeria, and we cannot have the APC Government continue.

“Let them wait for us, we are coming. Their arrest and detention will not make us stop saying the truth. I am a patriot, a patriotic Nigeria, and I will stand by this country,” the Senator said.

Senator Abaribe Appears In Court Days After Arrest

File photo

 

The lawmaker representing Abia North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Tuesday appeared in court for another case by security operatives, days after he was arrested by the Department of State Service (DSS).

Ababribe was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, over his suretyship for the missing leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.

The court had asked him to show cause alongside two other sureties, why they should not forfeit the N100 million bail bond they signed to effect Mr Kanu’s bail.

Read Also: PDP Asks DSS To Explain Reason For Abaribe’s Arrest

Meanwhile, when the judge arrived, Ababaribe’s lawyer, Mr Chukwuma Umeh, attempted to raise the issue of his client’s detention with the DSS, but the judge interjected and informed him that such a case was not before her court and that she was not aware of why the lawmaker was arrested.

According to the judge, the senator and the two other sureties of the IPOB leader, were in court to show cause why they should not forfeit their bail bond for the missing accused.

She, however, asked the DSS to allow Ababaribe access to his lawyers as doing otherwise would be denying him his fundamental rights to justice.

PDP Asks DSS To Explain Reason For Abaribe’s Arrest

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Department of Security Services (DSS) to immediately disclose the whereabouts of the Senator representing Abia South in the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who was arrested earlier today by the agency.

The party also asked the DSS to disclose the reason for the arrest, adding that the agency had failed to allow the senator access to his lawyers and associates.

“The PDP charges the DSS to immediately declare Senator Abaribe’s whereabouts, as well as the charge against him. Moreover, the laws of our nation are clear on the process of arrest and prosecution of any citizen and not recourse to clampdown and intimidation”.

This was made known in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Friday.

Read Also: DSS Arrests Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

The party also lamented that the “Gestapo-style arrest of Abaribe has further confirmed the earlier alarm that the APC-led Federal Government has commenced a total clampdown on the opposition and perceived opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid”.

Furthermore, the PDP said the clampdown on Senator Abaribe is feared to be in “furtherance of the moves to intimidate and emasculate members of the National Assembly who are known for their outspokenness against the constitutional violations and misrule of the APC administration”.

It also stated that Nigeria is “fast descending into a fascist state where constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech no longer obtains and citizens are marked, arrested and detained on the whims and caprices of those in power”.

The PDP, therefore, asked for the senator’s immediate release.

Senate Wants Executive’s Roadmap On Strategy To Tackle Unemployment

Senate on unemploymentThe Nigerian Senate has resolved to invite the Minister for Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, to provide insight into the government’s roadmap towards tackling unemployment in Nigeria.

The decision was reached on Tuesday when  a motion on the rising unemployment in Nigeria was raised during plenary.

In what lawmakers called, Intolerable Upswing of Unemployment in Nigeria, the motion raised by Senator Duro Faseyi, representing Ekiti North, drew comments from different lawmakers.

Senator Faseyi raised the alarm that the number of unemployed and underemployed rose from 24.4 million to 26.06 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Colossal Increase In Insecurity

Senator Faseyi says the worrisome and mind-boggling figures has created social tension and crisis, as unemployed graduates now involve in crimes.

He further cautioned that if urgent and results-oriented steps were not taken, there would be resultant colossal increase in strife and insecurity.

Senator Sabu Abdullahi in support of the motion lamented the poor financial backing to budgetary allocations of agencies such as National Directorate of Employment and Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria.

Senator Abdullahi added that the agencies were meant to help train graduates and facilitate employment opportunities.

Senator Emmanuel Bwacha told the Senate that the processes adopted for employment generation by the government were not the very best while Senators Joshua Lidani and Enyinnaya Abaribe also contributed to the issue.

Deputy Leader of the Senate Na’Allah spoke on the poor productivity of the employed ones while many unemployed graduates look for such opportunities.

Contributing to the motion, Senator Rose Oko, stressed the need to encourage agricultural and manufacturing industries.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said it was time to declare a State of Emergency on Unemployment, improve infrastructural development, take and address unemployment statistics and look at giving unemployment benefits to unemployed Nigerians.

After deliberations, the Senate then urged the executives to declare a State of Emergency on Unemployment, as a process of confronting the challenge frontally and radically.

The lawmakers also directed Ministries Department and Agencies, especially Security Parastatals, to enlist more youths towards enhancing security and to ease unemployment.

They further resolved to have a retreat on ways to ensure proper employment for Nigerian Youths and urged the executives to explore the Graduate Scheme of the IITA to ensure involvement and employment of youths.