NASS Adjourns Plenary To Honour Late Member, Jafar Auna

 

The National Assembly on Tuesday adjourned plenary to honour a member, Jafar Auna, who died on Monday.

A minute of silence and prayers were held for him in both chambers of the National Assembly.

The adjournment was done after the Senate leader, Ahmed Lawan moved that plenary be adjourned to another legislative day.

Plenary was therefore adjourned to Wednesday, December 4.

READ ALSO: Lawan, Gbajabiamila Mourn Death Of Lawmaker, Jaafar Iliyasu Auna

Honourable Jafaru, who represented Rijau/Magama Federal Constituency of Niger State in the ninth National Assembly died on Monday morning in Abuja.

Lawan had earlier commiserated with the family of the deceased lawmaker and the government and people of Niger State and pray Almighty Allah to give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

Gbajabiamila also in condolence said he was “deeply shaken” by the demise of the Niger Rep, adding that he was a gentleman who showed great willingness and determination to work with his other colleagues to make good laws for the country.

Kogi/Bayelsa Elections: Lawan, Gbajabiamila Congratulate Bello, Lyon

File Photo: Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker of the House of Reps Femi Gbajabiamila

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidates on their victory in the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa States.

Lawan particularly rejoiced with the Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello on his reelection and David Lyon for making history as the first governor Bayelsa has elected on a platform different from the outgoing ruling party in the state.

The Senate President praised President Muhammadu Buhari for ensuring a level playing field that enabled the people to assert their sovereignty and choose their leaders.

“The impressive turnout of voters in the two states is a ringing endorsement of democracy by Nigerians as their preferred system, notwithstanding its current challenges,” Lawan said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media), Ola Awoniyi.

Lawan also thanked the security personnel for their sacrifices for peace and order in the face of great difficulties.

The Senate President enjoined the winners to be magnanimous in victory by accommodating all sections of the state in their governments and development agenda.

Read Also: Senator Vows To Go Ahead With Bill To Establish Prohibition Of Hate Speech

Lawan also admonished the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, to learn from the challenges experienced in the two states with a view to constantly improving its institutional performance and the electoral process.

The Senate President called on the relevant agencies to ensure thorough prosecution of the electoral offenders in the two states to serve as deterrence to others.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has also congratulated the winners.

In a message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, Gbajabiamila said the victory recorded by the APC candidates in the two states was an indication of the wide acceptance that the party enjoys.

Read Also: INEC Declares APC’s David Lyon Winner Of Bayelsa Governorship Election

The Speaker said Bayelsa State, in particular, has now joined the Next Level train, having seen the massive change driven by the APC-led government at the federal level.

“It is gladdening to know that our party, the APC, came out victorious in the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states. This is a testimony that Nigerians across the length and breadth of the country are beginning to realise what the APC means for the country.

“This victory is not for the party or its members alone, but for the entirety of Nigerians.

“May I call on the two governors-elect to be magnanimous in victory. The APC stands for the good of Nigerians, and I know the two governors-elect are part of the journey to make Nigeria better,” the Speaker said.

He called on the people of the two states, including members of the opposition parties, to join hands with the governors-elect to make their states great.

We’ll Give Priority To Human Rights Issues – Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has said that the 9th House would give priority to issues related to human rights.

As such, the Speaker said, the House would work closely with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure that the rights of Nigerians are protected.

Gbajabiamila, who spoke when he hosted the management of NHRC during a courtesy call in his office in Abuja on Wednesday, said the House would support the commission in any way possible to enhance its work.

“We commend you for what you’ve been doing as a commission. Your work is unquantifiable. It’s important that we have a watchdog on human rights. In the House, we take the issue of human rights very seriously.

READ ALSO: Senate Wants Fuel Supply Back At Nigeria’s Border Towns

On the request by the Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, that the House should consider issues of human rights in all the bills before it, the Speaker said the House needed more explanation on that.

Similarly, the Speaker tasked the commission to work closely with the House Committee on Human Rights and forward a copy of the Kampala Convention on Human Rights to the House for possible domestication.

Responding to the issue of the possible creation of quota for more women in politics, the Speaker agreed with the Executive Secretary that unless the constitution is amended to address the issue of non-discrimination against anybody, such could not be achieved.

The Speaker said the House is interested in the issue of the rights of the elderly as raised by the Executive Secretary, saying the House would need a full brief on that.

Earlier, Mr Ojukwu, who congratulated the Speaker on his emergence, said the commission was concerned that the Kampala Convention on Human Rights has not been domesticated in Nigeria.

He said if the House domesticates it,that would go a long way in addressing some of the challenges Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable Nigerians face.

“We are also bothered by the low level of women participation in elective offices. We’ve observed a decrease in the number of women coming to the National Assembly. We wonder why this happens,” he said.

Supreme Court Verdict Is A Victory For Democracy – Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of the Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has described the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the Supreme Court as a victory for democracy.

Gbajabiamila, who said though the victory of the President at the February presidential polls was never in doubt, however, expressed his appreciation of the final victory, whereby Nigerian democracy was tested by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

READ ALSO: Nigerians Voted PDP, APC Knows They Were Rejected – Secondus

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said, “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on his final electoral victory that was challenged by PDP and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Gbajabiamila said: “It is my conviction that this final victory, which has never been in doubt since the conclusion of the election would allow the President to concentrate on his determination to champion good governance for the generality of Nigerians, the reason why he was voted for in the first place.

“I also congratulate our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the victory. This goes to show that the party has come of age in party politics and in putting forward the best hands that can and will take Nigeria to greater heights through the fulfillment of our Manifestos and support for government policies.

“I want to urge, Mr Atiku Abubakar, who has put to test our justice delivery system by contesting the election result from the lowest to the highest court, and the PDP to accept the judgment in good faith and in the spirit of sportsmanship and help the government in building a strong, prosperous and united Nigeria.

”I rejoice with President Buhari and our party, APC over this victory”.

Gbajabiamila Calls For Improved Welfare Package For All Teachers

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for an improved welfare package for the Nigerian teachers as they join millions of their colleagues globally to mark this year’s World Teachers’ Day.

Speaker Gbajabiamila said with the tremendous task of teaching future leaders, Nigerian teachers deserve the best from governments at all levels as well as other well-meaning Nigerians.

He said the 9th National Assembly would ensure that the welfare of Nigerian teachers is well taken care of through adequate legislation and relevant resolutions.

READ ALSO: Saraki, Fayose Celebrate World Teachers’ Day

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker said the theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day, ‘Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession,’ is very apt in view of the growing demands of the teaching profession.

Against the backdrop of decades-old cliché that ‘the reward of teachers is in heaven,’ Gbajabiamila said the reward of the Nigerian teachers should begin to manifest here on earth.

The Speaker encouraged young Nigerians to take up teaching as it is the only profession that can mould leaders of tomorrow in different ways.

“Today, I join millions of Nigerians to commemorate this great day, the World Teachers’ Day. I salute the determination, diligence and dedication of the Nigerian teacher. But for the teacher, we all may not have been moulded to become what we have become today.

“I therefore call for concerted efforts to better the lives of the Nigerian teachers. We all have the responsibility to make our teachers happy, and I make bold to say that the 9th National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, would champion the course of the Nigerian teachers.

“Working closely with the Executive arm of government, I believe in the next four years, we will put more smiles on the faces of the Nigerian teachers.

“May I use this occasion to encourage the Nigerian youth to take up teaching and produce good leaders that will take the country to the promised land,” the Speaker said.

Xenophobia: House Of Reps To Consider Reconvening As Gbajabiamila Cuts Short Tanzania Trip

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday, said that the green chamber may cut short their recess and reconvene to address the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa.

The Speaker also announced that he is cutting short his trip to Tanzania, where he is attending the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) conference holding in Zanzibar.

Gbajabiamila disclosed his on his verified Twitter handle.

See his tweet below…

Gbajabiamila, Omo-Agege, Others Attend Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference In Tanzania

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives  Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is leading the Nigerian delegation to the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), Africa Region, Conference taking place in Zanzibar, Tanzania from September 1.

Members of the Nigerian delegation include the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and lawmakers from both chambers of the National Assembly.

The 50th Conference, with the theme ‘E-Parliament: Seamless Platform for Facilitating Democracy’ will feature discussions at plenary sessions on different categories such as ‘Parliamentary Affairs: The use of ICT in strengthening public involvement in the Legislative Process,’ and Social Affairs: The use of Social Media in enhancing Parliamentarians’ Constituency engagement.’

READ ALSO: Buhari Returns To Abuja After Attending TICAD In Japan

Other categories are Gender Affairs: Empowerment of Women: Strategies to enable Women’s participation in decision making; Youth Affairs: Implementation of Youth Policies as a tool to combat Migration.

The rest of the categories for discussion at the conference include Economic Affairs: Enhancing Information and Communication Technolgy (ICT) use in providing life-changing solutions in rural communities, and Political Affairs: The role of technology in developing democratic practices.

Speaking on the conference, Speaker Gbajabiamila said the CPA platform would be maximized by the Nigeria delegation towards enhancing the country’s democracy and help deepen cooperation with member countries to strengthen democracy in Africa.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Conference is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, the 4th September 2019.

Delegates from other African countries in the Commonwealth are expected at the 50th CPA Conference.

International Youth Day: Gbajabiamila Seeks Transformation Of Educational System

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has urged governments at all levels to fashion out ways of transforming the Nigerian educational system to strengthen the capacity of the youth.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, in which he was commemorating the International Youth Day, the Speaker noted that the government has the primary responsibility of ensuring that every Nigerian is given access to basic and qualitative education.

According to him, the essence of education is to proffer solutions to challenges confronting humanity.

The Speaker further stated that democracy and good governance would thrive in an atmosphere where a sizeable proportion of the populace is educated and well enlightened about their civic responsibilities.

While assuring that the 9th House of Representatives under his leadership would prioritise issues concerning the education sector, Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila emphasized that revamping the sector has become imperative.

The Speaker had in 2016 during his tenure as the House Majority Leader sponsored a bill to provide access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans.

The Bill, which has been reintroduced in this Assembly and has gone through its first reading, proposes a Nigeria Education Bank, which will be established by law to provide education for all Nigerians without any discrimination.

He said: “As we celebrate the International Youth Day, I intend to use the office of the Speaker and the instrumentality of the law to fast-track the passage of this and others Bills that are capable of restoring hope to our youth to reposition them for the tasks of nation-building and global competitiveness.

“It is indisputable that the global economy is knowledge-driven, while the private sector has continued to play a leading and pivotal role in the economic development of states and nations.

“This is why we need to transform the Nigerian Educational System and why the youth should be encouraged to broaden their skills,” the Speaker said.
Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila added, “I wish all Nigerian youths a happy International Youth Day”.

Insecurity: Reps To Give Zamfara Special Budgetary Attention

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the 9th National Assembly would give special budgetary attention to the three Senatorial Districts of Zamfara in order to resolve the issue of insecurity in the state.

Hon. Gbajabiamila, stated this during his visit to the state as part of efforts to reconcile warring factions of herdsmen in the state.

He said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to bring development to the state through allocation of resources in the budget.

Addressing leaders of the warring factions in Government House, Gusau, the state capital, the Speaker said he was happy to be part of the historic reconciliation between the factions, whose activities held the state to ransom for about 16 years.

READ ALSO: Senate President Warns South Africa Against Further Attacks On Nigerians

“From what I understand, what the Federal Government needs to do is to develop these areas; some of these issues are born out of poverty and frustration.

“I can assure you that the Federal Government, at least as far as the National Assembly is concerned, when it comes to budgeting of your 14 local governments, every senatorial district will be empowered as far as schools are concerned, as far as skills acquisition centers are concerned, for our people to learn and acquire skills and be empowered to go out and win the daily bread to take care of their families.

“It is for us to develop your three senatorial districts together with your State Government. You have capable hands from the National Assembly already. You have members that are from Zamfara who are representing you; they have already brought up the issues on the floor and when it comes to time for budgeting which is very soon, I’m sure you will see that Zamfara will be well represented.

“So, here’s the deal for me: we will devote a sizeable amount of resources to the senatorial districts, but you will have to do something in return. It’s a question of give and take.

“For a start, let’s have at least one year of peace, let’s not hear of killing for a year, let’s not hear of banditry for a year in Zamfara. After that one year, we renew our efforts.

“I want to believe we are here with men of good intentions and women of peace, that in the end, what has happened in Zamfara over the years, by the time we get into January, February it will be a thing of the past, do I have your word?” the Speaker said.

He noted that there was need for serious collaboration between the federal and state governments on the issue of insecurity so as to find lasting solutions.

According to him, the National Assembly would ensure the deployment of enough security men to cater for the citizens of Zamfara.

“So here’s a practical solution: it is time for government to employ thousands of police men and women to police our state. What do we achieve if we employ more policemen? We achieve peace; we achieve employment.

“How do we design the employment of policemen? Let them come from the districts, let them come from your local governments in Zamfara, let them go for training, and then we redeploy them back to Zamfara.”

He commended the state governor, Bello Matawalle, on his efforts since assumption of office in May, which saw appreciable level of peace returned to the state.

In his remarks, Governor Matawalle thanked the Speaker for visiting Zamfara to assess the situation on ground and find lasting solutions to the issues that led to the escalation of insecurity in the state.

The governor said the state government has taken drastic actions on the issue of insecurity, which have yielded positive results so far.

On the suspended Ruga settlement , the governor said, he has accepted the policy of the Federal Government and that arrangements have been concluded to set up three Ruga settlements in the three Senatorial Districts of the state.

While calling on the Speaker to ensure the release of the N10 billion approved for rehabilitation and resettlement in Zamfara State under the 2019 budget, the governor appealed to the 9th National Assembly to also come up with the Northwest Development Commission the way it did to the South South and Northeast.

Minority Leadership: Reps To Investigate Rowdy Session

 

The House of Representatives has set up an ad-hoc committee to investigative the row that broke out at its plenary on Wednesday over minority leadership positions.

This followed a motion of privilege by Rep. Benjamin Kalu, on the matter.

The incident broke out after Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, ignored a list by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in which Kingsley Chinda was nominated as the Minority Leader of the House.

He rather chose to use another list submitted by lawmakers from all the other opposition parties in the House.

Read Also: Rowdy Session In House Of Reps As Gbajabiamila Announces Elumelu As Minority Leader

Subsequently, Ndudi Elumelu was announced as the Minority Leader – a situation that led to protests as some aggrieved lawmakers attempted to take the maze.

Meanwhile, the Speaker has announced the leadership of the majority in the House, completing the list of principal officers.

The appointees are Alhassan Ado-Doguwa as Majority Leader, Peter Akpatason as Deputy Majority Leader, Mohammed Monguno and Chief Whip and Nkeiruka Onyejeocha as Deputy Whip.

Gbajabiamila Asks Executive To Submit 2020 Budget By September

Femi-Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called on the Executive to ensure that the 2020 budget is submitted to the National Assembly by the September.

The speaker gave this charge on Monday during a meeting with the secretary to the government of the federation in the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Taraba Youths Stage Protest Over Ruga Settlement

He said submitting the budget early will ensure that the national has three months to scrutinize and pass the document and return the country to the January to December fiscal year.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation also meet with the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan.

Gbajabiamila Elected As House Of Reps Speaker

PHOTOS: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has been elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the Ninth Assembly.

Mr. Gbajabiamila who is a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 281 votes defeating his close contender Mohammed Bago who got 76 votes.

A total of 358 lawmakers voted and there was one invalid vote.

READ ALSO: Ahmed Lawan Elected As Senate President

Gbajabiamila assumed office in 2003, representing Surelere 1 Federal Constituency.

In 2011, he contested for a third term on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria and won.