Ghali Na’abba Blames Politicians For Political Violence

Ghali Na'abba Blames Politicians For Political ViolenceA former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’abba has appealed to politicians to embrace dialogue in order to reduce the increasing cases of political violence in the country.

Addressing participants at the 2017 National Political Summit in Abuja, where Nigerian democracy, constitutionalism and leadership recruitment paradigm was the focus.

Na’abba condemned the political development in Edo and Ondo governorship elections and the parliamentary rerun elections in Rivers state, and criticized politicians who go to the polls as if they were at war.

The former speaker said that Nigeria as a nation was founded on dialogue and asked the political class to consolidate on the gains of the nation’s founding fathers.

He said: “With the recent happenings in our political development especially the governorship election in Edo and Ondo and the legislative elections in Rivers state, can we say we are indeed making progress? It seems to me that people still contest elections as if it is a war that must be won or we perish.”

Na’abba was speaking in his capacity as the acting chairman of the governing council, Save Democracy Group Africa.

The chairman of the summit and former governor of Edo state, Oserheimen Osunbor, called for the enthronement of the rule of law.

“Democracy cannot thrive if the constitution is not right or if we are not respecting our constitution and respecting the rule of law,” he said.

The convener of the summit and Director General of Save Democracy Group Africa, Dr. Ifedi Okwenna, enumerated the essence of the national political summit.

It is to develop elite consensus on political and governance issues and promote tolerance to alternative view points and dialogue among stakeholders.

The three-day summit is expected to among other issues examine constitutional development options for sustainable democracy in Nigeria, political leadership recruitment and internal democracies in political parties.

African Leaders Asked To Jumpstart Youth Involvement In Governance

AfricaLiberia’s Vice President, Joseph Boakai, has asked African leaders to jumpstart the involvement of the youth in governance in Africa.

He says the youths are eager and have what it takes to govern Africa efficiently.

Mr Boakai, who declared open the election of the first set of the Save Democracy Group, SDG-Africa Youth Parliament in Nigeria on Monday, said African leaders must stop the trend of irresponsible governance that forecloses opportunities for the growth of its youth.

Young And Capable

A former Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba, told the gathering that Africa could no longer continue with the trend of recycling leaders when there were young and capable leaders set to tackle Africa’s numerous challenges.

Nearly 40 youths from seven African countries gathered in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, to build a network of African leaders under the SDG-Africa Youth Parliament.

This new network of African youth leaders is in support of the Liberian Vice President’s call for the grooming of the youths in Africa, saying that their involvement in politics only to bring older leaders into power, is no longer enough.

Africa needs transformation and change and the present practice of leaders’ recycling ‘must stop now’ for a virile future, the Director General, SDG-Africa, Ifedi Okwenna, stressed.

The principal leaders of the SDG-Africa Youth Parliament at the event elected on Monday, will form part of 120 youth parliamentarians to be spread across Africa.

They will have the task of making key contributions towards peace, progress and economic growth of Africa.

African nations are known to have old leaders of over 60 years, while most of them boast of over 60 per cent youth population.

Persons of less than 40 years are scarcely found in the cabinets of their leaders.

Group Decries Lack Of Structures Within Political Parties

Ghali-Na'abbaThe Save Democracy Group has decried the lack of structures and internal democracy among Nigeria’s political parties, after 17 years of unbroken democratic process.

According to the group, the lack of such structures has led to several acts of indiscipline among political parties with sad consequences for the practice of democracy in Nigeria since 1999.

They also argued that the current structures of the two major political parties, the ruling All Progressive Congress and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party could not support true democracy and rule of law, because their financial structures were built on individuals who dictate for the parties.

The group made the observation on Tuesday at a conference organised as part of activities to mark the 2016 Democracy Day in Abuja.

The conference x-rayed Nigeria’s democracy; the successes and challenges of sustaining democracy in the last 17 years.

First, the Governor of Bauchi State, Mr Muhammad Abubakar, said the last 16 years of democracy left little to be desired until the current administration came on board.

“If not for the intervention of the Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria who voted in Muhammadu Buhari, our nation would have collapsed,” he said.

Other speakers –the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Moses Ekpo and the Acting National Council Chairman, Save Democracy Group, Ghali Na’abba – at the event decried the lack of structures among political parties, identifying it as a major obstacle to practicing true democracy in the last 17 years.

However, the guest lecturer, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, said the one year of President Buhari’s administration should call for a retrospect.

While appealing to the citizenry to support the government, he asked Nigerians to continue to question the government on the need to deliver on its campaign promises.

“President Buhari is fighting for us, the people, and we must support him so that we can take our country back from the looters.

“While doing the best they can, they have to explain to us why it is taking longer to do it is that was promised.

“Why is it that despite the overwhelming mandate for change, change is so slow?” he questioned.

Nigeria’s democracy is often referred to as nascent and fledgling, but many at the conference hall believed that 17 years were enough for the citizens to begin to feel the impact of democracy.

Buhari Unfolds Plan To Tackle Nigeria’s Challenges

buhariThe presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, has unfolded his plan to tackle Nigeria’s challenges if elected president.

In a document titled ‘My Covenant With Nigerians’ in which he revealed how his party intends to bring about a change in the country, the former head of state also disclosed what he termed ‘a marshal plan to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity’.

Anti-corruption Strategy

On the issue of corruption, General Buhari vowed to publicly declare his assets and liabilities and encourage his political appointees to do the same.

The APC presidential candidate also promised to lead by example and hold all the people who work with him to account.

He stated that part of his anti-corruption strategy was to make the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) an autonomous agency and encourage proactive disclosure of information by government institutions in the spirit of the freedom of information act.

In another development, the national chairman of the party, Mr John Oyegun, advised Nigerians to embrace positive change in order to arrest the nation’s dwindling economic fortunes.

Speaking in Abuja after officially receiving a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Ghali Na’abba, into the APC, Mr Oyegun said corruption was hampering the growth and development of Nigeria as a nation.

The former Speaker, Ghali Na’abba had renounced his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party and announced his membership of the APC.

He stressed the need for Nigerians to team up with the All Progressives Congress in order to rescue the nation.

 

APC Condemns Corruption In Nigeria

APCAPCThe National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr John Oyegun, has again advised Nigerians to embrace positive change in order to arrest the nation’s dwindling economic fortunes.

The APC Chairman, who was speaking in Abuja after officially receiving a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Ghali Na’abba, into the All Progressives Congress, said that corruption is hampering the growth and development of Nigeria as a nation.

The former Speaker, Ghali Na’abba who renounced his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party, stressed the need for Nigerians to team up with the APC in order to rescue the nation.

Tambuwal’s Defection May Cause Crisis In National Assembly – Ogunlewe

TambuwalPeople’s Democratic Party Chieftain, Adeseye Ogunlewe’s reaction to the defection of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, to the opposition party, is that of worry at the possibility of such defection causing trouble in the National Assembly.

The Former Minister, who was the guest of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, believes that Nigeria might be in for a rough time ahead of the 2015 general elections, especially as political parties conclude the nomination of candidates for different elective positions by December 3.

“If majority of the members that are in the House of Reps and Senate fail to be nominated to contest election, there will be problem because they will not have anything to lose again, other than to cause crisis in the National Assembly again.

“But if the two parties manage it well and allow them to continue – the majority of them – they will have the interest of Nigeria at heart and maintain peace in the National Assembly.

“After December 3, there will be an election. If Tambuwal is elected as Governor of Sokoto State, he will behave in the interest of Nigeria in the House of Reps. If he loses, he has no stake again and things will be more turbulent.

“The National Assembly is so critical in the running of government in Nigeria. Almost everything can be approved and the government will move on,” he warned.

The former senator posited that with Tambuwal acting as Speaker for the rest of his tenure, after having lost his purported governorship bid “he can do a lot of damage because he may never be able to come into the limelight again just like other past speakers have problem; from (Salisu) Buhari to (Ghali) Na’Abba, Aminu Maisari and (Dimeji) Bankole too”

Asked to explain the logic behind his postulation of a the possibility of crisis in the House, he said, “PDP needs 240 members out of the 360 to impeach him…its difficult because the opposition will also not want it to happen.

“APC will not want you to pick out of their members to make up your 240, PDP will like to make the 240 and there will be confusion.”

PDP Nomination Form

Ogunlewe also responded to allegations by some members of the PDP who were supposedly denied the rights to acquire the presidential nomination form after having paid for it.

He said that this was “normal when you have a President sitting, you give him the first offer of refusal. Once he accepts to run I don’t think the party has the rights to deny anybody of contesting against the sitting president”.

He noted that printing the nomination forms is “a waste of money, waste of time” explaining that “to go over the primaries is a lot of money” and the party is supreme, adding that “if you’re a member of the party you subscribe to the constitution of the party and the leadership”.

His attention was drawn to a seemingly fraudulent nature of the transaction, whereby monies were collected from the aspirants with receipts to show and the party turned round to say it had only printed one form.

Ogunlewe referred to this as part of political gimmicks.

“They only published account numbers where any aspirant could pay into. So they just went to pay there. Who sponsored them? Where did they attend their own ward meetings?

“If you have been attending your ward meetings, your LGA meetings, your state meetings, the leadership there would have told you that you don’t need to go and pay.”

Na’Abba Challenges Politicians Over Jonathan’s ‘Single Term Agreement’

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mister Ghali Na’Abba has challenged those claiming that President Goodluck Jonathan signed an agreement to restrict himself to a single term to come out with proofs to back up their claims.

Speaking on Channels Television programme, ‘’View From The Top’’, Mr Na’Abba said that although it is important for people to honour agreements they entered into, he was not privy to any document suggesting that there is any agreement.

He said: “Anybody has the right to contest to be the President of Nigeria, wherever he comes from, but when there is an agreement, that agreement must be upheld, no matter the pain. If we don’t learn to honour our agreements, then we are not men of honour.

“In this case, none of us have been briefed after the primary elections of 2011 by anybody about the process these governors followed in giving their votes or asking their delegates to elect Goodluck Jonathan to be the party’s presidential flag bearer.”

Na’Abba was among many top politicians that left the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in a highly publicized defection to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in 2005. He said that unlike the current wave of defections, his was not an easy decision, leaving the PDP back then.

He explained that the then President, Olusegun Obasanjo, in his bid to elongate his tenure in office, “embarked on what they called re-registration exercise in the party”, with the aim of “having total control of the party.”

He further alleged that those of them who were seen not to be in support of the president’s plan “were marked out for total elimination from the party.” So, means had to be devised for them to either leave the party or be dismissed. He said that they were denied the opportunity to be re-registered as members of the party.

Hence, they opted out of the party and fought the scheme. He noted that they did not leave the party just because they wanted to.

He, however, regretted that his expectation that whatever party he joined after PDP would be a truly democratic party with internal democracy was not what he found, so he decided to return to his party, the PDP, in 2007, just after the presidential election.

Speaking from experience as a one-time defector, Na’Abba noted that the possibility of recent PDP defectors returning to the party would depend on their objectives, as there were people in politics for the purpose of acquiring power, while there are also developmental politicians.

“Once power seeking politicians find what they need, they may not come back, because for them all the platforms are the same. There are no differences in ideology; which is why many politicians contesting for positions cannot provide their party manifestos,” he explained.

Mr Na’Abba also commended the current Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, saying despite the circumstances that he has found himself, he is doing his best.

“The current House of Representatives cannot be compared to that of 1999 to 2003.  Because that time, members came almost on their own, so they didn’t need anybody to direct them, and this was why the House was quite independent.

“After 2003, when the potential for the House to do a lot of things was realised by the executive arm, it was silently decided that that degree of independence should never be allowed within the legislature. So the next occupants of the House and the Senate were mostly handpicked by the party or the President.”

He also shared his views on the National Conference and other matters of national importance.