Senate Presidency: We Are Working To Ensure A Sole Candidate – Ita Enang

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, says the presidency is working to ensure a sole candidate emerges for the Senate Presidential race.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Televisions Politics Today, Enang praised the decision of an aspirant and Senator-elect, Danjuma Goje for withdrawing from the contest.

Let me use this opportunity to publicly commend and thank Senator Danjuma Goje who has agree and in different to the party and the President offered unqualified support to the candidature of Senator Ahmed Lawan.

We are working in such a manner that we are likely to have a sole candidature in the election and we are grateful about that, he stated.

READ ALSO: Senate Leadership: I Will Run For Deputy Senate President, Even If APC Refuses Kalu

Recalling the crisis that rocked the All Progressives Congress (APC) that led to the loss of party members, the presidential aide noted that Goje did not leave the party.

When asked if Goje asked for an offer in return, Enang simply replied saying: No, he didn’t give any condition. He said as a loyal party man, as a person who was governor and he benefited as a Minister of the Federal Republic, that he knows when to work with the party and he has always worked with the party.

Reacting to the party’s choice for the Deputy Senate President, the former lawmaker explained that Senator Ovie Omo-Agege is being considered since the slot is zoned to the South.

Speaking on the allegation against the party’s candidate for Speakership position of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Enang explained that the APC leadership is working hard to resolve that.

With the National Assembly election barely 5 days from now, the ruling party does not want to take anything to chance to ensure a smooth working relationship between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government.

Buhari Is ‘Extremely’ Concerned About Nigerian Workers, Unemployed – Enang

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang, says President Muhammadu Buhari is extremely worried about Nigerian workers and the unemployed.

He stated this on Wednesday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“President Buhari’s administration is extremely concerned about not just the Nigerian workers but those who are qualified to be employed and are not yet employed.

“And of course, the Federal Government is also committed to those who are unemployed. That is why you have the Ministry of Labour is called the Ministry of Employment, Labour and Productivity,” he stated.

While noting that it is impossible for the government to engage every Nigerian into the civil service, he, however, stated that the current administration is working hard to address the unemployment challenge.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang.

READ ALSO: Imo Senatorial Elections: Okorocha Petitions INEC Over Withholding Certificate Of Return

He noted that Buhari’s government has created a business-friendly environment and policies that would help the private and public sectors to strive.

When asked if his principal’s absence will affect the 2019 budget from being signed into law, the presidential aide responded in the negative.

He explained that though the Senate has passed the budget, the House of Representatives is yet to do so.

According to Enang, once it is passed by both chambers of the National Assembly, the Clerk would compare notes to ensure that figures tally before transmitting it to the President for assent.

Despite the challenge notwithstanding, Enang insisted saying, “the President is on duty.”

APC’s Nsima Ekere Not Aware Of Arrest Warrant, Says Ita Enang

APC's Nsima Ekere Not Aware Of Arrest Warrant, Says Ita Enang
Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.

 

The Director General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Ita Enang, says the party’s governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere, is not aware of any court warrant for his arrest.

Enang, who is also the Special Assitant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said this in an interview with Channels Television on Friday.

Earlier, a Federal High Court in Abuja granted an order of substituted service against Mr Ekere, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), as well as the Director of Legal Services of the commission, Mr Kaltungo Moljengo.

Alleged N2.4B Fraud: Court To Hear Case Against Ex-NDDC Boss Ekere In April
A file photo of APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Nsima Ekere.

 

The court granted the order three days after a Magistrate Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, ordered the arrest of Mr Ekere and Mr Moljengo for alleged offence of criminal conspiracy to defeat or prevent the execution of lawful court order in the case of alleged N2.4bn fraud brought against them by four NDDC contractors.

In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, the plaintiffs had also asked for an order cautioning the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to treat the candidacy of Mr Ekere with sensitive restraint concerning the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.

But reacting to the issue, Senator Enang described the report as a mere allegation and cheap blackmail to distract the party from Saturday’s elections.

We Will Not Boycott The Elections — Ita Enang

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, has said that contrary to reports making the rounds, the ruling All Progressives Congress has no intention to boycott the forthcoming elections. 

During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, Enang explained that the APC will not fail to tell the truth as it is, and will never shy away from the polls with all the stats pointing at the party’s victory.

READ ALSO:  Melaye, Keyamo In Heated Argument Over Buhari’s Directive On Ballot Box Snatchers

He said, “What we are doing is building the confidence, our party will tell the truth as it is, but we decided to go in for the elections because the people are there, the voters are there, majority of the people are with us and the tide is in favour of the APC”.

Reiterating the APC’s stand on the elections, Enang said the party is has taken a decision to go in for the elections regardless the stage.

The President’s aide said though there was a level of what appeared to be compromise and an unholy alliance between INEC and some governments, still there is a needs to be cloaked with some confidence as the nation heads to the polls.

He said that the APC has chosen to ensure that its comments and actions would be able to calm the polity and allow people to vote.

Buhari Has Taken A Decision On Electoral Amendment Bill – Ita Enang

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a decision on the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018.

The Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters Senator Ita Enang, said this on Friday.

According to him, the president’s decision has been communicated to the Senate and House of Representatives.

Enang who spoke to journalists, however, did not give details of what the decision is.

He, however, stated that the president’s action is in line with the powers conferred on him by the constitution.

President Buhari had previously declined assent to the bill three times and there are speculations that he would reject it again – an issue that has remained contentious between the presidency and the National Assembly.

The president has, however, assented to the National Open University Amendment Act 2018.

The act now brings all the university’s operations and courses of study into accord with other Nigerian universities, thus eliminating possible discrimination against programmes and products of the university.

Ita Enang Denies APC’s Involvement In Akwa Ibom House Of Assembly Crisis 

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, has denied the involvement of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the recent crisis in the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday, Enang explained that the party had nothing to do with the crisis and has been accused wrongly.

He said, “As a former member of that House and a trustee of the legislature, I should not ordinarily descend into this matter.

“I am getting in this matter to the extent that the All Progressives Congress and the Nigeria Police and the federal institution have been accused wrongly of being a party to this matter. The APC has done nothing wrong in this matter.”

His comments come about two weeks after some suspected thugs believed to have been sponsored by some aggrieved members of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly stormed the legislative complex.

READ ALSO: Police Seal Off Akwa Ibom State House Of Assembly

 

The Speaker, Onofiok Luke, had declared the seats of five lawmakers who had defected from PDP to the APC, vacant, a situation which later led to the thugs disrupting plenary.

Following the development on November 11, the police sealed off the Assembly premises thereby preventing the lawmakers from gaining access into the building for some days.

The National Assembly, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, condemned the actions of the police.

On the other hand, the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, lamented that members of his party are being intimidated in states controlled by the PDP – a claim that Mr Enang re-iterated.

Why Buhari Declined Assent To Electoral Amendment Bill – Presidency

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang

 

The Presidency has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari declined his assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, highlighted some errors as part of the reasons President Buhari refused to sign the bill into law.

“When a bill is presented to the President; and if there is any impunity, typographical, anything unconstitutional, the President cannot correct a comma, full stop, or change a capital to a small letter,” he said Wednesday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“It has to go back to the legislature because when a President receives a bill, he is to say yes! I assent or no! I don’t assent.”

Senator Enang made the explanation two days after he issued a statement in which he revealed that Buhari’s decision was due to “some drafting issues”.

He had, however, said President Buhari would sign the bill into law after the issues were resolved.

The Presidential aide stressed further that the National Assembly passed an amended bill on July 24, while the Presidency received it on August 3 after the lawmakers went on recess.

He, therefore, exonerated the President saying he could not just have worked on mere speculations that the lawmakers had addressed the issues he earlier raised when the bill was first presented to him on June 27.

“The President could not say since I am expecting, and I am aware by media reports that you have addressed some of the issues I raised, let me wait because the National Assembly and the Constitution would have taken him up on that,” he said.

Enang added, “So the President had to write to NASS that the bill you presented to me sometime in June, being the only document before me, I have declined assent formally and I urge you to address some of these issues.

“What was passed on July 24 was transmitted to the President only on August 3, after July 26 had passed that the President had to say yes or no.”

Following the rejection of the bill,  the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised President Buhari for his decision.

The party had asked the National Assembly to use their constitutional power to override the President on the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill.

President Buhari Declines Assent To Electoral Bill

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018, his Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters said on Monday.

Senator Ita Enang explained in a statement that the President communicated his decision to the National Assembly on August 30.

He attributed the decision to withhold assent to the bill to “some drafting issues”, adding that President Buhari would sign the bill into law after the issues are resolved.

“Mr. President invites the Senate and House of Representatives to address these issues as quickly as possible so that he may grant President Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill,” Enang said.

Explaining the issues, the Presidential aide said, “There is a cross-referencing error in the proposed amendment to Section 18 of the Bill. The appropriate amendment is to substitute the existing sub-section (2) with the proposed subsection (1A), while the proposed sub-section (1B) is the new sub-section (2A)

‘’The proposed amendment to include a new Section 87 (14) which stipulates a specific period within which political party primaries are required to be held has the unintended consequence of leaving INEC with only 9 days to collate and compile lists of candidates and political parties as well manage the primaries of 91 political parties for the various elections.

“This is because the Electoral Amendment Bill does not amend sections 31, 34 and 85 which stipulates times for the submission of lists of candidates, publication of lists of candidates and notice of convention, congresses for nominating candidates for elections.’’

According to Mr Enang, in view of the issues, the President had to decline assent to the bill.

He said, “For the avoidance of doubt, neither the Constitution nor any written law allows a President or a Governor to whom a Bill is forwarded by the Legislature to edit, correct, amend or in any manner alter the provisions of any such Bill to reflect appropriate intent before Assenting to same. He is to assent in the manner it is or to withhold assent.”

Also, Senator Enang said the President has communicated to the National Assembly his action on other bills earlier transmitted to him.

The bills include the National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill, 2018; the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2017; the Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Establishment) Bill, 2018; and the Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, 2018.

Others are the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill, 2018; National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment) Bill, 2017; and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Presidency Not A Party To Anything That Will Destabilise NASS – Ita Enang

 

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, says the presidency is not contemplating and will not be a party to anything that will destabilise the National Assembly.

The presidential aide said this on Monday, in reaction to allegations that some senators are planning to illegally reconvene the Senate.

RELATED

Falana Warns APC Against Alleged Plan To Impeach Saraki

Saraki Convenes Emergency Meeting Of National Assembly Leadership

Hold FG, APC Responsible If Democracy Comes Near Harm, PDP Tells Nigerians

He said, “I am not on the floor and it is not within the contemplation at all, of the executive and we are always in support of the legislature, acting within the law and staying in harmony.

“My job is to make sure the executive and the legislature, stay in peace and that the legislature stays in peace among themselves and that the leadership is stable.

“Therefore, we will not be a party to any discussion or contemplation of anything that destabilizes”.

Senator Enang, however, appealed to the legislators to look at ways of reconvening so as to consider some of the issues that need their attention such as the 2018 supplementary budget and virement request.

“The National Assembly is coming back in September ending which is as good as October and it will take about two months which means that it will be until about December that money will be available to start funding a lot of the projects and that is not in consonance with what is reasonable in the economy so this is why we are appealing to the National Assembly to please consider the most ingenious ways of reconvening to come and attend to these matters.

“Mr President will not want to treat any of these matters or raise money from anywhere in a manner that is not approved by the constitution because the president will always say, do what is right.

“What does the law say? So, we are appealing to them so that they should convene and pass these measures,” he said.

Ita Enang’s Orderly Accidentally Shoots Self

Ita EnangA gun belonging to the orderly of President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang accidentally went off on Friday.

The incident, which occurred at the ticketing area of the general aviation terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 1 in Lagos State, caused some apprehension among travelers.

The orderly was severely injured while one female passenger also sustained minor injuries.

Both of them were initially rushed to the FAAN clinic before they were transferred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) to receive more treatment.

Senate Adopts Special Procedure To Pass 46 Bills

Constitution AmendmentTwenty-four hours to the expiration of the Seventh Assembly, the Senate has passed 46 bills under a special procedure adopted by the lawmakers.

The normal procedure for law making stipulates that a bill must pass through three phases – first reading, second reading and third reading – before it could be passed into law.

But the Chairman Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, urged federal lawmakers to invoke order 1 (b) of the Senate Standing Rules to clear the coast for the passage of the bills.

The Seventh Assembly is to expire on Thursday June 4, a situation that had put the National Assembly in a race against time to pass pending bills in both chambers.

With the clock ticking to the last minutes, the Senate in a surprising move passed the 46 bills in one swoop, without the customary legislative procedure.

Some of the bills passed are; the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Establishment Act Amendment Bill; Office of the Nigerian Financial Ombudsman Bill; Institute of Chattered Trustees of Nigeria Bill; National Convict and Criminal Records (Registry) Bill; as well as Community Service Bill.

Others are the National Commission for Rehabilitation Act (Repeal) Bill, Whistle-blower Protection Bill; Family Economic Advancement Programme (Establishment, etc) Act (repeal) Bill; Family Support Trust Fund Act (Repeal) Bill and the Anti-Torture Bill and Lobbyist (Registration and Regulation) Bill among others.

Despite Senator Enang’s explanation another Senator, George Sekibo, raised a point of order, drawing the attention of the Senate to Section 79 (1) of the Senate Standing Rules, which states the procedure for passing bills.

But when the Senate President, David Mark, called for voice vote on the bills and majority of the Senators supported the passage.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Linda Akhigbe, reported that it was clear that some lawmakers were thoroughly dissatisfied with the passage of the bills.

Following the sharp disagreement that arose in the chamber, the Senate President ruled that any lawmaker, who disagreed with the passage of the bills, could come back with a substantive motion on Thursday.

NASS Resumes Tuesday, To Consider Jonathan’s $1 billion Loan, Others

NASS_NewAs members of the National Assembly (NASS) get ready to resume legislative activities on Tuesday, they appear set to consider the health challenge posed to Nigeria by the Ebola Virus Disease and how it is being tackled.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Ita Enang, said this while speaking with journalists on some of the issues that the Senate would focus on as it resumes.

The one billion naira loan request by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Petroleum Industry Bill are other issues that would be highlighted for consideration by the Senate.

The Senate would equally look into the report of the Committee set up to investigate the alleged uncomplimentary remarks against the Senate by Oluremi Tinubu, who represents Lagos West on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Besides, Senate would, upon resumption on Tuesday, prepare to receive the report of the just-concluded National Conference, which is expected to be presented to the National Assembly by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The upper legislative chamber would also consider other pressing matters before the senators before they go on another brief recess for the Nigerian Independence anniversary and Sallah celebration in October.

Also, House Committee Chairman on Rules and Business, Albert Sam-Tsokwa, revealed on Sunday that apart from the President’s loan request, the House would devote the whole of Tuesday to attend to matters of urgent national importance.

Sam-Tsokwa stressed that while the lawmakers were on break, a lot of issues emerged that required their attention, hence the House would have to look into them immediately.

The lawmaker said that due to the renewed attacks by Boko Haram, the House would have to expedite action on the request made by President Jonathan.

“So many things happened during the break and these are matters of urgent national importance, which have to be critically and urgently attended to. So when we resume on Tuesday, we will devote the entire sitting debating on such issues.”

On President Jonathan’s request for $1 billion to checkmate insurgency, Tsokwa said; “With the happenings around us, the House will accelerate consideration of the matter. The matter was referred to relevant committees and we will be expecting their report immediately plenary commences on Tuesday.”