Absence Of Ministerial List, A Huge Cost To Nigeria – Labour Party

 

The Labour Party has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in forming a ministerial cabinet is a huge cost to the growth and development of the country.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Innocent Laggi, who said this on Channels Television programme, Politics Today, noted that the country is suffering from lack of essential services, considering the fact that without the ministers, nothing happens.

“It’s a huge cost, this is a country of over 200 million people, what we are doing is having a huge machine and it’s not being moved. It takes more than 37 ministers to get this country working.

“This is a cost to the country and unfortunately, in Nigeria, nobody values time, so we can just stay by and as long as the President gets what he wants in office, the country can be punished from lack of services that are supposed to have been provided by the government and that can’t be done through one man.

“Everybody knows that it is FEC that approves things to happen. All civil servants know that right now, without ministers, there is nothing going on in this country.”

READ ALSO: Police Detain Senator Abbo Over Alleged Assault

Meanwhile, a member of the All Progressives Congress, Mr Ayo Oyalowo, countered the claims made by Mr Laggi. He said that despite the delay, governance is still going on.

“As a member of the ruling party, I think not having ministers is not stopping government; governance is still going on, ministries are running without the ministers, I don’t think Heaven has fallen yet.”

President Buhari was sworn in for a second term as Nigeria’s president on May 29, 2019, and is yet to select his cabinet ministers.

Theresa May Seeks New Brexit Delay, Offers To Work With Labour’s Corbyn

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May gives a statement inside 10 Downing Street in London on April 2, 2019, after chairing a day-long meeting of the cabinet.
Jack Taylor / POOL / AFP

 

Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday she would ask the EU to delay Brexit again to avoid Britain crashing out of the bloc next week, signalling she could accept a closer relationship with Europe to break months of political deadlock.

After more than seven hours of talks with her ministers, May said she would request a delay that was “as short as possible and which ends when we pass a deal” through the British parliament.

In a move which enraged the Brexit-supporting wing of her Conservative Party, she also offered to work with the leader of the main opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who favours closer ties with the European Union.

“This is a decisive moment in the story of these islands. And it requires national unity to deliver the national interest,” May said in a televised address.

Corbyn responded saying he was “very happy” to meet.

READ ALSO: Theresa May To Make Statement After Brexit Cabinet Talks

Brussels has set Britain an April 12 deadline to pass the divorce deal it agreed with May four months ago, settle on an alternative, or leave the EU without an agreement.

In reality, the deadline is even closer as the EU has called an emergency leaders’ summit for April 10.

EU president Donald Tusk responded cautiously to May’s statement, saying: “Even if, after today, we don’t know what the end result will be, let us be patient.”

Break The Logjam

Britain voted by 52 to 48 per cent to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum. However, the exit process has only exacerbated divisions among the public and politicians, including May’s cabinet.

Her statement follows weeks of turmoil.

MPs have rejected May’s divorce deal three times, but after seizing control of the process, were unable to come up with their own plan.

May said she was “taking action to break the logjam”.

She noted calls in her own party for Britain simply to end its 46-year-old membership of the bloc without any agreement with the EU, but she said that “leaving with a deal is the best solution”.

May said she believed her existing deal was still necessary for an orderly Brexit, but offered to talk to Labour about a new plan for future trade ties.

Corbyn has called for a new customs union with the EU and close alignment to the bloc’s single market, two things that until now, May has strongly opposed.

“I recognise my responsibility,” Corbyn said, stressing that the most important issue was “to make sure we don’t crash out of the EU next week with no deal”.

Corbyn said any new proposals could be voted on by parliament “early next week”.

If May and Corbyn could agree on a plan that MPs supported, the prime minister said she hoped to take it to the April 10 Brussels summit.

If not, she promised to allow MPs to direct what she does, expressing hope that Britain could still leave with a deal before May 22, so it did not have to take part in European Parliament elections.

The political chaos has already forced May to ask the EU to postpone the original Brexit date of March 29, but European leaders have warned they will not delay Brexit indefinitely.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that while he was “open” to a lengthy delay on certain conditions, it was “neither certainty nor automatic”.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned that the other 27 EU nations were prepared for a “no deal” situation, and “it becomes day after day more likely”.

Future Relationship

The EU has repeatedly refused to renegotiate the Brexit divorce deal it agreed with May last November after almost two years of negotiations but has said it could revise the accompanying political declaration on future relations.

“What we need to focus on is our future relationship with the EU,” May said of her talks with Corbyn.

Key Conservative Brexit-backers slammed May’s move.

Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said it was “very disappointing” that Corbyn was being given a key role in the Brexit process.

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP suggested the Labour leader could undermine the referendum.

“Getting the support of a known Marxist is not likely to instil confidence in Conservatives,” he said.

AFP

 

Ogun Gov’ship Election: Three-Member Tribunal Commences Sitting

 

A three-member election petition tribunal has commenced sitting at the Ogun state high court in Abeokuta to address the three requests raised by the Allied People’s Movement (APM), and the Labour Party (LP). 

The petitions raised by the two political parties are challenging the victory of the All Progressive Congress governorship candidate in the March 9th governorship election, Mr. Dapo Abiodun.

READ ALSO: Alleged False Assets Declaration: Onnoghen To Call CCB Director As Witness

Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Chinwe Onyeabor, who addressed members of the bar, journalists, and the general public, asked that a high degree of maturity, professionalism decorum and sense of responsibility should be exercised for quick dispensation of the cases at hand.

In response, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria who represents the first petitioner, the APM, Mamman Osunma, assured the tribunal of their cooperation and promised to give a high degree of ethical and professional services to expedite action at the tribunal.

 

 

 

British Lawmaker Suspended Over Anti-Semitism Comments

Opposition Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn reacts as Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks after making a statement to the House of Commons in London on February 26, 2019. 
HO / PRU / AFP

 

Britain’s main opposition Labour on Wednesday suspended one of its MPs, a close ally of leader Jeremy Corbyn after he claimed the party had been “too apologetic” over a tide of anti-Semitism allegations against it.

The move followed video footage emerging of lawmaker Chris Williamson telling a meeting of the left-wing Momentum activist group: “We have backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”

Williamson was speaking in Sheffield, northern England, in the wake of the resignations of nine Labour MPs last week, with many alleging a growing culture of anti-Jewish racism within the party under veteran socialist Corbyn’s watch.

He told the audience he had sung Kool and the Gang’s 1980 hit “Celebration” in response to their decisions to quit the party.

READ ALSO: Other Illegal Acts Involving Trump Being Probed, Says Cohen

Labour said it has suspended Williamson pending an investigation and that his pattern of behaviour would be reviewed by staff.

“Chris Williamson is suspended from the party, and therefore the whip, pending investigation,” a Labour spokesman said.

Labour had already branded Williamson’s actions “completely unacceptable” after he booked a room in parliament for the screening of a film about an activist suspended over anti-Semitism complaints.

In a statement, Williamson said: “I deeply regret, and apologise for, my recent choice of words.

“I was trying to stress how much the party has done to tackle anti-Semitism.”

He told the BBC: “I am going to clear my name within the party procedures. I think I’ve got a very strong case. There is no evidence against me in reality.”

Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism, said: “This is a man who has baited Jews and befriended Labour activists suspended or expelled over anti-Semitism for years.

“It is outrageous that he is only being investigated now, and that it is only happening in response to a public outcry.”

Labour won 262 seats in parliament at the 2017 general election but is now down to 245 after a series of suspensions and resignations.

AFP

British Labour Party Hit By Fresh Anti-Semitism Row

A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament’s Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons in London on July 18, 2018.
HO / PRU / AFP

 

Britain’s main opposition Labour Party was embroiled in a fresh row Wednesday over anti-Semitism within its ranks after its new code of conduct designed to address the issue was condemned by Jewish groups and MPs.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of allowing anti-Semitism to spread in the left-wing party.

Labour MP John Woodcock, a prominent critic of Corbyn, said he was quitting the party over the issue.

Matters came to a head in March when British Jewish leaders wrote a joint letter claiming “enough is enough”, and protests were held outside parliament.

The letter claimed a “repeated institutional failure” within Labour to tackle the problem and accused Corbyn of siding with anti-Semites “again and again”.

In response, Labour drew up a new code of conduct on anti-Semitism, which was approved by its governing body on Monday — in the face of intense criticism from the Jewish community.

The code states explicitly that “anti-Semitism is racism” and it is “unacceptable”.

However, it stops short of signing up in full to the definition drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Many British institutions use the full IHRA definition.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the main British Jewish organisations said the “watered-down definition” would be regarded with “incredulity and outrage by the overwhelming majority of the UK’s Jews.”

The “distorted and diluted” definition of anti-Semitism seems aimed at protecting “those who are part of the problem”, they said.

According to the Huffington Post, Labour MP Margaret Hodge confronted Corbyn in parliament, calling him an “anti-Semite and a racist”.

“You have proved you don’t want people like me in the party,” she was quoted by the news website as telling Corbyn.

The new code endorses the IHRA’s working definition of anti-Semitism and has sections of it copied word-for-word.

But it omits four examples from the IHRA list:

— Accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to Israel than their home country;

— Claiming that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour;

— Requiring higher standards of behaviour from Israel than other nations; and

— Comparing contemporary Israeli policies to those of the Nazis.

The Labour Against Anti-Semitism group condemned the adoption of the new guidelines.

Spokesman Euan Philipps said: “The Labour movement has lost its moral compass, appears to have an institutional anti-Semitism issue and can no longer claim to represent the values of solidarity, justice and equality.”

The Jewish Labour Movement said: “The Labour Party has acted in a deliberate and offensive reckless manner in believing it understands the needs of a minority community better than the community itself.”

Allegations of anti-Semitism have been a problem for veteran socialist Corbyn ever since his improbable leadership win in 2015.

AFP

Mimiko’s Return To Labour Party Sparks Controversy

 

The return of former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, to the Labour Party has sparked controversy, following his resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Dr Mimiko was presented a membership card of the party by the LP leadership in the state on Thursday amid cheers from supporters at his ward in Ondo town.

READ ALSO: Ex-Ondo Governor Mimiko Dumps PDP

But his return has triggered mixed reactions from the two supposed factional leadership of the party, one led by Dr Mike Omotosho and the other chaired by Abdulkadiir AbdulSalam.

The former governor had communicated his resignation from the PDP in a letter to the national leadership of the party on Wednesday.

He had said, ”I hereby with utmost humility inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the PDP with effect from today, June 13, 2018, for some well-thought-out personal reasons.

“It was an honour working with the many prominent Nigerians with whom I shared the PDP platform for the entire period I was in there as a member.”

However, a factional chairman of LP Dr Omotosho described Mimiko’s return as unfortunate during an interview with reporters in Abuja.

Omotosho reaffirmed his commitment to repositioning the party as truly belonging to the Nigerian workers.

He also dismissed claims by some politicians parading themselves as the party’s candidates in the governorship election in Ekiti State.

But the other PL faction faulted the statement that the former governor cannot return to the party.

AbdulSalam, disclosed the position of his camp to Channels Television on Thursday during a rally to welcome Mimiko in Ondo town.

Speaking in company with two other national executive committee members of the party, he noted that the faction of the party that rejected the former governor is not recognised by law.

Ex-Ondo Governor Mimiko Dumps PDP

The immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Labour Party.

Mimiko revealed this in his letter of resignation to the PDP leadership in the state, informing them of his decision to leave the party.

In the letter addressed to the PDP on Wednesday, the former governor explained that his reason to leave the party was personal to him.

It read, ”I hereby with utmost humility inform you of my decision to resign my membership of the PDP with effect from today, June 13, 2018, for some well-thought-out personal reasons.

“It was an honour working with the many prominent Nigerians with whom I shared the PDP platform for the entire period I was in there as a member.”

Mimiko thanked the PDP leadership and members of the party for the support he received while in the party.

Duty Payment: Senate Counters Customs Directives

Duty Payment: Senate Counters Customs DirectivesThe Nigerian Senate has asked the Nigeria Customs Service to stop its proposed clampdown on motorists in the country which the agency said have failed to pay customs duties.

The directive followed a motion of national importance moved by Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah at the floor of the Senate in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Service recently issued a statement signed on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali, granting an extension till April 12 for all vehicle owners in the country whose customs duty has not been paid to do so.

The Senate, at its plenary on Tuesday, said the policy was undesirable and would only worsen the hardship Nigerians were going through.

Senator Dino Melaye and Senator Philip Aduda also condemned what they describe as “anti-people policy” at a time Nigerians are groaning under a recession.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, added his voice to the debate and wasted no time in confirming the stand of the Senate.

Meanwhile, a lawmaker representing Delta Central at the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, informed his colleagues at the beginning of the plenary that he has left the Labour Party for the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Senator Omo-Agege’s defection has increased the number of APC Senators to 66.

Abia Elections: PDP Wins All LGA Chairmanship Positions

Court Adjourns PDP Leadership Suit IndefinitelyThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won all the chairmanship positions in the local council election held in Abia state on Wednesday, December 21, 2016.

The poll which was contested by the PDP, All Progressives Congress, All Progressives Grand Alliance, Labour Party and the Progressive Peoples Alliance, was concluded late in the night of Wednesday.

The Chairman of the Abia state Independent Electoral Commission, retired Justice Igbozuruike Akomas, who announced the result, declared the ruling party in the state, as the winner of all the 17 councils.

Meanwhile, the four opposition parties that took part in the election have rejected the results, saying the poll was marred by irregularities, threatening to approach the court over the outcome.

The Governor on the other hand, Okezie Ikpeazu, is impressed with the electoral process and commended INEC for the smooth polls.

He then advocated the use of electronic voting systems in the state for future elections.

Ogun PDP Suspends Senator Buruji Kashamu

buruji kashamuThe Peoples Democratic (PDP) in Ogun state has suspended the Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district in the Senate, Buruji Kashamu and seven others, by a faction-led by Sikirulai Ogundele.

Also suspended were the factional state chairman, Bayo Dayo; Secretary, Semiu Shodipo, Mr. Pegba Otemolu, Mr Fatai Adeyanju, Mr. Segun Seriki, Daisi Akitan and Bowale Solaja.

In the notice of suspension signed by Sikirulai and the secretary, Olabode Bankole, dated November 24, 2016, the party alleged that the affected persons were suspended sequel to the report of a panel which was constituted in June, 2016 to investigate allegations of financial improprieties and anti-party activities.

However, in a swift reaction, Buruji Kashamu, asides denying the allegation of any financial impropriety leveled against him, also said that no one could suspend him.

Describing Sikirulai as an “interloper”, he said he spent his financial resources on the party, arguing that he was taken aback by the allegation of financial impropriety made against him.

In a press statement signed by his media aide, Austin Oniyokor, Kashamu said, “The alleged diversion of party funds is most laughable because it is common knowledge that I use my personal funds to keep the party float even when people like ex-Governor Gbenga Daniel and Ladi Adebutu left the PDP for Peoples Party of Nigeria and then for the Labour Party, until they returned to PDP in the build up to the 2015 general elections because of campaign funds.

“It is on record that Daniel superintended over the 2015 campaign funds in Ogun State. So, which other funds could a party in opposition possibly have?”

Shehu Explains Why Presidency Refers To Jonathan Administration’s Mistakes

garba Shehu, London Telegraph, Boko Haram,The presidency in Nigeria has again said it will continue to hold a memory of Goodluck Jonathan administration’s mistakes to guard against repeating them. 

It said the mistakes led to a glide of the nation’s economy into recession.

The presidency also enumerated efforts the current administration is making to reflate the nation’s economy that is in recession.

A spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, in a statement on Friday, said that while the government was doing its best to revive the economy, a fiery memory of the past must be kept to ensure that the mistakes of the past were not repeated.

Episodes From Jonathan’s Era

Mr Shehu said: “The future must of necessity be built on the foundations of the past.

“The Conservative Party took power in Britain six years ago from Labour. Check the British press, they are talking about Labour 24/7, is anyone complaining?

“People are still talking about who ran governments in 1865 (and) you want us to forget those who left government last year?”

“To avoid repeating the past mistakes, Nigerians must come to terms with what went wrong with the past, how bad were things, what was done wrongly, what the past government should have done, before we come to what needs to be done to right those wrongs.

“Believe me, episodes from the Jonathan era can fill books, and other possibilities such as courtroom drama thriller”.

One of the mistakes of the past which the presidency said must be avoided was what it called failure to save when crude oil price was high.

Mr Shehu pointed out that Nigeria “solely relied on oil, the price of which was as high as $140 per barrel. Government simply reticulated oil revenue through personal spending by corrupt leaders, wasteful expenses and salaries.

“This was done rather than investing in what would grow the economy”.

According to him, the development broke the nation’s economy, reminding Nigerians that “just as they do the broken leg, you must bear the pain of fixing it.

“The current situation was caused by years of mismanagement and corruption”.

On what the current administration is doing to address the economic recession, the spokesman for President Buhari said the government was making efforts to recover stolen funds, reduce cost of governance and increase spending on capital projects.

“Today, the current civilian administration is investigating military finance and accounts which the military could not do to themselves.

“The current administration is sanitising the huge salary bill by eliminating payroll fraud. So far, the federal payroll has been rid of about 40,000 ghost workers. More than eight billion Naira stolen monthly has been saved.

“We are also saving on wasteful expenses like First Class Travel and Private jets for official trips.

“The Federal Government is not limiting the reforms to the centre but forcing State Governments to reform their spending and build savings or investments.

“Government is also increasing spending on capital projects especially on infrastructure needed to make Nigerian businesses competitive and create jobs.

“The administration is at the same time blocking leakages that allowed government revenues to be siphoned into private hands,” the presidency said.

Mr Shehu said that the government was also focusing on key sectors (apart from oil) that could create jobs and generate revenue such as Agriculture, Solid Minerals and Manufacturing.

Economic Policy Of Present Administration

Responding to critics’ comments on the economic policy of the present administration, which they said was unclear, Mr Shehu claimed that “more than any other time before, there is a clear direction and strategy for achieving growth and development.

“Revisionists may not agree, but the truth of the matter is that the previous administration only had one issue, which was how to spend money (oil revenues and borrowed money). As mentioned earlier this spending was focussed on the wrong things and even though the economy seemed to be growing it was not sustainable, it was, as described by Minister Adeosun, a classic “boom and bust” driven solely by the oil price.

“Unemployment was and remained high (never forget the NIS jobs that exploited thousands of desperate graduates in a scam that was used to fund house purchases in high brow areas and claimed so many lives).

“Inequalities were growing (our then President boasted about the highest number of private jets when most Nigerians could barely afford to eat). Terrorism and social unrest were growing. Real development was lacking. As soon as the oil price fell, these vulnerabilities were exposed.

“From its records so far, this administration is trying to reset the Nigerian economy and ensure that it attains its potential and is diverse and resilient. We are doing this at a time when the global economy is in crisis due to the oil price collapse. Even rich nations like Saudi Arabia are experiencing problems

“The Government is people-focussed and wants the economy to grow in a way that will create a more stable future which is not dictated by world oil prices (over which we have no control). No more boom and bust (thanks Minister Adeosun).

“Nigeria wants to take responsibility for its own destiny, therefore our policies will ensure that Nigeria returns to growth in a sustainable manner. No more dependence on oil. Every part of Nigeria has a role to play in contributing to our growth. We will create an environment where people can thrive and where business can grow,” he highlighted.

Re-orientation Of Agencies

Reeling out further strategies of the government to revive the economy, the presidency spokesman said all relevant agencies had been reoriented to focus government’s spending on infrastructure which will create jobs and opportunities for Nigerians across a number of sectors (not just oil), ensure that the nation reduces reliance on oil by developing other revenue streams such as taxes, efficient customs collections and other government revenues and develop key sectors in which we have comparative advantage.

Other strategies he said were to encourage development of agriculture to ensure food security for our huge population, develop petro-chemical industry on the back of the oil industry, develop solid mineral extraction and develop light manufacturing to provide locally made basic needs and reduce importation.
Emphasising the current government’s drive to tackle corruption, Mr Shehu stated that the current pain Nigerians are facing is due to the mismanagement of the past. What Nigeria is currently experiencing was inevitable.
How Past Deceit Caused High Food Price

Part of the pain that Nigerians are feeling is the high cost of food items , a development that the president’s spokesman in his statement said was also caused by past deceit.

“For example, the previous government purchased fertiliser in 2014, worth 65 billion Naira and left the bill unpaid.

“In 2015 the suppliers could not supply fertiliser which resulted in a low harvest, shortages and high food prices.

“This government had to pay off the debt so that the suppliers could begin to supply fertiliser again.

“Across Nigeria a green revolution is occurring as Nigerians are going back to the farms, from rice in Kebbi and Ebonyi to Soya and Sesame in Jigawa and Kano.

“At the same time Nigerians are looking inwards to identify commercial opportunities from agri-businesses,” the statement read.

He further urged Nigerians to endure the pains of the economic recession, saying that “any process that will endure, must involve some pain but things will begin to improve.

“There is always a time lag between policy and effect. That is why the bad effects of past policies are manifesting now, he said assuring Nigerians that the positive impact of the work being undertaken to fix Nigeria’s problems would soon begin to show.

“We will emerge from this period stronger, wiser and more prosperous.

“There is hope for Nigeria, a hope that was previously clouded by corruption, greed and lack of focus.

“Nigeria is starting over and everyone has a role to play. Look back, look ahead,” he added.

Southwest Labour Party Disowns National Chairman, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam

Southwest Labour Party ,Abdulkadir Abdulsalam,The Southwest leadership of the Labour Party has warned the National Chairman of the party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, to stop parading himself henceforth as the leader of the party.

This was the resolution reached at the end of an emergency meeting held on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in Nigeria.

The party members said they have also suspended the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, whom they said was trying to stage a comeback to the party.

They explained that it was part of efforts being made to sanitise the party and reposition it for future election victory.

The meeting was attended by the leaders from the zone including the acting Labour Party Chairman in Ogun State, Abayomi Arabambi, and the state secretary, Ogini Olaposi.