PDP Leaders Kick Against Removal Of Petroleum Subsidy

pdpLeaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State have kicked against the proposed removal of petrol subsidy by the Federal Government.

Speaking during a one-day conference organised by the Kaduna State PDP Youth Patriotic Front held in Kafanchan, the party leaders including the minority leader of the House of Representatives, Yakaubu Barde, and the Senator representing Southern Kaduna District, Danjuma Laah, wondered why the same All Progressive Congress-led government that opposed the move by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to remove petrol subsidy 2011, is planning to do same.

Barde specifically faulted the former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, for his recent call for the removal of petrol subsidy.

He noted that Tinubu’s insistence on President Buhari removing fuel subsidy come January 2016 was quite unfortunate in many respects, and another misadventure of the National Leader of the APC and his party.

According to the PDP leaders, the only reason the issue of fuel subsidy had continued to recur was because Nigeria imports petroleum products for domestic consumption.

They warned that so long as importation continues, the problem that the government sets out to confront would continue like a recurring decimal.

The event was attended by prominent members of the PDP from the Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone, including former Minister of Aviation, Mr Hassan Hyet, Senator Danjuma Laah, the State PDP Chairman, Mr Abubakar Haruna, former Deputy Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Dogara Mato, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Mark Jacob, and many former Commissioners.

Reps Mandate Committee To Investigate N1 Trillion EFCC Fund

efccThe House of Representatives has mandated its committee on financial crimes to investigate the alleged non-remittance of over one trillion naira generated from seized assets by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

This followed a motion by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, who said there is an urgent need to look into the matter.

The members also took a contrary position to that of the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Mr. Abdullahi Yola, who had directed the Commission to investigate the allegation, as according to them, the Commission cannot investigate itself.

In August, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition received documents tended as evidence by the anti-graft agency, over allegations of fraudulent diversion of over N1 trillion by, Ibrahim Lamorde, the Chairman of EFCC.

Tambuwal Was Made Speaker By House Members Not PDP – Gbajabiamila

Femi GbajabiamilaThe Nigerian House of Representatives Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, has dismissed the Peoples Democratic Party’s demand that the Speaker of the House, Aminu Tambuwal, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday should do the needful, saying it is a threat that bears no consequence on the speaker.

Mr Gbajabiamila stressed that the Speaker was elected by the members of the House across all the political parties and not just the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members.

In a telephone interview on Wednesday that was centred on the chances of impeaching the Speaker when the House reconvenes on December 3, Mr Gbajabiamila said that the Nigerian Constitution clearly stated that the speaker could only be impeached with 240 votes from the 360 members of the House of Representatives, a number he said the PDP does not have in the House.

An Empty Threat

On Tuesday, Mr Tambuwal at the end of plenary announced his decision to join the APC dumping the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ending rumours of his impeachment that had been making the rounds for some months now.

After Tambuwal announced his defection, the PDP asked the Speaker to be honourable and do the needful.

But for Mr Gbajabiamila, the demand by PDP is an empty threat that the speaker is not expected to obey, since he, Tambuwal, had not enjoyed the support of the PDP right from the day he was picked as the speaker in deviance to PDP’s choice of candidate.

“The members decided to chose him based on the stipulations of the constitution.

“He did not come to the speakership of the House through the PDP. The PDP does not want him any longer. They have tried to remove him several times, so he has to leave the party.

Division In PDP

“I can’t understand the pain of PDP, he came in as speaker not basically as a result of PDP support but as a result of support of the entire house. He had over 250 votes while the PDP nominee had only 90 votes. It was because of the support of the members of the the House that he became the speaker. It tells you how much support he has in the House.

“He has done what he wanted to do. He spoke as a smart politician,” the Minority Leader said.

On whether the manner with which Tambuwal announced his defection was ideal, Gbajabiamila said that there was no laid down procedure of announcing defection and that the decision to go on recess was not the speaker’s but that of PDP members in the House.

He also insisted that the speaker’s decision to defect was as a result of the division in the PDP, stressing that there are no chances that anything would change when the House reconvenes in December.

“It is only Tambuwal that can reconvene the House the Deputy cannot do it. He only has the power that are delegated to him by the speaker.

“For the Speaker to be impeached it requires 240 votes to impeach him. And the PDP does not have they number.

“I don’t see anything changing that much and the sooner that the PDP understand that if the members of the House says they want a person as a speaker, that is who the House wants,” he added.

Nigeria Is Still A Unitary State – Gbajabiamila

Despite the on-going fourth amendment of the 1999 Constitution which is geared to enhance Nigeria’s federalism, the Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has found flaws with the process which he claims has further made Nigeria’s system of governance, a unitary state.

When asked to describe Nigeria’s constitution on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, the lawmaker said “we have a unitary constitution not a federal constitution. Everything begins and ends at the centre (with the federal government).”

“We have a unitary system as suppose to a federal structure because rather than wither down powers of the centre, we have further strengthen the federal government” he added.

He cited the transfer of housing from the residual list (state government’s responsibility) to the exclusive list of the federal government in the amended Constitution, thereby empowering the federal government to the sole responsibility of providing of homes to Nigerians.

He commended his colleagues at the House of Representatives but called on them to further look into the needed reviews to make the constitution a federal one.

Mr Gbajabiamila also expressed his disagreement with the retention of the minimum wage with the federal government saying a uniform wage for all the states of the federation is wrong.

Autonomy Of Local Government Must Be With Caution – Gbajabiamila

Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for caution with the local government autonomy recently approved by the lawmakers.

Speaking on Channels TV Sunrise Daily, the lawmaker decried the inclusion of local governments as purview of federal government, saying that they should be the responsibility of state government.

According to him, local governments are not meant to be in the constitution. “We have agreed on the autonomy of local government but we are yet to vote on what defines the autonomy and those are clauses that we have vote on soon.”

He affirmed his support for the local government autonomy in terms of elections into the councils but utterly disagreed with “the ridiculous things….and clauses that have been put into the law that basically allows the federal government to run local government.”

“That is running from one problem to creating another problem”, he added.

Lawmaker Defend Inclusion Of Constituency Project In Budget

The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Representative Femi Gbajabiamila has stated that lawmakers have the right to include their constituency projects in the nation’s annual budget.

According to the lawmaker, unelected Special Advisers to the President include projects they wanted funded in the budget and lawmakers who are elected by their constituencies’ and know what the constituency needs, have every right to include such projects in the budget.

Mr Gbajabiamila made the argument on Channels Television Business Morning programme where he was discussing on the lingering controversy between the executive and the legislature over the implementation of the 2013 Budget.

President Goodluck Jonathan has failed to sign the 2013 Appropriation Bill into law and sent it back to the National Assembly over some grey issues such as the inclusion of constituency projects by the National Assembly.

The President is reported to have queried the ‘padding of the budget’ by the additional N63billion added to the budget and the increase of the oil benchmark from $75 to $79.

Mr Gbajabiamila further defended the increase in the oil bench mark saying “what are we saving for when the nation has massive need for infrastructural development.”