Professor Oloyede Supports Dumping Of Confab Report

ConfabA member of the 2014 national conference, Professor Isiaq Oloyede, has expressed his support for the non-implementation of the report of the national confab.

He described it as means for politicians to plan for election and other personal interests and not for the growth of the country.

Professor Oloyede, while addressing journalists, noted that although the conference deliberated on some striking issues that could benefit the generality of people, the structure did not reflect the true several interests in the country.

The conference, he said, was meant to be a joke.

He expressed no surprise that the present federal government described the report as meant for archive but thought it should have been thrown away completely.

Saraki Seeks New Constitution For Nigeria By Early 2017

Saraki, DemocracyOne of the legacies the Senate President wants the 8th National Assembly to leave behind is the delivery of a new and acceptable constitution to Nigeria.

Dr. Bukola Saraki made this known in Lagos on Friday at the commencement of a retreat by the lawmakers to address controversial areas in the 1999 Constitution.

The Senate President is optimistic that this can be achieved as early as the first quarter of next year, and the lawmakers expect their findings will help provide answers to questions regarding true federalism in Nigeria.

Addressing the gathering, the Deputy Senate President, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, stressed the need to always conclude constitution amendment processes far ahead of election seasons.

He said: “It reduces the contamination of an otherwise patriotic exercise by personal, political or other considerations.

“In keeping with the matching order of the Senate President at the inauguration of this committee, we hope to conclude the process of the constitution amendment exercise by December 2016,” Senator Ekweremadu said.

Earlier in his opening speech, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, told the lawmakers to consider the experience of the past and reasons for the delay of the forth alteration.

“I will like you to kindly, for us and for all Nigerians, deliver a new constitution to this country by the time we open a chapter to the beginning of 2017.

“I think that if we so do, we will be leaving a legacy for ourselves,”he stressed.

Several issues are confronting the nation and some lawmakers gave their opinion on the sideline of the event on the issue of restructuring the nation.

While some said Nigeria had too many states than it could afford, others said the nation must have a leadership that should deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians.

Cost of running Nigerian states was another issue that was raised by some of the lawmakers.

The Nigerian constitution bears huge burden and a lot of loopholes that many Nigerians believe if not address would hurt the nation badly.

In 2014, the administration of Goodluck Jonathan brought people from different parts of Nigeria together in Abuja for a national conference to deliberate and find a lasting solution to the nation’s challenges and implementations that could address agitations.

Former President Jonathan had promised to forward the deliberations of the national national conference to the National Assembly but could not do that before he lost in the presidential election of 2015.

Edwin Clark Advocates National Conference Implementation

Edwin ClarkFormer Minister of Information, Edwin Clark, has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to implement the resolutions of the 2014 National Conference.

The former Minister made the appeal on Monday at a press conference on the state of the nation and the way forward in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He expressed the view that the 600 resolutions from the conference dealt with issues of true federalism which he said provided solutions to the current financial situation that saw various states depend on the bailout to pay salaries.

Mr Clark appealed to the Federal Government to study the resolutions and take steps to implement the recommendations with a view to moving Nigeria forward.

Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, had also recently advised to the government to consider the report of the National Conference constituted by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Professor Gambari who was speaking at a forum, said that government is a continuum and as such, the Federal Government needs to examine the report before discarding it.

He explained that it was a waste of human and material resources for the government to ignore the resolution of 492 Nigerians.

Gambari Urges FG To Consider National Conference Report

Ibrahim Gambari, National ConferenceThe Federal Government has been advised to consider the report of the National Conference constituted by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, gave the recommendation at a forum in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The forum was organised by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, to examine Nigeria’s fourth republic.

Professor Gambari, who is the Chairman of the centre, said that government is a continuum and as such, the Federal Government needs to examine the report before discarding it.

He explained that it was a waste of human and material resources for the government to ignore the resolution of 492 Nigerians.

In his speech, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, blamed some citizens for portraying Nigeria in bad light at international fora and urged the populace to rise up in defence of the nation.

A university don from Jos, Professor Sam Egwu, also berated those calling for regional government, saying that federalism remained the best option for Nigeria.

The forum which continued its deliberations behind closed doors, would among other issues discuss the structure of governance in Nigeria as is relates to marginalisation.

It would also evaluate the federal, state and local government structure since 1999, with a view to addressing corruption and impunity in all arms of government.

Niger Governor Felicitates With Idris Kutigi On His Birthday

governor bello Congratulates KutigiNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has sent a hearty congratulations and felicitations to the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Idris Kutigi on the occasion of his 76th birthday.

In a press statement on Saturday by Governor Bello’s spokesman, Mr Jibrin Ndace, the Governor described the former Chief Justice as a ‘towering judicial colossus, a moral crusader and a paragon of virtues in and outside the judiciary’.

He noted the exemplary leadership ability demonstrated by Justice Kutigi, as the Chairman of the 2014 National Conference in Abuja, adding that the assignment was a selfless service to fatherland and humanity.

The Governor also noted that the intellectual capacity and vast experience of the legal luminary had enhanced the performance and established credibility within the judicial system in Nigeria.

While wishing him happy birthday, long live and prosperity in good health, Governor Bello prayed that God would continue to guide and protect the judicial giant whose contributions to the development of the state and country he described as immeasurable.

Justice Idris Kutigi, who was born on December 31, 1939, was the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Niger State before becoming a High Court Judge in 1976.

He joined the Supreme Court in 1992, served for 10 years and was appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria on January 30, 2007.

He retired on January 30, 2009 and was appointed Chairman of National Conference in 2014.

Danbazzau Rallies Nigerians’ Support For Security Agencies

DanbazzauA former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Danbazzau, has advised Nigerians to team up with security agencies by providing useful information that will curb the activities of criminals.

Speaking in Abuja at a national conference on community security organised by the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, General Danbazzau said that community security is the joint responsibility of all Nigerians.

He said that every citizen must be prepared to assist security agents in safeguarding lives and property.

The Commandant-General of the vigilante group of Nigeria, Mr Usman Jahun, in his remarks, appealed to law abiding citizens to make positive and useful contribution to the advancement, progress and well being of the community where they reside in line with section 24 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Jonathan Promises To Implement N/Confab Recommendations

conference-_4President Goodluck Jonathan has promised to implement the recommendations made at the National Conference to the letter when re-elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

President Jonathan was speaking at the Royal Palace of the Awujale of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, where he went to receive royal blessings towards the 2015 general elections.

The president said he was seeking for reelection to accomplish the projects which he initiated in several areas like agriculture, aviation, health and infrastructure saying that though his administration had made some giant strides, four years was not enough to finish what he started.

The Oba of Ijebu Land and his people had in an address presented by Oba Yinusa Adekoya requested for federal presence in Ijebu and the refund of money spent by the state government to construct flyover bridges in the state.

In his response the Ajuwale of Ijebu Land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, called on Nigerians to vote in honest people and prayed for guidance for the President.

Gbajabiamila Withdraws Remarks During Rowdy House Session

House of Reps. Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila
House of Reps. Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila

The Minority leader of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has withdrawn some remarks he made about the Deputy Speaker of the house, Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday after a rowdy session during plenary.

The Minority Leader coming as a point of order on matters of personal explanations, said the country at the moment requires the cooperation of everyone, especially Legislators.

In his response, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, encouraged lawmakers to work for the good of the country, adding that they should always put Nigeria above any other interest when discussing matters in the parliament.

A rowdy session marked Wednesday’s plenary session in the House of Representatives, after members disagreed over military deployment for the March 28 and April 11 elections.

The lawmakers had barely started the debate over the role of soldiers during the polls, before it turned sour, with members divided along party lines, triggering a rowdy session.

The All Progressives Congress, which now has majority members in the House, had before now voiced their dissatisfaction with the intention to use the military for security purposes during the 2015 polls, while the ruling Peoples Democratic Party supported the deployment of the military.

Some of the leaders of the APC in the House passionately defended their stance on the matter on the floor of the House in what led to a heated argument with their PDP counterparts.

Earlier on Monday, The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu, backed the call for troops to take charge of security to ensure peace in the forthcoming general elections.

Professor Odinkalu said “Nigeria was in a state of war”, which justified such an action inline with the Geneva Conventions Act”.

He further stressed that in 2013, the office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court decided that Nigeria was in a civil war while the NHRC in 2014, also determined that Nigeria is in a civil war.

“We cannot in 2015 deny that Nigeria is in a civil war. We don’t have the assets to protect all of Nigeria. If you were to deploy just the Police and the Civil Defence, let’s be honest about this. We don’t have the assets to protect all Nigerians in this election given the fact that we are in a civil war.

“It is the Commander in Chief and the Governors, who swear to protect the people and they will take responsibility for the lives of the people,” he said, emphasising that whatever decision that would ensure the protection of lives and property should be supported.

The leader of a terrorist group, Boko Haram, attacking communities in Nigeria’s north-east had threatened to disrupt the elections.

But the military said it was committed to ensuring the safety of Nigerians during the forthcoming polls.


Ita-Giwa Urges Women To Get PVC For Social Relevance

ita giwaA one time presidential aide and delegate at the just concluded National Conference, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has called on women yet to get their PVCs to do so before the deadline date, to afford them the power to exercise their franchise.

Speaking to journalists in Calabar, the Cross River State Capital, Senator Ita-Giwa maintained that, the PVC remains the only tool women can use to remain relevant in the affairs of the country.

She also commended President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration for bringing relevance and international recognition to Nigerian women; a feat, she said had never been achieved.

She sued for more support for the President and also urged women to turn out en-masse to welcome the president and his campaign team in Calabar on Friday.

Nigerian Electorates Told To Prioritise Individuals’ Performance Not Religion

Akin_Oyebode_ProfessorNigerian electorates have been asked to first consider the performance of candidates vying for political positions before their religious affiliations and ethnicity.

A Professor of International Law with the University of Lagos, Professor Akin Oyebode, said on Friday that the issue of religion that delayed the choice of a running mate for the presidential candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), was skin deep because “it will not put food on the table”.

“We know what the ruling Peoples Democratic Party has put on the table in the last 15 years or so,” he said, referring to the APC as the joker in the 2015 presidential election.

Before the selection of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as the running mate of the APC presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, critics, including a former president, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, had stressed that a Muslim-Muslim ticket for the party would be a flaw for it in the presidential election.

Professor Oyebode said: “The choice of Buhari and Osinbajo seems to be a ticket that should be given a considerable attention.

“What people do not know is that Osinbajo is an activist against corruption. He set up the integrity NGO in terms of good corporate governance,” he said.

The Professor further pointed out that General Buhari’s track record on anti-corruption was also a good point for the party.

“With what we have seen before now and what is promised for Nigeria for a turn around, I think we are in for interesting times and I am optimistic that there would be a dare choice in terms of the ticket.

“We should not border so much about the process that brought professor Osinbajo in.”

He further explained that the sentiment on the religion of the candidates was as a result of what was happening in the north-east.

“Religion factor is a red-herring, but good governance should be the acid-test for any arrangement that we have.

“Nigerians are asking for a change and to bring the change you have to be circumspect so you do not throw away the baby with the water.

“Nigerians should vote, either to keep the status quo or they want to move Nigeria forward. If we are not okay with what we have seen in the last 15 years, then the time for change is now,” he said, emphasising that the ballot box is a platform to change the trend of things, if Nigerians feel they are not as they should be.

Professor Oyebode also stressed the need for people in governance to ensure that individuals of  integrity are chosen to head institutions, in order to make them outstanding.

Giving his opinion on the state of the nation, Professor Oyebode, who was a delegate at the national conference held few months ago to fashion out a new constitution that will move the oil rich nation forward, expressed fears that “not much will come out of it despite all the promises that the recommendations will be actualised”.

“The report is still gathering dust on the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. We wanted a new constitution for Nigeria because Nigeria has been living a lie.  What we have is decree 24 of 1999 which is masquerading as the constitution of Nigeria.

“The National Assembly seem to have stolen all the recommendations of the conference, but  if you want to move Nigeria forward, look at the leadership we have had from 1999 to date.

“Nigerians should ask themselves if their lives have been better since 1999. If their lives have improved then they should vote for what they have, but if has not changed, then the 2015 election is a platform that they should use to make a choice that will change their state.

“That is what democracy is all about. The right to choose and to use the ballot box to vote out a government that is under-performing.

“You must challenge the government. Ask uncomfortable questions of your leaders. We should do away with the carry-go mentality.

“Critics are not enemies because it is the supreme act of patriotism to be critical of your government. The more critics we have the better for our country.

On whether the girls that were abducted in April by members of the Boko Haram sect would be rescued as the government had continued to promise, he said “the rescue operation of the Chibok girls is a lost cause”.



PDP Member Advises Nominees To Adhere To Party Guidelines

olafesoA PDP leader in Ondo state, Eddy Olafeso has advised that political nominees should adhere to the party’s guidelines in order to solve the issues surrounding the PDP ward congresses.

He stated that the party guidelines should be put out there so that nominees as well as serving governors would study them before agreeing on the terms.

“I think because of the competitiveness of the party, we are bound to see people not properly agreeing on certain things during the congresses.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr. Olafeso said the congresses are always powerful because that is where the power lies, “if you don’t have the grassroot, you cannot or will not be able to win the election.

He further explained that the wards will produce three delegates, the three delegates will produce the national delegates, one per local government, four amongst the county. Adding that there will be a National Conference in Abuja.

“People who want to take advantage at this moment so they can have certainties, which I think is not right,” he said.

Adebanjo Confident Jonathan Will Implement National Conference Recommendations

National ConferenceElder Statesman, Ayo Adebanjo, believes in Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan’s sincerity to implement the over 500 recommendations from the National Conference held earlier in year.

While expressing his confidence in the President, he said that Nigerians have expressed too much doubts in the sincerity of the President to convene the conference in the first place but he has so far fulfilled every promise he made regarding the matter.

Speaking on Politics Today on Channels Television, Adebanjo argued that President Jonathan deserved some trust from Nigerians based on his sincerity to Nigerians and his determination to convene a national dialogue that surpassed similar attempts in the past.

He noted that the quality of representation at the conference, which was that of top quality and made up of persons like him who had the interest of the country at heart, showed how committed President Jonathan was to the dialogue and change that Nigerians had clamoured for since the end of military government.

Adebanjo, who was one of the delegates, added that he was one of those who fought for Nigeria’s independence and there was no way he would not understand how much the original constitution Nigeria was expected to be operating had been manipulated by the military.

He said that the conference has been able to tackle the main issues affecting the progress of the country and so far no one has been able to fault the quality of work done by the delegates.

Disparity With National Assembly Resolutions

The National Assembly recently passed resolutions amending parts of the Nigerian constitution but some of their resolutions have been seen to negate the recommendations of the National Conference.

The National Conference had recommended the removal of immunity for the executive arm of the government but the National Assembly voted against this in its recent constitution amendment.

Adebanjo noted that the National Assembly was one of the problems they went to the National Conference to solve and he did not expect them to approve the removal of policies that they have been “enjoying adversely against the interest of the people”.

He particularly took exception to the National Conference’s resolutions being compared or being discussed in relation to the National Assembly’s recent constitution amendments.

He questioned the quality of persons in the National Assembly and the elections that took them into the legislative houses.

Although the National Assembly also voted in favour of granting autonomy for the Local Government, which was also one of the recommendations of the National Conference, Adebanjo maintained that the National Assembly lacked the integrity to champion the change that Nigeria needs.

Adebanjo also aligned with the view expressed by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo that the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket allegedly being nursed by the All Progressives Congress towards the 2015 presidential election.

He said that this move showed insensitivity to the current state of mind of Nigerians and would be counter-productive.