Defection Of Politicians Is Not Based On Ideological Conviction – Eyiboh

A Former Spokesman for the House of Representatives, Eseme Eyiboh, on Wednesday said that those defecting from one party to another, particularly from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress are only doing so for selfish interests, as the move is not based on any ideological conviction.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Eyiboh complained that the main issues, including internal democracy and party management, had been abandoned for other matters.

He said that neglecting key issues of the management of political parties and internal democracy of the parties would lead to a “poor leadership recruitment process where you have wrong people in right places.”

He averred that the trend of defection was good for both the ruling and opposition parties but insisted that the trend was based on selfish interests and not the welfare of the people or on any ideological conviction.

“It is not all about the issue of the people. It’s about your heart being where your mouth is” he said, stressing that “none of these persons is doing it either out of ideological conviction or because of the mandate of that people,” he stressed.

On the possibility of the opposition party, APC, being a better party than the ruling PDP, Eyiboh said “APC, as a matter of fact is not a solution because APC is unable to provide an alternative to what they believe is wrong with the PDP controlled government.”

He further stated that the “APC shot itself in the foot by allowing PDP to reinvent itself” through the new party chairman, “a businessman who stoops low to conquer.”

Speaking on controversy and issues surrounding the defection of 11 senators to the APC, which the PDP opposed, although it had benefitted from similar defections in the past, Eyiboh said “the scenario is different in the sense that some members of the APC went to court (to stop their seats from being declared vacant) and PDP also went to court saying they should not defect from PDP.”

“We can’t deny the fact that there are other subsisting issues before the court of law and because it is so, it becomes unnecessary for you to begin to talk about it because the matter will be sub judice. In previous cases, there has never been such circumstance,” he said.

On the Senators’ insistence that their letter of defection be acknowledged and read on the floor of the House, Eyiboh said the Senate President was not under obligation to do it by their prompting.

He continued by saying, “it is a communication, it will definitely be done but he has to look at all the exigencies. In this case, he has to look at the matter before the court and other matters bordering on the roles of the Senate.

He further argued that “we must have a clear difference between politics and governance.”

Analyst says vacuum in leadership caused unrest in Borno

A policy analyst, Galtima Liman on Monday said vacuums in political as well as spiritual leadership is greatly responsible for the growing unrest in Borno state, North East Nigeria.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Liman said the security challenges in Borno state have been building up in the past 30 years.

“Following the local government reforms that have taken away a lot of power of the traditional, spiritual and political leaders, you don’t really have a rallying point for the elders. There’s a big vacuum there, so who is now speaking on behalf of the elders in Borno State? It’s quite a very big challenge,” he said.

Mr Liman spoke on the roles of the All Nigeria Progressive Party, the former Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff and former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari in the growing security challenges in Borno state and other parts on Northern Nigeria.

Watch the video below for the full interview.

Nigerian league needs to grow for national teams to progress – Analyst

A sport journalist, Kayode Tijani on Monday said that the Nigerian league would need to grow before the national teams will begin to make significant progress.

Mr Tijani, who speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily against the backdrop of Super Eagle’s trashing of the lone stars of Liberia 6-1 on Saturday, said presently the Nigerian league is nothing to write about.

“Without the leagues in Nigeria growing, we are just wasting our time,” he said.

“The league in Nigeria is nothing. The players are owed, no single player is on contract, no single coach is on contract; signing on fees, they don’t get it until the end of the season, the players are on ridiculous salaries, no insurance, nothing,” Mr Tijani said.

2013 Budget: Nweke Jnr describes demand for increased benchmark price as tragic

Frank Nweke Jnr, the Director General of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) on Thursday said that his group does not support the House of Representatives’ demand to increase the benchmark price of crude oil in the 2013 budget from $75 to $82.

Mr Nweke, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said that the NESG also does not support the “perennial altercation between the legislature and the executive” arms of governments.

“This latest jack-up in the benchmark price for the 2013 budget is ill-advised. When I first got information about this yesterday, I described it as tragic,” he said.

2013 Budget: Gbajabiamila says issue of benchmark price is unconstitutional

The House of Representatives’ Minority leader, Femi Gbajabiamila on Thursday said the power to decide how the revenue earned by Nigeria is spent is the prerogative of the National Assembly not the executive arm of government.

The lawmaker, who was speaking on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, against the fallout between the presidency and the legislature over the benchmark price of crude oil in the 2013 budget, said pegging the price of crude oil is a way through which the Federal Government short-changes the states.

“There is no issue of benchmark vis-à-vis the constitution. If we decide we want a benchmark so that we can save, that part of the constitution needs to be amended. There is no issue of benchmark as far as I am concern,” Mr Gbajabiamila.

The Minority leader said though the House of Representative is yet to receive the 2013 budget, it would improper to present a fresh budget when previous one is yet to be implemented.

“The position of the House is very simple. You don’t jump from one to the other without care of the one that comes before. Again, it is very tardy to present a budget when there is a 2012 Budget that is pending,” he said.

We’ve not started budgeting in Nigeria – Analyst

A budget expert, Emeka Ejikonye on Thursday said what Nigerians generally refers to a budgeting is mere fiscal policy making activities.

Mr Ejikonye, who was speaking on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, against the fallout between the presidency and the legislature over the benchmark price of crude oil in the 2013 budget, said until the Nigerian government “start doing budgeting, Eldorado will continue to elude us.”

How my hobby became my passion – Ebele the flutist

Ebele Ezeamakam popular referred to as Ebele the flutist, one of the few women, who entertain music lovers with tunes from the flute, on Saturday spoke on how what began as a hobby have grown to a passion and a career.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise, the Anambra born musician, who started playing the flute at age 15, said in the next five years she desires to be a mega star in her career.

Watch the complete interview in the video below:

Reactions trail Nnaji’s resignation

A columnist with Thisday Newspaper, Simeon Kolawole has said that the former Minister of Power, Barth Nnaji took the right thing to have step aside from the power sector since his companies had interest in the sector.

Speaking as a guest in Channels Television’s weekend programme, Sunrise, Mr Kolawole said that though on assumption of office, the minister said that he has ceded his stakes in the companies to a blind trust, practically, this was not possible.

N5000 note: Protesters storm CBN headquarters

Members of the Anti-Corruption Network, a non-governmental organisation, on Tuesday in Abuja, marched to the headquarters of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to protest the planned introduction of N5000 banknote by the bank.

At the CBN headquarters in the Central District of Abuja, the group chanted anti government’s songs amidst heavy rain and accused the bank of trying to further impoverish the poor with the introduction of the N5000 denomination.

The leader of the group and a former member of the House of Representative, Dino Melaye, said the policy will only increase the sufferings of the Nigerian people contrary to the views of the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido.

“We have received and heard of the corporate policy of the CBN; we have analysed it and I want to believe that laws are meant for men and not men for man,” he said.

“Democracy will continue and must continue to be government of the people, for the people; and by the people and not government of the greedy, for the greedy and by the greedy.

“We are here today as Nigerians to show our displeasure for this very hash policy that the CBN is about to introduce. How will the introduction of the N5000 note bring food or leverage on the table for the common Nigerian? We believe that many failed policies of the CBN, under Sanusi Lamido, have brought more pain and sufferings to us. With this N5000 note, is the CBN approbating and reprobating?”

Tunde Lemo, a Deputy Governor of CBN, who received the protesters on behalf of the bank, said it is not true that the apex bank will use N40 billion to print the new currency as recently reported in the media. He also said even if the CBN is not introducing the new notes, it will still spend money to print currency.

Mr Lemo also said the CBN will not do anything that will not be in the interest of the masses, while arguing that contrary to popular opinion, the introduction of the new N5000 note will not lead to higher inflation.

“Without the masses, there is no CBN; and CBN is doing a lot to help the masses,” he said.

“The most important objective of the CBN is to fight inflation as it hurts the masses more than anything else. The leadership of the CBN is ensuring that its policies will fight inflation to the advantage of the masses,” Mr Lemo added.

He however promised that the apex bank will listen to the opinion of the people on the issue. The protest was peaceful as the Police, led by Ade Shinababa, FCT Commissioner of Police ensured there was order.

Apologise for killing my grandmum before putting her face on naira, Seun Kuti tells FG

Popular Afrobeat singer, Seun Kuti has asked the Federal Government to apologise to his family for the death of his grandmother, Funmilayo Kuti before considering immortalising her by putting her picture on the proposed N5000 note.

Responding to questions from fans and friends on Channels Television’s hangout via Google+, Seun Kuti said his grandmother was murdered by the Federal Government.

“She was murdered by the Federal Government, her house was burnt down on that same day, two of her children were brutalised, almost killed on that same day and the family have not receive any apology or compensation, most especially justice for such atrocity,” he said.

He said that the decision to put his grandmother’s picture on the proposed N5000 note after 50 years of her death is “ludicrous to say the least.”

When asked what kind of justice his family is demanding, Seun Kuti said: “First, the Federal Government has to accept that they were the cause of her death. The official statement that they are still giving us is that she was murdered by 1, 000 unknown soldiers who stormed the Kalakuta Republic.”

IBB backs calls for creation of state police

Former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida on Thursday described the insecurity in the country as a passing phase associated with any developing nation.

General Babangida who made the observation in an interview with Channels Television in Minna said the solution to the problem is dialogue and perseverance.

The former president also threw his weight behind the calls for the establishment of state police, saying that the fears being entertained in certain quarters for the creation of state police were unfounded.

“Left to me, the whole essence of governance is to provide adequate security for the people and in whatever way this is achieved, it is acceptable. I don’t think what happened in the 50s should continue to haunt us. We should try to move on.

“When we were there, we established the National Guards that was so vilified and was later dropped. Why should we think that what happened in the 50s when the regional police were used to intimidate members of the opposition political parties will continue to happen under the present dispensation.

“I don’t think the incumbent governors can use state police to intimidate anybody. Honestly, the fear is unfounded.”

General Babangida expressed optimism that the country will overcome the present security challenges rocking some parts of the country saying that the country had overcome similar crisis in the past and can still do it again.

While calling for support from the federal government in tackling the raising security problem, he appealed to Nigerians not to allow the present crisis to divide the country along ethnic line.

He also enjoined the Nigerian media practitioners to stop giving prominence to those suggesting the break-up of Nigeria and described the call on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign as laughable.

State police already exist in the North – Former NBA Vice President

Former first National Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeazor Akaraiwe on Wednesday said that the call for state police is in order and that the structure of security in some Northern states is decentralized.

Mr Akaraiwe, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said that the Hisbah security structure in some Northern states is an example of a state police structure.