Plateau Assembly: Saleh Shehu Replaces Yusuf Gagdi As Deputy Speaker

Plateau Assembly: Saleh Shehu Replaces Yusuf Gagdi As Deputy Speaker The Plateau State House of Assembly on Tuesday, elected a new Deputy Speaker, Saleh Shehu, after the impeachment of the former Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Gagdi.

This follows a letter of no confidence in his leadership style, written and endorsed by 18 out of the 24 House members to the speaker and read on the floor of the House.

At the plenary, majority leader, Henry Yunkwap, presented the impeachment notice signed by the 18 members, which was confirmed and verified by the clerk of the Assembly.

Mr  Shehu, representing Dengi constituency was immediately sworn in to resume his functions as a principal officer of the Plateau State House Of Assembly.

Speaking on the impeachment, the former Deputy Speaker, explained that his removal had nothing to do with any indictment whatsoever, rather it was the wish of his colleagues.

“From the day I was elected, I saw it coming because I am one among equal, when I was elected I was not elected as the Deputy Speaker. I have no grudge against any member or members that signed the impeachment process. It is the decision of the House and I am most grateful that I was not removed for committing any fraud or mismanagement, I was removed simply because they don’t want me anymore.”

Mr Gagdi was elected under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to represent Kantana constituency in the state House of Assembly but defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress later in 2016.

According to him, the leadership tussle rocking the PDP was the reason for his defection to the APC.

Medical Association Push For National Health Act Implementation

Resident DoctorsThe Nigerian Medical Association has staged a walk, demanding the implementation of National Health Act enacted in 2014 which it says is yet to be in operation due to nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government towards the Act.

In a message from the President of Nigerian Medical Association, Professor Mike Ogirima, the Federal Government was urged to immediately start the operation of the National Health Act without further delay in order to address the numerous challenges of healthcare delivery to Nigerians.

Members of the Nigerian Medical Association, Plateau State Chapter joined their counterparts across the nation in a nationwide walk to call on the government at all levels to implement the provisions of the National Health Act, 2014.

Medical Doctors and other medical allied workers staged walked major streets in Jos metropolis, carrying placards with various inscriptions, demanding that the government should implement the National Health Act for the benefits of the citizenry.

The walk took the medical workers to the Plateau State House of Assembly where the state chairman of the association, Dr. Daniel Menshak, presented the national president’s message to the legislatures.

Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Peter Azi, assured the association of its commitment to mediating in the matter.

He also made a demand, urging the association to consider treatment of victims before obtaining police clearances.

He said the decision could save lives just as the chairman of Nigerian medical association in Plateau State explained the importance of the National Health Act.

Considering the numerous advantages that are accrued to the citizens with the implantation of the National Health Act, government’s action on the implementation will in no doubt go a long way in providing adequate healthcare delivery to the people.

Youth Empowerment: Peace Corps Of Nigeria Commissions Cadets

youth empowerment, peace corpsAs part of concerted efforts towards youth empowerment, the Peace Corps of Nigeria, gathered over 900 youths over four weeks, to impart them with relevant skills and principles.

While addressing the youths at the Passing Out Parade and commissioning of gentlemen cadets of the Peace Corps in Plateau state, the National Commandant, Dickson Akoh emphasized the need to maintain positive attitudes.

He urged the youths, saying that hard work and discipline without a good attitude could lead to avoidable failures.

Strong behavioral and attitudinal changes, were identified as some of the ways of empowering the youths for effective performance in the society, hence the re-orientation program.

youth empowerment, peace corpsThe young cadets who had been engaged in rigorous mental and physical training, had learned discipline as well as other character development virtues, deliberately meant to put them in a good stead for future responsibilities.

Among other skills provided to them, was also intelligence gathering, which will compliment security agencies efforts in combating crime and insurgents.

The Plateau state House of Assembly through the Deputy Speaker, expressed that the legislative arm will continue to offer its support.

He also assured that the cadets will be engaged by the government agencies in the state and they would be be gainfully employed, as a way of reducing the rate of unemployment.


Plateau Lawmakers Disagree Over Lalong’s LG Committee Extension Request

Plateau-Simon LalongGovernor Simon Lalong’s request for the extension of local government management committee members for another six months has led to a rowdy plenary session at the Plateau State House of Assembly.

Explaining the contents of the Governor’s letter to members, the Speaker of the House, Honourable Peter Azi, emphasised the issue of election as the basis to consider in granting the request.

In moving the motion for the extension, a member representing Quan Pam Constituency and House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr Mohammed Balo, argued that two months was not enough for the Chairmen to record any meaningful achievement, hence the reason to extend for another six months as requested by the Governor.

However, the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Yusuf Gagdi, expressed displeasure on the Thursday proceedings on the floor.

Although the request was eventually granted by the House, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus led by Honourable Gagdi walked out of the session in protest of the decision.

The PDP lawmakers perceived the decision to be against the earlier resolution for the extension of local government personnel for only two months.

With the extension granted, the people of Plateau State are looking forward to the expiration, believing that the government would honour its promise of conducting the local government elections after sacking the elected Chairmen.

INEC Calls For Establishment Of Electoral Offences Tribunal

inec-BayelsaThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has called for the establishment of Electoral Offences Tribunal to prosecute election offenders.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Plateau State made the call on Tuesday.

Mr Godwin Kwanga, in his postmortem analysis on the supplementary elections held on Saturday, February 20, noted that the establishment of such Tribunal would go a long way in dealing with election offenders, particularly  those involved in underage voting.

The supplementary election into the Plateau State Constituencies of Pankshin North and Pankshin South left behind issues and accusations of election malpractices by the two major political parties.

Prior to the supplementary election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seemed to be in charge of the House with 13 members as against 11 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Though the election was violent free, there were issues of underage voting as well as multiple registrations which called for an implementation of the Electoral Offences Tribunal by the Commission.

Former Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly, Istifanus Nwansat lost to Gideon Dashe of the APC.

Mr Nwansat, had however, accused the government of intimidating his supporters during the election while his APC counterpart and winner of the election believed that the people made a choice through the ballot.

APC’s Azi Emerges Speaker Of Plateau State Assembly

PlateauThe candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Peter Azi, has emerged the Speaker of the assembly.

In spite of having majority in the state House of Assembly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conceded the position of Speaker to the APC in the rescheduled election of the Speaker and Principal Officers on Wednesday.

Honourable Azi was elected unopposed, as the PDP rival, Istifanus Mwansat informed the Clerk of the house that he had agreed to step down after consultations with his party and in the interest of moving the state forward.

The Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, had earlier directed that the inauguration of the state eight house of Assembly be postponed, owing to the deadlock in the emergence of the Speaker and security challenges.

Reading the Governor’s message on Tuesday to the elected members following the deadlock, Clerk of the House, Ayuba Gonku, explained that Governor Lalong was acting under the compulsion of duty and on security advice as to the likelihood of breakdown of law and order, had directed an adjournment of the session indefinitely.

Election of principal officers and the Speaker to the Plateau State House of Assembly had never generated much interest, with a sharp division between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the Wednesday election, while the PDP has majority members, 13 of them, the ruling party APC can boast of 11, which made the APC trailing with three vote margin.

After the proclamation for the dissolution of the 7th assembly by Governor Lalong through the Clerk, the House convened for the purpose of the election of the speaker and other principal officers to precede the inauguration.

Two nominees were presented for the Speakership seat – Peter Azi from the APC and Istifanus Mwansat from the PDP. After their nomination, the 24 members went into voting to elect the Speaker.

After voting, both candidates polled 12 votes each, which was a tie.

However, with the Clerk commencing proceedings for the rerun, Mwansat informed the House of the far reaching decision to step down for the APC candidate.

Similarly in the other election for the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Gardi of PDP emerged winner over his fellow party man, Amos Kumtul which paved way for the two parties to share the spoil.

With the emergence of the Speaker and his Deputy at the state House of Assembly, observers are looking forward to seeing how the ruling party would manage its minority posture against the opposition numerical strength.

Gunmen Kill 30 In Plateau Early Morning Attack

Gunmen killed 30 people in Shonong village in the Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, North-Central Nigeria on Monday, officials told Reuters.

Violence in central Nigeria is frequently fuelled by long-running land disputes between the Fulani and Berom, both often armed with automatic weapons.

A member of the State House of Assembly, Daniel Dem, told Reuters that gunmen stormed the majority-Berom Shonong village in the Riyom Local Government area in the early hours of the day, opening fire on residents and torching dozens of houses to the ground.

A spokesman for the military confirmed the attack, but said it was too early to give a death toll.

Thousands have been killed in the last three years in tit-for-tat clashes between rival ethnic groups in the “Middle Belt”, where the largely Christian South meets the mostly Muslim North in Africa’s most populous nation.

Over 20 Persons Including Two Policemen Killed In Plateau

The incessant attacks on villages around Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau State, north central Nigeria have continued unabated with the killing of about 20 persons in the early hours of Tuesday including two policemen in the state command.

Confirming the death of the policemen to Channels Television, the acting spokesperson for the special task force in the state, Navy Lieutenant Jude Akpa stated that a team of police personnel was attacked at about 3:00 am on Tuesday as they were patrolling the crisis-ridden area, killing two of the patrol team during the shootout.

A member representing Riyom constituency in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Daniel Dem confirmed that no fewer than 25 people were killed in the two communities of Dajak and Attakar in the local government.

NULGE Plateau Strike: Union turned down 51% increment –State planning commissioner

As the face off between National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and the state government of Plateau state linger on, it’s rippled effect is being felt by the  children in the state as schools have been closed due to the striking local government employees in the state and on the part of the Plateau state government the neglect of  ways to resolve the issue.

And seven months running, the State governor  Jonah Jang according to the State planning commissioner Plateau state; Pamson Dagyat signed an agreement with the local government employees to give them 50% of the current minimum wage being paid to the State government employees which is N18,000.00 but also stated that an increment can occur for the local government employees only when there is an increase in the revenues generated by the local government and this the local government body latched upon to foment trouble with the state government by going on strike.

Governor Jonah Jang on seeing that there was resolution in sight, decided to offer the union a 1 per-cent increment to the 50 per-cent allotted them but it was turned down by the union and this was by the fourth month according to the testimony of the planning commissioner.

Political analyst; Nelson Shey said the NULGE plateau is an example of people trying to pull down the government of the day despite efforts by the ruling government to satisfy them, while the Director Centre for Advocacy of Justice and Rights; Gad Peter said although his agency has decided to step into the crisis rocking the state so as to put things in place in the state again but he feels the missing link is the lack of communication.

Senate mourns death of colleague in Jos killing

The Senate on Tuesday suspended all activities to mourn the death of its member representing Plateau North Senatorial district, Senator Gyang Dantong.

Senator Dantong died last Sunday while attending a mass funeral for victims killed in clashes in Plateau state. The Majority Leader of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Honourable Gyang Fulani was also killed in the attack while a member of the House of Representatives was injured.

An empty agenda was on the paper of the Senate as a sign that the upper chambers of the National Assembly was not going to discuss any issue for the day, to honour the late Dantong.

Tears flowed freely inside the Senate chamber, as some lawmakers wore solemn clothes to match their grief.

The usual boisterous lawmakers were subdued.

The Senate leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, moved the only motion of the day.

The lawmakers, led by the Senate president, signed the condolence register.

The late Senator Gyang Dantong died on Sunday July 8th in renewed crises in Plateau state.

Scores of Nigerians were also killed in the violence that lasted through the weekend.

Senate President, David Mark and some lawmakers restated that dialogue still remains the solution to the insecurity crises.

Other lawmakers eulogized the late Senator describing him as a peace maker.

However some visibly upset lawmakers condemned the incessant killings of Nigerians and the inability of government to find a solution to the crises.

For the lawmakers and many Nigerians, this level of insecurity on a daily basis needs urgent solution by the government.