Senate Majority Leader, One Other Dump APC For PDP

 

A logo of the APC and PDP

 

The Senate Majority Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Yahaya Abdullahi and Adamu Aliero have officially defected to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Their defections were conveyed in two separate letters addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, and read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday.

Both lawmakers represent Kebbi North and Kebbi Central Senatorial Districts, respectively.

The defection of the APC Senators brings the total number of PDP Senators to 39 from the previous 38.

It also cuts down on the number of APC Senators from 71 to 69 in the upper chamber.

The Senate Leader, in his letter titled, “Defection From APC to PDP And Resignation As The Majority Leader Of The 9th Senate”, said his decision was informed by the democratic challenges and deficits faced by the APC in Kebbi State.

He explained that all attempts to remedy the situation through the intervention of North-West Zone Governors’ and the defunct Abdullahi Adamu-led National Reconciliation Committee failed.

The text of the letter reads, “I write to inform you of the withdrawal of my membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and consequently resign from my position as the Majority Leader of the 9th Senate.

“I came to this decision after a very hard struggle with my conscience and emotions. It is either to remain on the side of my people or to selfishly look the other way. All politics is local. I cannot therefore in good Conscience, continue to work for the success of this administration at the centre while the people of my state, my primary constituency, continue wallow in abject poverty and destitution under the misrule and manipulation of a despot.

“I have therefore decided to pitch my tent with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in order to join forces with my compatriots at home who are struggling against incompetence, imposition and violation of democratic norms, principles and practices.

“The democratic challenges and deficits in my state, Kebbi State, did not just start from the last congresses, but right from July last year when the governor illegally decapitated the State Leadership of the Party, imposed unelected ward, Local government and State executives of the Party.

“This matter was brought to the attention of the caretaker Committee of the Party who failed to bring the Governor to order.

“Efforts by all well meaning individuals including Your Excellency, Mr. President, were equally spurned. The North-West Zone Governors’ entreaties were ignored. The defunct Abdullahi Adamu-led National Reconciliation Committee’s intervention to find amicable resolutions failed. All primarily due to the manipulative intransigence of the Governor.

“At a point I thought of resort to the courts, but decided against that course of action after realizing that political challenges require political solutions in the democratic arena where it is the people and not the judges who are the final arbiters.

“So, after having failed to get justice in my former Party, the APC, I have jumped ship to the PDP together with our teeming supporters in a struggle to democratically bring to an end the misrule and tyranny currently gripping Kebbi State.

“Mr. President, I appreciate and will continue to support your leadership. I cherish and remain eternally grateful to you and all my colleagues for the unconditional support and cooperation rendered to me in the last three golden years of our tenure.

“A tenure that witnessed unprecedented unity, productivity, sense of purpose and patriotism in the conduct of our legislative responsibilities. l also plead with any of my colleagues whom I have offended in the course of our interactions to please forgive me.

“While praying for Allah’s guidance and peaceful journey to the forthcoming elections, please accept the assurances of my highest respect and esteem.”

NUT President Defeats Senate Majority Leader, Clinches APC Governorship Ticket In Kebbi

 

The National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) and Deputy President of NLC, Dr. Nasir Idris has been elected Governorship Candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kebbi state.

Nasir Idris garnered one thousand and fifty five (1055) votes to defeat two other contestants at the party’s primary election in Birnin Kebbi.

The chairman of the APC Kebbi governorship primaries (National Secretariat), Hon. Idris Yahuza Ya’akub, declared the outcome of the election in the early hours of Friday.

Senate Majority Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi who was one of the contestants, scored zero vote while the third aspirant, retired Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Abubakar Mallam secured thirty five votes.

In his acceptance speech, the APC governorship candidate, Dr. Nasir Idris, commended Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu for making it possible for the party to conduct the primary election, smoothly, peaceful, hitch free and transparent.


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Dr. Nasir thanked all delegates, APC Members and people of Kebbi State for entrusting him with the leadership position which will entail steering the affairs of the state if elected governor.

He pledged to build upon the foundation of societal progress already laid by Governor Bagudu.

In his remark, the chairman of the state’s committee for the primary election, General Muhammad Magoro, thanked the governor for providing the necessary moral and material support that led to the success of the exercise.

Similarly, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, described the elected APC governorship candidate as a person with the ‘ability and capability’ to excel.

The minister commended other contestants for their spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the result of the primary election.

Abubakar Malami also thanked Governor Bagudu for being a pillar of democracy in Kebbi State and Nigeria, noting that he has helped to strengthen APC as a political party.

One of the gubernatorial aspirants, retired Deputy Comptroller-General of Customs, Abubakar Gari Mallam, while accepting the results in good faith, was of the opinion that God gives power to who he wills.

Gari who is the Shattiman Gwandu, was full of praises for the governor, and thanked him for making the process peaceful, credible, transparent and democratic.

He congratulated the winner Dr. Nasir Idris, pledging to give him the necessary support to secure victory at the 2023 elections.

Addressing the gathering, Governor Bagudu thanked all those who made contribution or played an active role in the peaceful and hitch-free conduct of the governorship primary election.

Bagudu said the the process portrayed Kebbi State as a shinning example of democracy, tranquility and togetherness.

The governor specifically thanked the Minister of Justice, the state’s main committee led by General Magoro, and the monitoring committee from the APC National Secretariat led by Barrister Idris Yahuza Yaakubu.

He also thanked the INEC officials present, the security agencies, and Kebbi State APC Executive members led by the chairman, Abubakar Kana. The media and delegates were not left, as the governor thanked all for striving to make the event a huge success.

Governor Bagudu while speaking to the elected APC governorship candidate, told him that leadership is a burden which demands perseverance, goodwill and absolute service to humanity.

Bagudu described Idris’ election as the will of God.

He affirmed his commitment to working towards the victory of Dr. Idris as governor and the triumph of the APC in all forthcoming polls.

APC Has Senate Majority Seats Despite Defections – Ahmed Lawan

APC Has Senate Majority Seats Despite Defections – Ahmed Lawan
Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, addressing reporters at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja on July 24, 2018.

 

The Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) still retains the majority seats in the Senate.

Senator Lawan revealed this in a statement on Tuesday, hours after 13 APC members of the upper chamber of the National Assembly announced their defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while one has yet to decide on his new party.

READ ALSO: Melaye, Kwankwaso, 12 Other Senators Defect To PDP

“Even though we have lost some of our colleagues to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) still retains the position of number one party with more seats than any other Party,” he told reporters in Abuja.

Lawan added, “Presently we (APC) have 53 senators, PDP has 49, African Democratic Congress (ADC) has three, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has two, and we have two vacancies.

“We lost our colleagues in Kaduna and Bauchi states; those were APC seats, very safe seats indeed. In August, bye-elections will be held and by the Grace of God, the APC will reclaim the seats and the majority of the APC will increase.”

The Senate Majority Leader gave the breakdown after a closed-door meeting with the APC National Working Committee (NWC) led by the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, at the party’s National Secretariat in the nation’s capital.

He, however, said the remaining lawmakers would work very hard with their party leaders to reach out to their colleagues who defected and make them understand why the APC remains the party to work with.

Rowdy Session As 37 Reps Dump APC

According to the lawmaker, this is because, “We have a President who has been focused, who has done so much with so little resources in Nigeria, who is busy providing infrastructure in this country.”

“I believe that every well-meaning Nigerian will do everything possible to support this kind of President. At the end of the day, we are hoping that our colleagues who have gone will come back to this party to continue in the nation-building process,” he added.

Among the senators who dumped APC for PDP were Senator Dino Melaye and former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Those who also defected were Senators Suleiman Hunkuyi (Kaduna), Abdulazeez Nyako (Adamawa), Barnabas Gemade (Benue), and Ibrahim Dambaba (Sokoto), among others.

In his reaction, President Muhammadu Buhari wished the lawmakers well in their future endeavours.

National Assembly Commences Debate On 2017 Budget

NASS, 2017 Budget, House of Representatives, SenateThe National Assembly has begun work on the budget proposal for year 2017 presented to the legislators by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Both chambers commenced debate on the general principles of the proposed 7.2 trillion naira budget with lawmakers highlighting their concerns.

While some lawmakers expressed their concern regarding some of the key assumptions of the budget, others were passionate as they declared that the budget was nothing to write home about.

At the floor of the House of Representatives, the debate was kicked off by the Majority Leader of the House, Representative Femi Gbajabiamila.

Reps
House Majority Leader, Representative Femi Gbajabiamila

A lawmaker from Adamawa State, Representative Abdulrazak Namdas, and his Delta State counterpart, Representative Nicholas Ossai, were among those who gave their opinions about the budget.

The debate followed the same pattern at the Senate with the Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, setting the pace.

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe of Abia State and Senator Barnabas Gemade from Benue State also informed the lawmakers about their views on the proposal.

This debate is expected to continue on Wednesday as the budget consideration continues for the second allotted day.

It is coming almost six weeks after President Buhari presented a ‘budget of recovery and growth’ to a joint session of the National Assembly on December 14, 2017.

buhari
President Buhari Presents 2017 Budget To Lawmakers

The budget is based on a crude oil benchmark price of $42.50 per barrel, with an output of 2.2 million barrels per day.

Government’s expenditure is to be funded with the sum of 4.94 trillion Naira while oil is to contribute 1.98 trillion Naira of the amount.

This was according to a breakdown by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma.

Mr Udoma has assured Nigerians that the government had no plans to increase the Value Added Tax which is set at 5% in 2017.

I Am Connected To My People In Gwoza, Senator Ndume Insists

Ali-NdumaThe Majority Leader in the Senate, Ali Ndume, representing nine local government areas in Borno State, one of which is Gwoza, devastated by insurgency, has dismissed claims that he is not keeping in touch with his constituents since the crisis.

He told Channels Television on Friday that he had been to Goza and was in constant relationship with his constituents.

On Wednesday, the Vice Chairman of Gwoza Local Government Area, Mr Ibrahim Adamu, expressed worry over the alleged inability of Senator Ndume, to come to visit IDPs from Gwoza in Abuja.

But Senator Ndume dismissed the claims, saying that Mr Adamu’s statement was not a reflection of Gwoza people’s disposition.

“That is not a reflection of Gwoza people.

“This is the first time you will see somebody from Gwoza talking about us.

“I know everything that is going to Gwoza. I have been to Gwoza when Boko Haram insurgency was at its peak.

“I moved into Gwoza and I am connected to my people,” Senator Ndume stressed.

Giving a breakdown of the affected areas in the Borno State, he said that at a time, most of the local governments in his zone were captured by the insurgents.

“Gwoza was occupied, but Bama which is near Gwoza was completely razed. My two houses were completed razed.

“When Gowza was invaded and people ran to Uba, I was there with them. When Chibok girls were abducted, I was in Maiduguri. I was the one that insisted that we move to Chibok to take account of the missing girls.

“As I told you, for somebody like me who is a poor person, how can I be sustaining my winning elections for four times if I am not connected with my people? He that is talking did not vote for me because he does not have voter’s card,” the Senator claimed.

Senate Leadership Meets With Service Chiefs

SenateThe Senate leadership has met with Service Chiefs to review the fight against Boko Haram in the north eastern part of Nigeria.

The meeting was however held behind closed doors.

The meeting between the Senate leadership and the Service Chiefs may be connected with the recent terrorist attacks in Dalori, Borno State where over 60 people were killed and many injured.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, revealed that the Senate leadership held frank discussions with the Service Chiefs and reviewed the security situation in the northeast.

On January 30, suicide bombers launched an attack on Dalori village in Borno State, killing over 60 persons.

There have been conflicting reports about the death toll.

The National Emergency Management Agency has put the death toll at 65 which is less than the earlier figure of 85, given after the attack.

CBN Governor Appears Before Senate Over Fall In Naira Value

senate on CBN governor, Godwin_EmefieleThe Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has appeared before the Senate to explain the continued fall in the value of the Naira.

Reporters were not allowed to cover the meeting as it was held behind closed doors on Tuesday.

The Senate, on Thursday, January 14, summoned Mr Emefiele after expressing concern that the continued crashing of the Naira against the dollar is worrisome and stressing that a decisive action must be taken about it.

A source told Channels Television that at the meeting, the CBN Governor explained to lawmakers why the apex bank stopped the sale of Forex to Bureau the Change agents.

Senate spokesman, who briefed reporters after the closed door meeting, said that Mr Emefiele gave an account of the performance of the Nigerian economy in the last one year.

The summon came on the heels of point of order raised by the the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume.

According to Senator Ndume, the matter was discussed with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, as required by the Standing Rules of the Senate.

The Senate Leader said: “This is a matter of urgent national importance and it has to do with the continued fall of the Naira against the dollar.

“It is my considered opinion that we invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to come here and explain to us why it is so and what he is going to do about it”, he declared.

Nigeria’s Naira exchange rate is currently 310 Naira to a dolla.

Senate Investigates ‘Missing 2016 Budget’ Claim

BudgetThe Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges has begun investigation of claims that the 2016 budget is missing from the chamber.

This was disclosed to reporters by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Samuel Anyanwu, after Wednesday’s legislative proceedings in the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

While addressing reporters, the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, also described as ‘untrue’, the claim that the budget was missing.

A federal lawmaker, Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, earlier at plenary, raised a point of order demanding that the Senate should look into media reports on the whereabouts of the 2016 budget.

After his observation, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, gave the assurance that the budget would be distributed to the lawmakers at the upper chamber on Thursday ahead of the debate on the financial plan on Tuesday, January 19.

While confusion edges the whereabouts of the 2016 budget in the Senate, the clerk of the lower chamber displayed the budget on the floor.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, also maintained that the budget was not removed from the House.

On Tuesday, the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin,  said that there was no truth to insinuations that the 2016 budget document is missing.

He said that the claims may have been inspired by the initial insufficiency of the copies of the budget available to all the lawmakers.

“As far as I am concerned, that story does not hold water. We were expecting copies to be printed and sent to the National Assembly but there was a bit of delay.

“As at yesterday, I can confirm to you that the Appropriation Committee in the House received a lot of copies of the budget. By the time the Clerk counted it today, it was not sufficient to go round members.

“I spoke with the Minister of Planning earlier today [Tuesday] and he assured me that before the end of today he will deliver the remaining copies.

“For the soft copy I also reminded him and he sent it to me and I handed it over to the House,” he explained.

Honourable Jibrin said the rumour of missing budget may have been triggered by the delay in the production of more copies of the budget.

“You should realise that we have a new government in place and I think that there is little issue of communication gap and they are trying to get themselves settled. We should be able to excuse them and support the President wherever there is a bit of limitation from his own side,” he told Channels Television’s correspondent, Charles Eruka.

The 2016 national financial plan was presented before a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Becoming the first Nigerian President to personally carry out this task in recent years, Buhari explained that the 6.07 trillion Naira budget would focus on addressing youth unemployment and cater for the vulnerable as well as reiterated that Nigeria remains committed to diversification to build and reflate the economy.

Senate Republicans Set To Vote Planned Parenthood

planned parenthoodSenate Republicans are planning to vote on legislation to cut 500 million Dollars in annual federal funding for planned parenthood.

The voting is to come in a few days time, owing to a fight in congress over the issue of abortion which had been dormant.

Over the years, a target of conservatives planned parenthood had come under increasing scrutiny due to secretly recorded videos about its role in supplying aborted fetal tissue for medical research.

An anti-abortion group, Center for Medical Progress on Tuesday, released the third of a series of videos, saying this is proof that planned parenthood staff, sell fetal material from abortions for profit.

Senate Majority Leader, Mitch Mcconnell, said that a meeting would be held to discuss the best way to deal with the horrendous videos that had been viewed.

Planned Parenthood, however, said that the videos were the latest attack in a campaign against it and denies any wrongdoing.

It further said that abortions comprise only three per cent of its services.

Constitution review: Lawmakers kick against calls for referendum

Federal lawmakers have dismissed calls by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for a referendum as part of the on-going constitution review process, saying that such a process is not tenable.

The planned review of the 1999 constitution by the 7th National Assembly has commenced with the Senate hosting a public hearing and the House of Representatives has planned its own public hearings in all the 360 federal constituencies in the country.

The process has been commended by a number of professional bodies and civil society organisations but the leadership of the NBA has however expressed some reservations about how the process is being conducted.

President of the association, Okey Wali, had recently stated that there is no clear agenda or known methodology in the ongoing amendment process. According to the lawyer, the one day public hearing session to be held simultaneously in the 360 federal constituencies on November 10, as proposed by the House of Representatives, cannot produce anything meaningful to the amendment of the 1999 constitution.

The Senate Majority Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, on Thursday described the NBA’s stance as ‘surprising’ adding that the NBA cannot “disown” the on-going process which it has participated actively in.

Speaking further on the issue, Mr Ndoma-Egba, explained that the constitution has prescribed the mechanism for amendment and that the National Assembly will be sticking to that.

This is a position shared by the House of Representatives, who through its spokesman,  Zakari Mohammed, said the demand for a referendum as part of the constitution process is one option the National Assembly is not interested in.

Mr Mohammed added the House will not subscribe to what he called extra-constitutional means of reviewing the constitution.

The lawmakers say they are determined to ensure that the proposed amendment enjoys national consensus and acceptance. And that it truly becomes a constitution that belongs to the people of Nigeria.