9th Assembly: Goje Steps Down For Lawan In Senate Presidency Race

 

Senator Danjuma Goje has stepped down for Senator Ahmed Lawan over the Senate presidency race of the ninth assembly.

Goje who met with President Muhammadu Buhari over leadership of the Senate on Thursday, alongside Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, told a briefing that they have met and senator Goje has agreed to step down and fully endorse Senator Ahmed Lawan.

READ ALSO: Senate Leadership: I Will Run For Deputy Senate President, Even If APC Refuses Kalu

Meanwhile, Goje said he has decided to agree with the choice of president Buhari and the APC, and his support is borne out of personal conviction and love for his party.

However, Lawan thanked Goje and El-Rufai for the endorsement and stressed that the move will unite the party.

He also stressed the importance of a focused and united party in the Senate in order to move the country forward.

Senate Will Confirm Amaechi As Minister Without PDP Senators – Ndume

NdumeThe Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the Senate would ensure that the former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, scales through confirmation as Minister.

This is contrary to insinuations that the former governor might not be confirmed by senators when they resume plenary on Tuesday, October 27 due to the protest against Amaechi by PDP members in the upper chamber.

In an interview with Channels Television in Kaduna, Senator Ndume expressed displeasure with the tension being generated by the Rivers State chapter of the PDP over the nomination of Amaechi as minister, stating that despite all the protests and petitions, the former governor remained qualified to be confirmed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to him, with the APC having the highest number of members in the Senate, the PDP cannot stop the Senate from confirming Amaechi or other nominees as ministers.

Senator Ndume also debunked reports of him being under pressure from the APC national leadership to resign his position as Majority Leader and allow Senator Ahmed Lawan to occupy the position.

Instead, he maintained that quitting his position was beyond him, as he could only do so if his colleagues from the North-East were on the same page with the position of the party’s leadership.

 

NASS Inauguration: Saraki Swears In 28 Absent Lawmakers

LawmakersNigeria’s newly elected Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has sworn in 28 lawmakers who were absent from the National Assembly inauguration.

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr Salisu Maikasua, administered the oath of office on the 28 Senators-elect on Wednesday.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, were elected on the floor of the red chamber on Tuesday, contrary to the desire of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Despite the party’s displeasure with the election of Saraki, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his readiness to work with the elected Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

He noted that he did not have any preferred candidate for the Senate and the House of Representatives, adding that he is willing to work with whoever the lawmakers elected.

Treachery

The APC had, at a straw poll, chosen Senator Ahmed Lawan as the party’s candidate for the Senate President’s position and Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, as the Speaker of the 8th National Assembly. None of the choice candidates was elected for the position in the Tuesday election, a development that the APC described as treachery.

To further push the party’s displeasure with the process that brought Senator Saraki in, some APC Senators earlier on Wednesday threatened to take all necessary political and legal means to challenge Senate Presidents’s emergence.

NASS Leadership: Buhari Expresses Readiness To Work With Elected Officers

BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed his readiness to work with the elected Senate President and Speaker of the House of representatives.

President Buhari’s comments came after the National Assembly on Tuesday elected Senator Bukola Saraki, as the Senate President and Honourable Yakubu Dogara, as the Speaker.

The election of both principal officers was against the choice of the All Progressives Congress, which had chosen Senator Ahmed Lawan as its candidate for Senate Presidency and Honourbale Femi Gabjabiamila for the position of the Speaker.

The party’s leadership has expressed its displeasure with the outcome of the election, calling it treachery.

But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said in a statement that President Buhari would have preferred that the process of electing the leaders, as initiated and concluded by the All Progressives Congress (APC), had been followed.

Enduring Positive Change 

The President took the view that a constitutional process had somewhat occurred.

“President Buhari had said in an earlier statement that he did not have any preferred candidate for the Senate and the House of Representatives, and that he was willing to work with whoever the lawmakers elected.

“That sentiment still stands. Though he would have preferred the new leaders to have emerged through the process established by the party,” Adesina said.

The President’s spokesman further said that the stability of the nation’s constitutional order and overall interest of the common man were uppermost on President Buhari’s mind, as far as the National Assembly elections were concerned.

President Buhari then called on all the elected representatives of the people to focus on the enormous task of bringing enduring positive change to the lives of Nigerians.

APC Divided Over Senate Leadership

APC-members organise prayer in kadunaThe All Progressives Congress (APC) appears divided over the choice of the leadership of the National Assembly as the tussle on who becomes the next senate president has intensified.

In the build-up to the contest for the principal offices of both chambers of the federal parliament, two power blocks have emerged in the APC.

The camps are canvassing for different geo-political zones and candidates to clinch the coveted seats, particularly that of the Senate President.

While one faction under the aegis of Senate Unity Forum has endorsed Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senator George Akume to be at the helm of affairs, another group, under the aegis of “Like Minds Senators” has endorsed Senator Bukola Saraki to head the Senate.

Both groups insist that their choice is based on competence and ‎track records.

With the 8th National Assembly about to commence sitting in the next few weeks, the question of who assumes the head of the Senate has become the main issue.

As things appear, the days ahead will tell which of the candidates presented by the two camps becomes the Senate President.

Nigerians also look forward to legislative proceedings that will translate into tangible progress for the development of the nation.

FG Illegally Withdrew N1.04 Trillion From Special Funds Account In 10yrs- Senate

The senate has accused the executive of withdrawing money from the Special Funds Account (SFA) from 2002 till 2012 without due process and appropriate financial practice.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Ahmed Lawan (ANPP, Yobe State) submitted the committee’s finding in a report on the status inquiry into the SFA, which was presented at the floor of the Senate.

Thea report detailed the various withdrawals made by the federal government from SFA.

The report said N1.5 trillion was accrued to the Special Funds Account as at June 30th 2012 out of which the sum of N580 billion were released as loans which have not been paid several years later.

The report also showed that several beneficiaries of the funds utilized the funds for other purposes other than what the funds were created for.

The Special Funds Accounts were initially established to mitigate peculiar areas of needs in the country in 2002.

The funds were intended to tackle erosion and other ecological problems, provide funds to develop alternative mineral resources and provide for unforeseen contingencies and economic downturn.

The Accounts, managed by the Federal Government, comprises the three per cent Development of Natural Resources Account, 1.46 per cent Derivation and Ecology Account, and 0.72 per cent Stabilisation Account.

According to the report, N1.51 trillion accrued to the SFA as at June 30, 2012, from figures obtained from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF). Out of the amount, N1.23 trillion was recorded as total payments to beneficiaries from the account, the report said.

The report also shows how N750 million was released for frivolities such as the development of Abuja Downtown Mall and N10 million released for building an abattoir in Bida, Niger state.

Other loans granted from the funds are: N3.4 billion to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to purchase a chancery in Tokyo, N12 billion loans granted to Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe in 2004 and 2007 as well as N309 million granted to the inspector general of police for purchase of vehicles for UN peace keeping operations in Haiti in 2006, N16.2 billion loan granted to the Directorate of Pilgrim Affairs.

In other infractions, the report noted that N5.7 billion loan was granted to the Ministry of Power and Steel in 2005 for the payment of severance package to disengaged steel workers.

Similarly, in October 2007, the Ministry of Finance also withdrew N10 billion for the payment of arrears of monetisation benefits owed Federal Government parastatals.

The senate consequently directed its committee on Public Accounts to investigate further the utilization of the funds in the special funds account and report to the senate within four weeks.