Atiku, Dogara Extol Saraki As Senate President Turns 56


Former Vice President of Nigeria and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has saluted the selflessness, courage, and statesmanship of Senate President, Sen. (Dr) Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who clocks 56 years tomorrow (19th December 2018).

The Waziri of Adamawa said in a congratulatory message, signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, that the Senate President who also doubles as Director General of his Presidential Campaign Council, has carved a niche for himself in the annals of Nigeria’s politics and good governance.

According to him, Saraki is an embodiment of finesse, a fusion of intellectual fecundity and leadership competence; a brave defender of democracy and symbol of courage; and an adherent to the rule of law and selfless stewardship.

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“I rejoice with a compatriot and political ally as he walks the stage of his golden age. Bukola is a man of great past, commendable present and promising future. I pray that Almighty Allah will continue to grant him greater vision, robust vitality and a wealth of good health, in the service of our nation and humanity at large”, Atiku said.

Similarly, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Tuesday, congratulated Dr. Bukola Saraki, President on the occasion of his 56th birthday anniversary.

Dogara felicitated with Saraki in a statement made available to newsmen by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, in Abuja.

He commended the Senate president for his constant promotion of the independence of the legislature and his outstanding contributions to the nation building, describing him as a courageous and patriotic leader.

Dogara Commends Buhari, ECOWAS Leaders Over Gambia

Dogara Commends Buhari, ECOWAS Leaders Over GambiaThe Speaker of the House of Representatives in Nigeria, Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari and other ECOWAS leaders for the role they played in averting a major political crisis in The Gambia.

In a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Turaki Hassan, the Speaker said that President Buhari and his colleagues have averted a major political crisis that could have engulfed not only the Gambia but the entire West African sub region.

The Speaker said that the leaders masterfully deployed diplomacy backed with potential military action to compel former Gambian dictator, Yahya Jammeh to relinquish power to President Adama Barrow.

“The leaders have demonstrated their readiness and strong resolve to defend democracy on the continent.

“This would send strong signals to the world that democracy has come to stay in Africa. There is no room any longer for tyrants and dictators in the continent”, he said.

The Speaker maintained that in spite of any misgivings about democracy and its impact on the lives of the people, it still remains the best form of government and that “the will of the people and the consent of the governed remain the only basis of any government.”

Dogara said that the task ahead of African leaders is to fashion ways of making the system better  to deliver the greatest good to the greater number of people in order to enthrone good government, defeat poverty, engender patriotism and trust in the democratic system of government.

2017 Will Bring Succour To Nigerians- Dogara

2017 Will Bring Succour To Nigerians- DogaraSpeaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has urged Nigerians to be resilient in the face of the current hardship in the country, saying 2017 will bring succour to their sufferings.

In a New Year message to Nigerians, issued by his Special Adviser on Media & Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker assured Nigerians that some positive results of the new policies and initiatives of the present government would begin to manifest in the new year leading to an improved quality of life for the citizens.

“The All Progressives Congress government of President Muhammad Buhari is fully aware of the hardship faced by Nigerians.

As members of the same government, we can assure that in the new year, succour will come the way of our people as we work to provide long lasting solutions to the myriad of problems.

“On our part, the National Assembly shall also go to work as the central institution of democracy through which the will of the people is expressed.

As parliamentarians we cannot afford to be observers or mere onlookers but actors.  Our work is more urgent now than ever before because the change we seek must not be anchored on the quick sands of expediency but on the enduring solid rock of legislative frameworks that deal with corruption, eliminates gender based violence, strengthens democratic institutions, and reinforces human rights and good governance.

We shall also not fail the nation in ensuring effective scrutiny of the National government for effective implementation of all legislative frameworks especially the 2017 budget” he said.

“Be assured that the House of Representatives is not resting on its oars to pass legislation that will provide support for the actualization of the lofty ideas of the change promised by this government.

Dogara urged Nigerians to keep praying and working hard for the peace, unity and prosperity of the country.

Fayose Blames INEC For PDP’s Loss In Ondo Election

INEC Rigged Ondo Election In Advance For APC - Fayose
Mr Ayo Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has lamented the outcome of the Ondo State Governorship election won by Mr Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He believes the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) connived with the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its collaborators in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election before it was conducted.

He said; “Just as I would have loved to congratulate the winner, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), because in every contest, there must be a winner and a loser, the role of INEC in awarding victory to him in the election left much to be desired”.

The Governor, who reacted in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said INEC gave the APC victory in the election “by deliberately replacing the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede, the PDP candidate, thereby creating legal logjam that lasted till three days to the election”.

He said that the PDP went to the election with its hands tied to the back because of the uncharitable actions of INEC, “which has no doubt become an arm of the APC”.

He maintained that apart from the APC, political parties in Nigeria are now contesting elections against INEC.

“The whole process was a deliberate sabotage by INEC, which has totally bastardised the electoral process.

“Obviously, all these shenanigans are geared towards turning Nigeria to a one part state by weakening all opposition parties ahead of the 2019 general elections but I can assure Nigerians that this will not last because the people will always be defeat tyranny,” he said.

Dogara Congratulates Akeredolu on Ondo Gov’ship Election Win

Dogara Congratulates Akeredolu on Ondo Gov’ship Election WinIn a statement issued on Sunday, by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, Dogara maintained that the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election is a proof that the party is still loved by Nigerians.

“I would like to congratulate my learned colleague on his victory at the poll, and also commend our great party, the All Progressives Congress, for a thorough and successful campaign”, the statement read.

The Speaker urged all stakeholders to come together and ensure that the incoming APC government in Ondo delivers on the mandate given by the people in line with the party’s manifesto.

“As a party, we must take our victory in Ondo seriously since the people have placed enormous trust in us.  We must, therefore, deliver on policies that will improve their standard of living.”

While commending the people of Ondo state for keeping the election process peaceful and coming out to perform their civic duty, Dogara also praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies for ensuring a hitch-free exercise.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, declared the APC candidate, winner of the 2016 Ondo state governorship election.

Akeredolu  polled 244, 842 votes to beat his closest rival, Eyitayo Jegede of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 150, 380 votes. Mr Olusola Oke of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) follows with 126, 889 votes.

There Is No Sharia Bill Before National Assembly – Dogara

There Is No Sharia Bill Before National Assembly – DogaraThe Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has cleared the air on rumours of existence of a bill seeking to introduce Sharia legal system in Nigeria before the National Assembly.

Speaking at a reception organised in his honour together with Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal by the Northern Nigerian Christian Politicians in Abuja, Dogara refuted reports alleging that the House has before it a Sharia bill.

Dogara’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Turaki Hassan, highlighted the Speaker’s views in a statement on Saturday.

The Speaker maintained that by the provisions of the standing rules of the House, bills on constitution amendment are referred to the Special Adhoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution which has the sole prerogative to introduce constitutional amendment bills in the House.

He revealed that a member introduced clauses which sought to include criminal aspects of Sharia in the constitution which was referred to the Special Adhoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution but added that no such bill has yet emanated from the Committee.

The Speaker who took time to explain the rigorous and cumbersome processes of amending the Constitution to the gathering, added that before such bill could be passed into law, at least 2/3rd of members of the National Assembly would have to vote yes to it before it is transmitted to the 36 states houses of assembly for endorsement by 2/3rd of them.

He further explained that voting on such clauses are done with individual members voting for or against each clause before it is passed and that if any clause fails in either of the two chambers, such amendment is considered “dead” and as such will not be voted upon by the other chamber as doing so will amount to waste of time and exercise in futility.

“The proposal came in a way that a member wants some criminal aspect of sharia to be enshrined in the Constitution.

“Now as a House, if there is a proposal from this floor that we should embrace ecclesiastical law, we are bound to consider it and by the virtue of our rules, once there is that kind of proposal we send it to the Committee,” he said.

Dogara further said: “No individual member has the right to craft a bill that will lead to amendment of the constitution. Only the committee has the sole prerogative of drafting bill that will lead to constitutional amendment.

“In the Senate I am not aware that such a bill has been presented by the committee. In the House that committee has not submitted any bill. That is where we are. It is not only totally misleading but false to say that National Assembly is seeking to introduce sharia in the Constitution. There is no such bill.

“I want us to get this thing clear because it is a point of contention in the Christian community not only in the north but even in the south.  I feel I have the duty as the Speaker to explain this even though I had explained it on the floor of the House before.”

Budget Padding: Appropriation Committee Disowns Jibrin

House of Representatives, budgetThe Appropriation Committee of the House of Representatives says that there is no breach in the appropriation process to warrant any external interference.

The Deputy Chairman of the Appropriation Committee, Representative Chris Azugbogu, made the disclosure to journalists during a briefing on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“We wish to state that we totally dissociate ourselves from all the calculated plot to pull down the integrity of the leadership and members of the 8th House of Representatives,’’ Azubuogu said.

The lawmaker claimed that the former Chairman of the committee, Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin, allotted all decisions of the committee to himself without conferring with its members.

“He unilaterally took the entire budget to a hideout with his consultant without the consent of the committee.

“That was the last time the committee saw the budget, only for Jubrin to resurface about three weeks later, with a report purported to have come from the committee,” he added.

Despite their not being involved in the process, the lawmakers were adamant that there was no truth in the allegations put forward by the former chairman.

Some lawmakers under the aegis of the Transparency Group, had demanded that the allegations brought against Speaker Yakubu Dogora and some principal officers of the House be investigated by external investigators.

The call followed the ongoing controversy regarding allegations of the padding of the 2016 budget by Representative Jibrin.


Alleged Budget Padding: Group Demands Probe Of Dogara, Others

Transparency Group, Yakubu Dogara, Budget PaddingA group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives, Transparency Group, has demanded that the allegations brought against the Speaker and some principal officers of the House be investigated by external investigators.

The call is sequel to the ongoing controversy regarding allegations of the padding of the 2016 budget by former House Committee Chairman on Appropriation, Representative Abdulmumin Jibrin.

In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media, Representative Abdulrazak Namdas, dismissed the allegations by Mr Jibrin against the House leadership.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara has in a statement issued by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, given the former Appropriation Committee Chairman a seven – day ultimatum to tender an unreserved apology to him and retract all allegations made against him or face legal action.

The former Chairman, however, replied that he would never apologise to the Speaker over the allegations.

He noted that his lawyers have officially approached anti-graft agencies, towards working out a date for him to submit his petition and brief the agencies.

Speaking in Abuja, the spokesman of the Transparency Group, Representative Mohammad Soba, said that Representative Namdas does not have the mandate of the House to speak on the matter.

Dogara Felicitates With Muslims On Eid-El-Fitri Celebration

Yakubu Dogara, Muslims, Eid-el-FitirThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has congratulated the entire Muslim Ummah across Nigeria on the successful completion of the Ramadan fast.

In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, in Abuja, the Speaker urged Muslims to use the period of Eid-el-Fitri to pray for Nigeria to overcome its present challenges.

Dogara also asked Muslims to allow the lessons of humility, sacrifice, love and selfless service garnered during the 30-day fast to guide their lives and activities.

He noted that the holy month of Ramadan afforded Muslims the opportunity to show compassion, mercy and kindness to their fellow men and also advised that they should continue to put smiles on the faces of others beyond the Ramadan period.

“May I use this opportunity to urge the faithful to use the occasion to reflect on the lessons of Ramadan and continue to imbibe its teachings which are primarily premised on selflessness, sacrifice, patience, modesty and spirituality”, Dogara admonished.

The Speaker also called for prayers for the success of the country’s leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari for God to continue to guide, protect and give him the wisdom to steer the affairs of the state and actualise the change agenda.

Affirming the National Assembly’s commitment to upholding the tenets of democracy and championing the cause of the electorates at all times, the Speaker promised that the House of Reps would continue to initiate laws and legislative interventions to support the change agenda and improve the living conditions of Nigerians.

Dogara Condemns Kano Killing, Demands Justice For Victim

Dogara, Kano KillingThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, has condemned the brutal murder of an Igbo woman in Kano State.

He said all Nigerians must rise against this grievous act of lawlessness and impunity, adding that the perpetrators of the evil act must be forced to face the full wrath of the law.

A statement issued by the spokesman to the Speaker, Turaki Hassan, quoted him as saying that there must be justice for the victim, Mrs Bridget Agbaheme, who was allegedly killed by her fellow traders in a market in Kano State over allegation of blasphemy.

“We live in a society governed by clearly stated rules and laws. When such crimes of high magnitude, or any at all, are allowed to go unpunished for any reason, we risk descending into a state of lawlessness and anarchy where anyone can assume the role of judge, jury and executioner.

“The rule of law must prevail. I urge all security agencies to ensure that they carry out a thorough investigation into the events that led to her untimely death and ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to face the full wrath of the law”, he stated.

Calling for tolerance among Nigerians, irrespective of religious or ethnic differences, the Speaker noted that the peace and sanctity of Nigeria is not negotiable and as such, everything must be done to protect them.

He insisted that the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined in the constitution must be respected by all.

Dogara condoled with the family of the deceased and prayed God to comfort them. He added that it was not only their grief but that of all Nigerians of goodwill and, indeed, lovers of humanity.

Dogara, Lasun Commemorate With Nigerians On New Year

DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has assured Nigerians that the year 2016 offers a real opportunity for change in the country.

In a New Year message signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker praised the unshakable commitment of leaders at all levels of government to a better Nigeria.

He cited the pro – people 2016 Budget of President Buhari’s administration which is before the National Assembly adding that “when passed into law and faithfully executed, will not only lift the common man from abject poverty, it will also usher in the much needed opportunities for innovation and investment that are the engines of economic growth and prosperity.”

The Speaker who expressed hope that happy times will be here again, however, maintained that, “the people must go to work to make it happen, as government alone cannot solve all our problems”.

“Democracy and governments do not build nations but it’s rather citizens of democracy who must take up the tools of democracy and embrace the opportunities created by their government that build the nation of their dream,” he added.

Hon. Dogara urged all Nigerians to abhor the culture of passivity and apathy which only produces docile citizenry saying that, “if our people expects that CHANGE means to be docile and allow government alone to bring progress and build our nation, they expect what never was and never shall be.”

Dogara advised that it’s time Nigerians take responsibility for their own lives and work towards making Nigeria great again in order to avoid over dependence on government, saying that, “a democratic government should always depend on its citizens as the reverse will only amount to slavery”.

“On our part, the National Assembly must also go to work as the central institution of democracy through which the will of the people is expressed.

“As parliamentarians we can no longer afford to remain observers or mere onlookers but actors. Our work is more urgent than before because the change we seek must not be anchored on the quick sands of expediency, but on the enduring solid rock of legislative frameworks that deal with corruption, eliminates gender based violence, strengthens democratic institutions, reinforces human rights and good governance.

“We must also not fail the nation in ensuring effective scrutiny of the national government to ensure implementation of all legislative frameworks,” he said.

While suing for peace and unity among Nigerians, irrespective of regional, ethnic, political or rel‎igious affiliations, Hon. Dogara urged the citizens to be security vigilant and support the fight against terrorism and sundry crimes in the country.

“As 2016 dawns with hopes anew, filled with promises of a brighter tomorrow; with courage, faith and great effort we shall achieve all we desire. I wish all Nigerians a happy and prosperous New Year and pray that our nation attains greater heights in the New Year,” the Speaker said.

In the same vein, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon Sulaimon Lasun Yusuf, also said that there is serious hope for a better Nigeria, if the people support and cooperate with President Buhari in his anti-terrorism crusade.

Hon. Lasun said that the stage is set by the All Progressives Congress-led government to give a radical approach to the development of Nigeria.

He said that “Nigeria is on the threshold of regaining its full potentials because that is what we deserve and the signs are beginning to show.

“It is my appeal to Nigerians that we support the government of the day as it tries to address some of the fundamental problems confronting the growth of our country like unemployment, unstable power, deplorable roads and unacceptable healthcare delivery, Lasun said.”

Speaking on the Presidential media chat held on Wednesday night, the Deputy Speaker said that from the tone of the President, “Nigerians should be rejoicing that at last they have a leader who is ready to take them to the promise land”.

Dogara Felicitates With Christians, Preaches Unity

DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, has felicitated with Nigerians, especially Christians on the Christmas celebrations.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Turaki Hassan, the Speaker prayed God’s peace to be multiplied to all Nigerians.

He said that the citizens have every reason to thank God for the possibility to witness another Christmas, amidst all the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation.

“Christmas is a period for us to individually and collectively reflect on who and what made Christmas necessary, our values, virtues and ideals of unity, peace, godliness and tolerance which Christ advocated and exemplified during his earthly ministry.

“I call on Christian faithfuls to embrace the reason for Christmas and imbibe these virtues and ideals and also to key into the current administration’s change agenda for the peace, unity and development of our dear nation.

“In spite of the challenges we are faced with, I urge all Nigerians to have an abiding faith in the fact that by working, we must work together, surmount them and forge ahead as a nation.

“On our part, the House of Representatives is determined more than ever before to pass people-oriented legislations that will help guarantee the much needed and desired change in all facets of our national life.

“I enjoin Nigerians to continue to pray, support and cooperate with the present government to deliver on its mandate so that our country will once again occupy its place of pride in the comity of nations,” the Speaker said.

Honourable Dogara also urged Nigerians to use the occasion of Christmas to be their brothers’ keepers by reaching out to the Internally Displaced Persons in various camps across the country.

While giving the assurance that the Federal Government was doing all within its powers to expeditiously resettle displaced persons in the country, he emphasised the readiness of the National Assembly, and the House of Representatives in particular, to partner with any organisation, group or person to build and rehabilitate areas devastated by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, especially in the northeast region.