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It is time to ceasefire, senate warns over Israel-Hamas war 



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**Calls for, asks FG to press for two-state solution 

The Senate has urged the Nigerian government to take steps in partnership with other countries to put an end to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war to save lives and property. 

The upper legislative chamber also urged the federal government to press for two-state solution as a panacea for permanent resolution to the Israeli-Palestanian crisis as earlier agreed by the United Nations since 1948. 

The resolutions came after a motion sponsored by Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (Kano South) and co-sponsored by 28 others. 

Since the conflict broke out in October, thousands, including women, children and aid workers had been killed and injured while residential buildings, schools, health facilities and worship centres had been bombed. 

The two-state solution calls for establishment of an independent state for Palestinians alongside that of Israel. 

Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi), who presented the motion, said the casualty figures in the ongoing war were horrifying and that if not ended immediately, it may lead to world war III. 

Quoting figures from the UN agencies, Kawu, in the motion, said since the recent conflict started in October, 18 places of worship had been destroyed, 22,600 residential units damaged 19 medical centres, 90 education facilities, 70 industrial facilities and 49 media offices razed. 

He said in recent years, there has been a renewed effort to negotiate a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians but these talks have so far failed to produce a lasting agreement. 

Kawu said if urgent steps are not taken to address the situation, the battle may spread to neighbouring countries and then to the allies of Israel and Palestine, which may further result in the loss of more lives and properties. 

Senators who contributed to the debate, including Barau Jibrin (Kano), Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia) and Sani Musa (Niger), all condemned the killings on both sides and called for immediate end to the hostilities. 

Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin, said, “What we need now is a ceasefire so that people who are being killed every day will no longer be killed. So many have lost their lives; so many children have been left orphaned. 

“All you see on television about the conflict are dead bodies and so forth. This is not acceptable. All this is not good for the modern world. 

“We should add our voices to those of responsible people all over the world that Palestine and Israel should come together and accept the two-state solution for permanent peace to prevail in that region of the world.” 

Abaribe said “having experienced Nigerian civil war in 1967 as a child, an eye for an eye will lead to everybody not having eyes at all. I call for immediate ceasefire and end to the conflict.” 

Senator Sani Musa (Niger) condemned killings on both sides, saying Nigeria should be seen to be on the side of peace. 

“The Israelis and Palestinians should have the rights to live in peace,” he said.

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Senate urges FG to withhold statutory allocation to LGC without elected officials




Moro, Abba Patrick
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The Senate has urged the Federal Government to henceforth withhold statutory allocation to the Local Governments Councils(LGC) without democratically elected leaders
In the last three months of August, September and October the Local Governments received N702.647b out of N1.006 shared for the three tiers of government in the period under review.
The legality or otherwise of the Federal Governmemt’s power to enforce the Senate’s recommendation is left for legal experts to analyse
The Senate’s recommendation came after debate on the Urgent Need to halt the erosion of democracy: the dissolution of elected Councils in Benue State sponsored by Sen. Moro, Abba Patrick (Benne South)
The senate condemned the arbitrary dissolution of democratically elected Local Government Councils in Benue and other states in Nigeria

It also resolved to urge the Federal Government to review the Benue State governor’s dissolution of the elected councils and constitution of caretaker committees and reinstate the elected council executive forthwith.
The upper legislative chamber urged the governor of Benue state to adhere to his oath of office to obey the rule of law and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

While leading the debate Senator Moro he was dismayed by the dissolution of Democratically Elected Councils in Benue State,

According to him, replacing the elected chairmen with Caretaker Committees to is an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)

Quoting Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) he said it guarantees a system of local government by Democratically Elected Councils.

He insisted that it is the Constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of Local
Government Councils by law.

He indicated that there are subsisting court rulings directing the Governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies etc not to tamper with the tenure of the elected Councils

He therefore challenged the Governor/Government of Benue State to first appeale the outstanding judgments which has not been done adding that it is against the grain of the rule of law

Senator Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) pointed out thatabout 16 states in Nigeria are currently without democratically elected council officials.
He urged the Senate to direct the Finance Minister to stop funding LGS without elected council officials.
Oshiomhole’s suggestion was supported by Senator Ali Ndume.
The senator representing Oyo North, Abdulfatai Buhari indicated that the Electoral Act should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections.

The President of the senate Godswill Akpabio also frowned at the establishment of multiple federal agencies but advocated the creation of the National Electoral Commission for Local Government so that governors would no longer have overbearing influence on council polls

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Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt 




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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.  

The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development. 

The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.

“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023. 

“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms. 

“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.

“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.

“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

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Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic




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***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger

The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings

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