**Says he spoke for himself
The Senator representing Kogi-West, Sen. Sunday Karimi has called out the Senate chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume over his comments on the relocation of some departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from Abuja, back to Lagos for which he urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to discontinue the move.
He said that the Senator’s position was “personal and does not in any way represent a position taken by the Senate.”
This was contained in a statement made available to news men in Abuja on Wednesday which was personally signed by the Senator Who is also the Chairman Senate Services Committee
Recall that Senator Ndume, in a Channels Television interview on Tuesday, had warned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu that there would be political consequences for his action, claiming that the President was being misled by a cartel of ‘Lagos Boys.’
Senator Karimi, a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress Party, (APC) declared that it was not necessary for Ndume to be attaching ethnic or other sentiments to the relocation of the offices, which was done for cohesion and better delivery of services.
According to him, “Leaders need to avoid utterances that will heat up the polity and cause division and disaffection amongst the federating units of the country.
“For example, the headquarters of 96 per cent of all banks in Nigeria are in Lagos. The staff of the Banking and Supervision Department of the Central Bank often travel to Lagos to check their books at the headquarters. it will therefore save cost to have that directorate in Lagos.
“Also, Lagos remains the hub of aviation in Nigeria; for operational efficiency, it is better to have FAAN in Lagos.
“What is important to our people in the North and Nigerians as a whole is how decisions of government will affect their lives positively and put food on their table at cheaper prices.
“They are not bothered by any ethnic sentiments on the relocation of offices of federal ministries and agencies.
“Senator Ndume’s position is personal and doesn’t represent the position of the Nigerian Senate.”
He stated that the Northern senators forum had not taken an official formal decision on the issue, preferring the option of an investigation.
“During the forum’s last meeting, where the issue raised, the members urged caution on taking a hasty position, calling for a full investigation to be conducted before any intervention, including legal processes, would be explored.
“When this issue was raised for discussion on the platform of northern senators forum, the Chairman of the Forum, Sen. Abdul Ningi, cautioned on the need to exercise restraints. That no one should jump into conclusion or read political meanings into the decision.
“There is the need for a proper investigation before taking a position.
“I want to believe that our President, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will not act in any way to undermine any section of the country, the decision would have been made for the cohesiveness of units within such organisations”, one member stated.
While speaking during the interview, Ndume alleged that a group of powerful persons (Lagos boys) around the seat of government was responsible for the President’s decision, warning of consequences the President might not be able to reverse whenever they began to unfold.
According to him “Some of them think that they know better than everybody. But, they don’t know anything.
“When you don’t know Nigeria, you only know Lagos, then you start doing things as if Nigeria is Lagos. Lagos is in Nigeria. That’s a wrong decision.”
Afeez Kilani declares to contest NASSLAF chairmanship
***Says he is most experienced having gone through the ranks
Alhaji Prince Afeez Kilani, senior Legislative Aide to distinguished senator Buhari Abdulfatai has officially declared to contest for the chairmanship position of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF)
Kilani who hails from Shaki west in Oyo State, South west Nigeria said he would bring his wealth of experience to bare by improving on the welfare of Legislative Aids.
“I have been here since the year 2015. I got here as a legislative Assistant, that is LA2 and because of thr level of dedication my boss promoted me to LA1 in 2019.
“Now I am the SLA to the distinguished senator Buhari Abdulfatai, he is a third time Senator in the Nigerian senate.
“With this carrier progression, coupled with my experience in the National Assembly, at least I have run through the ranks of the aides of the National Assembly.
“I think I am in the best position to understand the yearnings and the needed welfare of the legislative aides because I have gone through the ranks of the legislative aids.
“We don’t want a situation whereby an aide or a chairman will be elected and he will not understand what other legislative aides are going through.
He said there is no need to elect a chairman that will not understand the pains, the feelings and yearnings of Legislative aides.
He said he is a reflection, a manifest example of a leader who has gone through the ranks of legislative aid because, “I started my carrier as an SL2 but now I am the SLA so there is nothing that any legislative aide is going through that I don’t understand.
“With that understanding, I am in the best position pilot the affairs of the national Assembly legislative aides. If you give me your support, I am going to serve you better.”
On how he would be able to use diplomacy to settle disagreement with the management of the National Assembly when it arises, he said, “We are in the 21st century, and as a lawyer there is what is called alternative dispute resolution. In labour law, it is very important that confrontation, protests should be the last thing, should be on the last burner.
‘The first thing is negotiation, good approach to issues, we are in a democratic era. It is when all that fails that we can adopt confrontation which we are not going to even adopt.
“I know with my skills as a lawyer for more than 11 years of experience, it is not going to be difficult for me to meet with management to convince them of the reason why they should take care of us.”
Chairman of the Southwest National Assembly Legislative Forum, Ogumawola Ebeneza, said, “As you can see the ovation is laud because we have gone through rigorous screening and Southwest as a leading zone when it comes to affairs of the NASSLAF we have then everything in to consideration and we decided one voice to queue behind our own Barr.Hafiz Kelani as our candidate
The DG said the aides need a new lease of life.
“We are tired of recirculation of warn out leaders. We don’t want people that have been circulating themselves since the 5th Assembly.
“You have heard the voice of the aides, the first timers, and the semi first timers and we have decided as the South West zone we have decided to put our own, some one who’s door will be opened, who will not stay in the office wanting people to come and meet him.
“He is someone that will go round to know the needs and yearnings of the aides. This is the man we are looking for. This is the reason we are doing to stand by him, He is not for South West but for all the zones.
Olusola Olugbami AKA maintain said they need Somebody that will do what others have not been able to do, you know in the South West, we don’t take the back seat.
“Whenever we said we have resolved to do something that is what we will do. This is our candidate and by the grace of God, he is going to emerge victorious.
Senate panel quizzes Bakari as NFIU Boss
The Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes has on Monday quizzed Hafsat Bakari as the Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, (NFIU).
President Bola Tinubu last week appointed Bakari as the head of the Financial Intelligence Unit, pending her confirmation by the Senate.
By the appointment Bakari is to replace Modibbo Tukur who was relieved of his job by President Tinubu in June 2023.
Bakari is a lawyer and financial intelligence expert with years of experience in anti-money laundering, counter-terrorism financing, and counter-proliferation financing said she has “enough experience to discharge he duties”
Before her appointment as the Chief Executive Officer of the NFIU, she served as Deputy Director at the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and was at different times the Head of the General Services Unit; Head of the Strategy and Reorientation Unit, and Head of the Board Secretariat of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
In a chat with newsmen after the screening, the Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Emmanuel Menga Udende expresses that Ms. Bakare will bring her wealth of experience and expertise to bare in the discharge of her mandate in this critical role, especially in view of the President Bola Tinubu’s war against illicit financial flows and other sharp practices currently prevalent in segments of the nation’s foreign exchange markets”
The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) a creation of the National Assembly is the Nigerian federal agency responsible for collecting and analyzing disclosures from reporting organizations, in order to produce financial intelligence to other agencies combating money laundering, terrorism, and other financial crimes.
The NFIU was established in 2004 as an autonomous unit within the central coordinating body for the country’s Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Terrorist Financing, and Counter-Proliferation Financing (AML/CFT/CPF) framework of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN).
It also operates as part of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Imo North senator advocates for regional Governmment, police
**Wants each regional Government to oversee its development commission
The senator representing Imo North Senatorial District Ndubueze Patrick Chiwuba has advocated for Regional Government and Regional Police Force as against the cloud for State Police.
Speaking on the heels of the passage of the bill for the establishment of the South East Development Commission senator Chiwuba described the politics of Regional Development commissions that has become a cash cow for some Nigerians as a welcome development as it will soon lead him to sponsor a bill for Regional Government
According him when each region is given its own Developmwnt Commission, it is another form of restructuring
“I’ll be happy, I’m supporting that 100%. After that I can bring up my bill.
“You know when people talk of restructuring, people see it in a different way. You understand? God can bless Nigeria from different angles.
“Let us have regional governments to superintend over all these commissions so that nobody will now go and appropriate it to himself.
“So what am I looking for? The restructuring has gotten it. So it is a very wonderful work. For me, when I saw the other regional commissions, I started preparing my bill for regional government.
“So what I’m trying to say is, it is a good omen. Every region should have it. And you are deriving money from the federal. Now, if you derive from the federal, those places where people can augment their own commission, they will go and augment and move ahead. “Others may copy them. And as such, what do we do there will be regional competition so that States do not need to go cap in hand to the Federal Government to share allocation
“So, my next bill, after we have gotten the commissions, will be a bill for us to adopt regional government. And the regional government will superintend over the commissions.
“If any, somebody can be held responsible by the people of the area. But when the chairman of the board is appointed from the federal level, he is not accountable to the area, the region, because he is not appointed by the people. The people don’t have authority to remove them or to replace them.
“So they behave like emperors because it’s only the federal that can call them to order. You understand? And if the federal wants to call them to order, their relations will go to plead on their behalf
“But when the regional government superintend over such and they are elected, you know what it means? So once you are doing bad either they recall you, or they remove you, or they make sure that your tenure is not renewed.
Also speaking on the issue of the state police he said he is not an apostle of state police but Regional.
He said the regional police will not be accountable to any particular governor. No person will use the regional police to fight his enemy, political enemy.
But state police, people can use it to fight their enemy, but regional, nobody can, because the governors of the region will come together to provide funding
When it comes to regional police, it will derive its power from the region there, no single person can use them.
For now, the appointments, both the board and others are coming from the federal. And when they are appointed, they will recognize every state. That’s one. Two, the chairman and the executive members will be rotated from time to time.
On whether President Tinubu will assent to the South East Development Commission bill he said, “&I ’m not seeing any hindrance. Rather, it’s going to improve our politics in a better sense. What we need is development. What we need is freedom to operate. And that’s what the South is asking for – freedom to operate.
“Once we have freedom to operate, the sky is the beginning, it’s not our limit. And every other part of the nation will benefit.
“If you go down the history, you know when we had regional governments? The South East was rated as the fastest growing economy in the world. Go and Google. During the regional government headed by Michael Okpara, the South East was rated as the fastest growing economy in the whole world. Now, since after the civil war, the South East had been abandoned. That’s why you see people crying of marginalization.
“First of all, we thank God for a day like this, that we can be happy, joyful, and glorify Him for the passage of this bill. And we thank the National Assembly for passing the bill as well.
“We are thanking Mr. President in advance for assenting to this Bill, because I know he will assent to the Bill. So it’s a good thing, it’s a good omen, not just for the South East, but for the nation Nigeria.
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