Connect with us

Legislature

Lawan, Sekibo trade tackles  over defection of Deputy minority leader

Published

on

Share this story

***As Senator Lau replaces Bwacha as senate minority leader

The senator representing Rivers East Senator George Thompson Sekibo on Tuesday demanded that president of the senate declare the seat of former deputy minority leader senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South vacant for defecting against the provisions  of the Constitution

Seikibo’s demand was coming almost immediately after Bwacha announced his defection from the opposition party to the ruling APC

The Rivers East Senator came with a counter point of order to oppose Bwacha’s defection citing the provisions of  Section 68 (g)(h) and subsection 2 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The lawmaker, against the backdrop of the provisions cited, requested the Senate President to declare Bwacha’s seat vacant. 
Sekibo was however ruled out of order by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan. 
Lawan observed that Sekibo’s demand was null as Senator Bwacha had explained that the PDP in Taraba was factionalised.
He also drew Sekibo’s attention to a letter by the National Chairman of the PDP nominating a new deputy leader to replace Bwacha.
According to Lawan, the decision by the PDP caucus in the Senate to intimate the National Body of the opposition party of a new nomination translates to an acceptance of Bwacha’s resignation from the PDP.
The Senate President, on the strength of the reasons advanced, ruled Sekibo out of order.
Relatedly following the defection from the Peoples democratic party (PDP)by the senate deputy minority leader senator Emmanuel Bwacha representing Taraba South the PDP has announced the nomination of the senator representing Taraba North, Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau has been named as his replacement
In a letter that was sent to the Senate on Tuesday and read at plenary by Senate President Ahma Lawan the chairman of the party Senator Iyorchia Ayu announced Senator Lau as the new senate minority leader.
The PDP chairman said the new minority leader will be an asset to the party and the National Assembly.
The letter reads in part, “following the defection of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha to the ruling APC, the PDP Senate caucus has nominated as his replacement, Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau.
“Senator Lau is from Taraba State, the North East geo-political zone of the country, where the position has been zoned.
“The PDP Senate caucus has duly informed the National Headquarters of the party, in view of which we so communicate to you.
“We believe that Senator Lau will be an asset to the leadership of the Senate.
“Thank you and accept the assurances of our highest regards.” 
Bwacha, after the letter was read, raised a point of order to inform the Senate of his intention to formally defect to the PDP because of the crisis in the state chapter of the party.
The Senate President thereafter asked the Chief Whip, Orji Uzor Kalu, to show Lau his new seat.
With this development, Lawan explained that the APC now has 70 senators, PDP 38 while the Young Progressives Party has one
Ayu said Senator Lau’s nomination was against the backdrop of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha’s defection from the opposition party to the All Progressives Congress (APC) last week.
The letter reads in part, “following the defection of Senator Emmanuel Bwacha to the ruling APC, the PDP Senate caucus has nominated as his replacement, Senator Shuaibu Isa Lau.
“Senator Lau is from Taraba State, the North East geo-political zone of the country, where the position has been zoned.
“The PDP Senate caucus has duly informed the National Headquarters of the party, in view of which we so communicate to you.
“We believe that Senator Lau will be an asset to the leadership of the Senate.
“Thank you and accept the assurances of our highest regards.” 
Meanwhile, the former Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South), has formally defected from the People’s Democratic Party to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Bwacha’s defection brings the number of APC Senators to 70, PDP 38 Senators and Young Progressives Party (YPP) 1. 
His decision to leave the opposition party was conveyed following a point of order raised by the lawmaker during plenary. 
Relying on Order 42 of the Senate Rules (Personal Explanation), Senator Bwacha gave reasons for his defection. 
He said, “In view of my desire for equal competition, and about my desire to enjoy the full operations of my fundamental human rights, Mr. President, I want to announce this day, that it is appointed to me, henceforth, to enjoy free air.
“As King Solomon said, there’s a time for everything; now is a time for me to leave the People’s Democratic Party.
“Mr. President, I say I have opportunity to breathe freely because of a deliberate isolation and huge division and factionalisation in the party in my state.
“Mr. President, I had to leave because I seek to breathe better. This day, I announce henceforth my exit from the People’s Democratic Party, and to join the governing party because of the visible presence of the party in my Senatorial District.
“I say this without fear of contradiction that my constituents are happy about this movement because of what they have seen on ground in Taraba South Senatorial District.
“So, we make bold to pay the PDP back by ensuring that better days are ahead for the party in Taraba State.” 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legislature

Kogi Assembly, CSO partner on HIV/AIDS anti-stigma legislation

Published

on

By

Share this story

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja

Kogi State House of Assembly has assured that the bill for a Law to provide for the prevention of HIV and AIDS Based Discrimination and stigmatization will be accorded smooth and accelerated passage for full implementation in the state.

Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Rt Hon. Comfort Nwuchiola Egwaba, disclosed this at a One-day Capacity Building And Media Round Table on the Proposed Anti-stigma Bill For HIV With Kogi State Assembly members.

She said that the partnership between the House and Initiative for Grassroots Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), a Civil Society Organization (CSO,) had yielded fruits with the resounding support of members for the bill.

The meeting aimed at building capacity of Kogi State Assembly members and Media personalities on the issue of HIV stigma and discrimination among others, was organized by INGRA with support from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) in Lokoja.

The Deputy Speaker said that the private member Bill before the House had had its first and second readings and was being primed for Public Hearing and Third Reading by the House Committees on Health and Judiciary.

Nwuchiola-Egwaba said, “We have done more than justice to the Bill. This bill will scale through and will see the light of day. We are not living any stone unturned. We are doing this for our people.”

Also speaking, sponsor of the Bill, Hon. Bin Ebaiya Shehu-Tijjani (APC-Lokoja I) thanked his colleagues for the fervour with which they rallied support round him for the Bill to scale through the legislative mills and urged them to sustain the tempo until it is finally assented to by the governor.

Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Ochidi Usman (APC-Idah) decried the spate of discrimination and stigmatization against people living with the virus saying that they did not bargain for it.

He described them as victims of circumstances as he thanked the sponsor of the Bill and pledged to stand by him to provide support for the Bill to have accelerated passage.

Speaking earlier, Mr Hamza Aliyu Executive Director of INGRA who described the bill as a “Policy Bill” said it was not just for HIV/AIDS alone but against every form of discrimination and stigmatization against affected persons in the state.

He hinted that available statistics showed that over 28,000 persons are living with the virus in the state adding that they could be more as many are not aware of their status and are quite unwilling to get tested for fear of discrimination and stigmatization.

Aliyu said the Bill had been passed in 16 states of the Federation and would only be fair for the Act to be domesticated in Kogi through the legislation to ensure that affected persons are not unnecessarily discriminated against.

Executive Secretary, Kogi State Agency for Control of AIDS (KOSACA), Dr Sheidu Yunusa, who explained some of the provisions of the law, the offences and punishment said stigmatization and discrimination had the potency to destroy all the efforts being made to end the HIV scourge.

Dr Yunusa gave examples of stigmatization and discrimination against Persons Living with HIV (PL-HIV) to include health care professionals refusing to provide care or services to an affected person, Refusing casual contact with someone living with HIV.

It also include among others, socially isolating a member of a community on account of HIV positive status, referring to people as HiVers or Positives, Unlawful disclosure of an affected person’s status.

Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, Chairman, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET) said, “we should not see this law as draconian but an attempt to squelch discrimination against out affected brothers and sisters.”

Comrade Jimoh Audu, Kogi State Coordinator of Persons Living With HIV AIDS (PLWHA) commended INGRA and the House of Assembly for their determination to get the Bill passed.

“We appreciate the meeting of our leaders, we believe in you. All we are asking it to reduce to the barest minimum the issue of discrimination against us. The medical practitioners should be more professional in their conduct”, he said.

Continue Reading

Legislature

Senate moves to probe 11, 856 abandoned projects across Nigeria

Published

on

By

Share this story

***sets up ad-hoc panel

The Senate has pun in place an ad-panel to investigate the number of viable projects abandoned across Nigeria in all sectors.

The committee is also to recommend appropriate actions to be taken to reduce project abandonment in Nigeria and how most of the projects can be recovered.

The member Ad-hoc committee comprised Senators Lola Shiru (chairman), Jimoh Ibrahim, Mpigi Barinada, Abdullahi Yahaya, Victor Umeh and Isah Jibrin, members.

This came following the adoption of a motion on “Urgent need to look into the 11, 856 mega projects abandoned by the Federal Government” sponsored by Senator Jimoh Ibrahim (Ondo South).

The Senate noted that in 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan set up a Presidential committee on federal government- abandoned projects in Nigeria and the committee visited the 36 states in Nigeria and identified 11,866 projects abandoned by the Federal Government since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
According to Senator Ibrahim, reports have it that about 63% of the entire projects since independence were abandoned, adding that the 63% of projects abandoned in Nigeria is worse than any country under comparison”.

“The abandonment of the project is of significant concern because of project costs which constitute a significant part of the GDP. While spending on a public project in the UK is now about one trillion British pounds Nigeria has no idea of the total amount spent on public projects either successful or unsuccessful since independence,

He observed, for instance that in the investigation carried out at the University of Cambridge doctorate in management science between 2018 and 2022, the value of the 38 projects investigated cost Nigeria over $40 billion”.

“What is now key to this investigation is the need to look inward at our infrastructural development as Foreign Direct investment declined from$8.8b in 2011 to $3.3 billion in 2019, and the current account balances in that year from $10.6 billion to 5-17 billion, while the population was growing around 5% about 86% of the citizen, were living under $2 between 2011 and 2019. Public debt increased from 17% of the GDP in 2011 to 29% in 2019.

According to him, government has the responsibility to set up a professional system that will deliver the critical value from major infrastructure development for its citizens, adding that for 66% of projects to be abandoned since 1960 is “nothing less than a calamity that reduces our pride as a ‘Giant of Africa’ if we are still one”.

He said three abandoned projects out of the 11,886 projects such as Ajaokuta Steel Company, where billion of dollars was spent without any production, Second Niger Bridge, etc are over 30% of the national debt.

In his contribution, Senator Orji Kalu (Abia North) said Nigeria cannot industrialize without steel production.

The former Abia governor said “we should face steel production. If we don’t face it, we are wasting our time. If you check our debt repayment, it is coming on this project.

“Why would Nigeria be suffering on what ought to have been done? We supposed to convert that our money and build these industries for debt repayment on them and save the interest we pay?

“We should appeal to President Bola Tinubu, may be 2026, 2027 budget we dedicate all these industries. They are our own. If we do not do it we will not move forward”, he said.

Senator Isah Jibrin said the abandoned projects should be properly profiled and the viable ones be sold to bring return on investment.

In his remarks, the Senate President Godswill Akpabio said Nigeria cannot be using over 90% of its resources to pay interest on loans.

The committee was given one month to report back to the Senate.

Continue Reading

Legislature

Convert Oloibiri Shell Airstrip to Airforce Base, Senate tells Aviation Ministry, Airforce

Published

on

By

Share this story

Senate has urged Ministry of Aviation, Nigeria Airforce to take possession and convert the abandoned Shell Airstrip at Oloibiri oil well in Bayelsa state to modern Airforce base.

This followed adoption of a motion on urgent need for transformation of the abandoned Shell Airstrip at Oloibiri Oil Well 1 in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to an Air Force Base.
The senator representing Bayelsa East SundayAgadaga (PDP) who sponsored the motion said Shell airstrip was constructed in 1958 following the first discovery of crude oil in 1956 at Oloibiri Oil well one.
According to him the airstrip, sitting on over 25 hecters of land has long been abandoned.
Agadaga said that the airstrip, while in effective operation, was a very valuable asset in the company’s oil exploration and exploitation activities in airlifting of personnel and equipment.
He said during the years of its functionality, heavy duty equipment, company workers, captains of Industry, top government functionaries and diplomats resorted to the route for easy access to the Niger Delta region.

He expressed regret that since the gradual decline of Shell’s operations in the area and final departure from Oloibiri oil field, the airstrip and the land where it operated has been abandoned and left desolate.

“The land itself appears to have been sentenced to perpetual condemnation as no agricultural activity which is the economic mainstay of the local dwellers can be carried out anymore due to the concretized topography of the soil.”

According to him, the abandoned airstrip poses environmental challenges and serious ecological complications to the Host Community as Shell has left the people in deprivation, squalor and lamentation after decades of operation.

He observed that upgrading the abandoned airstrip to an airforce base would bring renewed hope to the people, restore life to the area and attract the following benefits to the country:

“It will strengthen the security architecture of Nigeria as the creeks of Bayelsa up to Brass Island and the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the gulf of guinea where the oil export terminal is located will be easily monitored and protected.”
Agadaga
said its evental upgrade would reduce the rate of oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

This, he said would enhance surveillance activities in the numerous oil producing communities that constitute hub of oil industry activities in Nigeria.

He said the airstrip ,if converted to an airforce base would attract more business opportunities in the area thereby creating additional jobs to boost economic growth of Nigeriaa and ease the cost of living of the people.

Senator representing Kogi East Isah Jibrin (APC) said he was neither in support or against the motion pointing out that the cost implications of converting the airstrip to an airforce base would be huge, adding that government may not be dispose to consider the cost involved.

He said government may decide to confine the project on a long term basis, saying that he do not see the urgency in converting the airstrip to an airforce base at this period.

Sen. Adams Oshiomole (APC-Edo) said the conversion of the airstrip to an airforce base holds great benefits for Nigerians and people of the region especially on quick intervention on insecurity issues.

Sen. Maidoki Garuba (PDP-Kebbi) said the conversion would help strengthen security of the nation, check crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.

Sen.Victor Umeh (LP-Anambra) said there was need to preserve certain historical monuments like Oloibiri, adding that the conversion of the airstrip to an airforce base would make Oloibiri a national monument, given its contribution as the first oil well in Nigeria.

He said the conversion would also ensure further economic prosperity for the nation.

President of Senate, Godswill Akpabio said efforts should be made to preserve historical monuments, like the Oloibiri Shell airstrip via its conversion to an airforce base.

He also said the conversion to an airforce base would also ensure improved security in terms of emergency, given its closeness to the golf of guinea.

Akpabio expressed hope that the government would see the need for the reconstruction of the airstrip to an airforce base to forestall challenges in the event of any mishaps.

Continue Reading

Trending