Jubliation As National Assembly Makes June 12 Democracy Day, Public Holiday |RN

RN file photo: National Asssembly Complex

**NASS passes Bill making it Democracy Day, public holiday

Magnus Eze, Enugu, Fred Itua, Abuja and Chinelo  Obogo

The Federal Government has received kudos as the Bill recognising June 12 as Democracy Day scales the National Assembly hurdles.The Senate, yesterday, concurred with the House of Representatives on the passage of a bill to legalise June 12 as Democracy Day.

Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan moved that the House bill which sought the concurrence of the Senate be read the second and third reading. The motion was unanimously carried and the bill passed.

 If President Muhammadu Buhari assents to the Bill, May 29 that had been held as Democracy Day since 2000 will cease to be.

It equally means June 12 of every year will replace May 29 as Democracy Day if the bill is signed by President Buhari

In separate reactions, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) and the Afenifere lauded the ratification of June 12 as a healthy development for the nation’s polity.

The apex-Igbo group said  the election held in 1993 and annulled by the military government marked a watershed in the annals of Nigeria’s democratic experience.

Deputy National Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Chief Chuks Ibegbu told Daily Sun that without June 12, there would not have been any further democratic milestone in the country.

He, therefore, urged the ruling class and all Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of June 12, even as he said what was currently going on in the country was political drama.

“Nobody can discountenance that June 12 was a watershed in this country. Without it, all these subsequent democratic journey wouldn’t have been possible. Anything done to make that day sacrosanct is laudable. The significance of June 12 should not be lost on the ruling class and all Nigerians.”

While the Afenifere also expressed happy that the date has got national recognition, it said until the tenets of democracy were upheld by the Federal Government, such recognition will be futile.

Spokesperson of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin told Daily Sun that the Federal Government has not embraced the principles of June 12, which is free and fair election.

“We welcome the decision of the Senate to recognise June 12 as Democracy Day and we are happy that the date has got official recognition. However, we are worried that if we are not careful, all that we are doing will amount to a mockery of June 12, if we do not embrace the spirit of June 12, which is free and fair elections. We just had elections in March; did that election reflect what June 12 stands for? All that June 12 stands for has been watered down, we are living with the spirit of annulment on the one hand, while we celebrate the date (June 12) on the other hand. So, until we live with the spirit of what June 12 stands for, it would appear that we are just playing games.

“If the president genuinely believes in June 12, we would not have gone into an election without amending the Electoral law. We did not sign the Electoral Bill and went into election only to ratify June 12 in order to validate the election. For us, it is not just about celebrating the symbolism of that date, it is about the nation accepting the spirit of June 12. That’s when we can clap our hands,” Odumakin said.

Reacting, Anthony Sani, Secretary General of the ACF said: “When President Muhammadu Buhari recognised  June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of Chief MKO Abiola, we applauded the action and prayed that the gesture would go a long way to bring about healing of the wound inflicted by annulment of the election in 1993. And if the NASS has passed the decision into law, then it is heartening. Democracy Day is now legally on June 12 of every year”

President Buhari, had in June 2018, as a way to immortalise the late M.K.O Abiola, acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, declared June 12 as the new Democracy Day.

To give the Presidential declaration necessary legal backing, Edward Pwajok and Kayode Oladele sponsored a Bill in the House of Representatives last year.

The bill passed by the House in March, sought for an Act to amend the Public Holidays Act to declare June 12 as Democracy Day in Nigeria in view of current realities and exigencies of the modern time.

Pwajok who led debate on the bill, noted that before 1979, there were separate Acts regulating public holidays in the country.

The Plateau State lawmaker recalled that in 1975, a law was enacted to repeal all state laws on public holidays and to streamline the process of declaring holidays for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He noted that by law, the president may declare any day as a public holiday by public notice or Act through the Minister of Internal Affairs.

 He added that by the schedule of the Act, some days such as New Year Day, National Day like October 1 and religious festivals were set aside for public holidays.

The lawmaker said in 2000, the National Assembly amended the schedule to declare May 29 as Democracy Day.

He noted that in May 2018, President Buhari announced June 12 as the new Democracy day.

Pwajok posited that for the pronouncement of President Buhari to become effective, there has to be an amendment of the Public Holidays Act.

 The Federal Government had said President Buhari’s inauguration for a second term on May 29 will be low-key.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke to State House correspondents on the activities slated to mark the May 29 inauguration said a number of events slated for the inauguration will be held on June 12.

Mohammaed said the decision to have a low-key inauguration for the presidentwas taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council on May 8. He said invitations had been sent to world leaders to attend the ceremonies, marking the observance of Democracy Day on June 12. (The Sun)

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R-APC House Of Representative Members Shift Mass Defection To Next Week |RN


House of representative, Nigeria

John Ameh, Abuja

A planned defection of the members of the Reformed All Progressives Congress in the House of Representatives earlier scheduled for Thursday (yesterday), was shifted to next week, The PUNCH has learnt.

This came as the All Progressives Congress caucus convened an emergency meeting on Thursday, reportedly to drum support for President Muhammadu Buhari and seek ways to convince the R-APC faction to stick with the caucus.

Findings by The PUNCH indicated that Thursday’s meeting, which was convened by the House Majority Leader, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, lasted from 3.30pm to about 5.28pm.

One R-APC source said, “Discussions are ongoing and members want to concretise on strategies before the mass defection will take place.

“What is known is that the APC has given us signals that there is no accommodation for us in the party.

“We are looking forward to any time before July 26, which is Thursday, next week, to move.”

Lawmakers, noticeably from Oyo, Benue and Kwara states did not show up at the caucus meeting.

The PUNCH made fruitless efforts to get the comments of the members from those states on why they were absent at the meeting, which was held behind closed doors.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Yakubu Dogara, also stayed away from the meeting, though he presided over the plenary of the House on Thursday.

The Deputy Speaker, Mr Yussuff Lasun, too was absent, but his case was attributed to today’s primary of the APC for the Osun State governorship poll.

When Gbajabiamila hurried out of the venue of the meeting as it ended, he declined to make any categorical statement on the deliberations that took place indoors.

“I don’t dwell on rumours, I dwell on reality. Let that reality come first.

“There is no fire on the mountain, not at all”, he responded to a reporter’s question.

Gbajabiamila made efforts not to be drawn into speaking on the defection plot.

“Where did you find that out from? Let them (R-APC) go first. Talk is cheap,” he snapped.

Feeling confident, the Lagos lawyer added, “I am not scared at all.”

He would also not speak on speculation that Buhari was on the agenda of discussion as he continued to walk briskly away from the venue.

Recall that in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH last week, a member of the R-APC, Mr Razak Atunwa, said the group had tentacles across the country and would make real its plan within the shortest possible time.  (Punch)

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15 Lies Buhari Told In His Democracy Day Speech, By Reno Omokri |The Republican News


Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of lying to Nigerians in his Democracy Day speech.

Omokri, in a series of tweets on Tuesday, spoke on alleged lies under the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, adding that the President possibly broke the Guinness World Record on lies.

Omokri wrote, ”1-Buhari lied by claiming to increase foreign reserves. PMB met a reserve of $32 billion on May 29, 2015. In 3 years he has borrowed ₦11 trillion. This is more than PDPborrowed in 16 years combined. It is from this debt that he has ‘increased’ our reserve #BuhariDemocracyDayLies.

”2-Buhari lied by claiming Integrated Personnel And Payment Information System (IPPIS) as an achievement of his government. IPPIS was initiated, started, implemented and completed by the Jonathan administration.

”3-Buhari lied that he “inherited a weak economy”. He inherited the world’s 3rd fastest growing economy, according to @CNNMoney. He failed to appoint a cabinet for 6 months. It weakened the economy and led to the recession.

”4-Buhari lied when he said Nigerians are enjoying increased power supply. This is such an obvious lie. He has not built a single power station. The last power station built in Nigeria was built by Jonathan. I ask you, has your power improved?

”5-Buhari lied saying Boko Haram‘s capacity is ‘degraded’. It runs counter to the testimony of the #DapchiGirls who testified that Boko Haram now have planes and they land them within Nigeria. Boko Haram didn’t have planes under Jonathan.

”6-Buhari lied by saying he has improved the education sector. By his third year, Jonathan had built 120 Almajiri schools and 12 universities. Giving out licenses to the private sector to build a polytechnic is not an achievement. Buhari should be ashamed.

”7.-Buhari lied by claiming 7000 Megawatts power as an achievement. The devil will have trouble beating that lie. Nigeria under Buhari is not even regularly transmitting half that number. Perhaps he means IGP’s ‘TRANSMISSION’ and not electric power transmission.

”8-Buhari lied by claiming the construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge as an achievement. No bridge has been constructed. No contract has been awarded. The ₦2 billion released was money earmarked by Jonathan, not Buhari.

”9-Buhari lied by claiming US FAA Category 1 status as an achievement. Nigeria attained US FAA Category 1 on October 23, 2010, under former President Jonathan. Here is the proof. Buhari is desperate for achievements.

”10-Buhari lied by claiming the visa on arrival policy as his achievements. This policy was unveiled in 2013 by Olusegun Aganga, Jonathan’s minister of industry. Read about it here in this 2013 interview.

”11-Buhari lied when he said he has reduced inflation. In truth, inflation increased by 50% from 9.8% when Buhari took over in May 2015, to 13.34%. The last time Nigeria enjoyed single-digit inflation rate was under ex-President Jonathan #BuhariDemocracyDayLies

”12-Buhari lied about the so-called unprecedented FIRS tax revenue and customs receipt. When you factor in the devaluation of the Naira by the Buhari government. The revenues made is actually about half the revenues made in 2014 when Naira was ₦150 to $1.

”13-Buhari said the ₦2.7trillion capital expenditure for 2016 and 2017 combined is a record.₦2.7 trillion is worth $8 billion today. It is not up to the ₦1.6 trillion Jonathan allocated for capital expenditure in 2013 which was equivalent to $9.6 billion #BuhariDemocracyDayLies.

”14-Buhari lied by saying Nigeria is more secure under him. According to the Global Terrorism Index, Nigeria is now the THIRD most terrorised nation in the world. We were number 4 under Jonathan. We have moved 1 step backwards. Herdsmen now kill more than BH

”15-Buhari lied that he has reduced corruption in Nigeria. According to Transparency International, Nigeria is more corrupt under Buhari than it was at any time during the Jonathan administration. We have moved 12 steps backwards from 136 to 144 on TI’s CP.”

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Insecurity: Buhari Is Paying Lip Service, Says Atiku |The Republican News

By Onyekachi Eze, ABUJA


President Buhari and former VP, Abubakar Atiku

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar said the Federal Government is paying lip-service to the spate of insecurity in the country.

Atiku in a message to Nigerians yesterday to mark this year’s Democracy Day noted that instead of tackling the problem head-on, the Federal Government has been making contradictory and ridiculous excuses and engaging in diversionary finger-pointing.

“In a letter that I sent to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria recently on these killings, I pointed out, and I repeat it here, that only government can stop these senseless killings if we are to avoid major and further damage to the fabric of our fragile unity,” he warned.

The former vice president who is one of the presidential aspirants on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regretted that Nigeria has become a killing field, ‎” especially in Borno and Yobe, and the Benue River Valley, stretching from Adamawa through Taraba to the confluence of Kogi and Benue, and including Nasarawa, Plateau, Southern Kaduna, and Zamfara.”

He regretted that the killings have even extended to sacred places of worship where innocent Imams and Christian clergy and worshippers were slaughtered.

Atiku warned that Nigeria could become like Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi and the Central African Republic if those in government whose primary responsibility is the protection of the citizens continue to make contradictory and ridiculous excuses.

“We have mourned Nigerian souls to terror attacks enough for us to learn that it is insufficient that the federal government has an exclusive statutory mandate in providing security for our people,” Atiku further advised.

He reminded those in authority that‎ the ultimate virtue in a democracy is the power that it bestows in the people, adding, “The very essence of that power lies in the ability of the people to live a complete lifestyle that enables every man or woman to triumph in his or her legitimate pursuit.

“The concept of democracy is absolutely incongruent with a notion of regimentation either in the political or economic sphere.‎”

The former vice president further observed that‎ Nigeria’s journey to democracy was a tortuous one that claimed lives of many Nigerians.

According to him, it is incumbent upon the beneficiaries of their sacrifices to advance the course of democracy through transparent elections and making governmental institutions work for the people.

“The integrity of Nigeria’s electoral process and the ability of government to be accountable to the people are the minimum requirements to appreciate the sacrifices of those who gave their all for the enthronement of democracy in the country.

“As the nation goes through a cycle of elections in the coming months, it is important that the integrity of the electoral process is sacrosanct with guarantees of a free and fair election.

“Democracy is by itself a self-correcting concept, but only if there is the guarantee of credibility in the electoral process.

“As we move forward as a country, it is important that we respond to the dynamics of time in proffering solutions to some of the challenges that beset us.

“Today, the popular clamour amongst our people is the need to make government more responsive and responsible.

“Our challenges about insecurity and diversification of the economy have acquired new phases in the past few years and thus should our solutions to those challenges require a brand new thinking,” he said

Atiku ‎further noted that the nation’s economy has become too exposed to the vagaries of global oil prices, stressing the need for government to invest massively in infrastructure and liberalize the economy to create fresh opportunities for the people.

He regretted that the country has become so divided that could not even confront the most basic of the challenges.

“These are some of the challenges that we must begin to re-evaluate their manifestation, and the significance of our celebration of democracy today should mean that we employ the broadmindedness and participatory notion of democracy in seeking solutions to them,” he said.  (New Telegraph)

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LIVE VIDEO: Buhari, Trump Hold Press Conference |The Republican News

By Michael Abimboye

Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Donald Trump are currently holding a press briefing in the U.S. leader’s first meeting with a leader from sub-Saharan Africa at the White House.

The U.S. president also commended Mr Buhari for the role he played in securing the release of kidnapped Dapchi schoolgirls.

Mr Buhari also promised to secure the remaining Dapchi and Chibok girls in Boko Haram custody. He also said he would work to end the killings in the north-central states.

Watch the video below:

(New Telegraph)

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2019: Intimidation By APC Threat To Democracy – PDP Governors |RN


Ali Abare, Gombe

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over alleged intimidation and harassment of its members by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), which the party said, was capable of truncating the nation’s democracy.

The PDP raised the alarm at a press briefing at the end of an all-night marathon meeting involving governors of the party as well as its National Working Committee (NWC), in Gombe, on Monday.

The party while decrying alleged intimidation of its aspirants in mostly APC-controlled states, particularly in Kogi, Nasarawa and Kaduna states, however, called on all well-meaning Nigerians, as well as the international community to prevail on the ruling party to avoid acts capable of derailing the country’s democracy.

Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, while reading the resolutions arrived at the end of the meeting, noted that it was the same democracy that the APC rode on to power in 2015, which he said, the party inherited from the PDP that is now bent on destroying.

“We want to say that if the intimidation of our aspirants should continue, it has the potential to truncate our hard-earned democracy,” Fayose warned.

The PDP added that the alleged use of brute force against its members is an indication of the level of desperation within the ranks of the ruling party ahead of the 2019 general election.

As part of its resolution also, the PDP condemned in strong terms, the recent abduction of over 100 girls in Dapchi, Yobe State, describing the incident as unfortunate and sad.

The party said the latest abduction of the girls negates the promises made by the APC-led Federal Government when it came to power promising to protect lives and property.

“Today, they spent a huge amount of money on security but instead of the situation to get better, it’s rather getting worse by the day making it impossible for Nigerians to sleep with their eyes closed,” the PDP said.

On the fight against corruption, the PDP dismissed the fight as “mere cosmetics and a battle against perceived political opponents”, stressing that the recent Transparency International report on Nigeria really confirmed that corruption is on the increase under the Buhari presidency.

Commenting on the recent defection from the party some founding fathers of the PDP, Fayose while fielding questions from journalists, said every member of the party preserves the right to remain in the PDP as long as the party did not ask him to go.

He, however, said only the character and capacity of such persons that are capable of posing a threat to the party.

“If you are a politician, you will be a politician at the grass root, not an Abuja-based politician. How much damage can such people cause?” Fayose queried.

Fayose said the PDP remains the most credible alternative in the light of the failed promises by the ruling APC Federal Government.

Daily Sun reports that the meeting that held at the Gombe Government House began shortly after a dinner organized by the host, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, followed by a closed-door meeting involving only the governors before the expanded meeting with members of the NWC, which began around 11 pm on Sunday and lasted till about 3 am on Monday.

As at the last count, seven governors attended the meeting while deputy governors from Bayelsa and Enugu states represented their governors.

Governors that attended the meeting are, Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti, Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia, Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta, Darius Ishaku, Taraba, Benedict Ayade, Cross Rivers, Emmanuel Udom, Akwa-Ibom and Governor Dankwambo.

Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike and the National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus were not in attendance at the meeting. (The Sun)

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