Image

Buhari Plans 6-Year Third Term Allowing Him To Serve For 14 Years |The Republican News

President Muhammadu Buhari

…Bills to amend the constitution pass first reading in Reps

…APC may still feature Buhari for fear of extinction

…Crisis looms in PDP over zoning

Despite the outright denial by the Presidency that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in running for a third term, facts have emerged that he is perfecting plans to continue in office at the expiration of his second tenure in 2023.

When this plan was first uncovered, the Presidency quickly debunked such insinuations, describing them as internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary.


The Presidency had said Buhari would serve his full second elected term in office ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.


The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu who denied the possibility of a third term agenda said: “The Presidency wishes to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.


“There are no circumstances or set of circumstances under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two -term limit on holding office as President.

“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate. There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change. It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the constitution to allow for the then incumbent president to stand for a third term.”

According to Shehu, “That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President. President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support”.

But political observers are becoming more curious that Buhari through the ‘Cabal’ in the Presidency is leaving no stone unturned, including constitutional amendment, arm-twisting of the judiciary, pocketing the Electoral Umpire, rubber-stamping the legislature and castrating Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to realise the third term bid.

Only recently, an erstwhile political associate of Buhari, who is now the National Chairman of Reformed All Progressives Congress, rAPC, Buba Galadima, raised the alarm that the President may be contesting in the 2023 presidential election

Galadima said the forces controlling Buhari are planning to lure him into running for third term, alleging that the present administration has pocketed the judiciary and is doing all it could to muzzle the opposition.

According to him, Buhari has already pocketed the judiciary, and he feels that nothing will happen, and that he will be victorious at the court. His government has destroyed the judiciary and this is very troubling for democracy, and our nation


“A lot of politicians will be disappointed. Only God knows what will happen between now and 2023. Buhari may even be drafted to join the 2023 fray by some of his aides and associates.

Apart from Galadima, other political actors who however, lack the audacity to come out publicly are speaking in low tones that Buhari and his handlers are not ready to vacate the scene after 2023.

Some inside sources within the power cycle who would not want to be mentioned agreed that there are hidden plans for the incumbent President to continue in office beyond 2023.

They alluded to the fact that Buhari may not want policy somersault particularly the war against corruption, border closure, among others hence, the desire to have another tenure which would provide enough time for their consolidation.

Our sources noted that the continued retention of Service Chiefs even when some have attained 40 years against the mandatory 35 years of retirement is part of the plan not to inject new blood into the system to pave way for the unhindered tenure elongation.

The sources further disclosed that constitutional amendment is imminent and it would be targeted at creating a six-year single tenure so that after Buhari, no one would enjoy serving for a second tenure and in a way making him the last longest serving President.

“We are beginning to sense that the President and those around him don’t want to go after 2023. That is why they are doing everything, though covertly to water the ground for his third term.

“What do they want to do? They will ensure there is a constitutional amendment not just for Buhari to go for a third term but to introduce a six-year single tenure after his exit.

“So far, the Independent National Electoral Commission is in their palms, the National Assembly has been captured or do you think Gbajabiamila and Lawan would object anything the President and the Cabal want? No. In fact, they were handpicked for this purpose.

“The CSOs, where do you think they are? Can they try any rubbish? If anyone tries, he or she will have himself to be blamed as Sowore. The opposition has been annihilated. In fact, EFCC alone would finish them. Forget, 2023 is a done deal for Buhari,” a source that claimed to know the workings in the corridors of power said.

The indications to amend the constitution are becoming even palpable; hence so far, three Bills to amend the constitution have passed first reading in the National Assembly, especially in the House of Representatives which may not be unconnected with tenure elongation or six-year single term for President.

These bills are: Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.408) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.410) (Hon. Dachung Musa Bagos) and Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) Bill, 2019 (HB.418) (Hon. Awaji-Inombek Abiante).

Also, there is anxiety within the ranks and file of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party would go down with President Buhari if he exits in 2023 as he is presently the uniting force of the strange bed fellows – the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), parts of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP).


As recently decried by former Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, APC might lose its current grip of power in 2023 as APC is a party that they hurriedly put together when they were governors, with Buhari as the fulcrum.

“President Muhammadu Buhari gave character to APC. He brought his integrity to bear on the party. He made the party what it is in the northern part of the country and the masses of the North, who saw him as a true leader, and we all rode on that to achieve that victory, but after the credibility of Buhari into this party, there seems to be no alternative in the same manner that will drive this party to 2023 victory.

“This is why I expressed my concern that if we are not very careful, APC might go with Buhari in 2023, and that will be a very unfortunate situation for the founding fathers of APC. The party needs to show purposeful leadership, show character,” Okorocha said.

Meanwhile, there is raging crisis in the ranks of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) over zoning of the presidential slot ahead of 2023.

The party, particularly the National Working Committee (NWC) is plotting to maintain the zoning of its presidential ticket to the North East and South East, respectively.

By this zoning arrangement, the NWC is bent on picking former presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi as the candidates for 2023.

The NWC may have felt that since the party had a remarkable outing in the last presidential election, with Atiku and Obi, if the statuesque is maintained in 2023, PDP will oust the ruling APC roundly.

However, it was gathered that the PDP governors are not in any way ready to back the Atiku/Obi ticket anymore. The governors appear to be divided since all of them are angling for the position.

The governors seem to be resistant on the zoning to North East and South East because, they feel President Muhamadu Buhari’s body language tilts towards plot to elongate his tenure in 2023, and that if Atiku/Obi ticket is flown, the party may not coast to victory.

Sources said, already, some of the governors including Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State are nursing political ambition to run on North West and South-South zoning. They have since started holding secret meetings to woo the other governors’ support to convince the party to zone the presidential slot in their favour.

Wike, it is said has been the chief strategist rooting for Tambuwal as he wants to be Vice President in 2023 but as it stands, there is no possibility that the NWC will agree to dance according to tunes of Wike and or bow to any North West and South-South zoning, just as it appears Wike is the major financier of the party, hence Rivers is rated the only PDP state with overall financial might.

Retrospectively, it was same Wike’s alleged shenanigans that saw the crisis that erupted, few months ago, between the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) and NWC, over suspension of the House of Representatives Minority leader, Ndidi Elumelu. The dust on the matter is yet to settle.

Wike had reportedly tipped Peter Chinda who is from Rivers State for the position and compelled the party to accept it, which the party refused.

Unfortunately, majority of party executive members did not buy into it and worked against it vehemently. Till now, the crisis on the matter is brewing and the party is not ready to entertain yet another internal chaos.

Although at the moment, the PDP appears unstable on how it intends to zone the presidential slot, it is determined to oust the APC and to resist every move by Buhari to elongate his tenure in 2023.

Of course, with alleged Buhari’s plan to retain 2023, pundits perceive that the consideration of Tambuwal and Wike for the 2023 slot may garner more acceptability, more so that they are younger politicians with vast experiences and sagacity.

But the PDP has said it is yet to decide on any zoning and that those trying to peddle the information are doing so to further their own selfish political ambitions.

The PDP, through the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan has stated in a statement that there is no plot to stop the ambition of any of the governors either.

“For the avoidance of doubt, our party is yet to discuss the 2023 presidential election, overtly or covertly, at any time whatsoever.

“If anything, the PDP is currently working with Nigerians on how to win its elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states and will not be distracted by

individuals who found themselves operating in the highest offices of the land but failing in governance.
“As a party, we are also working with our respective state governors and legislators across the country as they work hard, in line with the manifesto of our party, to improve on the welfare and development of Nigerians,” he said.

“Moreover, it is also imperative to counsel, without any equivocation, that enemies of our party, who feel threatened by the rising profile of
Governor Nyesom Wike, should have a rethink on their incessant attacks on the governor,” Ologbodiyan said. (BusinessDay)

Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +32497220468, +23481819650279, +32466100102

https://facebook.com/TheRepulicanNews, https://twitter.com/RNNetwork1, https://instagram.com/therepublicannews1

Continue reading
Advertisements
Image

NASS Election Delay Meant To See The Exit of Oshiomhole |The Republican News

APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole

John Alechenu

The desire of the All Progressives Congress to go into the elections of a new leadership of the National Assembly as a united house has put on hold threats to the position of Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman of the ruling party, SUNDAY PUNCH has learnt.

It was learnt that party leaders across geopolitical zones were reaching out to one another on the need to get aggrieved party members to “sheath their swords” in order not to give the opposition room to spring a surprise on the floors of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

A highly placed member of the party leadership, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said, “We are talking to ourselves.”
The party leader further stated, “We all agree that mistakes were made during the primaries leading up to the recently concluded 2019 general elections.

“We also agree that there is a need for us to come together and forge a way forward and that the letter, recently written by one of us, spoke the minds of some and angered some others because it was leaked to the press.

“However, we have National Assembly leadership elections in a little over one week and as a party, we cannot afford to lose these elections. In order to succeed, we must work as a team and present a common front.”

The source added, “The predominant view at the moment is that we cannot afford a distraction which a struggle for a change in the party’s leadership will certainly bring at this time.

“I cannot predict what may follow after the National Assembly leadership election matter is settled because whether you like it or not, we have lost three APC votes from Zamfara in the Senate.”

In a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, on Saturday, however, the APC National Vice Chairman (South-South), Hilliard Eta, said Oshiomhole’s position as national chairman was not under threat.

He said, “Our National Chairman’s position is not under threat. The letter written by our deputy national chairman (North) was a personal opinion which he, like every member of our party, is entitled to. If there was any decision we took as members of the National Working Committee which he was not comfortable with, the best thing for him to have done was to have resigned.

“After he resigns, then he can stand on a sound moral ground to call for another person’s resignation; this will make Nigerians take him seriously.”

In a related development, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan, has said his open endorsement by a Peoples Democratic Party Senator-elect, Peter Nwaoboshi (Delta North), is a sign of greater things to come.

Lawan, who is the APC’s preferred candidate for the position of Senate President, said this while speaking to reporters in Abuja on Saturday.

While expressing appreciation for the endorsement, he said his campaign team would, within the next couple of days, hold further engagements with the PDP caucus among Senators-elect with a view to reaching an understanding.

He said, “We are expecting the PDP Senators-elect, all of them, to have an understanding with us and endorse me as a caucus.

“Let me pay tribute, first, to Senator Ifeanyi Ubah of the Yes Peoples Party. He identified with our aspirations the first day the idea of running for this office was muted and he has been with us. We have been campaigning together; sometimes he goes along to campaign to spread our vision for the 9th National Assembly.”

Speaking specifically about Nwaoboshi’s endorsement, he described it as a move borne out of a patriotic heart.

He said, “Nigerians don’t care about what platform you represent in the Senate. What they care about will be what the 9th Senate is able to do to better their lives. What Nigerians care for is an improvement in the security of their lives and property.

“What Nigerians care for is how the economy will be improved and revitalised so that it is an all-inclusive economy; an economy that will work for those at the lowest level of the ladder and those at the highest level, those who will create the business and those who need to be employed.”

The Senate Leader further explained that at various times, as a member of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, he had cause to support and campaign for Aminu Masari (now Katsina State governor) to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and Senator David Mark for Senate President.

This, he said, was not without prejudice to the fact that both men were members of the PDP.

He said, “In 2007 when I came to the Senate, I campaigned for Senator David Mark even though I was not in the PDP, (but) because I saw him as a distinguished man that will give us the kind of leadership we needed at that time.

“That would give us a sense of purpose, a direction and a focus as a Senate to perform; we did that again in 2011. Of course, then he was unopposed. It was in 2007 that there were rigorous campaigns and the elections were held transparently for everyone to see.” (Punch)

Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +32466100102, +2348189650279, +32497220468.

https://facebook.com/TheRepublicanNews, https://twitter.com/RNNetwork1, https://instagram.com/therepublicannews1

Continue reading
Image

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)

Subscribe to The Republican News, Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquiries. Email: RepublicanNewsNetwork1@gmail.com, phone: +2348189650279, +32466100102, +32497220468.

https://facebook.com/TheRepublicanNews, https://twitter.com/RNNetwork1, https://instagram.com/therepublicannews1

Continue reading
Image

Akpabio: Court Stops INEC From Issuing Certificate Of Return To PDP’s Chris Ekpeyong

Godswill-Akpabio                                                    Godswill Akpabio

 

By Alex Enumah in Abuja

 

Justice Valentine Ashi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Friday restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing its Certificate of Return to Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Chris Ekpeyong, winner of the Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District Seat in the just concluded National Assembly election.

Justice Ashi gave the restraining order in a short ruling on an ex parte motion filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

Akpabio in the suit No: FCT/HC/M/2680/19 and filed on February 28 prayed the court for, “An order granting leave to him to apply for a judicial review for the issuance of a writ of Mandamus, prohibition, injunction and other declarative reliefs sought against the respondent (INEC).”

He also prayed the court to direct the respondent to stay further action “particularly further action in respect of issuance of certificate of return to any candidate in respect of the seat of senator representing Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial district on the account of election held on the 23rd February, 2019.”

The ex parte application which was supported by an affidavit deposed to by one Daniel Idoko, was argued by Akpabio’s lawyer, Sunday Ameh SAN.

In a short ruling Justice Ashi, held that the case of Akpabio is meritorious and that there is need to keep things in status quo.

“Leave is hereby granted to the applicant to apply for judicial review for the issuance of a writ of Mandamus, prohibition, injunction and other declaratory reliefs against the respondent.”

“Leave granted shall operate as stay of further action of the respondent and particularly in respect of issuance of certificate of return to any candidate in respect of the seat as sought by the applicant,” Justice Ashi held.

While adjourning the matter till March 8 for hearing of the substantive suit, the judge however directed that parties must first address him on the issue of jurisdiction on the next sitting.  (ThisDay)

 

Suscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us call us for press release, enquiries.

Phone: +234-8189650279, +32-497220468, +32-466100102

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Atiku Wins Buhari In Delta State, As PDP Wins 11 NASS Seats, APC 2 |RN

As PDP wins 11 NASS seats to APC’s 2

Paul Osuyi, Asaba

 

Former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has polled a total of 594,068 votes across the 25 local government areas of Delta State in last Saturday’s presidential election.

His rival and incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) scored a total of 221,292 votes.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Collation Officer for state, Prof. Seth Accra Jaja, Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Otuoke announced the results in Asaba after collating the various results from various local government areas as earlier announced by respective LGA collation officers.

Atiku won in 23 out of the 25 councils, leaving Buhari with two.

Buhari won in Ethiope East LGA where the state governorship candidate, Great Ogboru hails from; and Ughelli North LGA where incumbent Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and state APC leader, O’tega Emerhor hail from.

Chairman of the state APC campaign council and former governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan did not only lost his senatorial election for Delta South, but failed to deliver APC in his Warri North LGA.

Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu also lost his local government, Aniocha North to the PDP.

Meanwhile, the PDP won two senatorial seats with incumbent senators Peter Nwaoboshi and James Manager retaining their seats for Delta North and Delta South respectively. Similarly, incumbent Senator Ovie Omo-Agege for Delta Central also retained his seat.

While Nwaoboshi polled 186,423 votes to defeat Doris Uboh of APC with 36,360 votes to retain the seat for Delta North, Mr. Manager pulled an upset in Delta South, defeating immediate past governor of the state, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan of the APC, who was primed to win going to series of endorsements he enjoyed prior to the election.

Manager who has been in the red chamber since 2003, scored 258,812 votes while Uduaghan scored 125,776 votes.

On his part, Omo-Agege defeated Mrs. Evelyn Oboro of the PDP to retain his senatorial seat for Delta Central.

In the House of Representatives election, PDP clinched nine out of the available ten seats in the green chamber, with House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor polling 34,000 to trash Joel Onowakpor of the APC who scored 23,553 votes.

Like Manager, Ogor who represents Isoko Federal Constituency will be serving his fifth tenure in the next dispensation.

Breakdown of the presidential election results across the local government areas:
Warri South LGA

PDP 22,086
APC 10,007

Isoko South LGA

PDP 19,407
APC 10,536

Isoko North LGA

PDP 19,515
APC 7,045

Warri South-West

PDP 81,833
APC 43,214

Burutu

PDP 38,543
APC 5,546

Warri North LGA

PDP 25,394
APC 12,744

Sapele LGA

PDP 13,642
APC 9776

Ughelli North

PDP 16,140
APC 24,193

Okpe LGA

PDP 11,167
APC 7,769

Ndokwa West LGA

PDP 20,498
APC 3,579

Bomadi LGA

PDP 62,297
APC 1,742

Ndokwa East LGA

PDP 20,976
APC 3,312

Ethiope East LGA

PDP 8,294
APC 13,854

Ethiope West LGA

PDP 29,458
APC 8,648

Ughelli South LGA

PDP 14,802
APC 10,078

Aniocha North LGA

PDP 12,996
APC 3,674.

Oshimili North LGA

PDP 19,700
APC 1,960

Patani LGA

PDP 17,028
APC 4,789

Ukwuani LGA

PDP 14,681
APC 4,552

Uvwie LGA

PDP 12,712
APC 7,591

Oshimili South LGA

PDP 38,670
APC 2,635

Udu LGA

PDP 10,048
APC 9,166

Aniocha South LGA

PDP 14,770
APC 3,239

Ika South LGA

PDP 20,080
APC 6,378

Ika North-East LGA

PDP 29,331
APC 5,265

(The Sun)

Subscribe to The Republican News. Advertise with us. Call us for press release, enquires

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

NASS Invasion: Buhari’s Ominous Descent Into Dictatorship |RN

THE horizon is looking ominous for Nigeria. Under President Muhammadu Buhari, the country is rapidly descending into a full-blown dictatorship. With scant regard for the separation of powers, the rule of law and the tenets that underpin a sound democracy, masked State Security Service and police officers invaded the National Assembly early in the morning on Tuesday in Abuja. The officers prevented the legislators, who had convened an emergency session, from deliberating. But in an uncharacteristically swift response from the Presidency, the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, sacked the Director-General of the SSS, Lawal Daura. Rightly, Osinbajo described the unauthorised takeover of the National Assembly complex “as a gross violation of the constitutional order, rule of law and all accepted notions of law and order.”

The essence of constitutional government is to ensure that the powers of the state are kept in check so that personal liberty would not be infringed. The scene that played out at the Three Arms Zone on Tuesday is a throwback to full military dictatorship, which ceased to be in 1999 when the Fourth Republic came into being. For masked SSS officers to have locked out legislators and NASS members of staff from their chambers and offices was reckless and unconscionable. Although some NASS members confronted the SSS operatives, they refused to do the right thing. These types of breaches occur only in banana republics, where the rule of law is in abeyance and government has become unpopular.

Though the Acting President claimed that the unlawful act was done without the knowledge of the Presidency, it didn’t come out of the blue. Before now, cases of abuse of power by the Buhari government had become more prolific and severe. In July 2016, the SSS operatives reportedly rounded up principal officers of the Zamfara State legislature and took them to Abuja, where they were detained. Their only offence was their move to press impeachment charges against the state governor, Abdulaziz Yari. In early 2016, there was a clampdown on peaceful protests held in several cities to highlight the economic hardship citizens were passing through and failure of government’s policies to address it, even when the then Acting President,  Osinbajo, avowed the administration’s acknowledgement of peaceful protests as the “fundamental right of the people.” Daura has taken Nigeria for a ride for too long!

The abuse of power is only reaching epidemic proportions as the 2019 elections draw nearer. For the past three weeks, Nigeria has been awash with tales of use, misuse and outright abuse of power. The upheaval began on July 24 when 14 senators and 37 House of Representatives members defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress to other parties, particularly the Peoples Democratic Party. This seemingly altered the balance of power against the APC, especially when the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, announced his own defection from the APC to the PDP.

On the day of defection, the police and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission officers had invaded the Abuja homes of Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Senate President, preventing them from leaving their homes. Events escalated quickly with the defections of Governors Samuel Ortom of Benue, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara and Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto states, from the APC to the PDP. But the trend of violating the sanctity of the legislative arm of government first came to the fore forcefully in Benue when the police locked down the state assembly and aided eight minority lawmakers, in an assembly of 30 members, to launch impeachment proceedings against Ortom. The EFCC is also probing Ortom’s spending of security vote.

These cases are no doubt disturbing. Specifically on Ortom’s travails, Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, says, “Coincidences are, by their very nature, suspect, and I certainly perceive the beginnings of a heavy-handed campaign of reprisals from ruling circles over your political decision…This bodes ill for the nation. It goes beyond any immediately-affected state and alerts us all to fascistic threats against a common democratic destination, and the basic right of free choice of political paths towards its attainment.” We agree.

Put bluntly, Buhari bears the responsibility and blame for this avoidable or needless recourse to naked abuse of power to further personal political interests. Perhaps, the most deeply depressing aspect of Buhari’s dictatorial tendency is that it is not shocking. In 2015, many had doubted his claims of democratic metamorphosis. In response, Buhari pledged in his inaugural speech, “The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution.” Nigerians now know better.

The founding fathers of democracy saw the danger of vesting the powers of government in one person; and therefore separated them into three: the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature. Undoubtedly, the parliament is the unmistakable symbol of democracy. Its abrogation, while the other two arms continue to exist in the event of military intervention, underscores this point.

Buhari should halt this dictatorial tendency. While we will be the first to assert the bedrock principle that no one is above the law, the recent events have crossed the line from law enforcement into a brazen intolerance for dissent. Noah Feldman, a constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School, says, “The people with the guns listen to the president. So if the president marched in and had a Supreme Court justice removed, you’d need some way to respond to that. That’s a high crime.”

The loss of trust in someone in whom voters had placed so much hope in 2015 is disturbing.  Our state institutions should be seen to be conscientious and accountable. Buhari should refrain from further plunging Nigeria deeper into an abyss of unnecessary crisis, the type that is capable of showing the country in a bad light. A country already blighted by unprecedented levels of insecurity – terrorism, militancy, robbery, uncontrolled bloodbath and other acts of criminality – should not allow herself to be sucked in by an eddy of self-contrived political instability. What is happening does not bode well both for Nigeria’s political stability and economic prosperity. A country very much in need of foreign direct investment should be more tactful in her actions, especially in portraying herself to the outside world as an embodiment of the rule of law, not as an arena for rascals to exhibit lawlessness and impunity. No investor would take Nigeria seriously enough to consider her a destination for investment when the environment does not suggest that it would be safe and protected.

Besides, as the country to which leadership is naturally bestowed in Africa, Nigeria should not be seen to be promoting the kind of political intolerance associated with countries such as Zimbabwe, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, where opposition to government is always met with a serious crackdown. These countries, including Nigeria, would have experienced a far higher level of development if they had inculcated the politics of tolerance and inclusiveness. It is only a government that has become very unpopular that behaves this way; it shows a level of desperation to hold on to power – at all costs.

Nigeria should not be seen as one of the countries where the President, at the least provocation, has to deploy state security apparatus against the opposition.  Nigerians have a duty to speak up now, defend democracy and make it clear that they will not tolerate any form of abuse of power.  (Punch)

www.Twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Kwakwaso, Mark, Jang, 46 Other Senators Sign pro-Saraki List |RN

John Alechenu, Abuja

Former Senate President, David Mark, and Senators Jonah Jang, Abiodun Olujimi and Rabiu Kwankwaso were among 49 senators who signed a list rejecting any move to force a change in leadership in the Senate.

The list was made available to reporters in the Senate on Tuesday.

It was gathered that the list was meant to serve as a notice to those behind the alleged botched attempt to remove the Senate President, Bukola Saraki,  and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

The list, which is made up mostly members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, was compiled at the foyer of the National Assembly.

A copy of the list sighted by our correspondent, read, “We, the undersigned senators, hereby declare our total support for Senator Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as President and Deputy Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are against any purported illegal impeachment being cooked up by a few minorities (sic).”

Recall that speculations that a group of senators of the All Progressives Congress were plotting to invade the National Assembly to reconvene and effect a leadership change led to the appearance of several PDP senators, who decided to suspend their recess, to thwart the move.

They were, however, initially prevented from entering into the National Assembly complex by armed and masked operatives of the Department of State Services who said they were acting on “orders from above.” (Punch)

www.Twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Nigeria Risk Total Government Shutdown Due To National Assembly Recess – Ita Enang

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, has warned that the country might face a total government shutdown if the National Assembly does not reconvene urgently.

Enang and the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, gave this indication while addressing State House correspondents shortly after a closed-door meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday in Abuja.

Both men were in the State House to brief the Acting President on the situation in the Senate.

They also expressed the urgent need for the National Assembly to reconvene immediately and pass the virement and supplementary budgets requested by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We are still appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene. You remember that we passed the budget with the understanding that a great amount of the money will be sourced from foreign loans.

“Although it was approved that there would be a loan, the amount that would be sourced was not approved.

“The Fiscal Responsibility Act requires that the President specifically state the amount he wants to get from foreign loans and present it before the National Assembly.

“That letter has been presented before the National Assembly and it has to pass that amount before it could be obtained from the foreign financing institutions.

“This is what we are asking, but if it does not happen in the next few months, we risk a complete government shutdown because what we are receiving from the Federation Account as Federal Government share — the capital component — is not enough to sustain even 15 per cent to 20 per cent of budget.

“So, there may be a complete government shutdown and I know Nigerians will not like it. That is why we are appealing to the National Assembly to reconvene.’’

Enang said that the All Progressives Congress had a clear majority in the Senate as it now had in its fold, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Senate and other defecting Senators.

He said that Akpabio would be formally received in APC at a ceremony that would be held in Akwa Ibom on August 8.

On his part, Lawan said that the capital aspect of the 2019 budget would be largely funded by foreign facilities/loans.

He said that the National Assembly needed to pass the virement and supplementary budgets alongside other important and essential requests, especially that of the Independent National Electoral Commission and other security agencies.

“We need to reconvene immediately to look into these issues.

“Our government is almost stalled and I believe that if we pass the supplementary budget and virement request of Mr President, it will enable our government to provide the various infrastructure that we have planned to provide for Nigerians.

“To do otherwise will be sabotage to this administration; will be sabotage to democracy itself because if we cannot provide the funds for INEC to plan the 2019 elections, what do we call ourselves?

“Take the case of INEC for example, it can pick some items from the shelves but there are so many important items that INEC will place an order that will take two to three months.

“ So, it is very imperative that we do the needful; we should reconvene the National Assembly immediately; as legislators and representatives of Nigeria, we do what is best in the national interest.’’

He urged senators to quickly reconvene and pass the requests as anything contrary would mean fighting the masses.

Lawan said that there were conflicting reports from different caucuses of the Senate, but that APC remained the majority, as it had 53 senators in its caucus.

He noted that the list of senators in APC caucus had been made public and challenged the PDP to publish the names of senators in the PDP Senate caucus.

News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the Senate adjourned sittings on July 24 to reconvene on September 25.

(NAN)

www.twiter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

NASS Rejects Buhari’s Executive Order 6 |The Republican News

Muhammadu-Buhari6

President Muhammadu Buhari

  • Summons AGF over assets confiscation policy
  • Senate urges president to set up judicial panel of inquiry

Ndubuisi Orji and Fred Itua, Abuja

The National Assembly yesterday rejected the Executive Order 6, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last week, and urged the President to suspend its implementation, noting that it is similar to Decree 2 of 1984.

While the House of Representatives resolved to constitute an ad hoc committee to investigate all the executive orders signed and other subsidiary legislations, the Senate asked the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to appear before it to explain the constitutional basis for the order.

The House gave its Ad-hoc Committee four weeks to complete its assignment.

The House equally directed Malami and the Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC), to make available to it a comprehensive list of all subsidiary legislations published in the Federal Government gazette within two weeks. He was also summoned to appear before the House.

This followed the adoption of a motion on “Urgent Need to Investigate the Constitutional Compliance of All Subsidiary Legislation and Executive Orders by the Executive Arm of Government,” sponsored by Nicholas Ossai and 25 oth- ers, under matters of urgent public importance.

However, immediately the motion, which generated a heated debate, with lawmakers shouting at one another was adopted, some All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmakers staged a walkout to protest the decision.

Ossai had argued that the Executive Order, which empowered government to restrict dealing on the assets of persons suspected of corruption, pending the outcome of investigation, was a violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and an attempt to usurp the powers of the legislature.

He noted: “History will remember you in 20, 30 years to come that the President on his own wrote a law and the House failed to challenge it.”

A member from Ondo, Bode Ayorinde, who introduced himself as a member of the Reformed APC, amid cheers from his colleagues said, the action of the President was an aberration.

“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The section 4 has given the parliament the power to make law.

“A situation where the executive without combing other arms of government by way of executive order, we must rise against it, otherwise, there is no democracy. It should not be allowed.

“We should remind ourselves that we are in democracy. An executive bill can come here. But to now circumvent the rule of law will be an aberration,” he said.

One of those who opposed the motion, Mojeed Alabi, said the question of the legality or otherwise of the Executive Order 6 did not arise, noting that there were precedents.

While describing the motion as “hasty and premature,” the lawmaker said the only option open to the House was to approach the Supreme Court on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Senate while adopting the motion sponsored by the chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, David Umaru (APC), ordered Buhari to immediately set up Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCE), to investigate all cases of human rights abuses allegedly committed by security agencies, particularly in the last three years when he assumed office.

It urged the President to put a stop to the violation of human rights across the country.

The Federal Government was also told to demonstrate practical commitment to the observance of the rule of law especially in ensuring obedience to court orders and following due process in fulfillment of its constitutional obligations.

Efforts by senators loyal to Buhari in APC to stop the debate failed as majority of senators said they believed that the parliament was the right place to debate threats to democracy.

Senator Jibril Barau from Kano State was of the opinion that some matters raised in the motion were already before the court.

He was overruled by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who argued that what the Senate was debating was not those issues in court, but violations of human rights and breaches of constitution.

Senator Enyinnayya Abaribe, who was just released by the Department of State Services (DSS), said it was unfortunate that some senators could take side with the executive arm of government.

Senator Shehu Sani, another APC member from Kaduna, warned that those who think they are favoured by this government might be victims in future if these abuses are sustained.

The Senate motion observed: “In the last few years, Nigeria’s democratic credentials had become questionable as a result of the alarming cases of alleged state-inspired human rights violations and consistent constitutional infractions perpetrated by agencies of government.

“It is alarming that in the recent past, allegations abound that the executive has not only consistently violated the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens particularly the rights to dignity of human person and right to personal liberty as guaranteed respectively under sections 34 and 35 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended but also infringed on the constitution in several ways.

“Notable instances of such human rights violations are well documented by the Human Rights Watch and other reputable human rights organisations.”

It described as worrisome alleged “lack of accountability for human rights violations by security agencies and other militant elements including armed herdsmen; heavy-handed violent responses to peaceful protests as exemplified by previous crackdown on agitators for the Independent State of Biafra (IPOB) and the recent violent clashes between the police and suspected members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMM), who were protesting the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaki in Abuja and Kaduna respectively.”

The motion lamented what it termed as the “gradual descent of the country into anarchy and despotism as a result of indiscriminate arrests, unconstitutional detention of citizens under questionable circumstances as was the fate of the Senator representing Abia South, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who was whisked away by a detachment of DSS personnel while attending a function at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and later kept incommunicado for five days.

“It has become highly alarming that Nigeria’s democracy is also being threatened by deliberate and sustained executive assault on the Constitution as exemplified by some recent actions of the executive arm of government.”

It listed such actions to include “inadequate security protection for courts in the country which has indirectly undermined the independence of judiciary and exposed many judicial officers to violent attacks as was recently witnessed in Rivers State when some armed bandits in an attempt to overawe court officials stormed the Rivers State Judiciary Complex and maimed several people and killing several others;

“Release of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) for the purchase of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the United States Government without prior approval by the National Assembly.”

The motion said all these actions were taken by the executive arm of government in direct contravention of Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution. (The Sun)

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading

Image

Court Orders National Assembly To Begin Impeachment Process Against Buhari

buhari-new-pix

President Muhammadu Buhari

Femi Makinde, Osogbo

A Federal High Court sitting in Osogbo has granted an order of mandamus to compel the National Assembly to begin impeachment process against President Muhammadu Buhari, based on some alleged constitutional breaches.

Justice Maureen Onyetenu gave the ex parte order on Wednesday, following a motion filed before her by the Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association, Ilesa branch, Mr Kanmi Ajibola; and a human rights activist, Mr Suleiman Adeniyi.

The activists had, about three months ago, written to the Senate and the House of Representatives to begin impeachment process against the President, based on the continuous killings and spending without lawmakers’ approval.

However, the duo approached the court seeking an order to compel the National Assembly to begin the process following their refusal to impeach Buhari based on the activists’ letters.

They alleged that the President did not possess a certificate to be qualified as a President and should be impeached based on this and other alleged impeachable offences.

The judge, in her ruling, granted the leave to compel the National Assembly to commence impeachment process against the President.  (Punch)

www.twitter.com/RNNetwork1

Continue reading