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APC Won’t Present Opportunists Like Saraki, Dogara – Oshiomhole |RN

John Alechenu, Abuja

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, has vowed that the party will not field people he described as opportunists who seek to use the party’s platform to pursue their selfish interests.

He said the party had learnt from its past mistakes and was prepared to make amends by ensuring that “bread and butter politicians” were not given the party’s tickets to contest the forthcoming general elections.

Oshiomhole said this while addressing members of the APC Governorship and National Assembly screening committees in Abuja, on Monday.

Although Oshiomhole didn’t mention the names of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who dumped the party for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, events he mentioned relate to the actions taken by them.

The APC national chairman said, “We do not want to field opportunists who are simply seeking a political vehicle for some selfish purposes.

“What has happened in recent past is enough for us to begin to look at the character of those who are seeking office in the APC platform.

“If before now we have taken for granted the powers of the National Assembly, how those powers can be used for national goals and how it can also be misused to undermine national progress.

“The current situation we are facing here, where two principal officers have chosen to put their personal interest over and above the national interest.

“Refusing to consider budget meant for physical infrastructure. Budget meant to re-order the way our budget is executed, to move money away from consumption, which recurrent expenditure represents, to capital projects, which will benefit our people.”

He also said it was sad that the National Assembly was delaying the passage of the budget of the Independent National Electoral Commission for the 2019 elections.

Oshiomhole explained that the party would henceforth ensure that only persons with the intellectual capacity to articulate issues on the basis at which laws and bills were considered as well as those with the capacity to carry out oversight functions to ensure that Nigerians get value for money would be those considered worthy of the party’s tickets.

This is even as he said the party would not abandon the 57 senators who remained faithful to the party during the trying times.

He said, “For us as a party, we have chosen to learn from the positive lessons from this development so that we do not repeat those mistakes by selecting people who as far as human capacity is we can assess and predict that if elected, they will remain faithful not only to our party but more importantly to the Nigerian nation.

“As we speak, I am proud that we have 57 senators who have refused to be induced or misled or otherwise manipulated into moving to other parties or reward for juicy positions.

“It will be ungodly for us as a party not to reward those who believe in the party and the government of the day led by President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The former Edo State governor equally expressed regret that the party’s National Working Committee was still grappling with the “fraudulent” state congresses conducted by the previous party executive.

He said, “In many of the states, we had challenges arising from the way congresses were conducted. Many of them were quite fraudulent; that has been the challenge we have been trying to resolve since we came.

“Screening of aspirants is not a formality. That is why we tried to search for men and women of integrity who cannot be compromised.”

Some aspirants seeking the party’s ticket to contest for the Senate and House of Representatives seats have expressed apprehension over the comments made by the chairman.

One of those who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution said, “This goes to confirm some of our fears.

“My colleagues and I were discussing the news that the party leadership has a list of preferred candidates and this whole screening thing is meant to give legitimacy to their scheme. We are watching and waiting.”   (Punch)

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Dogara’s Defection Didn’t Come As A Surprise – APC |The Republican News

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly

Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says that the reported defection of the Speaker House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, did not come to them as a surprise, accusing him of anti-party activities.

Reacting to the reported silent defection, the ruling party quipped that the comment by President Muhammadu Buhari that ‘weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our par, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection.

The statement signed by the Ag National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena, read:

“We have received several media requests for a reaction to the purported defection of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Dogara from the APC to one of the opposition political parties, as reported in the media.

“In reacting, a recent comment by President Buhari, aptly sums Dogara’s reported defection: “The weakest people whose senses of expectation do not align with our vision have exited our Party”.

“Dogara’s reported defection has not come to us as a surprise. It was only a matter of time judging by Dogara’s anti-party antics in the National Assembly where in connivance with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, he exploited all available avenues to sabotage and undermine the APC-led executive.

“Dogara’s anti-party activities which enabled one of the opposition party’s sole victory in Bogoro Local Government Area (Dogara’s council) during the recent Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election won by the APC is another pointer, among several others.

“Indeed, all politics is local. As a Party, we empathise with Dogara on his confusion and despair over his bleak political future given the fact that he is not on ground and a political paperweight in his home Bauchi state. In his emergence as Speaker, Dogara was merely used by his political master to achieve their selfish political ends at the time.

“They have since moved on to pursue their individual political aspirations and left Dogara in the cold. We would advise Dogara against his ill-advised decision to re-contest his House of Representatives seat under the opposition party he is linked with because a crushing and humiliating defeat surely awaits him.

“As a party, we remain united and committed to our progressives ideologies. We urge party faithful to consolidate on our strengths and collectively go into the 2019 general elections as a united and strong political fighting force to sustain the Change Agenda we are implementing for the benefit of Nigerians,” the statement read.   (The Sun)

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House Speaker, Dogara Dumps APC, Picks PDP Forms |The Republican News

Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja

 

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, may have finally defected from the All Progressives Congress to the Peoples Democratic Party.

Our correspondent gathered on Wednesday night that the embattled speaker had picked the PDP nomination and expression of interest forms to return to the House in 2019.

A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity,  said that the speaker had picked the forms.

“Yes, he had picked our forms, but don’t quote me, he has joined us,” the source said last night.

Dogara had two days ago expressed his desire to return to the National Assembly in 2019 when members of his constituents visited him in Abuja.

However, he refused to state the political party that he would use to facilitate his ambition.

The Speaker had been having running battles with the leadership of the APC in both his state, Bauchi and at the national level.

Just like the President of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki, who had defected to the PDP from the APC,  Dogara had also absent from the activities of the ruling party.

Our correspondent gathered that the decision by Dogara was necessitated by the fear that his party no longer had faith in him.

With this decision, it is expected that he would announce his defection to his colleagues in the House when the National Assembly resumes after the political parties’ primaries. (Punch)

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BREAKING: Dogara, Lasun Absent From APC NEC Meeting |RN

John Alechenu, Abuja

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and his deputy, Suleiman Lasun are conspicuously absent from the on-going National Executive Committee meeting of the All Progressives Congress.

The two are currently the highest ranking members of the party in the legislature following the decision of the Senate President Bukola Saraki to dump the party to join the opposition. Saraki’s deputy, Ike Ekweremadu is a member of the PDP.

Although the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole offered their apologies party watchers note that Dogara and Lasun are among top party leaders who have at one point or another voiced their displeasure over happenings within the party.

Lasun was particularly unhappy with the adoption of the direct method adopted for the Osun Governorship primary which he participated in and lost. The APC NEC is expected to announce a decision as to whether this system will be adopted for subsequent primaries.    (Punch)

 

Details later……..

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Buhari, Saraki, Dogara Meet Over Budget, NASS Invasion, Melaye, IGP, Others |RN

Buhari-Saraki-and-Dogara

President Muhamadu Buhari, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker Of the House Of Representatives

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The non-appearance of the of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, the ill-treatment being meted to Senator Dino Melaye, the invasion of National Assembly by suspected thugs as well as the passage of the 2018 budget were among the issues that President Muhammadu Buhari discussed with the leadership of the National Assembly.

Senate President  Bukola Saraki and Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Monday afternoon on the invitation of President Buhari, told State House Correspondents that they talked on the key issues of importance to both arms of government.

Saraki and Dogara, arrived the Aso Rock in the same car to meet with Buhari, barely two hours after he arrived Abuja from his home state of Katsina, where he had participated in the ward congress of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Saraki said the President invited them over to discuss with them his recent visit to the United States of America, the passage of the 2018 Budget, and the invasion of the National Assembly by thugs, but they used the opportunity to complain to him their reservations about the non-appearance of the IGP, despite repeated invitations.

They appealed Buhari to make officers of the executive arm of government operate within the ambit of law in their actions.

Melaye, who represents Kogi West Senatorial Zone, had been accused of gun-running and later, attempted suicide, by the police, which eventually arrested him, confined him to the hospital and later stretchered him to two different courts to face the charges.

Some hoodlums had on April 18th invaded the Senate and made away with the Mace, the symbol of authority.

Saraki on why they were in the Presidential Villa said, “Well, we came on the invitation of Mr President, he wanted to brief us on his trip to the United States and also the issue of the budget. We also talked about the issue of concerns to us, the invasion of the National Assembly, which he showed great concern and said action will be taken to investigate that.”

Asked when they are passing the budget, the Senate President said, “Well, hopefully, it should be laid this week. If it can be laid this week then it can be passed early next week but we are hoping it will be laid this week.”

On what was the President’s response on invasion, Saraki said, “Of course, he sees it as an embarrassment to the country and that there will be a proper investigation because is something that is not just about the National Assembly, it is about the country.”

On efforts to improve the strained relationship between the executive and the legislature, the Senate President said, “You see we are here today, it was the initiative of Mr President to brief us on his visit to America and to engage on discussions and I think that is a good sign. We in the National Assembly have always been ready to give all our support to the executive and we will continue to work along those lines. As I said, the presidential system that we operate, we sometimes have the responsibility to check the excesses of the executive, so there will always be times we will disagree but by and large, we will always work for the interest of Nigerians and always keep on moving on.”

On where the issue of Senator Dino Melaye came up in the meeting, Dogara said, “On the issue of Senator Dino, of course, anything that happens to one of our members or any member of the National Assembly is of concern to us. And there is no way we can have this kind of meeting without raising that. This is a civilian administration, it is a democracy and it is imperative and very very important that all institutions of democracy operate within the ambit of the rule of law.

“There is nowhere,  I have said it before that police will behave in a democracy like a clan of tribesmen, like an upgraded barbarians sort of. So there is the need for us to act with civility. We are not saying that anybody should be protected and defended. Once you have committed an offence, our law said you should answer to it but you just have to utilize the provision of our constitution, the rule of law and that this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has overemphasised in order to bring people to book. But a situation where people are wheeled to court, that doesn’t give a good image of our democracy. I have not seen a democracy where people are wheeled to court, they are not in the proper frame of mind and they are forced to undergo trial.

“Whatever it is, even if Dino is pretending as some have said it in some section of the media, he cannot pretend forever. He is there, he will not run away, he is a senator and he can be tried any time he is in the proper frame of mind. As a lawyer, I can tell you, any judge that assesses an accused person not to be in a proper frame of mind, even if the accused person pleads guilty, he is duty bound by law to record a plea of not guilty if he is not satisfied as to the soundness of the mind of the accused person.

“So the emphasis is there and I believe the president being a listening president will definitely take steps and do something about it.”

Asked if the issue of planned impeachment process came up in the meeting, Dogara said, no as it wasn’t part of the agenda of the meeting.

“Well, I don’t think we have the authority to discuss issues of impeachment, impeachment is a political offence and I don’t think we are there yet.

“No, never. It wasn’t part of the agenda.”

Saraki speaking on the non-appearance of the IGP said, “Just talking about the issue of the police, we also raised the issue of the non-appearance of the IG at the Senate and felt that they must continue to ensure that he continues to apply obedience to the issue of constituted authority. We are of great concern that this is the first time this is happening and that this matter needs to be addressed considering the importance of the powers of the  constitution that gives investigative powers, also gives to us and that there is need for police to accept that they too are under constitution and they must obey that. We raised that concern.”

Saraki said the meeting was a good one as it touched on some of the important issues. (The Sun)

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Aso Rock Security Men Embarrass Lawmakers During Visit |RN

saraki-and-dogara

I apologise for the mix-up, Buhari tells Senate President

From Juliana Taiwo Obalonye and Fred Itua, Abuja

There was mild drama at the Pilot Gate of the Presidential Villa, yesterday night, when security details attached to the Presidency denied some principal officers of the National Assembly entry.

The lawmakers were at the villa, at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a departure from the norm, Daily Sun gathered that the lawmakers decided to converge in the residence of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and move to the villa, in a Coaster bus, for the meeting scheduled for 8:30pm.

Trouble started when the lawmakers got to the villa’s pilot rate early, for security clearance.

The presidential security details reportedly singled out only Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu, Dogara to go through.

The security men insisted other lawmakers,  who are principal officers, must submit themselves to security screening.

Related: Buhari Apologises To Lawmakers Over Row At Aso Rock Gate |RN

A source who was on the delegation told Daily Sun that Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuff Lasun, as well as other principal officers, were told to get down from the coaster bus and submit themselves for security clearance.

“Ekweremadu, Lasun and other principal officers were told to get down from the bus and and get cleared.

“In fact, they told us they would have to take our photographs,” thesource said.

This directive did not go down well with Saraki, who immediately instructed the driver of the bus to go back home.

Daily Sun, however, gathered that on hearing what transpired, Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, immediately went on a peace mission to Saraki’s Maitama residence.

The matter was swiftly resolved yesterday night.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, reiterated that the matter had been resolved as at 9:38pm when Daily Sun called him.

He also dislcosed that the president and the leadership of the National Assembly were having dinner at the time Daily Sun called.

Those at the dinner were Saraki, Dogara, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, as well as the president’s National Assembly advisers, Senator Ita Enang and Kawu Samaila.

Thereafter, in a short chat with Daily Sun, Adesina disclosed the dinner had ended and that “a new date for a larger dinner will be set.”

But, as the lawmakers were about leaving, just by the door, the president told Saraki: “I apologise for the mix-up.”

A new date has been fixed for Tuesday, October 31, 2017, when all principal officers would have dinner with the president.  (The Sun)

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Nigeria Now In State Of Emergency, Says Dogara |The Republican News

yakubu-dogara
            Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara

John Ameh, Abuja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, on Monday raised the alarm over the deployment of military personnel in over 28 states in the country.

Dogara said the development was an indication that Nigeria was already in a state of emergency in peacetime.

The Speaker expressed shock over the growing trend of soldiers taking over civil and security duties constitutionally reserved for the Nigeria Police.

According to him, in peacetime, soldiers are merely to complement the police and other civil authorities.

He expressed surprise that they were visible in almost all parts of the country doing the work of the police.

Dogara spoke in Abuja at a “Capacity/Interactive Needs Assessment Workshop of Security Sector Related Committees in the House of Representatives.”

It was organised in collaboration with Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre.

He cited Section 217 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which Dogara said defined the duties of the Armed Forces, contrary to what they were seen doing these days in many states of the federation.

Dogara stated, “It is worrisome that Nigeria is effectively permanently in a state of emergency as the Armed Forces are deployed in more than 28 states of the federation in peacetime.

“The Armed Forces have virtually taken over routine police work in Nigeria. They are no longer acting in aid of civil authorities but have become the civil authorities.

“Section 217 of the constitution spells out the duties and responsibilities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, which include defending Nigeria from external aggression; maintaining Nigeria’s territorial integrity; and securing our borders from violation from land, sea or air; suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President.”

He also spoke on the funds appropriated for security operations annually by the National Assembly, saying that the legislature must ensure the judicious application of the money.

“Related to the constitutional powers of the National Assembly to appropriate funds and thereby allocate funds for security, is the power to ensure that such monies or funds appropriated are used in a transparent and accountable manner and for the purpose for which they have been given.

“The National Assembly’s powers of legislative oversight cannot, therefore, be over-emphasised,” he told the session.

On the rising security concerns in the country, Dogara pledged the readiness of the House to provide legislative support to the executive to confront the problem.

The Speaker added, “This past experience which saw a powerful military exercise absolute control and authority over the machinery of government has translated to the current challenge of getting these institutions to subject themselves to legislative scrutiny.

“The often seen consequence of this is the inadequate and inefficient delivery of security to citizens, as well as a lack of accountability and transparency as they relate to security expenditure.

“The House has consequently, recently amended the Public Procurement Act to make the Armed Forces more accountable in procurement matters.”  (Punchng.com)

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