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Betera’s Speakership Quest gets More Endorsement




By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The dream of House of Representatives Committee Chairman on Appropriations, Hon. Aliyu Mukhtar Betara, has received a major boost, as the current Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, Majority Leader, Ado Doguwa and other bigwigs in the House, have defied the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to root for Betara, vowing to fight for independence of parliament.

This is coming amidst condemnations of the ruling party’s choice of Abass Tajudeen for Speakership of the 10th House of Representatives.

All the strategic members of the 9th House, most who are in the Speakership race, are angry with the APC and appeared to have found a force in Betara’s candidacy, to prove their points against the party that sought to rubbish them.

Betara’s declaration on Monday night was attended by Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase, Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, Chairman of the Committee on Navy, Yusuf Gagdi and Hon. Sada Soli, all of whom have declared their intentions to run for speakership of the 10th Assembly.

Wase during his goodwill message faulted APC’s choice of Abass whom he said was not known to members of the House, urging his colleagues to guard against any attempt at hijacking the parliament.

“Again, I want to add that we are here to ensure the independence of the parliament. To ensure that we work together. Every Parliamentarian must rise to the occasion. We will work as a team. We will not allow this parliament to be hijacked. We will not allow this parliament to be made a lame duck. I believe we are loyal to our country first, loyal to our party and loyal to our people.

“When you say you have a consensus candidate, the language for consensus is that  there  have been mass consultations, people go to the table for discussion. There is agreement. In this case, we just saw and we are hearing rumours, speculations that some people have been made consensus candidates.  I don’t know whether that is the meaning of consensus. This place  is very sacred. We must be honourable in our action in defence of  the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, Wase said.

Also speaking, Doguwa said the parliament must always be allowed to choose its leaders, noting that it was not for outsiders to decide, who leads the House.

“One message I want to send across is that the parliament is one institution that must always be allowed to choose its own leaders. The business of our leadership should be solely our business and no other person’s business.

“In a situation where you have some people in whatsoever guise trying to decide our leadership, to form our leadership from outside without consulting us I think that should be seen as a mere failure. I remain available for consultation until that is done, everyone will answer his father’s name,” he said.

Betara in his speech said he was working in collaboration with other aspirants for the project.

“My name is Muktar Aliyu Betara. I am from Borno State. Much has been said about Betara. I invited all of you here to declare for the speakership of the 10th Assembly. I am supposed to read this my speech but I think it will take time. All has been said about me. The most important thing today is for me to declare that I am contesting for the speakership.

“Today is our day for members-elect and for former members of the parliament. You are seeing all the aspirants here. They came to support me because we are one family. We are moving as a group. We have been in the system for years. I was a member in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Assemblies.

“The deputy speaker that we came in together, we have been close and I think I am the best friend to the deputy speaker when we came in the 6th Assembly. We have been in one family, we are together but in politics sometimes he will on the other side and I will be on the other side. But today we are together for this movement. When I invited him, he joined me today for my declaration here he honoured it and my DS (Deputy Speaker), I am very grateful for the honour you gave me today.

“For my brother Hon. Gagdi, I remember when Gudaji went for his declaration, he said Betara is one man that doesn’t say no and why I cannot say no to my colleagues is sometimes when your colleague comes to you, he needs your assistance, if I cannot provide all, at least I can do small. That is the main reason I cannot say no.

“Honourable Colleagues, as the engine room of the legislature, Rt Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila gave me a name, he calls me the Head boy. I was surprised for my friend, my boss to nominate one person outside all of us here. If today the deputy speaker of the House is contesting, the chairman Appropriation is contesting, the majority leader is contesting, then who is closer to the speaker? So nobody. He is bringing one person that members of the 9th Assembly I can tell you some of us even don’t even know the person is speaking – a lot of us. So, Honourable Colleagues today I am here before you as Honourable members to declare that I am contesting for the speakership of the 10th Assembly. Thank you very much,” the Speakership hopeful stated.

Also speaking, Director General of the Betara Campaign Organization, Hon. Dickson Tarkigir said, “our constituents and indeed Nigerians are expecting us to break new grounds and approach the new horizon that will be symbolized by life made better for our constituents, and our nation as the ultimate justification for being elected.

“It has been said that to know a healthy fish, check the head, this simple test, instructively is not for fishes alone, but will be apposite in our situation today, to realise that the nature of the personality who leads the 10th assembly House of Representatives, will substantially influence us to succeed or otherwise as individual members and corporately as the House of Representatives.

“It then behooves on us to realise that we must ensure that we elect the next speaker with clarity of thought and sufficient information on a number of parameters.

“To assume that just anyone can do the job will be taking a shot in the dark, and that will be failing in our duty.

“The decision must therefore be made consciously, without fear or favour, or ill will,” he said.


APC Wants Kwankwaso Arrested Over Inciting Comments




The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State has called for the arrest of the leader of the Kwankwasiyya Movement and presidential candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, over his allegations against the party and the federal government.

Kwankwaso had alleged that the APC-led federal government was attempting to disrupt the peaceful coexistence of Kano State.

Kwankwaso, who spoke during the flag-off ceremony for the construction of 85 kilometres of rural roads in his hometown, Madobi, alleged that the federal government was taking wrong advice from some unnamed individuals who do not want peace in Kano and wanted to create another Boko Haram insurgency in the state.

“In the buildup to 2027, some desperate politicians are already on a mission of disruption, but we will rather prefer the two of us to lose than to allow them to crush us unnecessarily. We dare anybody who thinks he can victimise us politically to go and rest assured that we are ready for the fight,” the former Kano State governor said.

“We are open to dialogue, truce, and reconciliation, but we will not accept intimidation or political harassment of any sort. We know how to play politics, and we have all it takes to protect ourselves from any evil,” he added.

But in its reaction, Abdullahi Abbas, the APC chairman in Kano State, said in a statement yesterday that no amount of threat by Kwankwaso would intimidate the federal government.

The statement reads, “The embattled NNPP chieftain, who is visibly disturbed by the dismal performance of his protege in the last year and frustratingly longing for control of Kano politics, should be arrested by security agents to determine who is recruiting the Boko Haram terrorists.

“We want to call on security agents to arrest this man so that he reveals the identity of those he referred to as enemies of the state working for the federal government to recruit Boko Haram terrorists and insurgents,” the statement added.The chairman noted that the comments were a pointer to a sinister motive by Kwankwaso and his cohorts to unleash trouble in Kano.

The national secretariat of the party also issued a statement in which it said, “As a former governor and Minister of Defence, we expect Kwankwaso to demonstrate high-grade discretion and a better grip on the severe social, political, and security implications of unguarded utterances capable of fuelling tension and strife in the good state of Kano.

In a related development, the presidency has denied allegations that the federal government is planning to declare a state of emergency following the protracted impasse surrounding the emirship tussle in Kano.

Kwankwaso had alleged that the FG was planning to declare a state of emergency in the state.

He said the refusal of the federal government to remove security operatives guarding the 15th Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, who had been deposed by the state government, showed that the government at the centre did not mean well for the state.

But responding, the special adviser to the president on information and strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said the alarm by Kwankwaso was a “mere rumour.”

Onanuga said the FG cannot declare a state of emergency in any state without the involvement of the National Assembly, adding that there was no such plan.

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Massive Defections Hit Benue PDP, Over 4,459 Join APC




From Attah Ede, Makurdi 

Not fewer than  4459 parties faithful from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties, on Wednesday, defected from their parties to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Benue State.

The events took place in Katsina-Ala as well as in Kwande and Ushongo Local Government Areas during the commencement of Governor Hyacinth Alia’s state-wide ‘thank you’ tour to extend his appreciation to the people for voting him in 2023 general elections.

Speaking during the events held at Katsina-Ala township stadium and LGEA primary school Kwande town respectively, Governor Alia appreciated the people for their overwhelming support given to him during the last elections.

He reiterated his administration’s determination to return all the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of armed herdsmen attacks back to their ancestral homes to continue normal farming activities.

He expressed concern that the Katsina-Ala, Ukum and Logo Federal Constituency, which is the hub for yam production in the country was greatly hit by attacks perpetrated by armed bandits.

The Governor maintained that the issue of security is not the responsibility of government alone, and enjoined all and sundry to join hands with him in the onerous task to rid the state of attacks.

He also urged the people to form cooperative societies through which they would receive farm inputs and other benefits from his administration to develop themselves to be self-reliant.

Alia who bruised aside widespread reports that he had borrowed huge sums of money from foreign financial institutions to execute infrastructural projects in the state, announced the award of contract for the construction of the Sankera-Chito-Vaase road to help check the worsening insecurity situation bedeviling the area.

He said he had contacted President Bola Tinubu to assist the state construct more roads network in Sankera and he graciously approved construction of the Katsina-Ala Head Bridge-Hausa Quarters/Victory Bible Church Wukari Junction; the Zaki-Biam Yam Market-Iwar Ior-Y Junction roads, urging the people to be patient with the President as he has meant well for the state in the area of development projects.

Speaking on behalf of his constituents, the member representing Ukum, Logo and Ukum federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Solomon Wombo, endorsed Governor Alia for a second term.

Wombo said Sankera people have unanimously endorsed the governor to contest again because of the track record of achievements he has put on the sand of history within his one year in office which he said no governor of the state had ever recorded.

The federal lawmaker frowned at the growing insecurity situation bedeviling the area which he said is in dual fold including local militia and armed herdsmen and appealed to the governor to tackle the menace for the development of Sankera to enable residents go back to their farms.

Collaborating Hon. Wombo’s position, the governor’s Chief of Staff, Paul Biam, hailed the one year scorecard of the Alia’s administration which he noted have surpassed those of the immediate past governor.

Biam hinted that the Alia’s administration has a programme of stomach infrastructure for the people after critical projects might have been attended to, to enable the people have the feel of government.

“After roads and other infrastructural development, the governor will resort to stomach infrastructure and the cries of hunger will be a thing of the past”.

At Kwande/Ushongo, Governor Alia appreciated the people’s support to him and promised to reciprocate the gesture via the construction of the Adikpo-Mbape-Ada road to link the state to neighbouring Cross River state.

He commended chairman of the local government for lighting up Adikpo town within few days in office, but lamented the insecurity situation in the local government especially the armed herdsmen attacks and the illegal mining activities, and tasked traditional rulers to rise up by ensuring that anyone caught confronts the full wrath of the law.

Receiving the decamped members, the state Acting chairman of the APC, Benjamin Omakolo, assured them of equal and maximum opportunity in the party.

He urged the people to support the Alia’s administration to take the state to the next level of development.

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Fubara Swears in New Caretaker Committee Chairmen for 23  LGAs



Gov.Siminalayi  Fubara of Rivers, on Wednesday swore in Caretaker Committee Chairmen for the 23 Local Government Councils of the state.

The swearing-in ceremony was performed at the Executive Council meeting in Government House, Port Harcourt.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the new Caretaker Committee Chairmen were earlier invited by the Rivers State House  of Assembly for screening and confirmation before  the swearing in by the Governor.

The newly sworn-in Caretaker Committee Chairmen include; Mr Madigai Dickson for Abua-Odual LGA, Mr Happy Benneth – Ahoada East LGA, Mr. Daddy John Green – Ahoada west,;  Otonto Briggs -Akuku Toru LGA , Reginald Ekaa –  Andoni LGA .

Others are Asari Toru LGA – Orolosoma Amachree; Bonny LGA – Alabota Anengi Barasua; Degema LGA – Anthony Soberekon; Eleme LGA – Brain Gokpa; Emouha LGA – David Omereji; Etche LGA – John Otamiri and Gokana LGA – Kenneth Kpeden.

The others are; Ikwerre LGA – Darlington Orji; Khana LGA – Marvin Yobana; Obio/Akpor LGA – Chijioke Ihunwo; Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA – Princewill Ejekwe; Ogu/Bolo LGA – Evans Bipi; Okrika LGA – Princess Ogan; Omuma LGA – Promise Reginald; Opobo/Nkoro LGA – Enyiada Cookey-Gam; Oyigbo LGA – Gogo Philip; Port Harcourt LGA – Ichemati Ezebunwo and Tai LGA – Hon. Matthew Dike.(NAN)

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