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POLITICS

Call for Criticism of Tinubu Improper, Group Tells Kwakwanso

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The Northern Patriotic Agenda (NPA) says it was improper for Alhaji Rabiu Kwankwaso and his political associates to urge New Nigeria Peoples Party federal lawmakers to criticise President Bola Tinubu.

Dr Agabi Emmanuel, the convener of the group, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Tuesday.

The letter entitled “Need for NNPP Federal Lawmakers to Make Urgent and Concerted Efforts to Immediately End the Siege on Kano State by Agents of the Federal Government’’, was signed by his behalf by Dr Ajuji Ahmed.

Emmanuel described Kwankwaso’s as a threat to the stability of the government.

According to him, Kwankwso’s call did not augur well for the country’s match towards consolidating democracy.

He said it called for heightened vigilance from law enforcement agencies to thwart any moves that are inimical to the progress of the country.

He alleged that the letter had the potential subvert the administration of Tinubu.

He said Tinubu was leading an administration distinguished by its commitment to inclusivity, a stance that does not imply tolerance for mindless agitation, or political machinations

He urged Yusuf to refrain from acts capable of disrupting the political peace in the country and imperiling the fabrics of the society. (NAN)

JUDICIARY

LG Autonomy: Supreme Court Judgment Meets Constitutional Order- Edeoga

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 Former Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party(LP) for the 2023 elections in Enugu State, Hon Chijioke Edeoga has hailed the Thursday ruling of the Supreme Court, which granted financial autonomy to the nation’s 774 LGAs.

Edeoga, in reaction to the judgment said in a  statement in Abuja that the judgment was in line with the existing constitutional order.

“While it is suspected that the judgment may not meet the approval of advocates of political restructuring in Nigeria, there is no doubt that it accords with the demands of the existing constitutional order.

“The violation of the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by governors of Nigerian states has been going on with flagrant impunity for many years and under different administrations since 1999.

“Local Government Areas, recognized in the Nigerian Constitution as the third tier of government and the one closest to the people, have been deprived of the funds needed for grassroots development, thus existing at the mercy of state governors,” he  remarked.

He regretted that over the years, state governors have made local government funds their cash cows, receiving and dispensing as they deemed fit, and without regard to the development imperatives of the councils, their employees, and their respective peculiar development challenges.

“This abuse has given rise to situations where local councils are forced to queue on a strange breadline, where governors favour some local governments while sidelining others.

“The offices of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other anti-corruption agencies are stacked with files bursting with evidence of abuse of local council funds by state governors, whose prosecution has been hindered by red tape and other inexplicable reasons” he noted.

The former Governorship candidate recalled that during  his campaign for the Governorship of Enugu State, he highlighted the deplorable management of local council funds in Enugu State and vowed that council funds would be sacrosanct if he won the election.

He said as a former local government Chairman, he knew the importance of those funds and the leverage they provide for rural development, employment generation, and economic empowerment. 

 “My belief is that rather than treat council funds as a source of free money as most state governors see them, I would ensure easy and direct access to it by council chairmen as a means of ensuring that local government councils become complementary to the state government’s development efforts,” he stressed. 

He said his intention upon assumption of office was to empower Local councils and noted that the judgment will minimize the tendency of some governors and state officials to favour their local governments of origin while sidelining others.

“I am particularly relieved that the administration of President Bola Tinubu has taken this rare positive step towards restoring the glories of local administration in Nigeria. “Those of us in the Enugu State chapter of the Labour Party see this as a step in the right democratic direction and must single out President Tinubu and the Attorney General of the Federation, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, for pursuing this judgement with a single-minded determination and patriotic purposefulness. 

“While we commend the current administration for the rare courage and vision deployed in pursuit of this case, we must also advise against allowing the judgement to form another layer of entry in our Case Laws. Nigerians are excited by the judgement and are looking forward to the restoration it would bring to bear on rural development across the country, and would be displeased if deliberate political, judicial, and institutional efforts are not made to ensure that implementation.”

“This judgement, it must be emphasised, is a PUBLIC INTEREST MATTER and has reignited hope of a possible grassroots development renaissance among the progressive-minded people that are interested in the development of Nigeria and the wellbeing of everyone” he stated.

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POLITICS

Give us Opportunities to Prove Ourselves – Physically-Challenged Politician Urges

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A physically-challenged politician and mother of two, Mrs Emiola Bajomo, has launched a foundation to encourage the physically challenged.

At the launch of the foundation on Wednesday in Surulere, Lagos, Bajomo said that physically-challenged people had potential that should be developed with adequate support.

The name of the foundation is Emilola Faith Heart Foundation.

Bajomo said that the foundation would be organising sensitisation programmes quarterly to encourage the physically challenged to develop their potential.

“They should come out from their hidden places to showcase their potential.

Bajomo appealed to governments and well-meaning individuals and groups to invest in physically-challenged people and make them more productive.

She regretted that many talented physically-challenged people had turned to beggers due to lack of support.

In her keynote address, Dr Oluwaseye Oluwabunmi, a physotherapist at the General Hospital Randle, Surulere, said that statistics showed that about 16 million persons in Nigeria were physically challenged.

She listed factors that could cause physical challenge to include accident and sickness.

“What is more important is that it is not a reason for not being productive,” she said.

She implored the physically challenged to interact more and build relationships.

She also called on them to develop their talents and add values to be well remunerated.

Dr Babatunde Adeolu also a physotherapist at the same hospital, advised the physically challenged not to see themselves as disabled.

He said that in spite of their challenges, they could still do many significant things on their own.

He appealed to governments and well-meaning Nigerians to encourage them to discover their abilities and talents.

He urged provision of special walk ways, toilets and necessary gadgets for the physically challenged to enable them to do better and have a sense of belonging.

Mr Mukaila Yusuf, a politician in Surulere, urged the physically challenged to shun begging and engage in meaningful activities to preserve their dignity.

He equally told them to be part of governance in all the tiers of government by making their votes to count and their views known.

A physically challenged person on wheelchair, Mrs Feyisetan Bakare, said this at the event that she had learnt hair dressing and needed a shop.

Mr Simeon Promise, also physically challenged, said that he was playing basketball well but needed more attention by governments and well-meaning Nigerians.

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POLITICS

Reps Panel Berates TETFund Boss, others for Avoiding probe

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Character on Tuesday berated the Executive Secretary of theTertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny T. Echono, for failing to appear at an investigative hearing to defend the activities of the agency.

Chairman of the committee, Hon Idris Wase, was upset at Echono’s failure to turn up even after several invitations.

Wase also knocked the Industrial Training Fund, the Transmission Company of Nigeria, the National Sugar Development council for also failing to honour the Committee’s invitation.

He said they were taking the committee for granted over their persistent refusal to honour invitations and that henceforth it would not be tolerated.

The representative of the Executive Secretary of TETFund at the meeting, Babatunde Oladeji, who is the Director of monitoring and evaluation in the fund, told the committee that the Executive Secretary was away on official leave.

Wase, stressed that all agencies of government must be accountable and transparent to the Nigerian people.

He said henceforth they would be sanctioned in accordance to the law if they continue to avoid the parliament.

He said you must be accountable to the House. This is the last time. Next time the committee would invoke its powers provided for in the constitution

“You are appearing before the House of Representatives Committee and we are not going to take this nonsense any longer.

“This is a House that you should be giving account to. And I don’t know the instrument that gave you the power to operate. The same parliament that gave you the powers, what makes you think that they are useless here. We are here on behalf of all Nigerians. We keep writing and you keep neglecting us. Where do you draw your powers from? You are spiting the entire country.

“We cannot let any agency or ministries take us for granted because without us, they don’t exist. It is unacceptable for them to keep disrespecting this committee.”

He said because of the way heads of agencies were treating the parliament with levity, the committee had to advertise in three national dailies apart from the letters.

He said they could not attend to their representatives as they were not accountable for the various agencies.

“I am disappointed with the Executive Secretary of Tetfund. He was a former federal perm sec. I expect him to be more compliant than any other person as he should know the rudiments of civil service better. He chose to neglect it. We would not take it.

The Committee has not been doing it’s job properly in the past that is why people think they can do anything and carry on with it. It would not be business as usual.

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