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Gbajabiamila’s Standing Committees of Change

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House of Rep Speaker-Femi Gbajabiamila
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By Orkula Shaagee, Abuja

Last week Thursday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila announced the chairmen and deputy chairmen of 109 standing committees of the green chamber.

The committees, from all indications appear that Gbajabiamila is out to effect some changes in the way standing committees of the House of Representatives are usually constituted.

The announcement, which was generated mixed-feelings, saw some ranking members sidelined in the headship of the standing committees.

Political watchers believe the leadership of the standing committees was an indication that the pre-election squabble between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), a well as the Gbajabiamila camp and the ex-Speaker Yakubu Dogara camp was still alive.

Besides the failure of Gbajabiamila to honour some ranking lawmakers with committee chairmanship appointments, some standing committees which are the preserve of the south-south lawmakers were given to lawmakers from other regions.

For example, the committee on Petroleum Resources (downstream) is headed by Mahmud Abdullahi Gaiya (APC, Kano) instead of a southern lawmaker. Even the committee on Petroleum Resources (upstream) is chaired by Musa Sarki Adar (APC, Sokoto).

Similarly, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is now headed by Tunji Ojo instead of a lawmaker from the south-south.

The list shows that Gbajabiamila’s loyalists allegedly benefitted highest.

Shockingly, Abdulmumin Jibrin, who was the director general of the campaign organisation that assisted Gbajabiamila become speaker, was not named as head of any committee.

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But political commentators still believe that the action of Gbajabiamila to leave of his close man in the headship of a standing committee was a clear way of departing from the past way of compensating friends after every election.

The speaker is also said to have disappointed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in the House by reneging on his alleged promise to give the party at least 60 standing committees. The PDP got 21 positions as committee chairmen and 30 deputy slots.

Prominent among those who did not get the chairmanship position of any of the standing committees was immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and ex-minority leader of the chamber, Leo Ogor, lost out.

Also, a former chairman of the committee on public accounts, Hon Kingsley Chinda, and his counterpart in the committee on public petition, Hon Uzonma Nkem Abonta were among those that lost out.

It is believed that Chinda’s failure to get a standing committee chairmanship slot was because of his openly confrontation with Speaker Gbajabiamila for rejecting his nomination for Minority Leader position by the PDP leadrership.

It was observed that while some members jubilated over the announcement, others wore long faces. Some of them also approached the Speaker to shake hands with him while others either remained on their seats or left the chamber before adjournment.

It was also observed that while some states like Kano and Lagos got multiple chairmanship appointments, others like Rivers State, whose Governor Nyesom Wike is openly opposed to the APC-led government got only a vice-chairmanship position.

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For the chairmanship positions, the ruling and majority All Progressives Congress got 80; Peoples Democratic Party, 21; All Progressives Grand Alliance, 2; Allied Peoples Movement, 1; and Action Alliance, 1.

For the 104 vice-chairmanship positions, the APC got 63; the PDP, 30; APGA, 3; the ADC, 3; the PRP, 2; the SDP, 1; the ADP, 1; and AA, 1.

Gbajabiamila’s speakership campaign organisation led by Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin had promised the PDP 60 committee leadership appointments.

Gbajabiamila, however, urged lawmakers who did not get any appointment to take it in good faith.

According to the list, Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) was named chairman, House Services; Abdulrazak Namdas, Committee on Army; Aliyu Betara (APC-Borno) as chairman Committee on Appropriations; while James Faleke (APC-Lagos) was named chairman, House Committee on Finance.

The speaker was said to have appealed to those who could not get standing committees to take it in good faith. The list showed that Wale Raji (APC-Lagos) is chairman, House Services; Hon Abdulrazak Namdas heads the committee on Army; Aliyu Betara (APC-Borno) heads the House committee on appropriations; Abiodun Faleke (APC-Lagos), committee on finance and Pascal Obi, committee on health institutions. Also, Luke Onofiok chairs the committee on federal judiciary; Akin Adeyemi, committee on communications; Jimi Benson as chairman, committee on Defence; Wole Oke (PDP-Osun), committee on public accounts while Abdullahi Bago (APC-Niger) who contested against Gbajabiamila is given the committee on African integration and cooperation. Hon Jerry Alagbaso was appointed as chairman, committee on public petitions; Nasir Daura, committee on interior; Aisha Dukku, committee on electoral matters; Yusuf Buba, committee on foreign affairs; Tunji Ojo, committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); Tajudeen Abbas, committee on land transport; and Johnson Ogbuma, committee on environment. Hon Lynda Ikpeazu was given the committee on maritime administration and education; Mohammed Jega, committee on internally displaced persons; Jonathan Gaza, committee on legislative budget and research. Also, Hon Yusuf Kila is chairman, committee on customs; Hadija Bukar Ibrahim, committee on north east development commission; Munir Baba, committee on agricultural production and Adamu Faggae heads the committee on constituency outreach. Nicholas Mutu is chairman, committee on gas; Victor Nwokolo, committee on banking and currency; Bello Kumo, committee on police; Garba Datti, committee on ports and harbours; Ibrahim Babagida, committee on capital markets. Abubakar Ado heads the committee on information; Mustapha Dawaki is chairman committee on housing; Yemi Adaramodu, committee on youth development; Olumide Osoba, committee on sports; Abdullahi Salami, committee on poverty alleviation; Kabir Idris is chairman House committee on civil society; Femi Fakeye, committee on commerce; Ifeanyi Momah, committee on FCT judiciary; Abubakar Kabir, committee on works; Benjamin Kalu, committee on Media and Public Affairs; Nwokocha Darlington, committee on insurance.

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POLITICS

Peter Obi Promises to Change the Country for the Better

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Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi has asked Nigerians to hold him accountable if a new Nigeria fails to emerge with him as president.

Obi threw the challenge in Abakaliki on Friday at his campaign rally.

He pledged to reform Nigeria back from consumption to production.

The LP candidate assured that the country would be restored when most qualified candidates with character, trust and competence were elected.

He maintained that the 2023 general elections must be based on character and not on or and tribe.

“We will offer you a new Nigeria and also secure and unite the country.

“Let no one deceive you with religion or tell you it is their turn. Just vote people that understand governance.

“I am not contesting as an Igbo man, a south-easterner, but as a Nigerian who is most qualified and competent to revive the country,’’ Obi said.

He commended the people of Ebonyi for their solidarity and support for the Labour Party.

He urged the electorate to vote for Mr Edward Nkwegu, the gubernatorial candidate of LP in Ebonyi to build a better nation.

In his remarks, National Chairman of Labour Party, Mr Julius Abure, appreciated the people of Ebonyi for their show of solidarity, support and commitment to the party.

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Abure said the LP would produce most intelligent and credible candidates to fight poverty and insecurity in the country. (NAN)

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POLITICS

Alia Polls 219,009 at  APC Governorship Re-run in Benue 

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From David Torough, Makurdi

Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has again, won the gubernatorial primary rerun election conducted by the Sen. Bashir Lado led rerun committee. 

Alia polled a total number of 219,002 to defeat 12 other aspirants to emerge winner.

Recall, that the court of appeal sitting in Makurdi while delivering judgement in a case filed by one of the gubernatorial aspirants, Prof.

Terhemba Shija directed the party to conduct a primary re-run election in eleven(11) local government areas of the state.

While announcing the result at the APC Secretariat Makurdi, which also served as the collation Centre for the rerun, Sen. Lado, Chairman of Benue State Rerun Election Committee stated that the primary election rerun which was won by Rev. Fr. Dr. Hyacinth Alia was not only free, fair and credible but represented the wishes of  APC members in Benue State.

Chairman of the party in the State, Comrade Augustine Agada while commending APC members in the state for a peaceful primary election, thanked them for their show of maturity during the rerun and termed the results of the election as no victor no vanquish, explaining that the winner in the election is not only Fr. Alia but for the entire Benue APC family.

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In a good will message, Amb. Prof. Stephen Ugba who spoke on behalf of party Stakeholders, commended Benue APC for a successful exercise and called on all those who participated in the primary election to see themselves as winners. 

The party immediately after the declaration of results went into a Special Congress to ratify the primary elections. 

The Congress unanimously ratified and adopted Rev. Fr. Dr Hyacinth Alia as the candidate of APC  Benue state for the position of governor.

The Special Congress was attended by members of the State Executive Committee of the party, Critical Stakeholders, teeming members of the APC in Benue state and members of the press.

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POLITICS

I’ll Ensure Nigeria is Restructured in 6 Months – Atiku

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar says he will ensure Nigeria is restructured within six months of his administration if elected.

He said this at the PDP Presidential Diaspora Campaign Grand Finale held in Abuja.

Atiku, who was represented by former National chairman of the PDP, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, said that sufficient research work needed to achieve restructuring in Nigeria had been concluded.

Nwodo is the Deputy Director, Research and Strategy, of the PDP residential Campaign Council ( PCC).

He said that Nigeria worked better when every region controlled its natural resources.

The former Vice president recalled that existing socio-economic developments were put in place when regions controlled their resources.

“When we are talking about restructuring by Executive Order, in the first six months, this country will not be what you are seeing today.

“This has been worked out and I’m just waiting to be sworn in on May 29 and the plans will be rolled out.”

He said that Nigeria was a great country, adding that all that it required was good leadership.

“We will provide that kind of leadership,” he declared.

Atiku further said that if elected, he would rescue Nigeria from all indices that had portrayed it in bad light.

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He listed his five-point agenda to include education and security, saying that he would restore security to the country by nipping in the bud factors responsible for rising violence.

Earlier, Director, Directorate of Diaspora Groups, PDP PCC, Prof. Isa Odidi, had said that Nigerians in Diaspora believe that Atiku would articulate and implement the Diaspora Policy Framework to help capture, harness and channel their expertise to the country.

“Atiku’s government will do more to remove obstacles and create opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora to engage in economic development of Nigeria.

“We all unequivocally support Atiku/Okowa for President and Vice President of Nigeria,” he he asserted.(NAN)

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