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Ministerial Screening Ends on Monday as Senate Extends Bow and Go Method

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Ministerial Screening in Nigeria
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 By Jude Opara, Abuja

The Senate, on Wednesday 24th July, 2019 showed signs that the ongoing ministerial screening will end by Monday next week after it successfully screened 18 people as at press time on the second day of the exercise.

This is also as the upper legislative chamber has continued with the bow and go method which it has been adopting for former members of the National Assembly.

The Senate had said it amended its Standing Orders, to expand and extend the privilege to accommodate former members of State Houses of Assembly.

However, before he took his bow, Senator Tayo Alasoadura who was also the first to be screened on the second day in his opening remarks tasked the Senate to try and pass the contentious Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) before the end of the legislative year.

He further argued that the bill is very important for the development of the economy despite the fact that the 8th Senate passed it while President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent.

He equally hampered on the need for the passage of the Nigeria Nuclear Energy Regulatory Bill, arguing that the world is going nuclear and scientific. 

Before proposing for him to take a bow, Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South) explained that the 8th Senate actually passed the PIG bill but the President refused to sign it into law.

“It is not our fault that the PIG bill was not signed. Do everything to convince your colleagues in the Executive, the need to sign the bill because we don’t mean any harm.”

In his remarks, the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan assured that given the importance of the bill to the development of the country, the Senate will have to work together with the Executive so that it will be accepted by the Executive.

It was the same case with the nominee from Yobe Abubakar Aliu who was equally asked to bow and go because he is from the state of the Senate President.

But the Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe who proposed for his taking a bow called for a specific duty schedule of ministers of state to avoid rancour witnessed in Transportation, Peteoleum, Education and Agriculture ministries between the ministers and ministers of state.

However, Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe) said there has always been clear cut schedules of duty for ministers of state. 

He said that the conflicts always arose but not as a result of lack of schedule of duties but due to personal ego between the two ministers.

Also screened was Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Bashir Salihi Magashi who answered questions largely on security issues.

While responding to a question on the seeming lack of cohesion among the Service Chiefs, the nominee said the Nigerian military is one of the best in world adding that they have entered into a number of defence pacts with other countries.

However, he accepted that the relationship between the Service Chiefs has not been cordial because each of them usually dwell in trying to please the nation. 

Others screened include; Mustapha Baba Shehuri from Bornu State, Amb. Zubairu Dada of Niger state, Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa state, Ramatu Aliu of Kogi state, Adeniyi Adebayo of Ekiti state, Mohammed Abdulahi of Nasarawa state, Chris Ngige of Anambra state, Sunday Dare of Oyo state and Bello Mohammed of Adamawa state and Sa’adiyu Umar Farouk of Zamfara state.

Of the 13 nominees who appeared before the Senate, eight were asked to bow and go for various reasons adduced while only five were asked questions.

Those who answered questions are; Sa’adiyu Umar Farouk, Sunday Dare, Gen. Bashir Magashi, Mohammed Abdulahi and Mustapha Shehuri. 

NEWS

Insecurity: We’ll Win the Battle Against Criminals – Ododo

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Gov. Usman Ododo of Kogi on Wednesday vowed to lead and win the war against criminal elements in the state.

Ododo stated this during the inauguration of the Nigeria Police, Metropolitan Quick Response Unit office complex in Lokoja.

The Ododo administration initiated and executed the project within 90 days, as part of measures to enhance security network in the state.

The governor said his administration would not condone security breach, warning that: “I’m decisive in taking the fight to criminal elements’ hideout to wipe them out completely in the state.

“This is because my administration is not one that will be preoccupied by trying to deal with security challenges without an end.

“I am not here to do my best. I am here to defeat criminals.

“In fact, we are winning the war against insecurity and we are very intentional about our work to strengthen the state’s security architecture.”

The governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to combat crimes and ensure the safety, security of lives and property of the people.

According to Ododo, the Metropolitan Quick Response operation is a proactive step to enhance security and build upon the solid foundation of the state’s security architecture, which started under the administration of Yahaya Bello.

“Nothing would be spared to guarantee safety and security in every inch of the state.

“The Metropolitan Quick Response Squad aims to ensure a safe environment for all residents and visitors in Kogi, with a focus on 24-hour response capability, enhanced intelligence gathering, and community-based approach to policing,” he said.

While commending the security agencies for their dedication and sacrifices, Ododo pledged to prioritise technological enablers to enhance intelligence gathering capabilities in combating emerging security threats.

He acknowledged President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to reverse security challenges nationwide, and pledged continued support to the Federal Government’s war against terrorism.

The governor enjoined residents of the state to be vigilant and to provide credible information to the security agencies to eliminate criminal elements.

The Commissioner of Police, Bethrand Onuoha, commended the governor for his resilience in tackling crimes in the state.

Onuoha said the edifice would give the response squad ample space to operate and help the police and other agencies in dealing with criminal elements.

The quick response squad is a security initiative in partnership with the Rapid Response Squad of the Nigeria Police and the state’s Joint Task Force to tackle criminal activities. (NAN)

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Cleric Urges FG  to Avert Planned Youth Protest

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  The Chief Imam of Lagos State University, Prof. Amidu Sanni,  has advised the Federal Government to do its possible best to avert the planned nationwide youth protest.

Sanni said that the government could  initiate urgent  actions that would reduce the cost of living as a strategy to stop the protest.

The cleric spoke in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

Some groups  had  threatened to stage the protest over hardship in the nation.

The protest is proposed to start from Aug. 1 and end on Aug. 10.

Sanni said that the  protest should be avoided because it could be hijacked by hoodlums to cause violence.

“Some political players  may also cash in on the situation for personal reasons.

“Such politicians should be disappointed  by the government through making things easy for the citizens and averting the protest.

“What the national government needs to do is to set in motion, a feasible, visible and sustainable means of addressing food insecurity.

“It should make foods  affordable and available,” the cleric said.

He said that immediate, medium and long-term measures with scalable and verifiable outcomes were urgently indeed. (NAN)

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Tinubu Signs Development Commission Establishment Bills

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President Bola Tinubu has signed into law bills to accelerate development across geo-political zones in the country.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The statement said the President assented to the North-West Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2024, and the South-East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2023.

According to the statement, the North-West Development Commission is set up to facilitate the reconstruction of roads, houses, and business premises destroyed by multidimensional crisis.

It is also expected to tackle poverty, literacy level, ecological problems, and any other related environmental or development challenges in North-West states.

It added that the South-East Development Commission was established to ensure the reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, houses and other infrastructural damages suffered by the zone.

It is also expected to tackle ecological problems and other related environmental or developmental challenges in South-East states.

“President Tinubu believes in building the nation on the fulcrum of fairness, equity, and unity.

“Hence, he is committed to ensuring equitable development, inclusive governance, and the provision of qualitative services to all Nigerians — no matter where they reside — while knitting even more tightly together the national fabric,” it said. (NAN)

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