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Ogene Emerges House of Reps Labour Party Caucus Leader




By Idris Umar, Abuja

The 35-member Labour Party caucus in the 10th Assembly of the House of Representatives has elected Hon. Afam Victor Ogene as its leader.

Hon. Ogene, a ranking member from the 7th Assembly, emerged as the Labour Party leader with 21 votes, after a keenly contested election yesterday in Abuja.

Although 34 members-elect of the Party were present at the voting session, only 31 of them took part in the exercise, with the trio of Honourables Oke-Joe Onuakalusi, Obi Aguocha and Professor Lilian Oby Irogbu abstaining, being persons who conducted the exercise.

Speaking after the exercise, conducted under a convivial atmosphere, the duo of Honourables George Ozodinobi and Dennis Agbo, who contested the position, lauded the choice of Hon.


Describing Hon. Ogene as a team player who is vast in the politics of the House of Representatives, Hon. Agbo opined that “with Hon. Ogene as our Caucus Leader, Labour Party is sure to hold its own in the 10th Assembly.”

In an acceptance speech soon after he was presented to the party’s leader and Presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, and the party’s National Chairman, Barrister Julius Abure, Hon. Ogene assured that in all undertakings of the members-elect, the well-being of the Nigerian people would be uppermost.

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“May I use this opportunity to reiterate that the Labour Party caucus, House of Representatives, has not endorsed any speakership aspirant. 

“In fact, anyone desirous of our votes on the day of inauguration must first convince us, as a bloc, of what his plans and programmes for the Nigerian people are. While we may have individual preferences, I can assure that at the end of the day, the Labour Party shall stand as one, indivisible entity to take a common and progressive stand,” Hon. Ogene said.


Gov. Diri laments Slow Pace of Work After Paying N16bn Mobilisation Fee to Contractor




Bayelsa’s Gov. Douye Diri on Friday at Nembe expressed dissatisfaction at the pace of work on the 21km Phase One of the Nembe-Brass Highway.

He noted that the indigenous contractor, Setraco Nigeria Ltd., had collected N16 billion mobilisation fee from the state government out of the contract sum of N54 billion.

He stressed that the level of work done since the project began about a year ago was not commensurate with the N16 billion paid as mobilisation.

“I am not comfortable with the level of sand filling that you have done so far.

“We have timelines for this project and I do not want anybody to ever think that we are playing politics with this road.

“We know why we awarded this contract. We know the importance of this road leading to Brass and I do not want you as contractors to disappoint the government.

“This contract was awarded for the first phase for about N54 billion and your mobilisation fee was 30 per cent, which amounts to N16 billion.

“Government has paid the N16 billion, but the work done is not commensurate with the mobilisation fee that you have received.

“The next time we come here, we want to see this whole place sand-filled. Take this very seriously.

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“You are a serious company and you have been working with this government. You did the Sagbama-Ekeremor Road and now you are on this important road. So I expect that you will not disappoint us,’’ he said.

Responding, Setraco’s Area Manager for Bayelsa and Delta, Engr. J. J. Cosme, promised to increase the pace of work on the project to meet the timelines.

He assured that the company would not disappoint the government and people of the area.

Gov. Diri also inspected the on-going Onuebum-Otuoke Road project in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa. (NAN)

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Taraba: Bonzena Emerges 10th Assembly Speaker.




From Christiana Babayo, Jalingo

Rt. Hon John Kizito Bonzena, member representing Zing Local Government Area, has been re-elected to preside over the Taraba State House of Assembly.

Bonzena emerged Speaker alongside his Deputy, Hon. Haman Adama through a unanimous decision of the 24 members of the House on Friday.

In his speech after the swearing in, Bonzena applauded Gov Agbu Kefas for providing an enabling environment for the inauguration of the 10th Assembly.

” I wish to very specially commend His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Taraba State, Dr.

Agbu Kefas for deliberately creating an enabling envíronment for the inauguration of this Assembly today.

“Your Excellency, we commend and appreciate your understanding. In particular, Your Excellency’s presence here is a practical demonstration of how high Your Excellency holds the Legislature in the scheme of things. The Executive-Legislative relation must continue to be cordial and symbiotic”

He however lamented the poor state of the Taraba State House of Assembly, stressing that he was challenged by the problems and will do everything he can to surmount them.

He identified lack of office accommodations, Lack of training for both legislators and staff, unpaid backlog of allowances for the Staff, unpaid arrears of membership fees for Commonwealth and Parliamentary Association both Africa and international and digitalization of voting system among others.

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Bonzena reiterated his stand on tackling these issues with the support and advice from the members, while soliciting for their prayers for the success of the Assembly.

He commended Press men for their accurate reportage of the activities, the security, civil society groups, other non Governmental organizations, the clerk of the House and his team of support while encouraging them to do keep up the good spirit.

Bonzena is representing his people for the fifth time at the State House of Assembly, and he has presided over the affairs of the House since the former Speaker, Prof. Albasu Kunini resigned in December, 2022

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Shettima Inaugurates N570m NASS Mosque




Vice-President Kashim Shettima on Friday,  inaugurated the Jumu’at Mosque built by the Muslim faithfuls in the National Assembly.

In his remark, Shettima felicitated with the Muslim faithful in the National Assembly and urged the to act with humility as they discharge their responsibilities.

He advised the faithfuls to be mindful of their lifestyles as they must one day leave their positions and the world.

“50 years from now, many people will not be alive.

We should act with humility. power and wealth are gifts from Allah”,he said.

The vice-president commended all the people involved in the building and  completion of the Mosque.

Earlier, the Chairman, National Assembly Mosque Project Management Committee, Sen.

Ibrahim Shekarau said that the idea to build the Mosque came up in 2021.

He said the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives set up the committee comprising of four senators, 10 members of the House of Representatives and three members from NASS management.

Shekarau said that the aim was to build a bigger Mosque for Muslims as the existing one was  small for the Muslim community praying in the National Assembly.

“We had our first meeting meeting on September 22,2021.

After the committee’s meeting, a general meeting of all Muslim legislators was called and that was when the legislators was called and that was when the legislators converted and ordinary muted idea into a concrete reality.

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“All 227 of us agreed to bear the brunt of the project, and within eight months of this agreement, we had contributed well over N570 million.

“The magnificent state-of-the-art edifice you are about to commission is the result of the moral and financial commitment of Muslim members of the 9th Assembly and Muslim staff of the National Assembly,” he said.

In his remark, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, who was represented by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, commended all the people that made contributions to build the Mosque.

According to him, it is God’s will that chose the members of the 9th Assembly to do it otherwise, it would have been done earlier.

In his address, the Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan said that the 9th Assembly had the opportunity to make history and provide a lasting legacy with huge rewards in the hereafter.

“We consider ourselves very lucky for chosing us to make this Mosque a reality,” he said.

Lawan said that Muslim senators contributed N400,000 monthly while members of the House of Representatives contributed 250 per month as the project lasts.

In his vote of thanks, the Speaker, House of Representatives,Femi Gbajabiamila said, the building of the Mosque was a sacrifice made for God.

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He said that it does not require anybody’s commendation as everyone is only looking for infinite reward from God. (NAN)

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