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Why I Must Give Quality Representation – Sen. Balogun

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Nigeria President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan
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From Dele Ogunyemi, Ibadan

The senator representing Oyo South Senatorial District, Kolawole Balogun, said he will give quality representation even if it requires sacrificing his personal comfort.

He told newsmen in Ibadan yesterday that it had become imperative for him to perform as a reward for his constituents’ support and to show appreciation to God who made his victory possible.

It would be recalled that Balogun was Commissioner for Commerce during the administration of former Gov.

Adebayo Alao-Akala.

He  defeated the immediate past governor, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, in the last general elections to emerge senator.

“I don’t have any choice than to perform, even if it requires sacrificing my personal comfort. I just have to perform because my mandate was by the grace of God.

“When I heard people saying that someone has been bragging to take my mandate from me, I giggle. No one will take what does not belong to him or her when he or she is not an armed robber,” he said.

He assured the people of his senatorial district that he would give his best and ensure that he pushed into the budget projects that were needed by them.

He called for the restructuring of the nation’s security architecture, saying there was an urgent need for the establishment of state and community police.

Balogun said that the country was too big to operate only a central policing system, promising to encourage this through legislative backing.

The senator said that he had co-sponsored some motions since the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, adding he had commenced discussions with SMEDAN, Bank of Industry (BoI) and Bank of Agriculture for loans for artisans and farmers.

“I‘m working with SMEDAN and BoI to make loan facilities available for our traders as well as artisans. I’ve also held a meeting with the Bank of Agriculture to secure loans for our farmers too.

“We are also looking toward training them on various vocations and business management skills so that whatever loan they take will be judiciously used,” he said.

The lawmaker expressed discomfort with the usual distribution of motorcycles and other equipment to empower people, saying many beneficiaries of such items ended up selling them.

He assured the people of his senatorial district and the state in general that he would do all within his capacity to represent them well as well as complement the efforts of Gov. Seyi Makinde in transforming the state.

“I am happy with the turn of events at the state level in terms of good governance. I am happy that Gov. Makinde is turning things around for good.

“Civil servants now get their salaries on the 25th of every month for the first time in a long while.

” I’m told that pensioners are now being paid. I can also see the determination of the governor in improving on infrastructural development.

“I know the governor is willing to do all that is required to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive. This is indeed a new dawn in Oyo State.

POLITICS

Senate Charges Army, Police to Increase Presence in Uzo-Uwani to Forstall Peace

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By Eze Okechukwu, Abuja
The Senate yesterday charged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja to urgently increase police and military presence in Uzo-Uwani area of Enugu State, with a view to forestalling the recurring clashes between suspected marauding fulani herdsmen and indigenous people, which has oftentimes resulted in loss of lives and property.


The Senate resolution followed the adoption of a motion on the need for the IGP and COAS to urgently curb the “senseless killings and maiming” of innocent indigenous peoples of Nimbo, Adani in Uzo-Uwani local government area of Enugu state by bandits, which was sponsored by Senator Okechukwu Ezea (LP, Enugu) and co- sponsored by Senator Chukwu Kelvin (LP, Enugu) and Senator Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West).

In the motion, Senator Ezea said that on April 7, 2024, five innocent farmers in Adani;  a popular rice production community in Uzo-Uwani, were callously murdered by some bandits who invaded the community in the wee hours of the morning to commit the dastardly act.
He said on April 28, 2024, at about 2 pm, another attack was carried out in the same area where four innocent people in the farming village of Nimbo were gruesomely mowed down by bandits in an unprovoked attack that was reminiscent of the April 2016 Nimbo killings.
He recalled that in February 2016, Abbi community was the first to be hit by the same assailants where two people were gruesomely killed while 19 others were declared missing.
The senator noted that there was a major massacre in Nimbo community in the early hours of April 25, 2016, which left over 46 people dead and 14 persons injured, with their houses and other property completely razed.
He expressed worry that the killings did not seem to be isolated as their persistence indicated a pattern, saying that even with the 2016 killings, the authorities both at the state and Federal levels had not taken robust steps to mitigate the menace.
Senator Ezea expressed worry that if nothing very urgent and sustainable was done to put an end to the recurrent menace, people would begin to resort to self-help to ward off the criminal elements, stressing that “this might eventually lead to a complete breakdown of law and order, especially given the already challenging security situation in the region”.
He said that with the strategic location of Uzo-Uwani as a net producer of food in the country, the killings would have a significant impact on the nation’s food security as more and more farmers were now becoming afraid to go to farms for fear of being killed.
He said residents were abandoning their communities and relocating to urban areas, thereby, exacerbating the rural-urban migration crises in the country.
Senator Kelvin Chukwu (LP, Enugu)who seconded the motion added that the killing of members of the community was unacceptable, pointing out that there was need to put an end to the killings.
He said considering the strategic nature of the affected communities in rice production, there was the need to protect the residents from attack.
However, in his contribution, Sen. Osita Ngwu (PDP, Enugu West) said although he was a co -sponsor of the motion, he was disassociating himself from the fifth paragraph of the motion, which stated that the state and Federal governments had not taken robust steps to stop the killings.
Senator Ngwu said it was a misrepresentation of facts that the state and federal governments through the security agencies were not working hard to put an end to the attacks and killings and protect members of the communities.
According to Ngwu, the Enugu state Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah and the security agencies had visited the affected communities with relief materials, adding that the state and federal governments, together with the security agencies were doing everything possible to protect the people and end the attacks.
Meanwhile, the Senate in its resolution, urged the IGP, COAS and Director General of the Department of State Services to investigate, arrest and prosecute the criminal gangs to serve as a deterrent.
It also mandated its Committees on Legislative Compliance, Police Affairs and National Security and Intelligence to ensure compliance and proffer lasting solutions.
It further urged the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to provide relief materials to the victims to cushion effects of the unwarranted attacks.

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POLITICS

Ebonyi LG Polls: EBSIEC Gives 3rd June Ultimatum for Political Parties to Conclude Primaries

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By Godwin Okeh, Abakaliki
Ebonyi State Independent Electoral Commission, EBSIEC, on Wednesday gave 3rd June 2024 ultimatum for all political parties in the state to conclude their chairmanship and councillorship primary elections.
The Commissioner in-charge of Public Affairs in the commission, Chief Nnanna Nweze-Offor stated this while answering questions on the commission’s timetable for the Local Government Election.


According to him: “Political parties participating in the forthcoming Saturday 20th July Local Government election in the state must conclude their Chairmanship and Councillorship primaries not later than third June, 2024.

He noted further that the list of nominated candidates for the Chairmanship and councillorship position must be submitted to EBSIEC before the end of Monday 3rd June 2024.

Chief Nweze-Offor pointed out that political parties conducting primaries must invite EBSIEC to observe the primaries as required by the law, noting that the commission was poised to conduct a free, fair and credible election without bias for anyone or political party.
He pointed out that soon the commission will advertise for recruitment of adhoc workers for the election, adding that various trainings will be conducted towards a successful Local Government polls in the state.
Chief Nweze-Offor noted that the commission was working round the clock to ensure a smooth election and called on all to join hands with EBSIEC in the bid to give the people the best Local Government election in the state.
Daily Asset reports that the Local Government election in Ebonyi State is slated to hold on Saturday, 20th July 2024 across the thirteen Local Government Areas of the state.

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POLITICS

Reps Member Calls for Urgent Intervention in Federal Teaching Hospitals

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By David Torough, Abuja
The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, Amos Magaji has called for an urgent financial investment in the Federal Teaching Hospitals across the country in line with the renewed hope agenda of the current administration for the betterment of the citizenry.


Magaji who led members of his Committee on a visit to the Federal University of Health Sciences Teaching Hospital, Otukpo said the need to allocate more funds in the health sector cannot be overemphasized considering the primary place of health institutions in the country.

He appreciated the Chief Medical Director and his management staff for showing interest in the growth judging by the tremendous achievements recorded within a period of one year.

He said that as head of the House Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, he will work with his members to ensure that more funds are made available to develop the needed infrastructure including the medical equipment to meet up with the expectations of the people.
“We are glad to be in Otukpo today to see things for ourselves. We don’t want to depend on second hand information on the true condition of the Federal University Teaching Hospital Otukpo.”
The Committee Chairman assured the management of full support of the Federal House of Representatives as appropriate incentives will be given through interface with other critical stakeholders in Abuja.
Magaji, who also observed that most of the Federal Teaching Hospitals were having almost the same challenges, advised the leadership team to accommodate all Nigerians irrespective of tribe including the host Community.
He however enjoined the Staff who he described as foundation staff to work as a team despite the working condition, “we have seen how the environment is looking and we will continue to monitor the progress. So as foundation staff, you all have the opportunity to write your name in gold”.
In his brief welcome address, the Chief Medical Director, Prof Silas Ochejele Commended the Federal Government for the establishment of the Teaching Hospital in Otukpo which has drastically changed the medical services narratives in the State.
Prof Ochejele also commended the Committee for undertaking pains to come down to Otukpo, ” the Hospital is very happy to have you here as we strongly believe that you’re coming to see things yourselves we go a long way in repositioning the Hospital for the betterment of the people’s health needs’
After the briefing, the House Committee inspected some of the ongoing projects and appreciated the efforts being made by the CMD particularly the level-playing ground provided to both staff and patients which earned them recommendation.

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