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Senate fires back at Ningi over statement on Ninth Assembly

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The Senate has berated Senator Abdul Ahmed Ningi for lacking understanding in parliamentary procedures in spite of being a ranking Senator who was a one time Deputy Senate Leader of the hallowed Chambers.

The Senate spokesman and Chairman, Committee on Public Affairs, Dr. Ajibola Basiru, made the remarks on Monday.

Basiru spoke in reaction to a statement credited to Senator Ningi that the 9th Assembly has been too soft on both national issues and President Muhammadu Buhari on some alleged “wrongdoings” he said are “detrimental to good governance”.

Rising in defence of the present Senate under Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Basiru said: “It is baffling that Senator Ningi never understood that neither the National Assembly nor the Senate is constituted as an opposition to antagonise other arms of government but as an assemblage of lawmakers elected for good governance and pursuits of national interest.”

He said the “barometer to gauge a working Legislature is not how many times it initiated a furtile and failed impeachment procedure against a sitting President but the amount of work it could do within the framework of Cooperative bi-partisan legislation”.

Although, Basiru said that the Senate had at many times turned down requests from the President but “they were done with maturity and understanding without generating so much rancour and public uproar”.

The 9th Assembly represents the ever increasing maturity of Nigeria’s democracy, he added.

Basiru recounted that the 9th Assembly has been the most successful since the return to civil rule in 1999 adding: “Uur focus has been on impactful legislations which bother on the economy, security and livelihood of Nigerians.”

It will be remembered that the National Assembly successfully passed the Petroleum Industry Bill, which had suffered several abortive attempts since its introduction before the 6th National Assembly.

Besides, the  Finance Act (2020), CAMA Act (2020), Deep Off Shore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract (Amendment) Act 2019, Public procurement Act, 2020, Electoral Act, Return to January-December budget cycle are few of the many landmark bills passed by the National Assembly, he said, adding: “We worked on legislation that have realistic chance of being assented to and which have potential impact on the lives of Nigerians, informing Senator Ningi and others with the same frame of mind that legislation process and procedures have moved on.”

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Thugs disrupt factional SDP meeting in Kwara State

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Political thugs on Wednesday disrupted a news conference of a faction of the Social Democratic Party in Ilorin, Kwara State.

The thugs invaded Labour House, beside Kwara State High Court complex, where members were addressing newsmen.

The thugs, numbering about 20, forced their way into the Labour House owned by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress and descended heavily on the conveners of the meeting.

A factional Chairman of the SDP in Ifelodun Local Government Area of the state, James Olajide, was assaulted, leaving him with torn cloth and dragged on the bare floor by the thugs.

The invading thugs accused the local government chairman of taking money from the state Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to foment trouble in the SDP.

“Baba Ifelodun, you took money from AA to disrupt our party,” one of the thugs said.

The thugs also beat and drove away an elderly man, who was walking with the aid of a walking stick.

NAN reports that the Publicity Secretary of a faction of the SDP, Kareem Akanbi, had on Tuesday announced the suspension of eight members from the party.

The conveners of the Wednesday meeting were some of the people that were suspended for alleged anti-party activities.

Before the disruption of the news conference, the factional Chairman of the SDP (original), Ibrahim Yahaya, had alleged plans by some former members of the All Progressives Congress to hijack it from the pioneer executive of the party.

Yahaya said: “It is no longer news that a faction of the All Progressives Congress in Kwara State (APC Loyal) formally applied to join our party, the SDP, vide a letter to SDP National Secretariat dated March 9, 2022, by a reply letter dated 11th March 2022.

“The National Secretariat of SDP acknowledged the APC Loyal letter and their intention to join the SDP in Kwara State with a promise to work on a harmonisation arrangement on how their interests will be accommodated.

“The original SDP members in Kwara under my leadership were waiting for further directives from National Secretariat.

“But we were shocked to hear about a purported State congress of Kwara SDP held on April 26, 2022, which was stage-managed by the Kwara APC Loyal group in collaboration with some officials of SDP National Secretariat.

“The sole aim of the kangaroo state congress election of SDP on April 26, 2022, was to hijack the party from the original members of the party who had worked tirelessly to bring the party to its enviable position in Kwara.

“The said congress was held in contravention to the SDP constitution. Also, the original members of Kwara SDP were denied participation in the said congress contrary to the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.

“I wish to inform this august gathering that we have protested the said purported state congress of Kwara SDP held on April 26, 2022, at the Kwara APC Loyal Secretariat to the National Secretariat of the party.

“Also, we have instructed our team of lawyers, who have since swung into action to challenge in court the legality of the purported state congress of the Kwara SDP held on April 26, 2022.”

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APC primaries: I have reserved hotels with food for over 7,000 delegates — Osinbajo

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The Prof. Yemi Osinbajo Campaign Organisation on Wednesday said that it would provide hotel accommodation for more than 7,000 All Progressives Congress delegates across the country during the party’s presidential primary election.

Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Office of the Vice-President, disclosed this.

Ojudu announced this to delegates in Minna, while wooing them to vote for Osinbajo during the party’s primaries.

He said: “Before you leave Minna to the national delegates conference, your hotel accommodations and other things will be provided for you to enable you to feel at home through out the delegates conference.

“We have provided hotel accommodations for the more than 7,000 APC delegates to the presidential primary election.

“We don’t want a situation where more than one person will stay in a room.

“We want all of you to feel comfortable during the primary election.”

Ojudu said that there would be vehicles to convey the delegates to and fro the venue from their hotels and also a desk officer in each hotel to attend to the needs of the delegates.

“At the hotel, food will be provided and there will be a desk officer to attend to all your needs,” he said.

Ojudu said that the campaign organisation would do everything possible to reward the delegates if Osinbajo is elected as the party’s candidate and by the grace of God emerges the president in the 2023 general election.

He said: “In the past our delegates have not been rewarded.

“Rather other people who did not contribute were rewarded with appointments and jobs.

“If Osinbajo is elected as promised, we are going to reward all of you with jobs and appointments.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while Ojudu was briefing the delegates and newsmen, Osinbajo was having a closed door meeting with the state Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello.

NAN also reports that after the meeting with Bello, Osinbajo met the delegates in a closed door before leaving Minna.

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