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Gbajabiamila Cautions Lawmakers To ‘Do The People’s Work ‘ Amid Campaign Distractions

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….Proposes that committees prepare handover notes to the 10th Assembly

By Gloria Ikibah

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As the House of Representatives resume from the Christmas and new Year break, the speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, has tasked members to focus their efforts on completing the responsibilities already initiated and closing out the assignments on which its legacy in this 9th House will be assessed.

Gbajabiamila who stated this in his opening address at the resumption of plenary, cautioned members “to continue to do the people’s work despite the obligations and distractions of the political campaign season”.

“Several bills still in the legislative process need to be actioned as a matter of urgency, as these bills propose significant improvements across different sectors of our national life.

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According to Speaker Gbajabiamila, ‘one recurring criticism of the legislature in Nigeria has been the lack of continuity and the absence of tools and procedures for establishing an institutional memory’.

He said: “Some of these bills are still in committee, while others are awaiting concurrence in the Senate. We will see to it that we conclude work on these bills so that they can be presented to Mr president during the life of this administration.

“Government is a continuum; the actions of one administration will continue to impact the country long into the future. As the democratic process leads to continuous personnel turnover, it is vital to have a system that allows future officeholders to understand the decisions made by their predecessors.

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“In the executive arm of government, it is established practice to prepare handover notes. I wish today to propose to the House that we adopt this practice at the Committee level. The House Committee on Rules and Business will lead this effort by formulating guidelines to make this possible”.

With less than 40 days to the nation’s general elections, Gbajabiamila further urged members to begin the new year with a renewed commitment to legislative action that brings the lawmakers closer to achieving their highest aspirations for the nation.

“Let us resume with renewed determination to achieve better oversight of government spending priorities through a collaborative effort with the executive arm of government and civil society. And we remain dedicated to the lofty yet clear ambitions we articulated in our Legislative Agenda when we resumed in the 9th Assembly.

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“When the 9th House of Representatives was inaugurated in 2019, we hit the ground running to discover and present solutions to our country’s problems. Some of our efforts have yielded positive results in some regards, and in other areas, there is still work to do. We must resolve to continue to do the people’s work despite the obligations and distractions of the political campaign season. As we approach the end of our term in office, I am hopeful that we will continue to meet and exceed expectations in this new year.

“Over the last few appropriation cycles, the dire conditions of our national finance have required significant borrowing to finance government operations, sustain investments in infrastructure and national security and improve the living conditions of the Nigerian people.

“Just as the 9th Assembly has reformed the appropriations process to ensure timely budget passage, we also intend to leave a legacy of transparency and accountability as a standard for the future. Therefore, as part of preparing our reports, we must make a deliberate effort to give a complete account of our oversight activities in the 9th House of Representatives”, Gbajabiamila stated.

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Naijablitznews.com reports that at the commencement of the 9th Assembly, the house adopted the Legislative Agenda as a statement of it’s governing priorities in the 9th House of Representatives.

The agenda was termed ‘Our Contract With Nigerians’ to reflect the determination of the House to be held accountable for the commitments made.

According to him, despite many challenges, which includes Covid-19 pandemic, dwindling economy, insecurity among others the house has made reasonable progress in achieving its agenda.

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He called them to ensure that no insecurity threatens the peace of the nation, and added “we must adopt a politics of accommodation and brotherhood”.

“With these words, the constitution obligates all of us who swear to serve in government to do everything to protect the lives and property of all citizens and promote their well-being above all else. This obligation is central to the governing contract between the government and the citizenry. As leaders in our various communities and constituencies, we must adopt a politics of accommodation and brotherhood.

“And we must ensure that no insecurity threatening our country’s peace can be attributed to our actions or utterances. This is our constitutional obligation and a moral duty from which we must not deviate.

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“We must unite to ensure this dangerous trend does not lead to circumstances that threaten the forthcoming elections. The quality of the political conversations in society, particularly in the lead-up to elections, is a determining factor in the electoral outcomes and the quality of governance that will result therefrom. When political discourse seeks to unite the people behind an agenda of shared prosperity, social development, and respect for the humanity of persons, governance will also reflect these priorities”.

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Politics

Tinubu calls for calm on naira notes, fuel scarcity

Tinubu
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By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

The All Progressives Congress, APC Presidential Candidate, Chief Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to be calm co learning the scarcity of the new naira note.

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He asked the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN not to be “dogmatic” in the deadline fixed for the old Naira notes to stop being legal tender.

In a press statement signed by the APC Presidential Campaign Council Director of Media & Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, Tinubu said, the masses are the ones suffering from the unintended consequence of the CBN demonetisation policy.

While appealing to Nigerians to stay calm, the APC Presidential Candidate further urged citizens to Nigerians to shun all acts that may destabilise the country in the face of the new naira and fuel scarcity that the country is facing.

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He commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited for the fuel supply relief being enjoyed in the Federal Capital Territory and urged the company to step up its act to bring relief round the country.

The APC Presidential Candidate promised to unite the country and improve the economy and security if elected.

“This is a challenging period in the life of our country when our people are made to stay on the line for hours to get fuel and even get their own money from the banks.

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“I empathise with Nigerians across the country especially the poor masses who have been made to bear the brunt and pains of the CBN Naira policy and fuel scarcity the most.

“While government continues to work to solve these problems, let’s stay calm, maintain the peace and continue to shun and avoid any act capable of causing civil unrest and disharmony.

“What the opposition and enemies of democracy want is to create a state of national siege and tension that can disrupt the coming general elections and create an atmosphere of strife in our country.

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“We must say no to them. We must be resolute and stand firm to protect our democracy by ensuring we hold our elections in a peaceful and orderly manner.

“I am in this race to bring renewed hope and prosperity to all Nigerians.

“There are no challenges that will be difficult for us as a people to surmount when we stand in unity of purpose.

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“When you elect me, I will work to ensure security, economic prosperity, national unity and cohesion and we will together build a country that will be a source of joy to us all and a pride to every black person everywhere in the world,” Tinubu said.

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Politicians enticing LP members with millions, says Utomi

Labour , Utomi
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A political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, on Tuesday said that politicians in some political parties were enticing officials of the Labour Party with millions of Naira to facilitate their defection before the presidential election scheduled for February 25.

While blaming politicians for the challenges confronting Nigeria, he said that the country had failed to build real political parties.

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Utomi, convener of The Big-Tent, a coalition of political parties, social movements, and civil society organisations, in support of the presidential ambition of Peter Obi, stated these during the unveiling of the Independent Campaign Council Secretariat of TBT.

According to him, Nigerian youths that were tired of the terrible state of the country, discovered Obi, a former governor of Anambra State, adding that the LP would focus on improving the life of ordinary Nigerians, rather than serving the selfish interest of a few powerful elites.

“The focus of power over purpose has led to transactions of nature where people don’t seem to matter.

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“As we speak, right now, some of those political parties have been paying millions and millions to Labour Party officials to decamp and join them. But they still forget that what we need is a new Nigeria that our children can live in happily without insecurity,” he stated.

While accusing the All Progressives Congress of lacking ideology, Utomi said the party appeared to have only set out to grab power.

He assured that if elected, Obi would move Nigeria from a consuming nation to producing nation.

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Utomi said, “Our country needs to be renewed. It is easy to blame anybody for the problems of Nigeria, but it’s time to forge ahead, look ahead and forget yesterday. The naked truth is that yesterday has been costly, extremely costly.

“The country that was bequeathed to us by our founding fathers was a great country of promise. I am fond of reminding people of 1960.

“Obi talks all the time about going from consumption to production. But we started in 1960 with production.

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“I like to remind people all the time that our founding fathers looked at their endowments and realized that the main reason Nigeria was colonized was the extraction of raw materials to move to Europe. But the colonialists did not bother or try at all to industrialise Nigeria.

“Indeed, at the time of self-government, there were technically two factories in Nigeria.

“However, the pace with which the young men and women who began to take charge in 1956/57 and the speed with which they moved us to production was unbelievable. I believe we can still achieve the same form of transition.

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“Central to the challenge of development that we have is our failure to build real political parties. I believe, that was the beginning of the founding of the APC.

“In the founding of the APC, they focused on grabbing power over purpose which prevented a real political party from emerging and we’ve seen the damages that’s done to Nigeria.”

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Nobody Will Get Buhari’s 1.9m Kano Votes Of 2015 – LP’s Baba-Ahmed

Datti , Obi
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The vice-presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Datti Baba-Ahmed, has said the over 1.9 million votes President Muhammadu Buhari got in Kano State during the 2015 presidential election will not be won by any one candidate in the forthcoming election.

With 1,903,999 votes, Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated the Peoples Democratic Party’s Goodluck Jonathan who had 215,779 votes in the North’s most populous state.

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“The northern Nigerian votes that were waiting to make up the difference which either of the two other runners-up were hoping to get, [it] turned out that they are not getting it,” Baba-Ahmed said during a live appearance on Channels Television’s special election programme The 2023 Verdict on Tuesday.

“The heavy punchers – Kano, for example – is now a watershed of what its votes used to be. In 2015, the 1.9 million votes of Kano, nobody can aspire to have that which of course Buhari punched Jonathan with the final blow. Nobody is going to get that in Kano.”

The LP vice presidential candidate argued that other battle zones in the North are Kaduna and Katsina.

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Other factors he believed were working in his party’s favour include the rise of the youth in his home state of Kaduna, the increasing awareness of uniting Nigeria, and the non-indigenes all over Northern and Central Kaduna.

“We have pulled a lot of weight beyond the comprehension of the two runners-up,” he added.

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