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Akpabio, Lawan, Ndume Throw Nigerian Senate Into Rowdy Session Over N23Trillion Ways & Means Funds Approved By 9th Assembly



The Nigerian Senate was thrown into a rowdy session on Wednesday by the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, immediate past Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume.

There was a mild drama in the Red Chamber as the Senate leaders disagreed over the N23 trillion Ways & Means funds approved by the 9th Assembly under the leadership of former Senate President, Lawan.

Addressing the Senate on the report of the Senate Committee set up to probe the Ways & Means funds approved by the 9th Assembly for former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Akpabio said what the Senate did under the leadership of Lawan had thrown Nigeria into a more economic mess.

Directly asking Lawan to speak on the issue, Akpabio said, “We are saying what you did at that time has put the nation in more mess economically. Therefore, because of the current economic situation we have found ourselves, there is the need for us to look at the details to know whether they were rightly spent.”

Lawan said there is nothing that the National Assembly that makes laws cannot look into and review.

He said that if there were expenditures wrongly done in contradiction to the provision of the constitution, the National Assembly could look at the expenditures and if sanctions were needed for unlawful actions or unauthorised expenditures, the National Assembly would provide the sanctions.

The former Senate President argued: “What the 9th National Assembly approved or rectified in terms of Ways & Means was not N29 trillion or N30 trillion, it was N22 trillion. But there was N819 billion to attend to, deal with and address very serious infrastructure dilapidations that we had across the country.

“If we have a Ways & Means that is N30 trillion today, that means something happened between then and now, and it is for the National Assembly to find out what happened.”

Lawan insisted that nobody in the chamber should suggest that the Assembly should not look into what they feel is in the public interest, “but what Nigerians want today is food and security”.

“This (Ways & Means issue) belongs to the medium or long-term action that we need to take. How are we going to provide food for Nigerians and protect their lives?

“Let us not put the cart before the horse. Let’s consider it necessary to look at what happened in the past, but we in the present and the present is so unpleasant and we have to act very swiftly,” he said.

Responding to Lawan’s submission, Akpabio said, “Even though the Ways & Means were part of the things that put us where we are today, we are saying that expenses that were not explained, that we don’t have details about put us in the indebtedness that we are seeing today.”

Akpabio noted that it has affected the ability of the government to provide essential needs and services to Nigerians and that the National Assembly needs to look into it.

He however agreed that Nigerians are currently faced with a food crisis and they need to act immediately to put food on the table of Nigerians.

Akpabio said, “What we got to N30 trillion was because of the interest element. They brought that before this current Senate, that the interest has accrued to the N23 trillion that was passed by the 9th Senate and that they needed additional N7 trillion which was the interest. We passed the interest and that is what was added to make it N30 trillion.”

Speaking further, Akpabio confronted the Senate Chief Whip, Ndume, that he was part of the 9th Senate that approved the Ways & Means, but Ndume quickly denied being involved in its approval.

Ndume said, “I was not there; check the record. You cannot approve illegality. What they did was illegal. The Senate doesn’t have the right, let it be on record.”

Ndume’s denial of being part of lawmakers who approved the Ways & Means in the 9th Senate threw the session into rowdiness as some of the lawmakers insisted that Ndume was involved.

Ndume argued that the Senate only has the right of approval but doesn’t have the right to rectify when money has been spent.

“We don’t have the right to rectify, we only have the right to approve,” he said.

He further said that the 9th Senate only approved N819 billion and that the details of other funds that had been spent should be provided.

He said, “It has never been provided till date. This committee should find out what happened to the money. People must be held responsible and they should come and explain to this Senate what they did with the money. Now is the time that people are looking for their money everywhere, where is that money?”

Akpabio sarcastically said, “I want you to know that Senator Ndume cannot remember being there when the thing happened.”

The Senate President said that what the Senators from the 9th Senate were saying was that the total amount of N30 trillion was brought before them for approval, however, they left a caveat that they could approve the funds but they needed details and that till date, the details had not been provided.

On his part, Senator Mustapha Habib representing Jigawa South West Senatorial District said that in addition to the Ways & Means, there were loans given to state governments and the manufacturing sector, some of which had not been returned.

“We have a colossal amount of money given to the banks and this amount ran into trillions of Naira. We need to really interrogate this. DisCos (Electricity dictribution companies) were also given money by the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria). This money needs to be returned to CBN,” he said.

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No Amount Of Foreign Aid Can Save Nigeria – Says Tinubu, Gives Reason



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday stated that no amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation will fix Nigeria because “they take care of themselves first.”

The President said this when he appeared before a joint sitting of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Tinubu’s visit to the lawmakers comes as the nation marked 25 years of unbroken democracy.

The President stepped into the parliament at 12:28pm, accompanied by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima.

Upon his arrival, the lawmakers recited the new national anthem, “Nigeria, we hail thee” which the President had earlier signed into law.

He briefed the MPs and praised them for their efforts in preserving the nation’s democracy for over two decades.

He continued: “Out of respect, I want to say thank you very much. This is the institution building the country.

“Our friends, old and new, to every Nigerian, I say congratulations to 25 years of unbroken democracy.”

“You rang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn.”

The Senate and the House of Representatives had previously passed the legislation to swap the national anthem from “Arise, O Compatriots” to “Nigeria, We Hail Thee” at separate sittings.

Lillian Jean Williams, a British expatriate who lived in Nigeria during its independence, penned the lyrics for “Nigeria, We Hail Thee,” while Frances Berda composed the music. The anthem played a significant role in shaping Nigeria’s national identity and unity during the 1960s and late 1970s.

He said, “Without this house (parliament), probably, I may not have found the path to the Presidency. It started all here. Please, continue to collaborate and work together. We have no other choice. It is our nation.”

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Reno Omokri Criticizes Tinubu Government: Calls Return of Old National Anthem a Step Backward and Unnecessary act



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Reno omokri a former Aide to President Goodluck Jonathan had reacted to changing of the Nigerian anthem to the old anthem, In a tweet on X (formerly known as Twitter) , he said “My heart is very heavy about Nigeria right now because, in my opinion, we just took a giant step backwards in our national journey. Now, do not get me wrong, I support the current economic policies of my country. Fuel subsidy removal and Naira flotation are necessary policies that any lover of Nigeria should adhere to regardless of party affiliation.

One of the most unnecessary acts of governance in Nigeria in recent times is the law returning the old National Anthem. First of all, there was nothing wrong with the existing anthem. Secondly, with all of the multifaceted issues we face, it seems like we have a lack of priorities, when we major on such a settled issue as an anthem.

To me, it looks like a step backwards to discard the ‘Arise, O Compatriots’ National Anthem written by a collective of young Nigerians, including John A. Ilechukwu, Eme Etim Akpan, B. A. Ogunnaike, Sota Omoigui and P. O. Aderibigbe in 1978, for ‘Nigeria, We Hail Thee’, written by an English woman, Lillian Jean Williams.

Does it not sound preposterous that a foreigner should write our National Anthem? Are we that shallow and uninspired that we cannot come up with our own indigenous anthem? You can imagine the land of such music icons, like Fela Kuti, Osita Osadebe, Dan Maraya Jos, and contemporary stars, like Sade Adu, Burna Boy, Davido and Wizkid, importing music of national significance from Britain. As my Yoruba brethren will say, ‘O wrong now!’

Already, the name Nigeria was given to us by another English lady, Flora Shaw. And she named us in 1897 in much the same way you name a dog. She did it tongue in cheek, for an article she wrote for The Times of London.

We ought to have even changed that name to something indigenous, such as the Republic of Wazobia, as Ghana did in 1957 when she changed from Gold Coast to Ghana at Independence in 1957.

We should also have reverted to the original name for Lagos, Eko. Lagos is an imposed Portuguese name. The annoying thing is that the Portuguese who renamed Eko as Lagos were just opportunistic slave traders who did not set up any viable administrative structure.

Instead of undertaking these name changes, we are rather doubling down on another colonial relic by discarding the anthem written by our own citizens for one written by a foreigner.

I dare anyone reading this to name another country whose National Anthem was written by a foreigner. Even a Banana Republic would not do that!

In my humble opinion, President Tinubu ought not to have assented to that bill. Instead, he should have written a strongly worded letter to communicate to the National Assembly the implications on our sovereignty and national psyche to revert to an anthem written by a foreigner, which would make us a free nation that willingly chose to return to the yoke of imperialism.

Is it too late for the President to do what he ought to have done? No. He is our Head of State and has a duty to promote indigenous ideas over imperialistic ones”.

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APC Lawmakers throw weight behind Ado Bayero



By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

As the emirship tussle continues in Kano State, the 12 members of the All Progressives Congress in the House of Assembly have pledged allegiance to the 15th Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero.

Led by the minority leader, Labaran Abdul Madari, the 12 lawmakers from APC paid homage to Ado Bayero at the Nassarawa Palace after the assembly’s plenary session on Tuesday.

Recall that a crisis has broken out since the reinstatement of Muhammadu Sanusi II as the 16th Emir of Kano at the weekend, after Governor Abba Yusuf repealed the five emirates council.

Both Sanusi and Ado Bayero have refused to bow to pressure of different court orders asking them to vacate the palace.

This has created tension in the city as different organisations including the police, ulamas, eminent figures, lawyers, politicians have tried to wade in to resolve the matter but the two sides refused to budge.

Meanwhile, as the APC lawmakers in the State House paid a visit to Ado Bayero, Kantin Kwari Market Traders Association did the same to Sanusi on Tuesday.

The delegation of the traders led by the state’s Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Adamu Aliyu Kibiya, was at the emir’s palace, Kofar Kudu to register their allegiance and loyalty to the monarch.

Sanusi enjoined the traders to uphold the principles of honesty and fairness in all their business transactions, noting that Kano remains a leading commercial centre, attracting merchants from outside the country because of the contribution of traders.

The emir has been receiving visitors coming to pay homage since Sunday when 40 district heads and title holders pledged their allegiance.

Findings showed that vigilante groups and local hunters (Yan Tauri) are still keeping vigil at the palace.

Five DSS operatives were seen manning an entrance to one of the offices of the emir at Gidan Rumfa.

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