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Embarrassing development as National Assembly roof leaks

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An early morning downpour on Tuesday led to the leaking of the National Assembly roof with water splashing to the lobby of the federal parliament.

The leaking roof also spread to the Press Centre in the Senate wing of the nation's apex legislative institution.

The leadership of the National Assembly had in 2020 approved N37bn for the renovation of the edifice, built about 27 years ago.

Cleaners had a hectic time scooping water from the floor while the development delayed the sitting of the senators who resumed on Tuesday after a one-week break to mark the end of their second legislative year.

JUST IN: Those thinking that Nigeria will break up are dreaming, they will be disappointed, says VP Osinbajo

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that those waiting for Nigeria to break up will be disappointed, insisting that Nigeria will remain united as a strong nation to the frustration of those waiting to see the country broken into pieces.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Progressives Youth Conference, Osinbajo said the country is stronger together than in little parts.

“In the area of disruption and disruptive innovation, the principle that we are stronger together than in little part is a sound principle and it is my respectful view that those who advocate the breaking up of the country are terribly wrong,” he said.

He added: “Our size is crucial for geopolitical and economic relevance. Our people will be better served by a large populous and diverse country. As with all big and diverse countries, our business is to make this union work; it is to give everybody a sense of belonging.

“All of those waiting on the sidelines, hoping that this big country called Nigeria will break up into bits so that they can pick up the pieces, will be very sorely disappointed and I am very sure that those of you who are seated here today will prevent that from happening.”

The vice president acknowledged the need for all Nigerians to be guaranteed a fair chance at improving their human condition and urged the youth to be a part of conversations that will ensure this.

He asked the young generation not just to say it was time for them and for the older people to give way, stressing that such was unlikely to happen.

Osinbajo, however, stated that it was the strength of the ideas and the depth of the youths’ organisation and not age that would retire those ahead of them.

“I am also frankly not very impressed with the notion that the role and power of young people are somehow postponed until elders have gone, or that there’s some kind of generational queue to which we all must subscribe.

“Even if that was true at some point, today, that notion stands on very weak legs indeed,” he said.

JUST IN: APC may not survive after Buhari’s tenure, party wasted four years, says Sen Lawan

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Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said the All Progressives Congress (APC) may face challenges after the exit of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.

Lawan gave the warning on Monday night in a speech delivered to close the First Progressives Youth Conference 2021 which held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

He said the party must begin to plan ahead to sustain the goodwill and legacies of the present administration.

He noted that by doing so, the party would be able to retain its appeal and nationalistic outlook beyond the 2023 general elections.

He said, “Whether we like it or not, the truth is, President Muhammadu Buhari remains the person with the bulk of the support we get across this country in APC.

“[And] when he leaves, he would still have some roles, but I daresay that it is after he leaves office that APC will face its challenge.

“Yes, we have to know our value then, and the value of APC presently is APC minus President Muhammadu Buhari. Whatever it is, that is the value of APC.

“So, we need to do a lot to build this party, and we need our youths more than ever before for them to continue with this legacy that this administration has established all over the country.

“That means we have to see our selves as brothers and sisters regardless of where we come from.

“Our tribe or even ethnic group, our religious persuasion should not matter when it comes to uniting this country.

“[And] as APC, the onus is on us to provide security and an economy that will bring growth and development to give people the kind of life that is meaningful.

“We can ask others to join us, but we are the ones to do it, so we need all hands on deck.”

He lamented that the plan of the APC to deliver on most of its promises to Nigerians was stalled in the first tenure of the President Buhari administration as a result of the feud between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.

“When we were voted in 2019 as leaders of the National Assembly, we were conscious of one thing, that our mandate that was given to us by Nigerians in 2015 had suffered disruption and dislocation.”

“For four years (2015 to 2019), our government could not perform optimally because of the then crisis between the parliament – the National Assembly – and the Executive arm of government.

“So, APC had already lost four very important years. And, that was supposed to be the years that we should have convinced Nigerians that they took the right decision by voting out a PDP administration in 2015.

“What are our options? We are one party in different arms of government. Our policies are supposed to be the same. Our programmes and projects are supposed to be the same, whether you’re in the legislature or the executive.

“So long as you are APC, that is your programme and project, that is your government and you are bound to make it succeed.

“So, we took the conscious decision of working in harmony that our relationship must be characterized by consultation, coordination, partnership and mutual respect, that we must succeed in the second tenure (2019 – 2023).

“Otherwise, in 2023, many would like to see our backs if you can’t provide the services expected of you in your first four years.

“[And] you to change and do better, why would anybody give you eight years?

“So, we felt we have an obligation to Nigerians who voted for us, to our people in APC and to our country, that we must work in such a fashion and manner that government is able to deliver services to Nigerians.”

Just In: Afenifere replies Buhari's 'dumb' comment, says he's surrounded by cIowns

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Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, has reacted to a recent statement by President Muhammadu Buhari where he referred to those agitating for restructuring as 'dumb' because according to him, they do not know what they are asking for.

However, in a statement by the Secretary General of Afenifere, Chief Sola Ebiseni, the Yoruba group said the President is surrounded by clowns who would do anything to keep their jobs instead of giving proper advice to the President for the overall good of the country.

Ebiseni noted that majority from all geopolitical zones of the country supported the call for the restructuring, but a handful of overzealous government appointees whose states contribute little to nothing to the national treasury, think they are more intelligent than the rest of the country.

“From what I read in the papers, the fellow to whom this statement is credited is one Executive Secretary, Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Shehu, who presides over the sharing of the revenue of the federation to which his state probably contributes nothing. How else can he impress his principal than tell him what would soothe his sectional and sectarian ego? 

“The elected governors of the constituent states of the federation, the leaders of the entrenched federating ethnic nationalities, former leaders, presidents and knowledgeable personalities are all calling for the restructuring of the political architecture to reinvent the foundational federal principles of the polity and here you find an opportunistic official heading an office which had no place in a true federal state, talking down on the nation.

“It is my submission that the statement could not be the opinion of General Buhari, who is already seeking restructuring the current land use under the 1999 Constitution to reopen grazing routes under a law made pursuant to the 1963 constitution. 

“We are at a critical stage where children, particularly in states with the highest population of children out of school in the world, can no longer go to school at all for fear of being kidnapped for ransom.

“State governments are demanding the powers to establish State Police to deal with insecurity and prominent traditional rulers, especially emirs, have called on their people to rise in their own defence and some uninformed government officials are threatening us with war if we seek restructuring or self-determination. It is so nauseating. 

“In any event, restructuring of the political architecture of the country in the interest of the people, their security and general wellbeing is not going to be at the pleasure of the President or the whims and caprices of his uncouth officials,” the Afenifere secretary declared. 

Open Grazing Ban: You can't stop us from doing our business without providing alternative — Miyetti Allah tells southern govs

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Miyetti Allah has said that the ban on open grazing by the Governors of Southern Nigeria will remain ineffective until an alternative to grazing is provided for the herders.

South East Chairman of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, Gidado Siddiki, said this in response to the call by former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, on all the states Houses of Assembly in South East Nigeria to enact anti-grazing law in their respective states.

Gidado Siddiki mentioned that they were not opposed to ban on open grazing but that the public hearing on constitution review should grant all parties the right to make submissions for a law against open grazing.

“We were not given the chance to go for the Constitution review public hearing, we went there but nobody gave us an audience to talk. We did not submit a petition,” he said.

He noted that the South East leaders are yet to provide ranching as an alternative for herders in conducting their business, hence the reason such decision will remain ineffective.

Siddiki said: “Our position is that we are not opposed to the ban on open grazing, but at least we need an alternative.

“You know when somebody is doing business and you stop him from doing that business, he would be given an alternative on what to do.

“When you say that you have banned open grazing, you need to tell us how we should graze our cows because what we know is grazing. If there is an alternative, there is no problem, and that is the only thing we are begging for.”

He urged the governors to call on all parties in making laws in respect to open grazing, adding that there is no provision for ranching in most states which poses a problem to herders.

“If open grazing is bringing problems, let us find ways we can coexist.

“If there is provision for ranching, we can do ranching but I do not think there is provision for ranching in states. Even Benue State that banned open grazing, I don’t think there has been any ranching in Benue State in all these years.

“So, I don’t know if there is provision and that is our own problem,” the Miyettl Allah leader said.

JUST IN: Grazing Routes: Niger Deltans will show Fulani jihadists that they are not their slaves — Clark warns

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Chairman of the Southern and Middle Belt Elders Forum (SMBLF) Chief Edwin Clark has declared that open grazing is buried in southern Nigeria.

Clark also warned that the people of Niger Delta and other Nigerian citizens will show the Fulani jihadists that they are not their slaves and the country does not belong to them. 

Clark who also doubles as leader of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) stated this while reacting to a warning by a purported Fulani jihadist group to the Delta State government and the governor to withdraw, within 72 hours, his decision against open grazing, recently taken by the 17 governors of the South, at a meeting held in Asaba.

The elder statesman at a press conference in Abuja warned the federal government and those he called Fulani Jihadists that the people of the Niger Delta “will resist in such a way that will make it definitely impossible for the Federal Government security forces to cope with, should this action escalate.”

He stated that it is unbelievable, unpatriotic and unacceptable that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice to dig out the Gazette that approved open grazing in the First Republic.

He added that the president has no power or authority to impose open grazing on state governments under the Land Use Act.

Clark said any Gazette or Law by any state or National Assembly on the matter is null and void in light of the 1999 Constitution which supersedes them.

The elder statesman who expressed concern over the silence of northern leaders over the comments of the Jihadist group, noted that it was hypocritical of Northerner elders to accuse Igbo Elders of not rebuking IPOB.

Stressing that the decision on the ban on grazing has come to stay, Clark said, “The decision on open grazing and other decisions taken on national interest by the 17 Southern Governors received the full support of the people of Southern Nigeria, particularly the leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo of the South East, PANDEF of the South South and the Afenifere of the South West.

“We will no longer tolerate hate and divisive statements targeted at deriding and insulting others, from these Fulanis who believe Nigeria is exclusively theirs and other Nigerians are their subjects, and not their fellow citizens.

“In order to maintain and promote a peaceful Nigeria, I was among other 50 prominent Nigerians including former heads of state, traditional rulers, former chief justices, that met for 9 hours, under the leadership of former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently on Thursday, 11th June, 2021, at the Conference Hall of the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where valuable decisions were taken to maintain and sustain the unity of this country.

“I repeat, on behalf of southerners, that open grazing has been finally buried in Southern Nigeria. For Mr. President to insist that open grazing should continue whereby he asked the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to dig out the Gazette that approved open grazing in the First Republic is unbelievable, unpatriotic and unacceptable to our people.”

He urged the president to regard himself as President of one Nigeria, and not as President of the Fulanis or the Northerners adding that southerners “shall resist, at all cost, any attempt to subjugate us as citizens of one Nigeria.”

He however advised the attorney general of the federation and minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, against misleading and misdirecting the president.

#BuhariMustGo protesters block airport road in Abuja

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Angry Nigerians protesting against bad governance and insecurity on Monday morning staged a peaceful protest and blocked Abuja Airport Road.

The protesters, mostly youths, took their campaign to Dantata Bridge, along the road which serves as a major entrance and exit points to the capital city as early as 5:00am chanting #BuhariMustGo.

The protesters barricaded the Expressway with bonfire, preventing vehicular movement along the road.

The protesters, who displayed placards, were on June 12 violently dispersed by a combined team of armed security operatives at Gudu junction when they were teargassed.

They were demanding an end to insecurity, bad governance, corruption, impunity and reversal of suspension on Twitter, among others.

The #BuhariMustGo campaign has drawn attention from different parts of the countries with protests calling for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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