10042019 - Politicians, traditional rulers aiding bandits — DEFENCE MINISTER

vanguardnewspaper

8Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2019

CONFERENCE: From left, Vice Chairman, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria,

ICAN, Mr. Nnamdi Okwuadigbo; 45th President, ICAN, Alhaji.Razak Jaiyeola; Acting

Governor of Delta State, Mr Kingsley Otuaro; and Chairman, Southern Zonal District,

ICAN, Mr. Ekeruche Onyemachi, during ICAN's 2nd Southern Zonal Accountants’

Conference, In Asaba, Delta State. Photo: Nath Onojake.

9th Assembly: How N/Central govs forced

APC to renege on Gbajabilamila’s adoption

By Levinus

Nwabughiogu

A BUJAINTENSE

pressure from

governors and politicians

from North Central

geopolitical zone may have

forced the ruling All

Progressives Congress,

APC, to a retreat over the

adoption of Femi

Gbajabiamila as the

Speaker of the incoming

9th House of

Representatives.

Vanguard learned that

governors of the zone have

resolved to throw their

weight behind another

lawmaker from the zone to

emerge as speaker.

The zone is alleging

marginalisation in the

government of President

Muhammadu Buhari,

saying no visible position

had been given to them.

To this end, three

lawmakers from the zone

are in the race to succeed

Speaker Yakubu Dogara.

They are Mohammed

Bago from Niger State,

Idris Wase, the current

Deputy Majority Leader

from Plateau State and

John Dyegh from Benue

State who is likely to

formerly declare his interest

today at the National

Assembly.

At the moment, Bago’s

candidacy is gathering

momentum as his state

government, Niger, has

vowed to mobilise other

governors from the zone

and beyond to support him.

Gbajabiamila's

interest

M e a n w h i l e ,

Gbajabiamila who

represents Surulere II

federal constituency of

Lagos State is also a front

line aspirant for the office.

Reports of his adoption by

APC and national leader of

the party, Asiwaju Bola

Tinubu, had been making

the rounds, giving the

lawmaker an edge over 16

other names who had also

indicated interest in the

position.

But it was gathered,

yesterday, that

Gbajabilamila’s camp

became seemingly

distraught and deterred by

the party’s latest position on

Monday.

Reports credited to an

aide of the national

chairman of APC, Adams

Oshiomhole, had on

Monday filtered in that the

party had adopted

Gbajabilamila as its

preferred candidate for the

office.

But reacting to the report,

National Publicity Secretary

of the party, Malam Lanre

Issa-Onilu said the

information was false.

He said the party was yet

to take a final decision on

zoning of leadership offices

of the House to the

geopolitical zones.

He said: “We have not

come out as a party to say

(that we have adopted

Gbajabilamila) and it is not

in anyone’s position to go

and announce that.”

Position not

zoned to S-West

Checks, yesterday,

indicated an uneasy calm

in the lawmaker’s camp.

Sources said that APC

may be forced to ignore the

South-West and zone the

speakership to North

Central geopolitical zone in

the interest of the equity

and social justice.

When contacted, the

media aide to

Gbajabilamila, Olanrewaju

Wasiu admitted that indeed

the party has not officially

zone the speakership to

South-West or adopted his

boss.

Efforts made to reach the

campaign Director-General

of the Gbajabilamila

Campaign Organisation,

Abdulmumuni Jubril for

further comments were not

successful as he neither

answered his call nor

replied the text message

sent to his phone.

Implementing Uwais Report'll strengthen

nation’s electoral system Nnamani

By Dirisu

Yakubu

ABUJA-

Former

President of the

Senate, Ken Nnamani, has

called on President

Muhammadu Buhari to

take another look at

recommendation of the

Mohammed Uwais

Committee Report, with a

view to implementing

same to reform the nation’s

electoral system.

Nnamani made the plea,

yesterday, in his keynote

address at the 3rd Oronto

Douglas Memorial

Dialogue in Abuja.

He urged the Buhari

administration to learn from

South Africa in the

appointment of the

chairman of Independent

National Electoral

Commission, INEC.

Represented by Mallam

Mohammed Bello,

Nnamani challenged

Nigerians to take credible

elections more seriously,

arguing that many

Nigerians, including

respectable civil society

leaders consider credible

election as if it starts and

ends on the election day,

noting that the credibility of

polls was more than that.

He said: “It is obvious that

the Uwais Report

represents a high point in

the search for an electoral

system that will suit

Nigeria’s peculiar

circumstances.

"The eminent members of

that committee proposed

many innovations that

could restore credibility and

fairness to our electoral

system. Unfortunately,

many of these innovative

proposals were not

implemented.

“The independence of

the election management

body is mostly determined

by the mode of

appointment.

"In South Africa and some

African countries, the

process of appointment of

electoral management

officials is more of

competitive recruitment

where those appointed will

have a sense that they

merited the position, not

that they are beneficiaries

of political patronage.

“We spend so much on

providing security, yet, we

continue to witness a high

level of violence and

electoral crimes. In a third

World country like Nigeria,

public offices are very

attractive. So politicians

have incentive to fight dirty

to gain access to these

political offices.

“Until we can reduce the

financial rewards of

occupying political offices

through anti-corruption

and accountability

measures, we should

expect desperation from

politicians. We must deal

with violence and other

electoral crimes through

institutional redesigning. “

FG approves N100bn for

completion of East West

road project

By Chris Ochayi

THE

Federal

Government has

approved N100 billion for the

completion of sections 1 to 4

of the East West highway

finalisation project.

Minister of Niger Delta

Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani,

disclosed this at a meeting

with the Host Communities

of Nigeria Producing Oil

and Gas, HOSTCOM, led

by its National Chairman,

Chief Style Tamaranebi, in

Abuja, yesterday.

It will be recalled that the

findings from a Presidential

Inter-Ministerial team on

assessment tour of Sections

1 to 4 of the East West Road

from Warri, Delta State to

Oron, Akwa Ibom State, in

the year 2018, showed that

contractors would require

about N100 billion to

complete the four sections

of the flagship project in

Niger Delta.

The minister said the

submission from the

committee culminated in

the said approval of the

fund.

Boko Haram attacks

Damaturu

By Bala Ajiya

P ANDEMONIUM

broke out in

Damaturu yesterday, as

Boko Haram attempted to

attack Damaturu, the

Yobe State capital

Residents were seen

running towards

different directions to

escape the attack.

The insurgents who came

in convoy of three Hilux

vehicles had attempted to

invade Maisandari ward of

Damaturu, Yobe State,

which is dominated by

Kanuri.

The residents of the area

on sighting the anti aircraft

Hilux alerted the military.

In a swift response, the

military contained the

insurgents but not after the

whole capital city had been

deserted.

A resident that spoke to

Vanguard on phone

confirmed the incident,

saying the army’s quick

intervention saved the

situation.

Abuja cultural carnival to

gulp N82.109m FG

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA AHEAD of the

2019 edition of Abuja

Cultural Carnival

coordinated by Ministry of

Information, Culture and

Tourism, the Federal

Government disclosed,

yesterday, that it would gulp

N82.109 million.

Disclosing this in Abuja

while making presentation

on 2019 budget proposals of

the ministry and defence of

the 2019 estimates before the

Senate Committee on

Culture and Tourism,

Minister of Information,

Culture and Tourism, Alhaji

Lai Mohammed, also told

the Senators that cultural

centres had been

established by Nigeria in

China and Brazil where

goods for marketing the

image of the country and

making the outside world

appreciate Nigeria and

Nigerians better.

This came when the

committee headed by

Senator Fatimah Raji-

Rasaki, took on the minister

on why N82 million was

proposed for Abuja Cultural

Carnival in 2019, even

when the carnival did not

hold last year despite N62

million appropriated for it.

Responding, the minister

said the N62 million

appropriated for the

carnival last year was not

fully cash backed as the

sum was lumped with

other items on capital

component of the budget,

which were not adequately

funded.

He said: “Money for

cultural carnival of national

magnitude ordinarily,

should even be more than

N82m but because of the

synergy the ministry had

with the Federal Capital

Territory and other

sponsors in terms of

accommodation for

participants from the

various states, feeding,

transportation etc, made us

to make modest proposal

of N82m.”

He also explained to the

committee that cultural

centres established by the

Nigeria government in

China and Brazil, which

had budgetary allocation of

N25 million in 2018 and

N35 million proposal for

2019, were necessary for

positive projection of the

country’s image.

He said: “Cultural

centres are meant for

foreign image of the

country. They promote

tourism and even the

economy of the owner

country. Though not

revenue generating

centres, but in the long run,

add value to the economy

and citizens of countries

that established them.”

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