By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Power, Works and House, Mr Babatude Fashola, has been advised to honourably resign from office if he was overwhelmed by the enormous portfolios he was handling.
This counsel came following statements credited to him accusing the National Assembly of importing ‘strange’ projects into the recently-signed 2017 budget.
After the Minister made that statement, the lawmakers came hard on him, warning him to stop “misleading” the public with “half-truths.”
At the plenary on Wednesday, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Mr Danjuma Goje, told his colleagues that, “Initially, I wanted to come under a motion but, yesterday, the House of Representatives took up the matter.
“Since we are on the same page with the House, I feel I should not come under a motion.
“But I will like to seize this opportunity to advise the Minister that he should remember that he is now a minister and should behave like a minister.
“He is not a Governor (anymore) and this National Assembly is not Lagos State House of Assembly. This is an Assembly composed of very patriotic Nigerians, very experienced Nigerians; many had done his job; many were Governors before him.”
“Fashola should know that he is dealing with the National Assembly of Nigeria, not of Lagos. If the job is too much for him – the ministry is too big; it comprises three ministries, which are works, housing and power; if he cannot adjust, then, he should do the honourable thing. He should so the needful.
“No amount of blackmail by him; no amount of propaganda by him or his surrogates will stop this National Assembly from discharging its duties in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
“We have sworn to uphold and protect this Constitution, and this we will do to the end of this Assembly.
“For now, I will cease fire and watch to see how the House will handle him. If he is well handled there, we will leave him with them.
“But if we are not satisfied and they pass him to us, then, we will take him over.”
Reacting, the Senate President, Mr Bukola Saraki, stated that, “I am happy that the House of Representatives is also taking up this issue.
“It is a matter that we must be responsible, especially those at the (executive) cabinet to look at issues from a national point of view in the interest of all Nigerians.
“We will definitely wait for the outcome of his appearance before the House of Representatives before further contributions. But we have taken your comments, Chairman of Appropriations.”
Yesterday, the lower chamber of the National Assembly summoned the Minister to appear before it over the issue.
Supreme Court Affirms Ahmad Lawan as APC Yobe North Senatorial Candidate
By Dipo Olowookere
The president of the senate, Mr Ahmad Lawan, has been affirmed as the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Yobe North Senatorial District.
At a ruling delivered on Monday, February 6, 2023, the Supreme Court nullified the candidacy of Mr Bashir Machina.
Mr Machina and Mr Lawan had been at loggerhead over the party’s ticket for the slot.
The Senate President had contested the APC presidential primary along with the eventual winner of the exercise, Mr Bola Tinubu, and was said to have pushed forward Mr Machina as a placeholder.
However, after he lost in his bid to become the presidential candidate of the party, he turned to Mr Machina, who refused to back down, stressing that it was his turn to represent the senatorial district at the National Assembly and that the Senate President never participated in the party’s primary.
The number three citizen of the country had earlier accepted his fate, but his party took the matter up until today’s judgement, which has restored his hopes of remaining in the upper chamber of the parliament.
Justice Centus Nweze, in the lead judgement, faulted the approach of Mr Machina in commencing the suit at the Federal High Court Damaturu division by way of originating summons and without oral evidence to prove allegations of fraud.
Boss Mustapha Not Working Against Tinubu—APC Group
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A support group of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) known as the APC Mandate Defenders (AMD) has denied claims that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was working against the presidential candidate of the party, Mr Bola Tinubu.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of APC Mandate Defenders, Mr Ifeanyi Emeka, the organisation said Mr Mustapha supports the candidacy of the former Governor of Lagos.
He stated that the allegations made against the SGF by another support group of the ruling party, Concerned APC Stakeholders (CAS), were false, describing Mr Mustapha as a well-respected party leader who has great respect and close relationship with Mr Tinubu right from when he was the Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for Northern Region and would not engage in any real or imaginary plot to sabotage the electoral chances of the APC and its candidate.
According to him, the SGF is preoccupied with the task of meeting the demands of the transitional period, which mostly rests on his office as a frontline secretariat for the presidency as the administration gradually winds down and does not have the time to work against Mr Tinubu.
AMD asked CAS to tell Nigerians how following due process in board appointments for federal government agencies amounts to sabotaging the electoral chances of the party and its candidate in the forthcoming presidential election.
Recall that the SGF had advised Nigerians to be wary of scammers who use his name and office to dupe people while promising them non-existing government appointments.
“Therefore, we urge Nigerians and party members across the federation to ignore the allegation against Boss Mustapha as he cannot be forced into providing appointments to people by threats of blackmails as such responsibility rests squarely on the desk of Mr President and Commander-in-Chief.
“Associating such frustration with the campaigns of the presidential candidate of our great party, Senator Bola Tinubu, by CAS is a diversionary tactic against the overall interest of our party and Nigeria as a nation,” a part of the statement said.
Violent Protest Erupts in Ibadan Over Naira Scarcity
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
There are reports of a violent protest in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, over the scarcity of old and new Naira notes, Business Post has gathered.
It was learned that residents of the ancient city are venting their anger over the hardship caused by the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the federal government.
The central bank redesigned the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes and asked citizens to return their old banknotes because they would cease to be legal tender.
However, since the introduction of the new currency notes in circulation on December 15, 2022, many Nigerians have not been able to withdraw their money from banks, fuelling anger in the land.
On Friday afternoon, some residents of Ibadan, especially in Iwo Road, took to the streets to express their frustration at the development, which is coming at a time consumers have to queue for petrol.
They had bonfires on the road and disrupted business activities in some areas of the city.
Recall that today, the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde, announced the suspension of his campaign activities over the scarcity of Naira and fuel.
Also on Friday, the Governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) met with President Muhammadu Buhari to appeal to him to change his mind on the Naira swap policy because of the effect on the people and the 2023 general elections starting later this month.
The President had earlier been asked not to show up in Kano State because of fears of a violent protest over the development. After the deadline was moved forward, the Governor of the state, Mr Abdullahi Ganduje, said he was safe to visit the ancient city.
However, during his visit to Kano, there were reports of a demonstration, with a chopped stoned by some residents of the state and convoys attacked by angry protesters.
The government claimed the protest was not directed at President Buhari, while the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said otherwise.
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