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APC Has Numerical Strength To Call Opposition Bluff Of Impeachment Threats On Buhari, Lawan -Orji Kalu

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……..Says Igbo Will Benefit More From Tinubu’s Presidency

Senate Chief Whip and former Abia Governor, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has declared that the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has the required numbers in the National Assembly to defend President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan from impeachment threats from opposition lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives.

He also said that the people of South East “will be the biggest beneficiaries of Tinubu’s Presidency” and therefore urged them to vote massively for him in the forthcoming presidential election.

Kalu, who spoke to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja shortly before the resumption by the National Assembly from annual recess, appealed to the Igbos not to make Presidency a regional issue but wait for their turn and work with other zones in the country to achieve their ambition.

Making clarification on his earlier support for the Presidency to be zoned to the South East and his current support for Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the lawmaker explained that he fought for the number one office to be zoned to the region, but when all the parties failed to do so, he decided to support his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC to win the next year’s presidential election.

He argued that politics is about party winning elections and not about regional or other considerations, noting that though he was not begrudging anybody contesting for Presidency from the South East, his firm support was for the candidate of the APC.

“Presidency is not a regional issue. I asked the political parties to zone the presidency to the South East. When they didn’t do that, and since presidency is not a regional issue, I had to withdraw.

“I have no problem with Igbo man being president. But we have to do it with other Nigerians. If we don’t do it with other Nigerians, it is not going to work, no matter how popular you are. It’s President of Nigeria, not president of Igbo land.

“I’m an Igbo man to the core. I’m also a Nigerian to the core. If anyone from the South-east would have been nominated for Presidency, I would have been the one. So, it’s a party business. I have no grudges against anybody who is running.

“So, it is not personal. It is political and party. This thing is about party winning election. I have chosen to be in APC. Why will I vote against Tinubu? It’s madness, and I’m not going to do it. Elections go along party line, not along tribal line.

“For me, we will wait for another time and see how all Nigerians will agree to zone the Presidency to Igboland. But for now, our presidential candidate is Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Tinubu is a strategic, he will make his Presidency beneficial to the Igbos. The Igbos will be the biggest beneficiaries of Tinubu’s Presidency,” Kalu stressed.

On the impeachment threats to Buhari and Lawan, he said the security situation in the country, which provoked the call from the opposition lawmakers in July, was being addressed.

Senators, mainly members of the opposition parties had on July 27, 2022, given President Buhari six weeks ultimatum to address the escalating security challenges in the country or face impeachment, but the ultimatum has expired since September 7 while nothing has been heard from the aggrieved lawmakers who made the threat.

Kalu assured that the opposition lawmakers would no longer talk about the proposed impeachment.

He also argued that, even if the issue was brought up again on the floor of the Senate, it would die naturally, saying that the proponents would not be able to get the required number for the impeachment of President Buhari or Lawan.

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EDSG Trains Batch- 9 Vigilantes, Hunters.

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….. As Gov Obaseki Signs Edo Security Corps Bill into law

By Sim Omo- Benin City

As part of efforts to combat crimes, criminalities, cultism and other social vices bedeviling the state, the governor Obaseki led administration has commenced training of batch Nine hunters and operatives of Vigilantes, bringing a total of over ten thousand Vigilantes and hunters so far trained by the state to tighten security in every nook and cranny

Similarly Governor Godwin Obaseki has signed the State security Corps Bill into law

Speaking at the commencement of the batch- nine training exercise at the Police Training School in Ogida, the State Co-ordinator of the Edo security and Vigilantes network , Col. Kole Omomia( Rtd) commended Governor Obaseki and the state government for prioritizing security in the state and its continuous commitment to providing the necessary logistics for the state’s security apparatus to function

He noted that the training of the corps operatives which included the hunters, as in the instance of the batch- 9 who are currently here today, are concerted effort and determination of the state government to put her citizens at the fore front to enjoy peace, tranquility and have an enabling environment that would promote growth, development and investments.

Col. Omomia reiterated that the trainees would undergo series of exercises such as medical fitness, bio-data, teekwando, Judo, Drills, Parades and mental fitness and other activities ancillary to the job

According to the State Cord, the training would cut across the three senatorial districts in the state , with about One thousand, three hundred,(1300) Vigilantes and hunters expected to be trained in Batch- 9

He, however,urged the trainees to key into the program with keen interest and participate fully.

Recall that only recently, the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, singed the Bill establishing the State security Corps, formerly known as the Edo State Security Vigilante Network,ESSVN, into law

By the establishing Act, the Corps is now a statutory body recognised by law and would perform its roles as provided by the Act

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HAILING THE SUPREME COURT ON LG ALLOCATION JUDGMENT

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Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN,CON, OFR

The supreme court judgement on

July 11, 2024, directing the Federal Government to pay allocations due to Local Government Areas directly to their account thereby abolishing the old practices of State-Local Government Joint Account,is timely and courageous.

What the judgement has done is more like interpreting section 162 of the Constitution, which provides for a joint State-Local Government Account. In which case, money is normally paid to state governors’ accounts and then for them to disburse to the local governments for them to share. But what has been happening is that, as I noted in 2020,over three years ago, the state governors, have been behaving like ”bandits”, waylaing local governments funds along the way and thus impoverishing them leaving them with nothing to work, just a little for salary. And nothing to actually work for the people whom they represent.
I agree totally with the judgement of the supreme court to grant full financial autonomy so that money is released and paid directly to the 774 local government councils which constitute the third-tier of government,to develop their places because the LGAs are grassrooted and nearest to the people. Rather than allow overbearing state governors throw their weight around and muzzle the local governments and seize their purse,they will now allow LGs breath some air of freedom.

If you take a look at our situation, Nigeria is operating a very lopsided federation,more like a unitary system of government. Where the federal government is supposed to be a small government,it is controlling 67 items on the exclusive legislative list. That is why the federal government gets the lion share of the federation account , the lion share of the money that comes to the federation account to the tune of 52.68%. The states get 26.72% while the entire 774 local government councils in Nigeria get just 20.60% of the monthly allocation by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RLASMC.

The question is, what is the federal government doing with almost 53% of the national income? That is because it is a government that is behemoth.That is elephantine. A government that intrudes and intervenes in areas that should not concern it at all. What is the federal government’s business with licensing cars and trucks for states? What is its business with the Marriage Act, dealing with how people marry and wed in Nigeria and how they live together as husband and wife and separate or divorce? What is the federal government’s business with unity schools? A whole FG operating secondary schools? What is their business? Why is the FG not allowing states generate their own power, operate their own railway stations, if they have the capacity? Why should the federal government not allow states have their own police force? Even for the local governments to have their own police force as we have in the United States and other advanced countries of the world where even tertiary institutions have their own police?

The truth is that the federal government is overbloated and overpampered. That is why it is using too much money and make the centre become too attractive,eating deep into funds that ought to be meant for the states and local government areas. The states take not only that which belongs to the states, but also waylays at source that which is meant for the local government areas. No Nation grows that way.

So, I see this judgment as epochal,having

far-reaching effect because money will now be made available directly to the local government areas who will no longer be subservient, like fawning slaves to state governors. In fact, the judgement even went further to say that no state government has the power henceforth to dissolve local government areas. This is because we have been seeing cases where inspite of the provisions of section 7 of the 1999 constitution that give autonomy to local government areas, states normally go ahead and dissolve local government areas ND appoint caretaker committees for them.This is whimsical and capricious.The Supreme Court has said this can no longer go on and that henceforth, no state government should ever be able to dissolve any local government area in Nigeria for any reason whatsoever and howsoever.

The judgement is salutary, timely and regenerative. It should be upheld by all governments and people in Nigeria for better democratic dividends.I see this as victory for our wobbling democracy, even if we are far removed from true fiscal federalism where the federating units control and utilize their God-given resources while paying royalty or tax to the central government. This case is one big plus for tested court room gladiator, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation, who initiated the case at the apex court, invoking its original jurisdiction.Surely,to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. God bless Nigeria.

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Ex+Abia gov, Senator Kalu backs part-time legislature

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has backed calls for part-time legislature at both federal and state levels.

Senator Kalu (APC Abia North) said this would help the nation cut costs and enhance the citizenry’s trust in the polity.

The former Abia governor said this in an interview published on his verified Facebook page over the weekend.

On calls for part-time legislature, Senator Kalu said, “I think it will be a very good idea if my colleagues and other members of the Houses of Assembly will agree that we can sit for three months and do constitutional amendment first.

“So we can sit four times a year and if there’s any emergency, there will be emergency sitting. We can come to do a presidential bid on that basis and go back instead of sitting on a full-time basis.

“Not only the Senate and the House of Representatives, but all the legislative houses in Nigeria will be part-time.”

Senator Kalu maintained that this would be part of austerity measures to reduce cost of governance, arguing that regional government is another viable alternative.

“If we’re going for regional government, it also means that the ministers, the legislators, will be the same. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of how we can save money to run Nigeria because the country needs money.

“I will encourage the President, the National Assembly to make these kind of laws. This will help him, and this will help the system, and this will help everybody,” he said.

The ex-governor explained that contrary to misconceptions among Nigerians, senators are not paid enough.
U
“But I want Nigerians and my colleagues to do a quick constitutional amendment so we can go and be a part-time sitting Senate and part-time sitting House of Representatives, and other 36 state houses of assembly in Nigeria.

“That will bring trust and bring relief to the Nigerian people,” the ex-governor said.

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