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National Assembly To Amend Electoral Act To Stop Same Faith Ticket

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The National Assembly is taking a second look at the controversies so far generated by Political parties that produce presidential and their running mate from the same religion

It may therefore tinker with the electoral Act to address the same faith melee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, Kogi state has revealed

He told newsmen at the weekend that the National Assembly was proposing an amendment to Section 84 of the Electoral Act, 2022, to prevent political parties from nominating candidates of the same religion as presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Though the controversy is on the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC for the 2023 general elections, Senator Adeyemi who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, said on Sunday in Abuja, that the proposed amendment seeks to promote unity and religious harmony in the country.

He tendered a draft copy of proposed legislation titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act 2022 and for other matters connected thereto, 2022 to journalists during the briefing.

Adeyemi, represents Kogi West Senatorial District and he is the sponsor of the bill,. explaining that Section 84 of the Electoral Act would be amended by inserting a new subsection that “No political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as Presidential candidate and Vice Presidential candidate after this
dispensation.”

According to the him,the controversy which the Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket of the APC has generated in the polity, necessitated the move .

To prevent future occurrence, he stressed that a new sub-section is being proposed to Section 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act.

“Section 84 of the Principal Act will be amended by inserting a new subsection 3 which will states thus “No political party shall nominate candidates of the same religion as Presidential candidate and Vice Presidential candidate after the 2023 election.

“When this is accommodated, it will serve as a guide against any oversight such as this in the future as further occurrences will be deemed as silent policy which is capable of bringing down the fabrics of the nation,” he said.

Adeyemi added that wide range consultations on the need for the amendment , have been made with the leadership of the Senate and other colleagues.

He, however, said that though apprehensions raised by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN over same faith Presidential ticket are genuine but the broad mindedness and pedigree of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Kashim Shettima would allay all fears being raised.

Tinubu and Shettima, he added, should be assessed based on their pedigrees and not their religious faith or even political party.

“Nigerians should look at the individuals candidates contesting for the presidency in 2023 and not the political parties they belong to or religion they practice.

“Based on my conviction, despite the same faith ticket, Tinubu and Shettima are the best for the country come 2023.

“They have demonstrated required capacities , competence and commitment while in office as Executive Governors of Lagos and Borno States separately.

“Asiwaju Tinubu in particular, demonstrated his pan Nigerian disposition with his cabinet composition devoid of tribal or religious sentiments.

“He and Shettima are in actual fact Nigeria candidates that should be voted for,” he stressed.

Adeyemi lampooned the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for violating the zoning policy of his political party by declaring it is the turn of the South, to produce next president.

He also took a swipe at the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi for believing in street show which cannot in anyway , used to win election.

“His Excellency, Peter Obi ought not to have left PDP as required structure for presidential election .

“Street show or one million man match being displayed by Peter Obi supporters cannot win Presidential election,” he said.

The lawmaker, therefore called on all Nigerians, irrespective of religion, to see the emergence of Tinubu and Shettima “as the will of the Almighty who governs the universe”, adding that *it must not be seen that there are no Christians who are eminently qualified to occupy any of these positions.”
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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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