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NASS REPUBLIC: Angling for the heads of Nigeria’s service chiefs. Two other stories, and a quote to remember

2020 budget to be passed on November 28

Go! Please, go!!

We in APC were 'anxious' before PDP primaries, 'but when Atiku emerged, we were glad for so many reasons'- Ndume

Senators, on July 21, bared their minds on the continued stay of Nigeria’s service chiefs in the face of the deteriorating security situation in the country. They boldly called for their resignation after the adoption of a motion by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume.

Ndume had, among others, cited the alleged voluntary resignation of over 236 soldiers from the army, and the incessant killing of soldiers fighting terrorism and banditry in different parts of the country’s northern region.

The aftermath of Ndume’s motion was a unanimous vote by his co-lawmakers to kick out the heads of the country’s military institutions.

A remarkable voice was that of the Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs, Senator Francis Fadahunsi who said: “…the present crop of service chiefs should step down for the new ideas to come in so as not jeopardise security system.”

Calls for the sack of Nigeria’s service chiefs have been legion. The intervention of the country’s senior lawmakers, therefore, can best be situated within the larger context of citizens’ frustration on the matter.

Why has President Muhammadu Buhari remained stubbornly glued to these men? His Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, offered an insight.

Adesina had stated: “The Presidency notes the resolution and reiterates that appointment or sacking of service chiefs is a presidential prerogative, and President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.”

It is doubtful if Buhari would be swayed by present arguments. While he retains the right to do so as permitted by the constitution, he must equally come to terms with the fact that his administration has visibly failed in protecting lives and properties of citizens, as also guaranteed by the laws of the land.

This is the reality President Buhari must accept and live with.


NASS MEMORY LANE

Who said,

“I am a Nigerian Senator and not that of Biafra. We had advised Kanu, reminding him that his rights end where those of others begin. We are now in trouble, because we do not know where he is and how to contact him. Those that support Kanu’s agitation should think twice.”

Answer: See end of post


Two other stories

The fire this time!

The National Assembly looks not done uncovering the monumental misappropriation of funds rocking various Federal Government institutions.

On July 23, the House of Representatives adopted a motion moved by its Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, to investigate an alleged sleaze and embezzlement of N100 billion at the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

In the presentation of his motion, Elumelu told the House that the Managing Director of the Commission, Goni Alkali, is involved in: “…over inflation of contracts, awards of non-existent contracts, massive contract spitting and flagrant disregard for the procurement laws in the award of contracts.”

He claimed that there was no significant impact of the N100 billion given to the Commission by the Federal Government on the beleaguered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) strewn across the northern region.

It is a welcome development seeing how Nigerian lawmakers are applying themselves to their constitutional role of over-sighting the executive arm of government.

It is hoped that this probe will be thorough and devoid of the drama recently witnessed in the case of NDDC and NSTIF, where Nigerians were greeted with irresponsible conduct by public officials.

While delivering on its mandate, the House will do well to move from being reactionary to adopting a more proactive stance that will unearth systemic rots before they become staggering monuments to corruption.

Now is the time to rid the Commission of its supposed bad eggs, not when their thieving officials have dug their teeth too deep into an already drained treasury.

Of 80, 000 suffering Nigerians

The Chairman, House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora, Tolu Akandipe-Sadipe, on July 23, raised the alarm over 80,000 Nigerians currently held as forced labourers and s*x slaves in different countries.

The lawmaker decried the current and ongoing dehumanising treatment foisted on them, especially girls trafficked abroad under the guise of foreign domestic staff.

She had said: “According to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), in the past one year, there has been an alarming number of daily distress calls from Nigerian women crying to be rescued due to the inhumane conditions they face in various parts of the Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Oman and Lebanon and Mali.”

Akandipe-Sadipe’s revelation is not surprising. Over the years, reports of people, particularly women and children, trafficked abroad to do different shameful and dirty jobs abound.

On November 19, 2019, the United Nations Women Country Representative to Nigeria and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Comfort Lamptey, stated that: “Nigeria is simultaneously a country of origin, transit and destination for all streams of migration and trafficking.”

Many have argued that these sad tales are evidence of bad governance, manifesting majorly in poverty and unemployment in the country.

However, would Akandipe-Sadipe’s revelation make the NAPTIP to redouble its efforts in stemming the tide of this global disgrace? Would it make the NIgerian Government to pay more attention in the provision of jobs for the youths? Or, would the House be roused to strengthen legislations that would see to the end of this societal bane? These, and many more, are some questions Nigerians are seeking answers to.


Answer: Enyinnaya Abaribe
The Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe made the statement in 2017. He was speaking on the signing of the bail bond for the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.

By John Chukwu…

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