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NASS REPUBLIC: Raising the alarm on Sokoto. Two other stories, and a quote to remember

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2020 budget to be passed on November 28

The Senator representing Sokoto-East Senatorial District, Ibrahim Gobir, last week, lamented the continuous failure of security agencies to protect Sokoto communities from banditry.

Gobir, sadly, noted that bandits were now ruling over some communities in the State, and collecting levies ranging between N1m and N2m.

The alarm he raised adds to the heated conversation on Nigerian Government’s inability to contain insurgency and its perceived indifference to calls to declare bandits as terrorists.

This, and two other engaging stories from the legislative arm made the rounds in the past week.

Bandits ruling Sokoto communities
On November 10, Senator Gobir, during plenary, on the floor of the Senate, said: “The terrorists are now installing their village heads in some areas of Sabin-Girin Local Government. In Gangara, they replaced the village head with Dan Bakkolo, the next in command to a known terrorists called Turji. In Makwaruwa, they installed Dan Karami (a terrorist) as Maigari.”

Needless to say that Gobir’s revelation is not new, and it has disgracefully become a norm in most Northern communities where terrorists have taken overall control.

Recently, the Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, noted: “As we speak, Boko Haram terrorists have taken complete control of at least five communities in Rafi and Shiroro Local Government Areas of Niger State.”

Gobir’s disclosure is, indeed, a sad tale, and an embarrassment to the Buhari-led administration. It brings to fore the continuous failure of the administration in dealing with banditry, not just in Sokoto State, but mostly in the North-West region.

The development further queries the capacity of the security agencies and the humongous sums said to have been allocated to the military in the last decade.

While Gobir and his fellow lawmakers are shouting themselves hoarse, they must, therefore, find the courage to call out the Executive, on a continuous basis, and demand accountability for the huge spendings on the military.

NASS MEMORY LANE

Who said;
“Our attention has been drawn to media reports that the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution has proposed the creation of additional 20 States…Far from recommending the creation of any State, the Committee, while acknowledging receipts of several bills proposing the creation of new States, decided that it is not in a position to recommend or propose the creation of any State unless there is compliance with the provisions of Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic (as amended).”

Answer: See end of post

Two other stories

Gbajabiamila on direct primaries

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on November 12, explained that he supported the direct primary clause in the Electoral Amendment Bill because the Not-Too-Young Act was not addressing the exclusion of youths in politics.

The Speaker had said: “If I know that my return will depend on some few men, I may not care about you. But if I know that my return will depend on my accountability and representation to the people, I will do the right thing.
“It is important for this generation to open the door of leadership to the next generation. We must allow every Nigerian to participate fully in the process of leadership, I, therefore, stand with direct primaries.”

READ ALSO: NASS REPUBLIC: Rage against unexplained wealth. Two other stories and a quote to remember

Though the National Assembly has unanimously agreed on direct primaries, the Speaker’s personal submission, no doubt, adds to enrich the conversations on whether direct or indirect primaries should be pursued in electing party standard bearers. This is essentially so because of his social standing and influential role.

However, his support for direct primaries on the strength of low returns from the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law cannot be fully defended.
If anything, Gbajabiamila must look elsewhere to find justification for his romance with direct primaries, and not link it directly to the poor inclusiveness of youths in governance.

One established fact is that the huge amount for purchase of nomination forms for different elective offices in most political parties is still not within the reach of an average Nigerian youth.

Therefore, Gbajabiamila must acknowledge what most Nigerians already know, that the recent move to legislate direct primaries is largely a product of self-interest —the need by lawmakers to check the powers Governors in the emergence of candidates for elective posts.

Insecurity in FCT

On November 9, the House of Representatives, decried the insecurity, and rot in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

This was after the House adopted a motion by the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, titled: “Urgent Need to Arrest the Fast Deterioration of the Federal Capital Territory.”

Moving the motion, Okechukwu stated, among others: “The House notes that Abuja has never been as unsafe as it is today, due to, among others, the influx of bandits and other criminals”

The worsening security situation in Abuja had long been predicted. This is so because the neighbouring states of Niger, Kogi, Nasarawa and Kaduna had been in the throes of banditry and terrorism.

The security challenge in the FCT must, therefore, be seen as part of a larger malaise and should be factored into the country’s total security architecture.

To do otherwise is to pamper the issue and lay the foundation for a deepening crisis that could become a national embarrassment.

Answer: Senator Ajibola Basiru

Basiru made the statement, on August 8, 2021, while clarifying media reports that the Committee on Constitutional Review had proposed the creation of additional 20 States. The Senator serves as the Chairman of the Committee. He is also the spokesman of Senate. He represents Osun Central Senatorial District.

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