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Reps probe INEC, political parties over party primaries



Reps probe INEC, political parties over party primaries


At the session, lawmakers accused governors and the leadership of the major political parties of manipulating the nomination processes…

Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

The House of Representatives has resolved to probe the  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and political parties over the just-concluded primaries, held for the nomination of candidates for the 2019 general election.

READ ALSO: 2019 polls under threat – INEC

The lawmakers decided on a motion entitled “Lack of internal democracy in the conduct of party primaries towards 2019 elections,” moved by Adamu Chika, under Matters of Urgent Public Importance,   as contained in the House Rules, at yesterday’s plenary.

At the session, lawmakers accused governors and the leadership of the major political parties of manipulating the nomination processes to favour their preferred candidates.

They argued that the nation’s democracy may be endangered if the National Assembly does not take urgent step to halt flagrant breach of the Electoral Act, especially as it concerns conduct of party primaries.

Several House members lost out in the nomination process in their various political parties in the primaries, with Speaker Yakubu Dogara stating, recently,  that the outcome of the primaries does not indicate that democracy is growing in the country.

At the end of debate on the motion, the chamber resolved to set up an Ad-hoc committee to probe INEC and political parties over the outcome of the primaries.

The committee is expected to investigate alleged violation of the Electoral Act by political parties in the nomination processes, allegedly in connivance with the electoral body,  with a view to strengthening the electoral law and other relevant laws,  so as to improve the electoral process in the country.

The committee, which is also expected to probe the incomes and expenditure of the major political parties in the country in line with section 226 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, has four weeks to report back to House for further legislative actions.

In the lead debate, Chika, who is from Niger, said the state is one of the states where powerbrokers in the All Progressives Congress (APC) denied aspirants party tickets for the 2019 general elections.

The lawmakers noted that some of the political parties “brazenly refused to hold primaries in contravention of section 87 (10) of the Electoral Act, which makes it mandatory for parties to hold primaries, which led to crisis in some state chapters of political parties.”

In his contribution, Musa Soba, from Kaduna, who defected from the APC said “the impunity in the ruling party is perpetuated by governors who believe everyone must dance to their tunes.”

On his part, a People’s Democratic Party lawmaker from Benue State, Mark Gbillah, said there is so much corruption in the political party system in the country and canvassed for independent candidacy.

“We are running a system of political party where from the grassroots corruption is entrenched.

“The onus now comes back to the National Assembly. What are we going to do to our political system?

“The responsibility for the National Assembly is about what we are going to do. Nigerians have never been provided with the opportunity to choose who it is that will represent them. Independent candidacy is the only solution,” he said.

READ ALSO: Return of the EEG: What the National Assembly should do

The post Reps probe INEC, political parties over party primaries appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.


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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes



Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers



CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike



Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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