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Saraki to Buhari: Sign electoral bill now

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Saraki to Buhari: Sign electoral bill now

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Saraki noted that he had been inundated with calls by members of the National Assembly who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law

Layi Olanrewaju, Ilorin (with agency report)

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the 2018 Electoral Bill and not heed the advice of alleged anti-democratic elements. Saraki, in a statement issued in Ilorin, Kwara State, by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the president to rise above petty politics and act without further delay; in the best interest of the country and democracy by signing the electoral bill into law.

READ ALSO: 2019: I’m ready to confront anti-democratic forces- Atiku

Saraki noted that he had been inundated with telephone calls and discussions by members of the National Assembly who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law, of the new electoral bill, as the one month period provided by the law for the president to sign a bill presented to him by the National Assembly is about to expire in the next few days.

“It is the prerogative of the president to either sign a bill into law or refuse it assent. He is free to exercise this prerogative the way he likes in this case. What I found surprising is a situation where some people now want to adopt a wrong tactic of abusing the court process to stall the matter. That will be unacceptable and I am sure our Judiciary will rely on the lessons from the past and not allow itself to be used.

“We do not want the president to allow the setting of a bad precedent where somebody would go to court, in future, to stop the passage of an appropriation bill or any essential law which will be important to the development of the country.

“My position remains that the president, his aides, the entire country and the international community are aware that all the concerns raised by the president, on the last three occasions he withheld assent to the bill, have been addressed by the Legislature. We bent backwards on each occasion to accommodate the wishes of the president. We started work on this law since 2016 to prevent a situation where it would become part of the election controversies.

“The president should know that the survival of democracy, its development and the future of Nigeria are far more important than the ambition of any individual or party. I am seizing this opportunity to call on president Muhammadu Buhari to put a stop to this uncertainty in the political process by signing, without delay, the 2018 electoral bill, so as to allow Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the concerned parties know how to prepare for a credible process,” Saraki stated.

Earlier, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) warned INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections in 2019 or incur the wrath of Nigerians.

PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said this in Ilorin, yesterday, during the North Central presidential rally of the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

“Let us warn the INEC chair that he should not cause crisis in Nigeria by rigging 2019 elections. If INEC wants peace in Nigeria elections must be free and fair. If INEC likes, it should ignore the card reader, manipulate the machines or do whatsoever INEC wants to do but Nigerians will not accept rigged elections. So, you better be warned.

On his part, Atiku said the All Progressives Congress-led government has let Nigerians down through non performance.

He said: “We have listened to the failures of the APC government since 2015 till date. There is nothing they have not promised us. They promised security and they failed. They promised jobs, they failed. They promised to improve the economy upon what PDP has achieved, they failed. Whatever they promised they failed. It is time for you people to return the country to PDP because the best years of this country were when the PDP was governing our country from 1999 to 2014…”

Saraki lamented that the insecurity situation in the country has degenerated, especially in the North Central and North West states.

He added that Nigeria’s corruption ratings by international organisations has plummeted.

Earlier, Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed said the state is wholly PDP.

“Kwara state goes where Nigerians go. Kwara and indeed, the whole Nigeria area are ready for the next president of Nigeria in person of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Kwara state, as you can see, from the turnout today (yesterday), is without question, a PDP state.

“We are fully ‘Atikulated’ and come February 2019, we will fully deliver Kwara state to PDP.

“For us the 2019 election is a clear choice between the PDP, and the other party…”

READ ALSO: Ahead 2019 elections: 58 groups withdraw support for Buhari, join Atiku camp

The post Saraki to Buhari: Sign electoral bill now appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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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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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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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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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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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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