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Senate leadership: Buhari won’t repeat 2015 mistake in 2019 – Tinubu



Senate leadership: Buhari won’t repeat 2015 mistake in 2019 – Tinubu


“For the leadership crisis in the Senate, I experienced it and I believe the president also learnt from what happened…”

Ismail Omipidan

Wife of former Lagos State governor and senator representing Lagos Central, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, speaks on 2019 elections, why she is seeking re-election the third time and her stewardship in the senate among other issues.

READ ALSO: Sen. Tinubu urges Nigerians to unite ahead of 2019
Despite moving a motion three years ago on the gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, the gridlock still persists. Don’t you see this as a negligence of the executive to Senate proposals including your zonal intervention projects?

You have seen that the minister of works recently flagged off the work which is being done in partnership with Dangote. I was honoured to have been invited for the ceremony. This was the aftermath of such motions. Actually that motion was supported by all the senators. It was something very, very sensitive and important and I believe that the resolutions were part of what we are witnessing even if it took some time.

If we raise a motion, and the executive does not take action immediately, it doesn’t mean that the government is not attending to it. At times motions can be political, but that of the gridlock I can tell you that as we speak Dangote is giving us a time frame of two years. So, we are hopeful. Alhaji Dangote is a credible man; he has the money to do it. So, we are quite hopeful and I particularly, I am quite excited at the move and I can tell you that it would have stemmed from the motion in the senate.

On the zonal intervention projects, I cannot speak for my colleagues, but mine is for me to be true to what I have been given in the senate and what has been my own al- location. I have even gone beyond what I receive from the senate to assist in the work in my district and that is why whatever I do, I stay true to it and be God fearing in the process and even if the people don’t see me, God sees me. And as a Christian, I believe that He that sees in secret will reward us openly. I am not saying that I am perfect, but I am striving for perfection.

We were able to do much through our zonal intervention projects because the executive cooperated. In my case, apart from the infrastructure, 13, 600 people have been helped through various intervention programmes in my senatorial district.

I can tell you that the day that we were launching the compendium of the projects I did in my senatorial district, we sent a copy to our party chairman and you know our party chairman is a dynamic man and he went through it and by the time he came; he actually gave a thumbs up to zonal intervention programmes.

One of my husband’s colleagues, Ambassador Kazaure, I gave a copy to him, he read it and he was really, really proud. He said you did these?

Immediately we get back by the grace of God if I am voted back to represent my people and even if I am not, I am going to be giving that book to every senator. Politics is really a game of being able to inspire your people, inspire them to the extent that they can trust you enough for them to say, ‘please represent us.’

So, my message to my colleagues and people who are running for office is that: you cannot take people for granted. Even if you mean well, you want to go back to do well for your people, you can’t take them for granted.

You have been pushing for a special Economic Assistance and Special Status for Lagos since 2011, why has it been difficult to get them through?

These two concepts are two different things. They are never the same. When I introduced the Special Economic Assistance, they twisted it out of context. When we are looking at the Special Status, we are talking of money being taken from the Federation Account and if you had followed what my colleagues did in the senate, they gave the North East Zone, I think about 2-3 percent from the Federation Account and this is like a special status given to the zone because of the security situation.

But Special Economic Assistance came from the point that Lagos State gives a lot through taxes and VAT to the Federal Government from Lagos. Special Economic Assistance is requesting that even if it is 1 percent of the money that is being taken to the Federation Account from Lagos State, it should be given back to Lagos State which can help things like the gridlock and the infrastructure damage that we are experiencing.

So, these monies are supposed to be used to augment most of the projects in the state; education, health sector or roads. That is what we are asking for. The National Assembly will determine the percentage to be channeled back to Lagos State and the state Assembly will appropriate for the money for state use.

However, my colleagues took it out of context; maybe because of the mood of the senate at the time. If you witnessed what happened on the day, you will appreciate what I am saying. I have never seen such hatred for a bill in my life before and I think that bill sparked very, heated argument in the senate. Later, they were even telling me to bring it back, after realising the point I was trying to make. But I said no; that somebody else can take it up, that I am done because since 2011 I had been advocating for it.

Many believed the way the APC leadership handled the election of the senate leadership in 2015, contributed its predicament in the National Assembly, how can the party prevent history from repeating itself in 2019?

For the leadership crisis in the Senate, I experienced it and I believe the president also learnt from what happened. We don’t have to say that we are preventing it, because most of the work he could have done, were frustrated. If we had the right leadership we wouldn’t have been going through what we are going through today.

So, I believe that the president would have learnt one thing or two lessons from what happened and I don’t he would want to go through that route again. When he came in, he said he doesn’t belong to anybody, but I know that by this time, he knows those people who belong to him. He will know that some people have the best interest of Nigeria at heart, while some don’t! Even God who created us knows those who are His. He is the God of all but He knows those who are his. It is in the Bible. The president by now should know those who are his.

Is there anything that the president can do, to smoothen the relations between the executive and the legislature between now and May 29, 2019?

I don’t think much can be done now. It will lead to blackmail. For me, we are going to run and walk with what we have and I don’t think a PDP administration has much to offer us. They are the ones who got us into this rot in the first place and we are trying to get out of it.

To me, there is hope returning back this nation to the path of prosperity and Nigerians should give the APC- led administration another four years and they can decide thereafter. Four years is not enough for any president to make meaningful impact. He is not a magician to just wave a wand and everything is back to normal. We didn’t get there overnight.

Executive and parliamentary parley, I think is gone. The president will still try and I think he is doing that, but that is why I said that it is going to be more of blackmail but politics is like blackmail and I think he would be able to handle it.

But I don’t see our president yielding to blackmail and I think Nigeria needs such people. And I pray that he would remain focused and continue to steer the ship so that we can have a safe landing.

What would be your message to critical stakeholders in the campaign ahead of the 2019 elections?

We can learn from best international practices. How do they run campaigns? We are starting with door-to-door campaigns in my own team. Door to door is how Obama got there. And we have gotten vehicles because we are not going to be making noise and we have foot soldiers that will be in uniform, and they are going to homes and whatever campaign materials we have, we share.

I am trying to see that we are still getting to the people but using different methods.

You see, those who resort to violence during campaign do so because they are people who are afraid of losing. When you are afraid of losing, you try to threaten people and I think we should go past that and play decent politics.

What are you doing to help ensure that more women come into politics in Nigeria?

This is one question I have tried to avoid without sounding very harsh. Most people will say because you are married to Asiwaju, you are so privileged and that. Yes, I am privileged to be married to him, but it has been the work of two, not one person! So, whatever I am enjoying being married to him, I have also worked for it. So, it wasn’t something that came cheap. I have always advocated for women to be in elective positions, but most women would rather opt for appointments. With appointments, you cannot really do much. You will see that there are people who get these appointments but they don’t impact other women.

How have they impacted other women? They select the women they impact. They impact women who are like them; they call the elites together and leave out the ordinary women. I am very real to the people; I mentor young girls for the next generation. I don’t give up on girls. But you see the women we have, they have to have the proper orientation of service, they don’t have it and that is why when they fall, they fall on their paws, nobody to pick them up.

READ ALSO: el-Rufai’s wife condemns rape of minors, implores women to prioritize education for girls

The post Senate leadership: Buhari won’t repeat 2015 mistake in 2019 – Tinubu 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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