Ahead of the inauguration of new governors on Wednesday, stakeholders are setting agenda for the incoming helmsmen, among other things.
Activists seek scrapping of security votes
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to work towards stopping allocation of security votes to state governors during his second term in office.
Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr Auwal Rafsanjani disclosed this at a news conference tagged “Setting the Anti-corruption Agenda for the Incoming Administration” in Abuja on Friday.
According to Rafsanjani, the call became imperative because state governors routinely claim not to be in charge of the security apparatus in their states while they receive huge sums as security votes, this begs for an explanation.
“CISLAC and other civil society groups have been consistent in proposing immediate solutions which are to ban senseless security votes which accounts in total for around N241.2billion.
“This is a sum that exceeds 70 per cent of the annual budget of the Nigeria Police Force.
“As the president begins his second tenure, there is a need to make defence budgets more accessible for public scrutiny.
“Appoint civilian oversight in charge of military procurement and encourage the culture of reporting corruption within the ranks and files of the Nigerian Armed Forces,’’ he said.
Rafsanjani said that corruption in the defence and security sector contribute significantly to the human despair and economic stagnation across Nigeria.
He said while the Nigeria defence budget soared more than 500 per cent in the last 10 years, insecurity and breakdown of the rule of law in some parts of the country had continued unabated.
He said that the recent revelation by the Inspector-General of Police that 1,071 persons were killed while 685 were kidnapped in the first quarter of 2019 is alarming.
He said that CISLAC regretted the rejection of the reform bill by the House of Representative that would have tackled some of the issues.
“These were recommendations articulated and received from a wide range of stakeholders working across the anti-corruption issue raising concerns as to the usefulness and genuineness of the motive of having security votes in place,” he said.
Rafsanjani said the group urges Buhari to in the next four years ensure the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill and other related legislation to entrench reforms in the sector.
He said for Nigerian democracy and governance to be preserved, the origins of huge assets of Nigerian real owners needed to be disclosed.
“Let me recall that out of the 110 Nigerians present in the infamous Panama papers scandal, precisely zero has been prosecuted.
“In other countries, governments fell, individuals were held accountable while in Nigeria, they are even admired by blinded constituencies,’’ he said.
Rafsanjani said that the next phase of Buhari’s corruption fight should be anchored on clear anti-corruption strategy, active involvement of citizens among others.
He said that the fight should prioritise prevention and sanction to win back public support.
Residents to Ugwuanyi: focus more on education, agric
A cross section of Enugu residents has urged Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to put more efforts on education, agriculture and other infrastructural development in his second tenure.
The residents disclosed this in a vox pop conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Friday ahead of the new dispensation starting on May 29.
A legal practitioner, Mr Joseph Ikpe said that he expected the governor and governor-elect to tackle the issues adding that no state would thrive without quality education and agriculture.
An Enugu-based businessman, Chief Polycarp Ugwu urged the governor to revive moribund industries in the state to create job opportunities for the teeming youth.
Ugwu listed the industries to include Hotel Presidential, flour mill and farm settlements in Adani, Uzouwani Local Government Area and Aninri council area to boost food security.
He, however, commended the governor for the relative peace in the state and urged him to sustain it.
In a related development, a civil servant, who spoke in anonymity, wants the governor to implement the new minimum wage of N30,000 in his next tenure to improve workers’ income.
The worker, who commended Ugwuanyi for prompt payment of salary, said the new minimum wage would go a long way in alleviating their plight following the high cost of living in the country.
“Our take-home is nothing to write home about though it comes as and when due there is urgent need to increase it.
“I commend Gov Ugwuanyi for his resilience in salary payment especially the 13th-month allowance,’’ the source said.
Mr Chekwube Ilo, a public analyst urged the governor to appoint technocrats in his cabinet who would help him to transform the state.
Ilo also urged the federal government to diversify the economy of the nation to reduce the over-dependence on crude oil.
Police allege plan to disrupt inauguration in Adamawa
The Adamawa Police Command has raised alarm over an alleged plan to disrupt Wednesday’s inauguration of Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri as the newly-elected governor of Adamawa.
The command, in a statement by its spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar on Sunday, said the plan was being hatched by some miscreants.
He warned against the act, adding that thorough screening would be conducted on people before they would be allowed to enter the Ribadu Square, venue of the inauguration.
“The Adamawa State Police Command wishes to inform members of the public that intelligence received revealed that some unguided miscreants are planning to disturb the smooth inauguration of 29th May 2019 at the Ribadu Square“The command is, hereby, warning any person who intends to disturb the process to desist from it or be dealt with accordingly.
“Members of the public are to be properly screened before being allowed into the venue,” Abubakar said.
He called for support and cooperation of the public for a hitch-free inauguration
APC women aspirants begin 21-day fasting for Buhari
Women Aspirants Forum of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has begun 21 days fasting and prayer to help usher in President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term in office.
National Leader of the forum Mrs Adedoyin Eshanumi told newsmen in Abuja yesterday that the fasting and prayer were to facilitate the removal of any obstacle that could hinder the President’s second term inauguration on May 29 in Abuja.
Eshanumi also said the fasting and prayer were to make God grant the President the good health, strength, and wisdom needed to lead the country to the next level.
“It is indeed a difficult task that our President has taken the bold step toward freeing this country of corruption.
“We APC women have vowed to be with him at all times in the quest for a Nigeria of his dream. We also want to use this medium to urge and plead with the President to implement his promise that women will form a larger portion of his administration when he is sworn in for a second term.
“Elections have come and gone and we are moving forward. We are holding Mr President to his words after he promised us at the banquet hall that he will ensure that a larger per cent of women works with him in his second term,” Eshanumi said.
She urged Nigerian women irrespective of their party affiliations to join in the fasting and prayer for God to grant the President the wisdom to lead.
Mrs Ann Agom-Eze, a senatorial aspirant in Ebonyi South urged the Buhari to ensure that women got at least 35 per cent of appointments in his second term.
Agom-Ever said that doing so would make women relevant in the pursuit of a better Nigeria.
“We have been talking about the marginalisation of the women and all we are now asking for is to remain relevant in the scheme of things after doing so much to see that Mr President is re-elected.
“When women are carried along in governance, a lot of things work especially as it concerns dealing with security challenges in our country.
“I believe that when women are carried along as mothers, things work out for the better,” she said.
Support your successor, Bishop tells Ajimobi
Most Rev. Joseph Akinfenwa, the Bishop of Ibadan Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), has enjoined Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State to support the incoming administration of Mr Seyi Makinde to succeed.
Akinfenwa made the plea on Sunday during a thanksgiving service held at The Cathedral of St. James the Great in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ajimobi, his wife, Florence, and members of the State Executive Council were at the church for the service on completion of the governor’s tenure.
The cleric said that Ajimobi would only be a great achiever if he supports his successor to succeed in government for the betterment of Oyo State.
“You have done very well. You are APC and the incoming administration is PDP, but the major fact is that we are all indigenes of this state.
“Please do not be far from the incoming administration. You must work for the success of your successor. You will be a great achiever if your successor succeeds,’’ he said.
He said that the governor had in the last eight years enthroned peace and security in the state, noting that such feat must be sustained or improved upon by the incoming administration.
The cleric said that Ajimobi had played his part and gave his best in the transformation of the state, adding that posterity would remember him for doing a lot for the state.
“Whatever has been done in the past has been done. The incoming government should draw a line, pick its priorities and kick the ball rolling.
“Between now and 2023, let us all work together for the success of Makinde, the incoming governor,’’ he said.
Akinfenwa, who commended the governor’s wife for standing by her husband in the eight years of his tenure, said she was “a great mobiliser of the church for the state.’’
“Mrs Ajimobi has demonstrated great affection to the poor, downtrodden and the confused in the society.
“She has touched many lives and had consistently for eight years lifted people out of trauma and their needs,’’ he said.
Ajimobi in his response thanked God for the grace and wisdom to serve the state successfully for eight years, saying all he did was with the fear of God.
The governor commended religious bodies in the state for their support and prayers, calling on religious leaders to also participate in politics.
He appreciated his wife for the support and prayers enjoyed from her Women Intercessory Prayer Session, calling on the incoming governor to encourage his wife to sustain it.
Ajimobi called on the incoming governor to sustain the peace and security enjoyed in the state or improve upon it.
“The only way to maintain the security of Oyo State is to be stubborn. When those who cause trouble know you to be a stubborn person, they won’t dare you,’’ he said.
Yari seeks support for governor-elect
Zamfara State Governor Abdul Aziz Abubakar Yari has urged the people to support Governor-elect Bello Muhammad Matawalle.
He said this would ensure the state’s development.
Yari revealed that supporting Matawalle would surely yield dividends of democracy and ensure the developmental progress of the state.
Yari, who was fielding questions from reporters at his residence in Talatar Mafara at the weekend on last Friday’s outcome of the Supreme Court judgment voiding the All Progressives Congress (APC) victory in the last general elections.
He said he would not decamp to another political party.
“I gave the name APC to our political party in Lagos in the presence of Abdul Rauf Aregbesola, Abdul Fatah Ahmed, leader of the APC Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and a host of others, I have no reason to decamp whatsoever is the problem or the crisis that surrounded us politically in Zamfara State,” Yari said.
Yari said it was the will of Allah that saw him serve as governor of the state for the past eight years and it was Allah that ordained Dr Matawalle as the governor-elect.
He advised all APC stalwarts and supporters to be law abiding and continue to project the image of the party at all levels and take everything as an act from Allah