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Cost Of Governance: We Don’t Need Senate, House Of Reps — Shekarau

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Former governor of Kano State and senator representing Kano Central, Ibrahim Shekarau, has decried Nigeria’s high cost of governance.


Consequently, Shekarau, who spoke in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday night, advised President Bola Tinubu to cut down the number of federal lawmakers.


He said: “Left to me, we don’t need to have the two chambers, the two houses. It’s costing the country. I agree, a democracy means getting as many involved as possible, but the way it is going on now, it’s almost 500 legislators nationwide; I don’t think we really need this much at the moment.”


The two chambers of the National Assembly is made up of 109 senators and 360 House of Representatives members, bringing the total number of federal lawmakers to 469.
He, however, expressed doubt if President Bola Tinubu could muscle the political will to do this and other constitutional amendments that would be beneficial to the country.
Shekarau argued further that cutting the number of parastatals would affect the number of oversight assignments, reducing the burden on the nation.
“Then you’ll discover that the legislative arm will also have to be downsized because if there isn’t much to do at the centre, you don’t need all of this sea of hundreds of people really to do oversight assignments.


“I have been subscribing to the idea of devolution of powers. The Federal Government should really cut its own costs by devolving a lot of these responsibilities down the line, to the states and to the local governments,’’ he said.
According to him, the Federal Government is spending “so much” at the centre and creating too many agencies and parastatals.
He said: “Unfortunately, we’ve not had leadership that has the courage. There was the Oronsaye report during Jonathan’s time, which has yet to be implemented.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan did not implement it; former President Muhammadu Buhari did not implement it.
“The moment you create a parastatal, you’re already talking of board members, chief executive, directors, departments, and the overhead cost of running all these agencies add quite a lot to the expenses of running the government.”

He said cutting down on the number of federal lawmakers and reducing the number of parastatals and agencies would save the country money to be ploughed into areas, including education, health and other social services.

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Wike Notified PDP Before Accepting Ministerial Offer – NEC Members

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“Before this appointment came, I wrote to the (PDP) National Chairman. I wrote to the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. I wrote to the zonal chairman of the party and my state chairman.

“I wrote to my governor and all of them wrote me back and said ‘accept.’ I have my evidence documented. Forget these reggae dancers. I call them reggae dancers because when you have lost your opportunity, you have lost because of arrogance and impunity.”

Meanwhile, the PDP NEC members confirmed that Wike in a letter addressed to the party’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, informed the party of a ministerial offer for him to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.

“Before this appointment came, I wrote to the (PDP) National Chairman. I wrote to the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate. I wrote to the zonal chairman of the party and my state chairman.

“I wrote to my governor and all of them wrote me back and said ‘accept.’ I have my evidence documented. Forget these reggae dancers. I call them reggae dancers because when you have lost your opportunity, you have lost because of arrogance and impunity.”

Meanwhile, the PDP NEC members confirmed that Wike in a letter addressed to the party’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, informed the party of a ministerial offer for him to serve in Tinubu’s cabinet.

Abdullahi told our correspondent in an interview on Friday that Wike sent a letter to PDP acting chairman before accepting Tinubu’s offer. He noted that Wike in the letter informed Damagum that he was going to “answer President Tinubu’s clarion call” and requested for approval.

He stated, “Before he accepted the appointment of the governing party, Governor Wike decided to accept the offer after informing the party. In other words, he had written to the party stating his position. But the party did not respond to him, whether to confirm its approval for him to accept the appointment or for him not to take the position. What we just did was to keep mum and watch events.

“In the letter he wrote to the party, Wike explained that he was going to answer the clarion call by the President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Therefore, the party has not taken a position as to whether or not that will be in its interest.”

When asked why the party kept mum on the issue, the party’s deputy spokesperson said, “Because we were indifferent. The letter was just to inform the party. You can tell from the wording in the letter that his mind was made up. He routed the letter through the PDP Vice Chairman, South-South, Chief Dan Orbih, to the acting national chairman, explaining that this is the time to shun party affiliation to work for a united and prosperous Nigeria.”

Also, a member of the said, “Wike wrote all those he listed, including Damagum”.

Confiding in our correspondent, the member said, “They cannot deny it; they were all informed. He informed them that Tinubu wanted to form a government of national unity and competence and he gave him a ministerial offer.”

Responding to a question on whether the party gave him approval, the source said, “I’m not aware, but to be honest, can any of these people tell him not to accept the offer?”

Call for expulsion

Meanwhile, the Deputy National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, Timothy Osadolor, has reiterated his call for the expulsion of the minister over what he termed anti-party activities.

He said the youth wing of the party believed there should be no sacred cows and that continued indulgence of anti-party activities among members would send wrong signals to committed members of the party.

Osadolor in an interview with Saturday PUNCH said, “I’m of the school of thought that former governor Wike should be expelled from the party until he purges himself of the anti-party spirit that has taken over him. For the youth wing of the party, we believe that discipline should be instilled in all members without exception when they err. There should be no sacred cows.

“We believe strongly that the party will stand to gain more when it shows it does not support anti-party activities from members, especially senior members of the party. Wike has shown he is against PDP and therefore he should not claim to have her interest at heart.”

NWC divided – Ex-gov

A two-time former governor from the North-West has expressed concern over the division in the party’s National Working Committee over Atiku and Wike.


The former governor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Wike and his group were instrumental in the victory of some national officers of the party and that while many fell out with him for working against the party, some remained loyal to him.

The former governor said, “The two leaders (Atiku and Wike) are dividing the leadership of the party with their utterances and this is not good for us as a party in opposition,” as he warned that the future of the party might be worse than it is currently if urgent steps were not taken to address what he called the leadership gap in the party.

He added, “The party is facing an uncertain future. As a leader of the party, I am shocked that Mr Umar Damagum (the acting national chairman) is yet to present his plan for the party before the stakeholders. He is torn between his loyalty to Atiku and Wike. As things stand, things would only get worse because either Atiku or Wike must give way for the party to breathe.

“My stand is that the leadership of the party should stand its ground and deal with those who worked against the party. If this is not done, discipline will be difficult to enforce in the future.”

A former National Secretary of the party, Ibrahim Tsauri, however urged party faithful to be patient, noting that the Supreme Court would soon give a final judgment on the election petition, to enable the party to decide on the next line of action. “Like I always say, no single individual is big enough to kill the PDP, which is the only organised and truly national party in Nigeria. We will deal with these issues at the appropriate time,” he added.

Punch

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Kogi Labour Party Denies LG Chairmen Defection To APC

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The Labour Party in Kogi State has debunked the rumours making the round that 21 local government chairmen of the party have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Addressing newsmen at the party’s secretariat in Lokoja, the Publicity Secretary,  Idakwo Emmanuel said that there was no iota of truth in the rumours adding that it was an act of desperation on the part of APC.

“The level of desperacy of the ruling party is despicable and regrettably lugubrious,” he said.

According to him, “The campaign of Labour Party in Kogi State was flagged off by Mr Peter Obi, the presidential candidate and national leader of the part. The national chairman Julius Abure and other NWC members in attendance were also in attendance.

“Obviously the silence of our party is loud and terrifying to the ruling party as unknown and unidentifiable individuals are now sponsored by them to deceive the masses claiming to be Labour Party local government chairmen.

“I hereby state without equivocation that the structure of the Labour Party is intact and solidly working hard to rescue our dear state, and our move as a party is organic with genuine supporters and members.”

He said that the media and audience following must reject all individuals who are not card-carrying members of the party.

Punch

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NNPP Blames Kwankwaso As Tribunal Sacks Kano Gov

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The New Nigeria People’s Party has blamed a former presidential candidate of the party, Rabiu Kwankwaso of being responsible for the loss of Kano governor, Yusuf Abba at the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The party insisted that Kwankwaso allegedly sold out NNPP to the ruling All Progressives Congress in order to negotiate for a ministerial slot in the President Bola Tinubu-led government.

The Kano State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had on Wednesday, sacked Abba, and declared the APC candidate, Nasir Gawuna, winner of the March 18 governorship poll.

The three-man panel, led by Justice Oluyemi Akintan-Osadebay, further withdrew the Certificate of Return the Independent National Electoral Commission presented to Yusuf.

Stating reasons why the Kano governor was sacked, the panel said the margin of votes scored by NNPP was invalid and not in compliance with the 2022 electoral act.

The judges deducted 165,663 votes from the NNPP, adding that the ballot papers of the 165,663 were not stamped or signed and therefore declared invalid.

Reacting, One of the Chieftain of NNPP in Southwest, Alhaji Abass Akande Onilewura, in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, said the loss of the party in Kano corroborated the anti-party allegation raised against Kwankwaso.

Onilewura stressed that the former NNPP flagbearer’s alleged involvement in anti-party activities led to the big loss the party is facing with the declaration of the Tribunal in Kano.

He insisted that Kwankwaso did not follow due process in the selection of some of the governorship candidates for the party, which reportedly led to the filing of unpopular or unacceptable flagbearers.

He added, “This loss is a big one for us at NNPP and it only happened because of the selfishness of Kwankwaso who sold the party to the highest bidder.

“While we are still waiting for the Certified True Copy of the tribunal judgment, it is important for the world to know that this would not have happened if Kwankwaso had allowed due process and given the ticket to the most qualified candidate but his inlaw.

“Our investigation also showed that the continuous engagement of Kwankwaso with APC at some point gave room for them to discover loopholes which were later used against the Kano governor to secure victory for the opposition.

“It is unfortunate that some of us sweat to get the party to where it is today, only for someone like Kwankwaso to come and make all our efforts a waste. We are happy that someone like that has been expelled from this great party.

“We also want to use the avenue to warn him to stay clear of NNPP, we don’t want a betrayal in our party and we would do anything humanly possible to secure our party from hijackers who are more concerned about personal gain.

“I will also urge our members across the country to remain calm because a new leadership has taken over the party and we would do everything to restore the glory of our party. NNPP will come out to become a strong voice and opposition that would stand for justice, equity, and good governance.”

Punch

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