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Senate’ll Reconvene To Consider Ministerial List, Adjourns Till July 21 — Saraki

The Senate President Bukola Saraki has assured that members of the Red Chamber will reconvene  any time before the adjourned date to consider any matter of urgent national importance or to attend to any national assignment requiring its attention, especially the ministerial nominees of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He made this clarification in a statement by his media team.

“The adjournment of Senate’s plenary to July 21, 2015, was meant to give the Senate Ad-Hoc Committees on Legislative Agenda and Review of the Senate’s Finances time to conclude their work and submit their reports. The two committees were given one-week to submit their reports. However, the Senate assured that it will reconvene at any time before the adjourned date to consider any matter of urgent national importance or to attend to any national assignment requiring its attention,” the statement reads.

The Senate’s Ad-hoc Committee on Financial review is the first time the Senate is setting up a body to review its own salaries, allowances and the overhead cost of running the Senate with a view to realigning them to reflect the present economic situation in the country.

The National Assembly had slashed its 2015 budget to N120billion from N150billion as a result of dwindling Federal Government’s revenue.

The cut was part of the National Assembly’s belt-tightening measures in view of the current economic realities in the country.

Saraki had during the inauguration of the committee observed that the subject of reduction in cost of governance had been on the front burner of national discourse for a long time because of its extremely sensitive nature.

Saraki pledged that the Senate under his leadership would make “financial conservatism” its watchword.

The Senate President said: “There still persists the need to project clarity, accountability and transparency in all legislative matters and legislators’ welfare.
“The 8th Senate under our watch recognizes the concerns raised by Nigerians about the cost of running office most especially with the economic challenges facing our nation.

“The Senate will be more transparent regarding all public funds spent for the purpose of paying salaries and allowances of legislators and ensure that distinction is sufficiently made between what a legislator actually earns and what is spent to run and implement legislative business and committee activities.

“The watchword in our financial issues will be fiscal conservatism. It is therefore on this arm that the committee is mandated to carry out a thorough fiscal examination.”

Pro-Saraki senators emerge principal officers, as Senate adjourns

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume (Borno, North East) Thursday assumed the position of Senate Majority leader.

He assumed office immediately after Senate President Bukola Saraki announced his name as the candidate for the North East where the position of Senate leader was zoned to.

Also, Senator Bala Ibn Na’allah, Kebbi South assumed office as Deputy Senate leader while Senator Francis Alimikhena, Edo North took the seat of Senate Deputy Chief Whip, just as the office of Senate Chief Whip was not read following the inability of the South West to produce a name.

The Senate which resumed plenary on Tuesday however suspended plenary till21st of July.

House Fracas, Evidence Of APC’s Lack Of Capacity – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday said the ugly development in the House of Representatives casts doubt over President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) commitment to democracy, unity and the stability of the country.

The party condemned the incident which it called a show of shame and national embarrassment.

The PDP said the disgraceful act is a direct consequence of President Buhari’s lack of democratic credentials to rein in his party to respect the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm of government, the very citadel of democracy, as enshrined in the nation’s Constitution.

Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, in a statement on Thursday said, “The barbaric attempt to physically assault a duly elected Speaker, seize the mace, the authority of the House, is a direct attack on the Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation”.

The party said what Nigerians witnessed in the House on Thursday clearly underscores the fact that the APC has exhausted its excuses and has now imported its internal contradictions into an independent arm of government as a way to further cover its lack of ideas for governance.

PDP alerted that intelligence available to it shows that “the brawling APC lawmakers ostensibly acted on instructions from the Presidency, an obvious indication that President Buhari is largely an interested party whose involvement is beyond mere body language”.

The PDP said the dishonorable conduct from the unruly APC lawmakers in acting out the script did not come to it as a surprise given that they are bred and nurtured under a political platform that lacks discipline and thrives on violence as an unwritten manifesto.

“We state unequivocally that the onus lies on President Buhari to ensure that all democratic institutions are harnessed for effectiveness, a responsibility he has apparently abdicated by allowing his personal interest to instigate division in the parliament, a tendency that poses great threat to the survival of our democracy and the stability of the nation”.

The PDP said the continued confusion in the APC-led government is a confirmation of its earlier stand that the APC lacks the capacity and democratic discipline to effectively steer the ship of nation and face the challenges of governance at the center.

“If a party that has since March 28, 2015 when it got its victory, about 90 days ago, cannot resolve a basic issue of selecting its leadership in the National Assembly, clearly, their competence for national governance comes to question,” the PDP stated.

The PDP, however, applauded Speaker Yakubu Dogara for his comportment, especially his statesmanly remarks after the unfortunate incident and urged him to continue to display maturity and not yield any ground in his duties to protect the independence of the legislature.

The PDP commended all its members (past and present) in the House of Representatives for their maturity and dignifying conduct in line with the ideals of its founding fathers on democracy built on peace and unity.

Leadership crisis: House Of Reps adjourns to July 21

Crisis in House of Reps: Speaker Yakubu Dogara solicits peace and unity, adjourns sitting to July 21.

Members of House of Representatives exchanged their free-for-all during the fracas, fighting in the presence of some secondary school students who were on excursion to the National Assembly.

N/Assembly crisis: APC talks tough, says we stand by our list of principal officers

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Thursday, condemned what transpired in both chambers of the National Assembly.

Alhaji Mai Mala Buni, APC National Secretary, the party  said it stands by the list sent to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives over the choice of principal officers of the National Assembly.

According to the statement, the National Caucus, BoT and NEC of the party will meet in a few days to discuss the developments in the National Assembly.

Mixed reactions trail leadership tussle in National Assembly

Some residents of Lokoja in Kogi on Thursday expressed mixed feelings over the leadership tussle in the National Assembly.
They told NAN that they were dissatisfied with the crises rocking the members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the National Assembly.
While some urged them to respect the party’s decision and their legislative duties, the others opined that the party should allow the legislators to choose their leadership.
A legal practitioner, Mr Peter Bolaji, said the APC legislator’s caucus that faulted the decision of the party leadership, acted in ignorance.
Bolaji said that the party’s decision supersede any elected members or group within the party.
He said those legislators were elected on the platform of their party, and therefore, they should respect the will of the party leadership without any rancour.
“We elected them to represent the interest of the masses, to go and perform robust legislative functions, and not for their own personal or selfish interest.
“Their business in the legislature is to make laws that will improve the wellbeing of Nigerians, and the earlier they realised that the better for them.
“Time is fast running out and if they failed to deliver their mandate by performing to our expectations, we will vote them out,” Bolaji said.
Mr Ralph Alabi, an opinion leader, said APC should as a matter of urgency put their house in order, saying that was not the change for which they were voted.
He said both the legislators and the party leadership should shun personal interest and come together with one another, noting that the expectation of Nigerians from the party was high.
“APC cannot afford to waste anymore time, Nigerians are eagerly waiting to see and experience the change they voted for, they should not disappoint the electorate,” Alabi said.
Another resident, Mr Shola Dada, a civil servant, said all hands must be on deck in tackling the various challenges currently facing the nation, especially the issue of workers’ unpaid salaries.
According to him, the three arms of government should synergise to save the country from its security and economic crises by working harmoniously and make laws that will enhance the expected change.
While urging the leadership of the APC to find a lasting solution to its internal crises, he appealed to the aggrieved APC legislators to abide by the decisions of the party.
However, Mr Michael Fashe, a former federal legislator, was of the view that the legislators should be allowed to choose their leaders.
According to him, the emergence of the leadership in the legislature should not be influenced by any external force, be it party or other stakeholders.
“I think the legislators agitating for freedom to select their own leaders are right, and their view should be respected by APC leadership,” Fashe said.
NAN reports that the APC leadership, after consultations with its legislators, sent a list of preferred candidates for the remaining positions in the National Assembly.
The lists sent by APC to Senate President Bukola Saraki and House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara were for majority leader, deputy majority leader, chief whip and deputy chief whip.

PDP condemns House fracas, accuses Buhari of bias

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned as a show of shame and national embarrassment, Thursday’s fracas by disgruntled APC members in the House of Representatives saying the ugly development brings to question, President Muhammadu Buhari and his party’s commitment to democracy, unity and the stability of the country.

The PDP said the disgraceful act is a direct consequence of President Buhari’s lack of democratic credentials to rein in his party to respect the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm of government, the very citadel of democracy, as enshrined in the nation’s Constitution.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement on Thursday said “the barbaric attempt to physically assault a duly elected Speaker, seize the mace, the authority of the House, is a direct attack on the Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation”.

The party said what Nigerians witnessed in the House on Thursday clearly underscores the fact that APC has exhausted its excuses and has now imported its internal contradictions into an independent arm of government as a way to further cover its lack of ideas for governance.

It alerted that intelligence available to it shows that “the brawling APC lawmakers ostensibly acted on instructions from the Presidency, an obvious indication that President Buhari is largely an interested party whose involvement is beyond mere body language”.

PDP said the dishonorable conduct from the unruly APC lawmakers in acting out the script did not come to it as a surprise given that they are bred and nurtured under a political platform that lacks discipline and thrives on violence as an unwritten manifesto.

“We state unequivocally that the onus lies on President Buhari to ensure that all democratic institutions are harnessed for effectiveness, a responsibility he has apparently abdicated by allowing his personal interest to instigate division in the parliament, a tendency that poses great threat to the survival of our democracy and the stability of the nation”.

PDP said the continued confusion in the APC-led government is a confirmation of its earlier stand that APC lacks the capacity and democratic discipline to effectively steer the ship of nation and face the challenges of governance at the center.

“If a party that has since March 28, 2015 when it got its victory, about 90 days ago, cannot resolve a basic issue of selecting its leadership in the National Assembly, clearly, their competence for national governance comes to question”, the PDP stated.

The PDP however applauded Speaker Yakubu Dogara for his comportment especially his statesmanly remarks after the unfortunate incident and urged him to continue to display maturity and not yield any ground in his duties to protect the independence of the legislature.

Finally, the PDP commended all its members (past and present) in the House of Representatives for their maturity and dignifying conduct in line with the ideals of its founding fathers on democracy built on peace and unity.

-Leadership/Vanguard

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