The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, says it is not fashionable to expect the Federal Government to fund political parties at this critical period of Nigeria’s democratic advancement.
For him, using the government’s money to run the parties is an indirect invitation for it to assume control of the political parties by dictating choices and policies that might be in conflict with the tenets of democracy.
Gbajabiamila, who argued that the international best practice was for parties to be self-funded, added that using the government’s money would also lead to the proliferation of political parties.
He made the remarks on Wednesday while receiving a delegation of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The speaker stated that people would simply abuse the process by registering hundreds of political parties in the hope of cashing out on free government money.
“I am not sure how many countries fund their political parties; we will have to do research and to be sure that it’s international best practice …Government is an interested party if it will be providing the funds,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Lanre Lasisi.
“That will also mean they can compromise the system. There is also proliferation (of parties) that will become a problem if the government begins to fund the parties since there will be free money.”
Gbajabiamila, who also reacted to requests for fresh amendments to the Electoral Act 2022, said it was not advisable to do so a few months before the 2023 general elections.
He explained that making new amendments to the law during this period could disorganise election planning, create unnecessary tension in the polity, and raise credibility questions.
The Speaker said the safest route would be to further amend the Act after the elections if a need arose, or in the alternative, aggrieved persons could approach the judiciary to seek an interpretation of any contentious provisions.
He called for patience, urging parties to seize the opportunity of the upcoming polls to fully test the Act and determine the success of innovations, such as the electronic transmission of results, and the deployment of the BIVAS, among others.
Gbajabiamila added that upon a successful poll, other innovations such as electronic collation of results and diaspora voting could also be considered.
The IPAC delegation was led by the body’s national chairman, Yabagi Sani, who told the speaker the purpose of the visit was to seek synergy and a good working relationship between IPAC and the National Assembly.
Among the issues, he tabled before Gbajabiamila were the alleged flouting of Section 31 of the Electoral Act by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the funding of political parties, the urgency to establish the electoral offences commission, electronic collation of election results in addition to the electronic transmission of results, and the call for a change in the process of appointing the chairman of INEC.
For instance, he complained that while the law allowed political parties to replace candidates 90 days before the election, INEC opted to shut its portal when the days had yet to elapse, preferring to use its rules and regulations in determining the fate of the political parties and their candidates.
“A lot of people are being disenfranchised because INEC says we can’t substitute anybody even though the 90 days haven’t elapsed,” Sani said. “Do the INEC rules and regulations supersede the Electoral Act?”
The IPAC chairman said since it was the legislature that made the Act, the body was reporting INEC to the House so that lawmakers could caution the commission or invite the leadership of the electoral umpire for questioning.
He expressed concern that the issue had led to much litigation against INEC already, saying that if not resolved quickly, some of the cases could cause a setback to the electoral system in the future.
On electronic collation of results, Sani said while it was commendable that the results would be transmitted electronically, the collation would still be done manually, which he feared might be compromised.
1,311 total views, 6 views today
2023: I’ll Put And End To National Grid Collapse If Elected President, Peter Obi Assures Nigerians
…As Ihedioha Distances Self From Calling Peter Obi’s Igbo Supporters ‘Saboteurs’
…Aisha Yesufu Blasts Ex-Imo Gov Over Comments
The presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has said that national grid collapse will be a thing of history under his watch if elected as President in 2023.
The former governor of Anambra State said this in reaction to news of yet another collapse of the national grid, which he described as disturbing.
Proffering solution, Obi stated that his team has a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards.
He tweeted on Wednesday, “The report of yet another national grid collapse is very disturbing to me, and is a reminder of the long rescue and recovery journey ahead of us. Effective power generation, transmission and distribution remain a national security issue.
“This also places power on the front burner of campaign and policy. Painfully, this latest episode is the 7th national grid collapse in 2022. As part of the Obi-Datti policy plan, we have put together a strategic plan to progressively scale up power generation, and the liberalisation of the transmission infrastructure in the country, to ensure that Nigerians enjoy adequate and stable power supply from 2023 onwards. Power is critical to the development and sustainability of all sectors of the national economy
“For us, power remains a top priority. Under my watch, national grid collapse will become a matter of history and a reference point for erstwhile administrations. -PO.”
Meanwhile, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, on Wednesday, denied calling Igbo people who are supporting the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, saboteurs.
Ihedioha in a statement issued in Owerri, the Imo State capital, by his spokesperson, Chibuike Onyeukwu, said that there was no way he could have called Igbo people supporting Obi saboteurs when he shared close relationship with the LP presidential candidate.
The statement accused those it described as “fifth columnists” of being responsible for the media bashing he had received following the development.
Ihedioha said his address at the new yam festival of Mbaise people living in Ghana was misconstrued, adding that he was referring to members of his political party, the Peoples Democratic Party, who were sabotaging the party in the South-East zone.
The statement read, “A few days ago, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON, on the invitation of his kinsmen, was in Accra, Ghana, to celebrate this year’s Iri Ji festival with the Mbaise community in that country.
“As a founding member and one of the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he seized the opportunity of that visit to address PDP issues nationally but particularly in Imo State and assuage the anxiety of the members of his party who have been apprehensive of the developments within the party.
“In doing so, he decried what, at best, is the insouciant attitude and worse, the outright sabotage of some acclaimed party leaders who are engaging in acts that are inimical to the success of the PDP, especially in the South-East by working in cahoots with the other parties. He was only talking about members of his own political party.
“For clarity purposes, His Excellency neither referred to members of any other political party, especially the Labour Party, as saboteurs. He only spoke in the context of the PDP and the emphasis was on the need for members of his party to remain consistent and committed.
“It is inconceivable that he will refer to anybody who is supporting Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, his long time friend, with whom he shares close political affinity and has utmost respect for, as a saboteur.
“It is unfortunate that his well-intentioned speech, which addressed the specific issue of happenings within his own political party, was, again, manipulated by fifth columnists to suit their mischievous scheme of bringing him on a collision with Mr. Peter Obi, whose unwavering political philosophy of ‘Taking Back Nigeria’ from the draconian stranglehold of the failed ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, he wholeheartedly shares.
“His Excellency respects the aspirations and passion of members of other political parties, even as he remains committed to the cause of his own political party and it is not in his character to cast aspersions on those who hold contrary political opinion.”
However, popular Nigerian activist and social critic, Aisha Yesufu, has attacked the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, for his recent statement in which he labelled Peter Obi’s supporters as saboteurs.
Recall that Ihedioha had said that Nigeria’s presidency would rotate to the South-East after the administration of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, if he wins next year’s election.
He also called those supporting Peter Obi and Labour Party saboteurs.
Reacting to the statement by Ihedioha, the human rights activist in a video said he (Ihedioha) had continuously kept everyone down so he would be the only one riding at the top.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to vote for good governance, accountability, and transparency.
“You called citizens saboteurs because they dared to go with a candidate who has competence, character, and capacity.
“You are sitting down there and telling people that it will be the turn of Igbos after Atiku Abubakar. No, it will be your turn; that is why you want people to go that way, even when they consider there is a better candidate who happens to come from their region.
“We are not saboteurs; you are the saboteur. You and your ilks are the saboteurs of Nigeria; those who have held our country back and have only done what is in their interest,” she said.
130 total views, 130 views today
Bamise: Again, Absence Of BRT Driver’s Lawyer Stalls Court Hearing
The trial of Andrew Ominikoron, a BRT driver who allegedly raped and murdered Oluwabamise Ayanwole, a 22-year-old fashion designer, again failed to go on today owing to the absence of his lawyer.
The lawyer, Abayomi Omotubora, arrived at the Lagos High Court, sitting at the Tafawa Balewa Square after the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Sonaike, had adjourned the hearing to Thursday owing to his absence.
It is about the fifth time that Omotubora would be absent from the court hearing since the start of the trial.
He was absent at the court proceedings on July 30 but sent a junior counsel. He was also absent at the proceedings of June 7th and 9th.
At the last sitting of the court on July 7, where he was again absent, Justice Sonaike condemned his continuous absence. The judge described it as “appalling and unbecoming of the noble profession.”
The court also ordered the defendant to get a lawyer to defend him before adjourning till today, Sept 28.
When the journalist sought to know what happened after he arrived late to today’s proceeding, the lawyer said that he came all the way from the Ikorodu area of the state to the TBS.
On his repeated absence, the lawyer said that he also has other matters to attend to.
“This is not the only matter, I have to appear for other matters too,” he said.
253 total views, 253 views today
High Court Orders Obi’s Supporters Not To Converge At Lekki Toll Gate
The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Labour Party and its supporters not to converge at the Lekki toll gate for its #Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally billed to hold on the 1st of October, 2022.
The court also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, and the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Abiodun Alabi, to ensure compliance with the order.
Justice Daniel Osiagor made the order today while ruling on a motion for injunction brought by 10 plaintiffs, who are asking the court to, among others, restrain the LP, its presidential candidate Peter Obi, his running mate Datti Baba-Ahmed, one Julius Abure and their loyalists from holding the rally.
The court also held that while Obi’s supporters cannot stop at the Lekki toll gate, they can pass through the venue to access Falomo Bridge and other venues at which the rally plans to meet.
A preliminary objection filed by the defendants seeking to stop the court from hearing the motion on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction could however not be entertained as all parties to the suit had not been served.
The court adjourned hearing of the substantive suit to November 4, 2022.
In the suit, 10 plaintiffs are Adedotun Ajulo Esq., Salamatu Suleiman Lewi Esq., Hakeem Ijaduola, Esq., Ogunbona Akinpelu Esq., Owolabi K. Oluwasegun, Esq., Mogbojuri Kayode Esq., Wuyep Mantim Nadom Esq., Dimimu Mabel, Esq., Kolawole Salami, Esq. and Mr. Wale Abe Lawrence.
The 1st to 10th defendants are Obi, LP, Baba-Ahmed, Abure, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Commissioner of Police (Lagos State Command), Director-General (Department of State Services), Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Limited, Attorney-General of Lagos State and The Governor of Lagos State.
In the substantive suit, the plaintiffs are arguing among other things that a repeat or celebration of the “infamous” EndSARS protest of 2020 under the political guise of “#Obidatti23 Forward Ever Rally” will cause a breakdown of peace and will result in post-traumatic stress disorder for them and the public.
258 total views, 258 views today
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