Elder statesman, Edwin Clark, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately implement the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led committee of the 0All Progressives Congress (APC) report on true federalism.
Clark, who is the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANFEF), told newsmen at his Abuja residence on Wednesday that true federalism remains the solution to the multiple challenges besetting Nigeria.
According to him, it is President Buhari’s duty to ensure the nation heads towards true federalism even as it has been detailed in the APC report by the Governor El-Rufai-led committee.
The elder statesman is of the opinion that the degenerating living conditions in the country are worsening because the President has refused to heed the call for restructuring which breeds equity, fairness, and justice.
He further asserted that restructuring was part of the President’s campaign manifesto in 2015 and wondered why it has become an uphill task to implement.
The former federal commissioner of information argued that if the APC cannot implement its own committee’s recommendations, then the party lacked the necessary capacity under President Buhari.
“The statement of both the former chairman of APC, His Excellency, John Oyegun and El-Rufai himself; El-Rufai was blaming the National Assembly because they have the power to make law, they have the power to constitute a constitution,” he said.
“If the government in power in 2015, said that ‘in our manifesto, restructuring of Nigeria for a better Nigeria is number one’ and you came to power in 2015. Now, we are in 2021, or two years more for you to go, you are not talking about your constitution.
“So, your party said look, let us put into the writing. It was in our manifesto. Let us set your committee to examine the issue of restructuring and the party did it. What are they waiting for? Are they waiting for PDP to come into power before executing their own report?
“As I said, I am speaking on behalf of the majority of Nigerians who are aggrieved. A meeting called by Mr President to Aso Rock of representatives of Nigeria will not last more than one day.
“The executive will then prepare a memorandum to the National Assembly and within three or four months, they will be completed. The National Assembly has been spending N1 billion every year on amending the Constitution of Nigeria for years now; they have not been able to do so.
“So, if the APC is the party ruling Nigeria today, it means it lacks power under President Buhari to implement whatever they want to implement in the interest of Nigeria,” Clark explained.
He, however, noted that regardless of how long was left for the current administration, the Buhari-led government can still implement the recommendations of the party’s report.
“So, the issue of time does not arise. If they want to do it within six months, it will be carried out,” the elder statesman declared.
The PANDEF chief also stressed that no part of the country would remain slaves to the other, adding that until the injustice perceived by parts of the country was addressed, the issue of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other agitators would be a child’s play.
According to him, the agitation for self-determination and secessions will definitely increase to the extent that it will worsen the security situation in the country, therefore, threatening the nation’s polity.
He asked the government to heed the cautionary messages and act lest the nation implodes.
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‘No Going Back On Our Nationwide Protest’, Says NLC Despite FG’s Suspension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal
…As FG Proposes Extension Of Fuel Subsidy Removal By 18 Months, Seeks To Amend PIA
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has vowed to continue with its planned nationwide rally on Thursday, despite the announcement by the Federal Government that it would no longer remove the fuel subsidy for now.
NLC Deputy President, Joe Ajaero, during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, explained that the rally is aimed at sensitising Nigerians.
“NLC is still standing on its position,” he said on Tuesday. “The Federal Government didn’t say they have abolished it, they are postponing the evil day.
“What we are doing is sensitisation of Nigerians on this fuel subsidy removal or so-called increase in the pump price of petroleum products.”
The labour leader further explained the reasons for the sensitisation, claiming that the fuel subsidy removal was about inflicting more suffering on Nigerians.
“The NLC is sensitising Nigerians that this is not sustainable; that the idea of fuel subsidy is a hoax which they are using to inflict pains on Nigerians.
“So, our planned rally stands. On the 27th of January 2022, we rally nationwide, including the FCT,” he added.
Ajaero argued that the rally has become necessary to alert members of the NLC on perennial hike in the pump price of petrol and other refined petroleum products.
“We need to put our foot soldiers at alert on any eventual action on this issue of increase in the pump price of petroleum products from the current price to over N300 per litre,” he stressed.
The Federal Government had earlier announced the suspension of the planned removal of fuel subsidy.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, had on Monday said the government had suspended the plan to remove fuel subsidy.
She explained that the government would make provisions for fuel subsidy beyond its initial June deadline in the 2022 budget.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is proposing to extend the period for the implementation of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, by 18 months.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, announced this on Tuesday while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja.
He disclosed that the government has concluded plans to approach the National Assembly to amend the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
“We are proposing an 18-month extension but what the National Assembly is going to approve is up to them,” the minister said. “We would approve an 18-month extension and then it is up to the National Assembly to look at it and pass the amendment as they see it.
“With assent by the President on August 16, 2021, the PMS subsidy removal was therefore expected to take place effective February 16, 2022. However, following extensive consultations with all key stakeholders within and outside the government, it has been agreed that the implementation period for the removal of the subsidy should be extended.
“This extension will give all the stakeholders time to ensure that the implementation is carried out in a manner that ensures all necessary modalities are in place to cushion the effect of the PMS subsidy removal, in line with prevailing economic realities.
“The President assures that his administration will continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of all Nigerians, especially the most vulnerable.”
Sylva, who chairs the PIA Implementation Committee, stressed that the decision of the executive arm of government to seek an amendment of the law was not politically motivated.
Rather, he explained that such a move has become necessary to halt the potential suffering of the vulnerable in the society.
The minister believes other measures such as the Dangote refinery, the Port Harcourt refinery, and other modular refineries will have significantly come on stream by the end of the year.
According to him, the new PIA provides for unrestricted market pricing for PMS from the effective date.
Sylva, however, stated that the PIA also envisaged the potential for supply disruption with its resultant effect on the economy.
“Consequently, it provides for a window of six months from the effective date for the government to request the services of NNPC Limited as the supplier of last resort.
“This is to forestall supply disruptions and guide market readiness preparatory to migration to the deregulated pricing regime,” he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari, he stated, has assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to put in place all necessary measures to protect the livelihoods of the citizens, especially the most vulnerable.
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JUST IN: Senate Passes Harmonised Electoral Bill With Direct, Indirect, Consensus Modes Of Primaries
The Senate has passed the harmonised version of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
The harmonised version is the final agreed version of the amendment on clause 84 between the Senate and House of Representatives.
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Ekiti Gov: Don’t Hijack APC Primaries, Group Warns Fayemi
The Ekiti State chapter of the Grassroots Movement for Change (GMC), has cautioned Governor Kayode Fayemi against using state apparatus to favour his “choice candidate”.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary will be held on Thursday ahead of the June 18 election.
A statement on Monday by the GMC, noted that any attempt to subvert the wish of the people will be resisted.
The Secretary, Ademola Ogunrombi, said Fayemi has enjoyed a relatively peaceful tenure and should not be involved in any act that might cause violence in the state.
The scribe demanded that the people be allowed to vote their choice candidate without any fear of manipulation.
“This election seeks to present a fresh candidate for the first time in a long time in our electoral history.
“For those who seek to enslave us by collecting money to mortgage our future, be warned that Ekiti is not like every other state.”
The group urged stakeholders to rise and ensure that the state does not drift into anarchy “due to the selfish interest of a microscopic few”.
The statement advised the APC national caretaker committee under the leadership of Governor Mai Buni to be fair and transparent during the primary.
Earlier, Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Femi Ojudu, advised the party to ensure a credible exercise in order to produce a formidable flagbearer.
Ojudu said he decided not to endorse any aspirant because he wants to be an unbiased umpire and a rallying point to settle differences that would emerge after the primary.
Meanwhile, a House of Representatives member and aspirant, Femi Bamisile, has warned that the APC will collapse if the party picks its candidate outside Ekiti South Senatorial District.
Bamisile commended the adoption of direct primary, saying it would remove the financial burden on contestants and tame manipulation of process.
The lawmaker stressed that the people of the South can no longer tolerate the “conspiracy” that has ostracised them from the political equation since 1999
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