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2023 elections: LP chieftains demand accountability on funds

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By Austine Emmanuel, Kaduna

Chieftains of Labour Party, (LP) including aspirants and candidates that contested elections in Kaduna state, has called on leadership of the party to give account of funds received and spent during the 2023 general elections.

This is as the group said that its presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi has given public account from his own end, meanwhile the party leadership did not deem it fit to give any public account, an act they said, does not translate to transparency, accountability and good governance.

Briefing Journalists in Kaduna at the weekend, the Senatorial candidate of LP, Zone One Kaduna, Mr. Sidi Bamali said that the essence is not only to propagate the party’s agenda, but to also bring to the fore some, if not all, of their grievances towards the leadership of the party both at the State and national level and proffer probable solutions to their challenges as an indivisible family.

Bamali further disclosed that Engineer Mike Auta, who was the party’s senatorial candidate for Southern Kaduna in 2023 has been so instrumental in the quest to breach peace among aggrieved members, stressing that his message of hope has kept them going with the belief that the party would takeoff soon and reach its height.

The Chieftains also accused Mr. Peter Obi and his vice presidential candidate, Datti Baba Ahmed of running their own personal ambition without minding the crisis rocking LP in Kaduna. They alleged that Obi on several occasions came to Kaduna but never thought it necessary to invite the leadership of the party and its esteemed supporters in the state for a round table meeting to sit and review their past activities especially those in the North West Zone.

Bamali said, “We thought it wise to hold this press briefing because there is a whole lot to be said. Its essence is not only to propagate the party’s agenda, but to also bring to the fore some, if not all, of our grievances towards the leadership of the party both at the State and national level and proffer probable solutions to these challenges.

“The aftermath of the 2023 general elections have given us reasons to ponder on some of the challenges encountered, lessons learnt and the probability of thinking ahead, in order to redefine our path to victory. Today, we are here to take a critical assessment of these problems and fashion out ways in which solutions would be proffered.

“Prior to the 2023 general elections, the LP was a stationary, rickety, disjointed vehicle that was lacking several essential parts. Its functionality and existence were questioned in the nation’s political arena, however, a few months to the election proper, some political juggernauts, well meaning individuals, and the common man, who were tired and frustrated by the misconceived idea of democracy injected life into the one immobile vehicle until it became a force to reckon with.

“The heavy wind of a change mantra blew across all zones, especially in Kaduna and people joined in the struggle to propagate a change in leadership. This movement may not have produced the desired results and our expectations were dashed, but we fought a good fight.

“It is on record that both local and international observers had their misgivings about the election proper; this aside our stolen mandate in some of the senatorial districts, although, the 2023 general elections in Kaduna State particularly, placed the presidential candidate at second position in the state with huge number of votes, that alone was a good sign that we all worked to achieve that outcome.

“Having said that, we would like to draw your attention to an important usual and normal anomaly. It is a misnomer of the highest order to state that the Labour Party’s in-house rancour and squabble is alien to the political arena. It is a well known fact that, in every house there must be disagreements, but these differences, most of the time allow for mending crack walls.

“The LP is not immune to this. We can not shy away from these facts; we had our differences, on so many issues which resulted in chains of enmity within the party but that is brought to the fore today, with the aim of settling our differences, setting aside our loathing and embracing each other.

“In spite of these in-house rancour within the Labour Party, the Kaduna State chapter remained an indivisible mechanisation, never compromised its dream and never allowed any faction to spring up.

“Any such idea was crushed before it sprang its ugly hydra-head. We have remained a knitted, undeterred, committed unit, except for the unruly conduct of a greedy few who want the reins of leadership at all cost, and have failed to face their responsibilities.

“Engineer Mike Auta has been a pioneer of peace in this aspect; he has been in forefront and since he is a lover of peace, has constantly and consistently brought party officials and supporters together and preached the message of hope with the belief that the party would take off soon and reach its height.

“There seems to be a total absence of leadership in the state’s LP, despite being lucky to have had the Vice Presidential candidate (Datti Baba Ahmed), the organising secretary and other top figures at the national level down to the state. These political powerhouses, who are from Kaduna State seemed to have joined this movement only to propel their career and have blown cold since election results were announced on all levels.

“They have refused to consider the epileptic state of the party’s existence, especially the common man on the street, who lost his voice and sense of decorum, singing and chanting the songs of the Labour party, by extension, those of us present here today, who in our various constituencies worked tirelessly to ensure that our names were written in sands of time as regards Kaduna State and Nigerian politics.

“A stark example is our dear presidential candidate during the 2023 elections, Peter Obi, who on several occasions, came into Kaduna but never thought it worthy or necessary to invite the leadership of the party and its esteemed supporters in the State for a round table (to sit and review our past activities), especially those in the North West Zone. He has chosen to pursue his personal ambition rather than putting the people first, by reconciling our differences and healing our wounds.

“We expected him to have called for zonal meetings; each zone, identify the gaps and cement the cracks that almost collapsed our efforts. We urge Peter Obi not to shy away from the fact that he is the leader of the party and by extension, the party’s presidential flag bearer, whose responsibility is to put the house in order. In spite of this, we appreciate his efforts and salute his courage,” the group noted.

Chieftains of the party present at the meeting include: the state’s acting chairman of the party, Alhaji Is a Ciroma Beba, acting Secretary, Sani Musa Sahabi among other state executives.

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Kwara Assembly passed 9 bills, 20 motions in one year — Speaker

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Speaker of Kwara House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, on Thursday said nine bills and 20 motions were passed by the Assembly in the last one year of its 10th legislature.

The Speaker, during the first anniversary of the 10th legislature under his leadership, said eight other bills were also undergoing legislative processes.

“They are at various stages of scaling passage in the House,” he said.

The 10th legislature of the state House was inaugurated early June 2023 after a proclamation.

The bills passed in the last one year include the Kwara State Education Trust Fund (Amendment) Bill, 2023 and the Revised Appropriation (2023) Bill, 2023.

Others are the Kwara State Environmental Protection Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2023; Kwara State Local Government Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2023; and Kwara State Rural Access Roads Agency Bill, 2023.

The remaining bills passed include the Kwara State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (Amendment); and State Roads Fund and Administration Bill, 2023.

The rest are the Kwara State University Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2024 and Kwara State University of Education (Establishment) Bill, 2024.

The Speaker however said the House has been enjoying a harmonious working relationship with the other arms of government in the past one year.

He added that Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq deserves appreciation for the prompt attention accorded the resolutions of the House when transmitted to him.

Danladi-Salihu noted that the governor has allowed the independence of the three arms of government to be firmly rooted in the state.

“The cordial relationship that exists among the arms of government is paying off in the state, and we the lawmakers envisage the same hand of fellowship from Gov. AbdulRazaq in subsequent legislative years,” the Speaker said.

He stated that the House also introduced new ideas into the conduct of legislative business without sacrificing the norms for innovation.

“For the record, in the first session, the 10th Assembly has as of date at the committee of the whole house considered a total number of nine landmark reports which emanated from different standing and ad-hoc committees of the House.

“These reports which generated robust debates on the floor, and on which resolutions were made in line with transparency, equity and accountability, have significantly assisted in reshaping governance in the state,” Danladi-Salihu noted.

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Senate passes 25 bills in 1 year

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The Senate has passed 25 out of the 447 bills introduced on its floor  since the  inauguration of the 10th Senate in 2023.

Senate Leader, Mr Opeyemi Bamidele, who disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, also said that the upper chamber adopted 115 resolutions .

He said  the 25 bills fully passed into law, comparatively, accounted for 5.24 per cent of the entire bills introduced within the timeframe.

According to him, aside from the 25 fully enacted pieces of legislation, no fewer than 275 bills (57.65 per cent) were read for the  first time within the timeframe.

“About 135 (28.32 per cent) awaiting first reading; 45 (9.43 per cent) awaiting the second reading; 43 (9.02 per cent) currently at the committee stage and three bills (0.63 per cent) were refused on different grounds.

He added that while only 13 (2.73 per cent) of the total bills originated from the executive arm, 464 (97.27 per cent) were private member bills.

“Apart from the bills, the Senate arrived at 115 resolutions, which are far-reaching in consequence; profound in their significance to our economic development and strategic to the cohesion, growth and stability of our nation.

“Each of these resolutions arose from motions of national importance, which different distinguished senators sponsored after due diligence was conducted.” he said.

According to him, the Senate also received and treated petitions from members of the public on diverse matters of grave concern within the timeframe.

“In spite of time constraint, 50 of the public petitions were successfully and satisfactorily resolved.

“The Senate equally screened and confirmed 215 nominees for different political offices at the request of President Bola Tinubu and in accordance with Section 147 (2-6) of the 1999 Constitution and other Acts of the National Assembly.

“Among others, the confirmations include key appointments into the Federal Executive Council, Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the leadership of the Nigeria Armed Forces, Nigeria Police Force.

“Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Service, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission,” he said .

He explained that the confirmations were key to national development and speeded up the process of forming or constituting the national government at a very critical time when the economy was struggling to stay afloat.

“National security under threat and internal cohesion was seriously gasping for fresh breath.

“Already, the first year has passed by and we have decisively addressed issues of strategic national interest with utmost priority,” he said.

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Pensioners name Gov. Yusuf as Outstanding Governor of the Year

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The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) has named the Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, the title of the most pensioner-friendly Governor of the year.

Presenting the award  to the Governor, the National chairman of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Mazi Godwin Ikechuku Abumisi, expressed that it was incumbent upon the union to acknowledge the Governor due to his steadfast dedication to the welfare of pensioners in the state.

“Your Excellency, you shine brightly as a beacon of support to our members. Over the past year, you have authorised and disbursed eleven billion naira to clear the backlog of pension gratuity payments.

“This milestone is unparalleled; no other governor has accomplished such a feat within a single year since the restoration of democracy in Nigeria.”

In their messages of goodwill earlier, the state chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Kano expressed gratitude to the Governor for his unwavering commitment to addressing the pension liabilities amounting to N43 billion left by the previous administration.

Responding to the honour, Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf reiterated his unwavering dedication to supporting pensioners by the settlement of their gratuities and the timely disbursement of monthly pension allowances.

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