Local Anambra Kogi news, Nigeria
First and second commercial flight lands at ANAMBRA International Airport
The political party APGA have remained unbeatable in ANAMBRA.
The Governor of ANAMBRA STATE His Excellency Chief Willie Obiano lunched the newly built International Airport with first two flights landing at the newly built airport.
A big congratulations to all anambrianians. The people of ANAMBRA is certified with APGA leadership.
This is what a good government should be busy thinking on how to develop his or her own state not busy plotting on how to cause crisis in his or her state.
The Runway 3.7kilometers
Meet The first female pilot to fly and land at the newly built airport at ANAMBRA
She is a female Pilot, her name is Nwandu Okparaeke.
She is an Igbo girl from Ihiala in Anambra State. She flew the first Air Peace jet that landed in Anambra International Cargo Airport on Friday, 30th April, 2021. Looking at the background you will see APGA FLAGS showing that no other government can do this but APGA.
To God be the glory.
IMO APGA CONGRATULATES THE AMIABLE GOVERNOR OF ANAMBRA STATE AND THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF APGA.
The state chairman Hon. John Iwuala on behalf of the entire members of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA Imo state, join the National Chairman Ozomkpu Dr. Ike Oye in congratulating the amiable Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency Chief Dr. Willie Obiano for successfully accomplishing laudable projects in Anambra State.
Indeed Governors of the eastern extraction should be able to take a lead from your magnanimous works in Anambra state as you have effortlessly shown that it can be done. You have succeeded where others even your predecessors failed. This go to show that you mean well for the people of Anambra State.
You have epitomized the APGA manifesto in your dear state and therefore it serves as a call to other state to fall in line with APGA as it is and remains the only political party created to liberate the people, especially the down throdened from the shackles of hardship and poverty.
The All Progressives Grand Alliance under the table leadership of Dr. Ike Oye has proven to be the party to belong. I also want to congratulate our dear National Chairman as it is during his time as Chairman of this great party that better things are happening in Anambra state. It is not a coincidence that Ozompku Dr. Ike Oye is the John the Baptist of our time, who will baptize Messiahs in the south east as he baptized Dr. Willie Obiano.
I also congratulate the entire people of Anambra state for giving the Governor a conducive working environment and urge them, that come the November polls, they should come all out to make sure that APGA wins and we see a continuity of the manifesto.
Hon. John Iwuala
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Latest news Anambra - here are the news of nearby cities
Woman Inflicts Injuries On 10-year-old Home Help With Hot Iron For Allowing Sleeping Baby Fall To Ground
A24-year-old woman named Ifeoma Ozuogu has been arrested alongside her husband by the police for allegedly inflicting injuries on her 10-year-old home help, Nneoma Nnadi, over the fall of her baby to the ground.
Ozuogu used hot iron, knife, nail and hammer to inflict injuries on the little girl.
The incident happened on Wednesday at Aku in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Nnadi was said to have carried her madam's little baby with the view to pampering her to sleep around 12am when the baby mistakenly fell to the ground.
Though there was no physical or internal injury on the baby, Ozuogu descended heavily on the girl over the incident by burning her skin with hot iron and also using nail to puncture her head.
The next day, Ozuogu inserted pepper into the little girl's vagina and locked her up in the toilet for refusing to wash the plates.
It took the intervention of neighbours, who heard the girl's cry, to rescue and rush her to hospital for treatment.
Meanwhile, the police have been accused of trying to compromise and cover up the matter after the accused offered them bribe.
When SaharaReporters reached out to the brother of the victim, Samson Nnadi, on Saturday, he confirmed that the Commissioner of Police in the state had taken up the matter and vowed to charge the couple to court on Monday.
Mortality: A One Man Army
By Ogbonna Iheanyichukwu
Imagine if riches and money could bribe the spirit of death? Or if any man could be an immortal? As Munia Khan quoted “Death is every mortal’s life to be alive”. It becomes evident that death can’t be payed off, but it’s rather an ultimate reality and equality which visits both the rich and the poor.
Back in the days as our forefathers evolved, their vocabulary improved likewise. We humans became rational beings gaining the ability to look into unborn future and gain control over our environment. But with this good came a bad that has caused us endless pain i.e. we became conscious of mortality. This brings us to the definition of what mortality is? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, Mortality is the state or quality of being mortal (archaic: death). This consciouness bore intense suffering and separation, that is detrimental to us. Death becomes a question mark on why pleausres, money and power are important. We excogitated two solutions to this awareness. The most primitive was the creation of the after life helping alleviate our fears and hoplessness via the aid of religion and secondly by dominating our thoughts to forget mortality and bury ourselves in the moment. To aid the latter, we divert our thoughts with routines but as good as it may sound this repression wasn’t so effective because when someone close to us die, we are hit by the darkness, pain and confusion this fear brings. Associated with both physical and mental pain, we indulge in fantasies and delusions, jobs, associations all to elude the feeling of separation. But in the end the fear of death doesn’t go away but merely returns in smaller anxieties and habits which limits and curtails our enjoyment of life.
In the words of Curtis Jackson (50cent)an american rapper who cheated death by surviving a 9 bullet gunshot he quoted,“People talk about my getting shot like it represented something special, they act like they are not facing the same thing, but someday everybody has to face and bullet with his or her name on it,”. It becomes crystal clear that from the moment we are born, our amount of time becomes limited and so to say unique to us as our only true possession. Running away from this fact, entails running away from ourselves. But accepting that you have only so much time to live, embracing life itself we confront mortality and everything changes. What matters is to live your days well and as fully as possible. By attaining certain goals which gives us purpose and direction we don’t fall into the archaic thinking about the uselessness of it all because it is a supreme waste of the brief time we have been given. As simple as it is, it entails realizing that death is something you carry within, a part of you that can not be repressed but a continous awareness of reality you must embrace. In Fredrick Douglass words,“I have reached the point at which I was not afraid to die. This spirit made me a free man in fact, while I remained a slave in form”. It becomes obvious that this terrified and unaccepted relationship to death can be changed to something active and positive though meditating over your mortality, you become strong, self reliant and unafraid to be alone. You laugh at what others take seriously and finally when your time comes, as it will some day, you will not shrink and weep because you have lived well.
“If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama but hingered forever in the world, how things would lose the power to move us! The most precious thing in life is it uncertanity,”-Kenko. In the face of our inevitable mortality we can do one of two things which are we can attempt to avoid the thought at all costs, cleaving to the illusion that we have all the time in the world or we confront this reality, accept and even embrace it. In so doing we gain a sense of proportion and knowing what’s truly important. Knowing our days to be numbered we can appreciate life all the more for its transiency. It is a miracle to be alive even one more day. Adiós.
An inspiration to Mankind turns to be his worst enemy.
A fundermental, simple emotion for Human-kind. This emotion had a protective duty which is to help us take notice of jeopardy and retreat in time. Civilization depended on this to foreknow upon the arrival of an impeding danger. This great ability begat the apothegm “ to be forewarned is to be forearmed”. Fear is the oldest and one of the most powerful emotions known to man, a feeling deeply engraved into the central nervous system of Humans and deeply rooted in our subconscious.
As time flew by, everything changed, the actual horror we faced lessened like a whirlwind because we gained control over our habitat, while fear itself increased abundantly and even birthed offsprings of it’s nature like worry, depression, anxiety name it, leading to quite some aliments known to man today. We became afraid of how others see us, our status quo, not been in a clique, our physical health and aging process. Rather facing our fears we started directing the blames to something, no matter how small or flimsy (playing the blame game). Shocking how fear itself became more like a skill in the field or journalism and news broadcasting, leading to many fictional stories which are geared towards capturing our attention. It aided spread and increase of social vices, health scare, an embrassing social blunder we are committing unknowingly and many endless hazards in our environment. Worst of all the media started to make these false motions appear real via the aid of virtual reality, making us fragile beings in our own universe. “What a Pity”!!!.
In the words of Doris May Lessing, she says that “There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth”. The honest truth is that fear is not designed for such a purpose, rather it is a catalyst which stimulates powerful, physical responses, allowing us to set guard on time. Our Attitude is our edge over fear, it’s an antidote which has the power to shape our reality. Rather than view life through the lenses of fear, view it through the glasses of an opportunity to prove your worth. False Evidence Appearing Real is the effects of fear in the mindset of loosers, failures, insecured and the defeated. But for those who are Champions, who would rather die than be a failure, winners and overcomers, they believe in the “Focus Encounter Attack Rise” which is the real and certified depiction of the word Fear.
#BREAKING: Tribal War At The Army Barracks, 82 Division Enugu. Three Soldiers Feared Dead
Yesterday really showed the divide among the ethnic groups that make up Nigeria as men of the Nigerian army opened fire on each other with at least three soldiers feared dead.
EASTERN RADIO gathered that the cause of the shooting and killing was as a result of ill treatment of the Igbo soldiers as to concerning peace keepings.
According our source, 82 Division Nigerian Army Enugu were giving a mandate to shortlist about 54 soldiers to join hands and combat Niger Delta Militants uprising, which the GOC Brigadier Gen Ibrahim Attahiru assigned to two commanders who hails from Northern and another from South Western Nigeria respectively.
But owing to disunity, nepotism and tribalism that beclouds the Nation Nigeria, these commanders shortlisted all 54 Igbo soldiers.
One of the enlisted Soldier who was saddened by the outcome of this list questioned the process used to enlist only Igbo Soldiers to this mission of death. The commander picked offense and demanded to know what gave him the audacity to question him, talk more off conceiving to disobey a military order.
The said Commander in display of anger pulled out his gun and shot this young soldier on the forehead, killing him instantly. Another soldier who is among the enlisted soldiers immediately withdrew his own gun and fired the commander thereby killing him too. He then directed the gun on the second commander.
It became a war ground as soldiers all surrendered themselves. Civilians where all on their heels. There would have been a blood bath in 82 Division Enugu but thanks to imediate intervention by the GOC who calmed the atmosphere of war.
As at the time of filling this report, there is no movement in and out of the barracks.
BREAKING: Jubilation In Enugu As Father Mbaka Reappears
There was Jubilation in Enugu State on Wednesday after the reappearance of the Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu Nigeria (AMEN), Rev Father Ejike Mbaka.
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) had in a statement raised an alarm saying the whereabouts of the priest were unknown.
The cleric’s supporters and members of his Adoration Ministry in Enugu also took to the streets on Wednesday to protest against his alleged disappearance.
Mbaka had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign or be impeached last week.
However, he was attacked by the Presidency, which alleged that the cleric was angry because he sought to secure contracts from the Buhari-led government and was denied.
The cleric was on Wednesday afternoon seen in an open roof car, waving to protesters who surrounded him alongside operatives of the Nigeria Police Force.
His supporters were seen shouting ‘Father Mbaka, Oh! you are home!.”
The reverend father later came out of the vehicle to rejoice with his supporters.
VOTE OF CONFIDENCE
DR. LEONARD NZENNA
(The National Chairman of African Action Congress)
We, the undersigned leaders of African Action Congress(AAC), Southeast geopolitical zone, have composed this to express our satisfaction with the current leadership of our great party at National Level under the leadership of Dr. Leonard Nzenwa
This is an expression of our Vote of Confidence in our National Chairman and his ability to function doggedly over a period of time. We understand the need for this decision for an encouragement.
Over a year he took the mantle of the leadership, he has taken our party to a high level due to his intelligence and administrative experience. We are now been carried along and currently, our party is being handled as a political party unlike the the previous under the leadership of the expelled Mr. Omoyele Sowore
We feel our National Chairman is consistent in application of policies and protocols. And has respect towards Party faithfuls at all levels
Therefore, rising from a meeting of the Southeast AAC leader's meeting on 3rd January, 2021, held at Abia State Party secretariat, Umuahia, considered all these aforementioned achievements and healthy contributions towards our party, the undersigned leaders unanimously passed this vote of confidence.
Hon. Innocent Nwachinemere -Zonal Chairman
Hon. Emeka Ezeife- Anambra state Chairman
Hon. Oko Nnaemeka - Enugu State Chairman
Harrison Onuoha - Abia State Chairman
Hon. Christopher Ama- Ebonyi State Chairman
Hon. Ferdinand Uzoigwe-
Imo State Chairman
AFRICAN ACTION CONGRESS (AAC)
ENUGU STATE CHAPTER
It has come to the notice of the ENUGU State AAC Chapter headed by Hon. Oko Nnaemeka that a group parading themselves as RevolutionNow has planned and concluded arrangements to carry out #REVOLUTION NOW# Protest in Enugu State on the 5th of August 2020, using the Party name and logo of the AAC.
The essence of this disclaimer therefore, is to Inform the Enugu State Government, Police Commissioner, DSS, other Relevant Peace Enforcement Agencies and the General Public that AAC isn't party to such unruly conduct and as such those culpable of violating Constituted Authority and Democratic Procedures should be treated as gullible Political miscreants.
The Enugu State AAC disassociate herself from such #REVOLUTION NOW# Agitations/Protest and also wish to use this medium to once again reiterate the fact that we in no instance sign into such as it is not part of our Party manifesto to be part of a such a disruptive Agenda.
AAC remain a Peace loving and Democratic Party who seeks to correct the wrongs, concerns and many pitfalls in the way our nation and state is being governed through Democratic means by participating and believing in the power of the ballots.
At this juncture, we turn the attention of those involved in this unscrupulous act to the Nigeria`s premier criminal legislation, the Criminal Code Act. Section 484 to 489 of the Criminal Code Act which explain in clear terms the various punishments for impersonation.
We therefore, advise families and love ones to warn their wads from any illegal act as anyone caught misrepresenting and misleading the good people of Enugu State with the name, logo or any branded property of AAC must face the provision of the criminal act.
Hon. Oko Nnaemeka
Enugu State AAC Chairman.
NUJ: Restore military checkpoints on Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road
Amidst worsening security situation on the Okene-Lokoja-Abuja highway, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for immediate restoration of military checkpoints on the road.
The Chairman of the Kogi State council of NUJ, Adeiza Jimoh, made the appeal in a statement issued in Lokoja on Friday.
He said that the incessant kidnappings and killings almost on a daily basis on the road by armed bandits necessitated the call.
Mr Jimoh gave kudos to the police for their efforts at checkmating the criminals but said that the establishment of military checkpoints will further reduce criminal activities on the road.
According to the statement, the Osara-Irepeni section of the road has become notorious for the activities of the men of the underworld.
Newsmen recall that on the same road, an army captain, G. S. M. Abubakar, was, on July 5, shot dead by bandits, who also kidnapped his wife and mother.
Newsmen also reports that the two kidnap victims have yet to regain their freedom.
Also on July 9, a naval officer and a woman travelling together in a Toyota Sienna car were killed by bandits at the same section of the road.
“The criminals, no doubt, have taken the advantage of the withdrawal of the military from the road to unleash mayhem on innocent road users, with deaths on its trail,” NUJ noted.
The union also advised the police to scale up their operations by introducing 24-hour patrol of the road.
“The idea of creating roadblocks and preoccupying themselves with checking of vehicle particulars should be discouraged.
“The criminals take advantage of these lapses by striking in-between police roadblocks,” it said.
The union also urged the state government to rise up to the new wave of criminal activities across the state.
It said that the current upsurge in crime should not be allowed to rubbish the modest achievements recorded by the state government.
“The fight should be taken to the criminals in their various hideouts instead of waiting for them to strike before taking actions,” he said.
Nigerian government to distribute 19,508 bags of fertilizers flood affected farmers
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, and Social Development is to distribute 19, 508 bags of fertilizers to farmers affected by 2018 flooding in five LGAs of Kogi State.
Speaking at the Flagg off ceremony yesterday in Lokoja the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouk said the bags of fertilizer would be distributed by the ministry through National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to farmers to cushion the effect of the 2018 flooding that occurred in the state.
She said the distribution of the about 19, 508 bags of fertilizers was on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari which she said would be distributed to the affected farmers in five Local Government Areas in the State.
The Deputy Governor of the State, Edward David Onoja, who flagged off the distribution on behalf of the Governor commended President Muhammadu Buhari, for the great gesture through the relevant ministries, departments and agencies of the federal government.
He promised that the fertilizers would be effectively utilized and distributed accordingly as specified by the minister in the affected five LGAs.
Also flagged off, was the roll out of Agricultural inputs to be distributed to farmers nationwide as parts of the Federal Government’s palliatives against the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
In his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alh. Muhammed Sabo Nanono, said the agricultural inputs was parts of the federal government’s palliatives to cushion the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on food and nutrition, and security of the nation.
The Minister urged the beneficiaries to use the agricultural inputs judiciously to make food abundantly available in the country in order to defeat the negative impacts of Covid-19 co in the country.
Also present at the occasion was the Director-General of NEMA, Air Vice Marshal Muhammadu Muhammed rtd, officials of both the Ministries of Agriculture and Humanitarian Affairs.
Kogi guber: PDP heads for Supreme Court
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Appeal Court judgement on the Kogi governorship election delivered on Saturday as a travesty of justice.
Kogi State Publicity Secretary of the party, Bode Ogunmola, in a statement issued in Lokoja on Saturday, said the judgment is unacceptable to the party.
“Gov. Yahaya Bello and the APC can run, but it cannot hide from the Supreme Court, where the blood of the innocent people killed in the Kogi Election and the irregularities that characterized the election would be pointed out.”
Ogunmola urged PDP supporters to remain calm and be hopeful. The PDP said the party will never give up until justice is delivered and Engr Musa Wada becomes the Governor of Kogi State, particularly that he was overwhelmingly voted for in the November governorship election.
Police Arrest Woman For Dumping Baby Inside Pit Toilet In Anambra State
he police in Anambra State on Saturday arrested a 30-year-old woman, who allegedly threw her newly born baby inside a pit toilet at Nkpor, Idemili North Local Government Area of the state.
The suspect, Franca Udokwu, a native of Obuba Obofia Nkpor community in Idemili North LGA, was said to have admitted to the crime before leading police to the scene.
Confirming the incident, spokesperson for the police in the state, SP Haruna Mohammed, said the baby was recovered from the toilet but certified dead by a doctor.
He said, "On the 22/8/2020 at about 8:30am following a tip-off, police operatives attached to Ogidi Division arrested one Franca Udokwu ‘f’ aged 30 years of Obuba Obofia Nkpor Community in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State. Suspect allegedly gave birth to a baby boy and dumped the child inside a pit toilet inside her house.
“Upon interrogation,the suspect led police detectives to the scene of crime where the baby was recovered and taken to a hospital for medical attention but was confirmed dead on arrival by a medical doctor.”
Mohammed added that the corpse was deposited at the hospital's mortuary for autopsy while case was under investigation.
He said that the suspect would be charged to court for prosecution.
The 9th National Assembly In Its First Year By Sesugh Akume
Of the 109 senators of the 9th National Assembly (NASS) with only 7 women (representing 6.4% one of the lowest in the world -- with only 1 woman out of 57 senators from the 19 states of the entire northern Nigeria) 2 women are among the 10 best performing senators by number of bills sponsored. The 2 incidentally are from Anambra, Stella Oduah (Anambra North) with 26 bills, and Uche Ekwunife (Anambra Central) 16 bills.
In the House of Representatives with 360 members, and only 11 females, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha from Abia is number 7 on the list of top 10 with 19 bills. The women are clearly making a point. Incidentally, all of them are from the southeast.
This 9th NASS also has by far more proposed bills than previous National Assemblies. For instance, Nkem Abonta (Abia) who is third on the list of top in the House of Representatives already has 30 proposed bills in this first year, whereas he had 65 in the entire 8th NASS. Abbas Tajudeen (Kaduna) who is currently top on the list has 59 proposed bills.
Plateau appears to have the most hard working legislators in this regard, with 3 in the top 10 in both the senate and House: Simon Mwadkom, is the 6th in the House with 22 bills; Dachung Bagos, 4th with 27; and Istifanus Gyang, 4th on the list of the top 10 in the senate, with 11 bills. That's all about it, with this 9th NASS that's positive.
A rubber stamp NASS and its leadership
On Wednesday 28 August 2019, Ahmed Lawan, the senate president and leader of the 9th NASS declared at a town hall meeting in his Yobe North constituency that the 9th NASS would not fail Buhari, thus pledging allegiance to the president and not the people who elected him, at whose pleasure he serves. This aberration is the very first of its kind. No leader of the legislature has ever declared open allegiance to the executive which the legislature exists to put in check, since 1861 when the history of the legislative council began in Nigeria. It's important to note that those ones were appointed, not elected yet none felt they need to pledge and prove their subservience to the executive, as their benefactors. No president of the senate since its inception in 1959 has even committed such an unforgivable blunder before Lawan did last year.
The 8th NASS resolved that clearing ministers for appointment in 2015 that henceforth, executive lists of ministerial nominees should come along with their portfolios for better confirmation hearings. In the 9th NASS, Lawan repudiated that senate resolution in order to please Buhari by accepting a ministerial list without portfolios. This has in part been responsible for confirming the worst set of ministers in the country's history.
From Geoffrey Onyeama, the foreign minister, who is quick to defend other countries when they assault Nigeria and Nigerians; to Pauline Tallen, the women affairs minister, who didn't know what GBV (gender-based violence) was at a town hall meeting; to Sabo Nanono, the agriculture minister, who said there were places in Kano a person could eat to their satisfaction with just 30 naira, but fact checks proved this to be false. A minister of agriculture who doesn't know that his northeast leads the country in severe acute malnutrition, but is quick to budget 13 billion naira for pest control in 12 states for 2020.
Or Saleh Mamman, the power minister, whose first policy pronouncement as minister was to ask for prayers as he confessed knowing nothing about the electric power sector but was quick to abuse his office by suspending the heads of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), and Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), the only 2 heads in the sector that gave hope, a thing clearly ultra vires him? He knows nothing, but was quick to abuse powers he didn't have by suspending the women. The so-called suspensions were later overruled. Or is it the defence minister, Bashir Salihi Magashi, who it is on record stole $550,000 and has gone incommunicado since his inauguration; to the numerous other EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) alumni and veterans on the list? Is it Adamu Adamu, the education minister who went AWOL since his inauguration?
The Finance Bill 2019, which was an executive bill, had passed the second reading and gone on for committee work without senators sighting it. Binos Yaroe (Adamawa South), and Betty Apiafi (Rivers West) referred Lawan to the senate rules, that it was a violation for the bills to be passed without senators having copies or seeing them at all, for which overruled them and proceeded. He went to such extremes, including violating senate rules to please Buhari. He had earlier stopped Istifanus Gyang from raising discussions on Buhari's June 12 speech, on Nigeria's first Democracy Day.
NASS went ahead to pass the Finance Bill to increase value-added tax from 5% to 7.5% against expert counsel that it would cause an increase in inflation leading to job losses, more hardship, and so on. They were adamant, and this has come to pass.
This same rubber stamp NASS approved Buhari's loans within minutes of reading his request without any scrutiny. In the House, the media was diligent to note that it took all of 7 minutes to approve billions of dollars of debt shackles on Nigerians. Never mind, that experts, including the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) individually, and as a committee, had decried the level of public debt and its negative impact on the country and its economy. NASS didn't care. They live to please politicians who know nothing about the economy or could care less.
Femi Gbaja, the speaker of the House said his job was not to 'fight' the executive. Possibly, to be a rubber stamp.
It must not be forgotten that Ovie Omo-Agege, the deputy senate president, was at the heart of the desecration of NASS and theft in broad daylight of the senate mace in the 8th NASS, wherein thugs invaded NASS and made away with the mace unchallenged.
Stolen, wicked, and insensitive legislations
The 9th NASS plagiarised (plagiarism is theft) 2 bills in its first year, the Social Media Bill, and the Infectious Diseases Bill. Incidentally, both from Singapore. Others may have been stealing bills too, but it hasn't been noted, this is on the record, and in their very first year.
It had obnoxious bills ranging from the Social Media Bill (to shut citizens' voices on social media) by Muhammad Sani Musa (Niger East); the Hate Speech Bill (to create an agency for hate speech, and kill anybody who found guilty under the law, who says what doesn't go down too well with the political class) by Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North); the Generator Bill (seeking to ban the importation, sale, and use of generators, as if anybody likes to use generators) by Bima Enagi (Niger South). Clearly, Niger has gifted Nigeria by far the worst breed of senators in this 9th NASS. All 3 of them had insensitive, meaningless and annoying bills to sponsor.
There is also the Boko Haram Bill (to pamper and reward ex-Boko Haram terrorists, give them foreign education, create an agency for them, etc) by Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe East). There is also the NGO Bill in the House (to overregulate and strangulate NGOs, civil society, and constrict the civic space) by Abbas Tajudeen (Kaduna), among numerous others. Never has a NASS had so many vexatious bills in 1 year, worst off, its very first year.
The 9th NASS has failed to pass any COVID-19 legislation at all, which would have, among other things, provided clear guidelines to navigate this trying season and provided funds to cushion its effects also for research for vaccines and other scientific solutions to it. It would have stated who is eligible to access the various funds and how, along with accountability mechanisms for them. It would have included a stimulus package to keep the economy afloat, bonuses for essential workers like health workers, journalists, etc. Every serious country has a COVID-19 legislation, others have more than 1.
Rather, they preferred the lazy way of passing motions (which are non-binding) asking the government to release monies piecemeal, including 15 billion naira to Kano, which by the way had denied having issues with COVID-19, in the first place. Despite being taunted by the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, on behalf of the executive to come up with COVID-19 legislation, they failed. It should be noted that nothing has stopped the executive from sending an executive bill to NASS. Many COVID-19 legislations around the world originated from the executive arm. The Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill passed by the House has not been ratified by the senate for assent by Buhari to become a law. It's lying somewhere fallow.
More than half of the proposed bills in the 9th NASS are establishment bills. At a time they should be winding down and consolidating most of the government agencies, they seek to create more, with what money? How do they expect us to borrow to create and fund more and more agencies?
Poor representation and oversight
In the early days of the COVID-19 lockdown, the police and other security forces killed more Nigerians than COVID-19, nothing was done about it. Their innocent blood cries out for justice till date. Sadiyya Umar Farouq, the humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development minister has ran amok, dishing out bogus, mind-blowing, unverified and unverifiable figures of conditional cash transfers, school feeding programmes, etc with zero scrutiny. Nobody knows how much has been raised, donated, or expended on COVID-19.
The central bank says it is giving out 50 billion naira loans to support homes and small businesses affected by COVID-19. Fifty billion naira is not 50 naira. No serious or normal country spends even 50 kobo without appropriation and oversight, not Nigeria. Who appropriated the 50 billion naira, and under what law? What is the oversight on it, who is accounting for the disbursement and to whom and when? Get ready for all kinds of fairy tales around this 50 billion naira that is likely to go down the drain in the end. That is 50 billion naira gone with zero accountability just like the billions Ms Farouq, and the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 are overseeing for which nobody else can testify. Simply because NASS failed in its duty, or as some suggest, they go behind, collect their cut, and look the other way.
It has to be noted that it was at set of COVID-19 that members of the House began receiving their exotic cars. Such was their priority, at a time there were scare health facilities and equipment, including ventilators for patients, and so forth.
Aisha Jibril Dukku (Gombe) who had said God created the Fulani herdsmen to esteem the life of cows above humans got the House to reject and block the ongoing reforms of the almajiri system by governors of the 19 northern states. They voted to keep the system as is until the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) comes up with a solution, but neither the almajiri system nor basic education are the preserve of the federal government but of states and local governments. How they missed this remains a mystery.
On 5 May, in support of police decentralisation the senate urged state assemblies to make laws to enable for community policing, however, states cannot legislate on matters of security as security is on the Exclusive List of the Constitution, and is, therefore, the sole responsibility of NASS. How they didn't know this bugles the mind.
Having passed loans of billions of dollars, ostensibly to build infrastructure, it came to the attention of others that the entire southeast Nigeria is not covered for the infrastructure provision at all. That is the consequence of being a rubber stamp legislature, that passes loan requests in minutes, and having docile, malleable legislators from a region, including those with the highest number of proposed bills. An effective legislator is assessed by their active committee work, interventions in plenary, and the ability to attract good to their constituency; not just by the number of bills sponsored.
Follow the money
Nothing proves the heart and soul of this 9th NASS and its priorities as the budgets it has passed. The 2020 budget which came into force on 1 January this year needed to be reviewed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, as the the 10.59 trillion naira for it was no longer realistic. It would've made sense that the budget was reviewed downwards, rather it rather increased to 10.81 trillion naira. The amount for recurrent expenditure and debt servicing increased astronomically. These are areas that do not affect Nigerians directly, or if at all, affect us negatively as a burden. These are the areas they increased spending.
The 5 critical areas of education, health, agriculture, security, and infrastructure (which includes electric power, roads, bridges, housing, etc) that have direct bearing on the Nigerian people constitutes only about 17%, under 20% of the entire budget, but debt servicing takes 27%. In essence, to the 9th NASS, servicing debts is more important than all those 5 critical areas put together. No wonder they keep plunging us more and more into debt. In fact, debt servicing takes a larger chunk of the budget than capital projects which is 26.63%.
To be sure, in this revised 2020 budget, the basic health budget was cut from 44 billion naira to 25 billion naira ie by 43%, and basic education by more than half (54.5%) from 112 billion naira to 51 billion naira. Any normal person would expect that during a pandemic there should be more provided for health in particular. Not, the 9th NASS which in fact defunded health, with the implications of this well known to them. They don't care!
On May 13, UNICEF had warned that 950 more Nigerian children could die every day from preventable causes (in addition to the 2,300 the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA reports already die daily) over the next 6 months as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts routine services and threatens to further weaken the existing health system. It didn't bother them. They can all die.
How did the 9th NASS budget for itself?
They not only retained their 100 billion naira for 'constituency projects' keeping it intact, maintaining their 125 billion naira running costs, they actually increased it by 3 billion naira to 128 billion: 2 billion naira to build their library, and 1 billion naira for 'constitution amendment'.
In essence, when they passed the 2020 budget last year, it didn't occur to them that they needed work done on their library, and to provide for constitutional amendment, the COVID-19 pandemic opened their eyes to these pressing, life-threatening needs. These are aside from the billions they approved for themselves to renovate the NASS Complex, under the budget of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA).
Termed 'Zonal Intervention Projects' that 100 billion naira gifted NASS members for close to 2 decades avails each of them up to 200 million naira to 'nominate' projects of their choice in their constituencies. It is from these funds that they buy head pans, sewing machines, tricycles, grinding machines, etc as 'empowerment' every year, and pocket the rest. Some nominate 'projects' like 'cultural orientation for junior secondary schools' at 50 million naira, or like sum for other such frivolous, meaningless, unaccountable activities. These are the funds they ensured to keep intact at this time.
The 9th National Assembly, along with its leadership, in its first year has been the very worst, most callous and insensitive, ever, and if it continues on this track will be Nigeria's undoing.
Bus conductor ‘rapes’ four-year-old daughter in Anambra
A 43-year-old bus conductor in Onitsha, Anambra State, Ikechukwu Ekenta, has been arrested for allegedly defiling his four-year-old daughter.
The incident, it was gathered, happened at their residence in the 3-3 area of Onitsha, Anambra state.
The suspect, who hails from Imo state was arrested by the Anambra State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, in collaboration with security agencies.
A statement from the office of the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Ndidi Mezue, obtained by our correspondent on Thursday in Awka, said Ekenta was alleged to have committed the act when the mother of the girl was in an undisclosed hospital where she was delivered of a baby.
The statement partly read, “The mother of the girl returned from the hospital where she was delivered of a baby girl. On getting home, she discovered that her first daughter was feeling pains in her private parts.
“She demanded to know what happened, the girl of four disclosed to her disbelief, that the father had fingered her and also had carnal knowledge of her.
“Receiving the report of the rape incident through a concerned citizen, the honourable commissioner immediately dispatched a team of social workers and another security agency to effect the arrest of the man who works as a conductor in the commercial city of Onitsha.
“A medical examination on the child confirmed that there was penetration and serious injury in the girl’s private parts.
“While the investigation into what transpired between the man and his biological daughter is still ongoing, the woman and her three daughters have been evacuated and are being cared for by the Anambra State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.”