A group, Gan Allah Fulani Development Association of Nigeria (GAFDAN), has warned the Federal Government against advancing the sum of N100 billion to Miyetti- Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) for any form of compensation or to halt purported criminality among herdsmen. National Chairman of the group, Alhaji Sale Bayari, disclosed this at the weekend while speaking with journalists in Jos, Plateau State.
He said if the report and speculation about the Federal Government advancing N100 billion to Miyetti Allah was true, then there were better ways to empower herdsmen than dealing with a particular group that had become political, which it said would not help the situation.
Bayari said if the report was true, it would set a dangerous precedent, because any association that wanted to be relevant would now arm bandits to qualify for government patronage.
“I have been hearing that the Federal Government is dealing with Miyetti- Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN). The report said that the government wants to compensate herdsmen who have lost their means of livelihood, which are cattle.
The meeting took place in Birnin Kebbi and I understood that the Director- General, State Security Service (SSS), the Director- General, National Intelligent Agency (NIA), the Inspector-General of Police, Governor of Kebbi State and the Minister of Interior, were all there.
NDDC’s debt: National Assembly to probe NLNG, Shell, 15 other IOCs
…Finance minister, CBN Gov to testify
A joint committee of the Senate and House of Representatives committee on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has concluded arrangements to investigate 17 international oil companies (IOCs) including the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Shell Petroleum and Conoil for alleged indebtedness to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NNDC).
Other oil firms, which are to be quizzed by the joint committee, are Shebah Express Petroleum, Atlas Petroleum, Allied Energy, Frontier Oil, Seven Energy Limited, Belma Oil Producing Limited, AITECO Exploration and Production, Dubrin Oil and Continental Oil and Gas.
Also to be investigated is Enageed Resources Limited, New Cross exploration and Production, Pan Ocean Oil Corporation Nigeria Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Development Company and Prime Exploration and Production Company.
Co-chairman of the joint committee and House of Representatives committee chairman on NDDC, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo (APC, Ondo), who disclosed this Monday in a chat with the media in Abuja, explained that as part of the investigation, the Minister of Finance, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris and Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine will also testify before the joint committee.
According to Tunji-Ojo, records have shown that the affected oil companies jointly owning the NDDC N72 billion and $73 million respectively adding that the federal government is also owning the agency a whopping N1.2 trillion.
Senate disowns Hate Speech Bill, says it’s Abdullahi’s idea
Worried by the spate of criticisms that have greeted the Hate Speech Bill which passed first reading last week, the Senate has distanced itself from the proposed legislation
The acting spokesperson for the red chamber, Senator Godiya Akwashiki, told journalists in Abuja on Monday that contrary to widespread impression, the bill was not the idea of the ninth Senate
He said it was solely being sponsored by the Deputy Chief Whip, Sabi Abdullahi, based on his conviction.
Akwashiki described as unfortunate, the statement credited to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which insinuated that the bill was a Senate bill, skewed to make the alleged third term ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari possible.
He maintained that the fate of the bill would be determined on the floor of the Senate after a robust debate by senators.
Meanwhile, the ex-spokesperson for the Senate, who sponsored the bill, insisted at a news briefing on Monday that his proposed legislation is aimed at achieving peace in the country.
Buhari congratulates Lyon, condemns violence in Bayelsa
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, on his “impressive victory”.
He felicitated with the governor-elect in a statement on Monday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in Bayelsa who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, despite the pockets of unrest recorded in some parts of the state.
He, however, condemned the loss of lives in the state, particularly prior to the election and, commiserated with the families of the victims.
“Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,” President Buhari was quoted as saying in the statement.
He noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
According to the President, it is unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians were recorded during the poll.
He promised to work with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.
Buhari also urged the governor-elect to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance.
He appealed to those aggrieved by the outcome of the election to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.
INEC declares Kogi West Senatorial election inconclusive
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday declared as inconclusive the election of the November 16 Kogi West Senatorial District because the margin of win was less than the total cancelled votes.
It said that it will announce later a date for the supplementary election.
It stated that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi scored a total of 80,118 votes while the Kogi West Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Dino Melaye, scored 59,548 votes.
Smart Adeyemi had slightly more than 20,000 votes than Dino Melaye.
APC’s Lyon wins Bayelsa guber election
Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared the winner of the Bayelsa State governorship election which took place on Saturday.
Announcing Lyon as the winner, the Returning Officer, Prof Faraday Orumwense, stated that the total votes cast stood at 505, 884 while the total valid votes were 499, 551.
He added that 6333 votes were rejected in the election in which the PDP scored 143,173 leaving the APC’s to take the bigger chunk of the votes, totalling 352,552.
Lyon defeated Douye Diri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in six out of eight locals government areas in the state.
“I , prof Faraday Orumwense hereby certifies that I am the Returning Officer for the Bayelsa State governorship election held on 16th day of November 2019.
“That the candidates recorded the following votes… Lyon David of the APC got 352,552 votes…while the PDP candidate, Diri Douye got 143,172 votes.
“That Lyon David having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby returned elected,” he said at the State Collation Centre in the capital, Yenagoa.
Lyon’s victory makes it the first time an opposition party is winning the state since the return of democracy in 1999.
The state, which was created in 1996, has always been governed by the PDP.
Below are the scores from each local government area as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
APC – 7, 831
PDP- 60, 339
APC – 23, 831
PDP- 10, 410
APC – 83, 041
APC – 21, 489
PDP- 18, 344
APC – 8, 934
PDP- 15, 360
APC – 58, 016
PDP- 13, 763
APC – 124, 803
PDP- 4, 898
APC – 24, 607
PDP- 19, 184
God’s intervention keeps me in office as gov, says Wike
ivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that he remained Rivers State Governor because of the intervention of God who dislodged forces of darkness primed to rob the Rivers mandate on March 9, 2019.
Speaking during the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Holy Ghost Rally at the Adokiye Amiesimaka yesterday, Governor Wike described himself as a living testimony of God’s blessing.
He said: “Nigerians are aware of what happened on 9th March, 2019. If anyone says he does not believe in God that event of March 9 should make you believe God.
“But for God, the enemies would have taken over the state. I thank the Church for standing firm. They prayed for God’s will to be done and God’s will was done. But for your prayers, I won’t be here as Rivers State Governor.
“Anytime I have the opportunity, I repeat the declaration with authority and I owe nobody an apology. I am standing on solid Authority. Rivers State is a Christian State.
“If we have all churches embark on sanitation, our state will be cleaner. We will support this programme financially and we shall donate three vehicles to the Church for the programme.”
Wike, however, said that God had used the General Overseer of RCCG to bless Rivers State. He said that the Annual Holy Ghost Rally had been a blessing to the State.
General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye said everyone needed help, saying that the best source to get help was from God.
He said: “No matter how influential and powerful, everyone needs help. Everyone needs help and the best help you can get is from the Almighty God.”
Lawmakers’re not voted to fight, but to work – Lawan
…says NASS chooses to unite in national interest
he President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, at the weekend in Abuja, stressed that members of the National Assembly were not elected by Nigerians to come and fight, but to work in their interest.
Lawan made this assertion at the maiden end-of-year dinner and awards night organised by the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), his alma mater.
“Nigerians didn’t vote for us to come and fight. Nigerians voted for us to come and work for them,” Lawan said, according to a statement by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity.
He said that the resolve to collaborate on national issues notwithstanding, members of the National Assembly would not allow the executive arm of government to take any advantage of them.
“We will disagree with them, but when we disagree, we are not going to the market square to fight, to shout. We are going to resolve it in a round table manner. We are going to resolve it in the national interest; on what we feel or what we like or what we don’t like. We should be able to resolve any issue on the basis of what is good for Nigeria,” he said.
Lawan further explained that the Ninth National Assembly had consciously chosen to unite in national interest despite the fact that its members are from different political parties.
“This Ninth National Assembly is a different National Assembly. We have chosen consciously to be united on one thing: that thing is national interest.
“It doesn’t matter what our platform is. You can be an APC member of the National Assembly. You can be a PDP member of the National Assembly. In fact, you can be an YPP member of the National Assembly.
“This Ninth National Assembly, particularly the Senate, our platforms have conveyed us. We are grateful to our parties. We believe in the ideals of our parties, but we have resolved to work for Nigeria,” he said.
Lawan also pointed out that the legislature was the most misunderstood arm of government in Nigeria because it was the youngest of all the three arms.
He said that the current National Assembly believed that Nigeria should be made a safer country and with its economy working for Nigerians.
“All of us here are privileged. Some are more privileged than others, but the fact remains that those who are disadvantaged are outside there.
“They are at the villages or they are in slums in the cities. We have to work to make lives better for them. It is our duty, our mandate to work so hard regardless of our political platforms.
“We have also said we will work with the executive arm of government to ensure that there is some decency in what we do, that we are productive in what we do. That we are able to give Nigerians what they voted for,” he stated.
Lawan paid glowing tribute to current and former Vice Chancellors of the school with special emphasis on Prof. Jibril Aminu, who was the VC from 1980 to 1985, for his laudable policy which has “created a critical mass of academics” for the school and which his successors have proudly sustained to date.
He also congratulated the staff and, particularly, the students who still have faith in the school despite the constant threats by Boko Haram insurgents.
“Despite the threat of Boko Haram insurgents, students are still being faithful that they will still get their education in the University of Maiduguri.
“This is courage. This is belief in what the university can do to protect them and what the university can do to give them the education they require and the character formation that goes with it,” Lawan said.
On the recent hike in tuition fees in UNIMAID which the National Assembly kicked against, the Senate President advised the management of the school to always consult widely before taking any decision on fundamental issues.
The high-point of the event was the presentation of awards to some alumni of the school, including Lawan, who received an Outstanding Achievement Award in celebration of his position as the highest ranking alumni political office holder and in recognition of his dedication and humanitarian service.
Lawan promptly dedicated the award to his class of 1984 Geography graduates.
Bayelsa, Kogi polls: U.S., UK, EU, others bemoan violence, intimidation, fatalities
he Diplomatic Watch teams deployed from Austria, the European Union delegation, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States to last weekend’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states have expressed concerns about the conduct of the polls.
They asked security agencies to investigate and bring perpetrators of violence to justice.
In a statement made available to New Telegraph yesterday, the international community also expressed concern by evident vote-buying and credible reports of ballot box snatching in both Bayelsa and Kogi.
The statement read: “We express our alarm at reports of widespread incidents of violence and intimidation, some of which were witnessed by our teams in Kogi. There are reports of fatalities and people missing, including INEC staff. Our thoughts are with all victims and their families.
“We encourage all stakeholders, in particular, political leaders, to call for calm and we encourage security agencies to investigate thoroughly and bring perpetrators to justice.
“We are also concerned by evident vote-buying and credible reports of ballot box snatching in both Bayelsa and Kogi.”
The diplomatic community monitors, however, commended the commitment and resilience of voters in both states who came out to exercise their democratic rights.
“We express our sympathy for those affected by the violence, including ordinary voters, INEC officials, members of the NYSC, civil society and the media. All should be able to carry out their fundamental role in the democratic process free from intimidation and harassment.
“As long-standing friends, we have been present at every major election in Nigeria since 1999. We remain committed to working impartially with Nigerian authorities, INEC in particular, as well as civil society to consolidate and deepen democracy.”
Debt: GenCos threaten power generation shutdown
…demand release of N600bn to firms
- Companies: We can’t pay gas suppliers
mminent crisis is looming in the power sector as electricity generation companies (GenCos) have threatened to shut down if the Federal Government fails to call the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET) to order.
The Executive Secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies, Dr. Joy Ogaji, who issued the threat yesterday, said the GenCos were owed over a trillion naira and that it had become difficult to pay gas suppliers.
Ogaji decried the frustration the companies are facing from the management of NBET, stating that the bulk trading firm had constituted itself to a regulator and no longer a debtor to the GenCos.
The executive secretary said that they had written relevant authorities on the demand by NBET that the GenCos would pay 0.75 per cent administrative charg es before they can access the N600 billion released to them by the Federal Government.
According to her, “As you are aware, the Federal Government promised to release N600 billion to GenCos, but from that time till now, we have not seen anything. NBET has been calling the GenCos, the investors telling them that they have the money with them and that they should comply with their terms.
“If NBET excesses are not checked and this N600 billion is not released on time, whether we deliberately shutdown or not, the machines would shut down by itself because the gas suppliers have stopped giving gas to some GenCos.”
She, however, said that what the GenCos were owing the gas suppliers was not equal to what it’s being owed.
She noted: “GenCos have called for this press briefing to inform the public and relevant stakeholders that as creditors, they will not be subjected to unnecessary duress by a debtor who should be pleading with them on payment terms in the face of their dire financial crisis.
“Recall that on September 20, 2019, the GenCos, through the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), convened a press conference to discuss on the 0.75 per cent charge, which the NBET demanded from the GenCos as administrative charge for payment of gas invoices on their behalf.
“It was expected that the issue has been nipped in the bud, haven written to all relevant stakeholders, including the sector regulator, NERC, and having received responses from its major shareholder and vice chairman of its board, the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) as well as the Gas Aggregation Company of Nigeria (GACN) all unanimously rejecting NBET’s stance, it is clear from recent occurrences that NBET is not deterred.
“NBET has now reduced its role to blackmailing/threatening GenCo investors/chairmen, who have refused to concede to NBET’s illegal demand of a 0.75 per cent charge on invoices paid to gas suppliers.
“NBET has clearly threatened not to release payments due GenCos until they accede to NBET’s request, urging them to agree for a quid pro quo with the 0.75 per cent administrative charge.
“The situation is truly grave and completely unprecedented as NBET has completely shed its role as a licensee of the industry and has taken on some sort of regulatory role. The entity is almost conducting itself in a manner that suggests that it is above the law.
“This singular action by NBET may lead to shutdown of power supply by GenCos, who have unanimously agreed to call the bluff of NBET.
“NBET (a.k.a. the ‘Bulk Trader’) is a trading licensee, licensed and regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to undertake bulk purchase and resale of electricity in the transitional electricity market.”
She described NBET as a child of necessity and a transitory agency created to instill confidence and act as a buffer, bulwark or a gap filler virtually providing security to investors in the power generation business in the Nigerian electricity supply industry.
“In essence, NBET is appointed by the Federal Government to act on behalf of GenCos. This entails that without the GenCos, there is no NBET,” she added.
Calling on the Federal Government to intervene, she said, in adherence to the current administration’s vision of providing an enabling environment and leveraging the ease to do business index in Nigeria, the Federal Government, especially the board chairman of NBET, needed to review the professional conduct of the management of NBET and ensure that business etiquettes are instilled to create an avenue for operators to ventilate their feelings and difficulties.
She said: “Besides being owed huge debts, the Gencos also are operating under very harsh monetary and fiscal conditions, occasioned by the economic realities that face the country today.
“The APGC is pained by the inhuman treatment meted out to GenCos and stresses that law abiding corporate citizens should not be victims of bullying and malady.
“GenCos’ indebtedness to their gas suppliers is due to NBET’s indebtedness to them. No Genco has any outstanding gas payment that is more than what NBET owes the Genco. Put differently, NBET is indirectly charging 0.75 per cent for paying its debt to GenCos.
“Has it ever been heard or seen, where a debtor is dictating terms of payment and even wanting to benefit from proceeds of debts it is obligated to pay? To this, the GenCos say, we are ready for business, and will walk the proverbial “whole nine yards” to get what is our due.”
Kogi West: Melaye trails Adeyemi
he candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for Kogi West Senatorial District in last weekend’s re-run election, Senator Smart Adeyemi, is coasting to victory as he leads his main challenger, Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by 13,494 votes.
Adeyemi, who is the Director-General of Bello/Onoja Governorship Campaign, defeated Melaye in four out of the six local government areas, where results have been released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The APC candidate had 60,330 votes as against his PDP counterpart’s 46,836 votes.
Adeyemi defeated Melaye in Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi and Mopamuro, while Melaye won in Yagba East and Yagba West local governments. The result of Lokoja Local Government Area is yet to be released at press time last night.
In Ijumu Local Government Area, Adeyemi scored 11,627, while Melaye got 7,647 votes.
Adeyemi won in Kogi, Kabba-Bunu and Mopamuro, with 14,168, 15,037 and 4,874 votes, respectively, while Melaye scored 9,786, 8,974 and 3,704 votes, respectively in the three councils.
The PDP candidate, however, won Yagba West and Yagba East with 8,980 and 7,745 votes as against APC’s 7,941 and 6,683 votes.
The APC has commended the various security agencies over their respective roles during Saturday’s governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
This is as the party called on its supporters to remain calm as they await the full results of the elections.
APC, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “We are aware of several hoodlums brought into Kogi State from Osun and Oyo states few days before the elections, just as we monitored the grand preparation to unleash violence in Bayelsa State.
“We are delighted that the forces of darkness have failed. The subterfuge deployed by the PDP to rig the election in both states, including the Kogi West senatorial rerun election was thwarted.”
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