Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, has urged Nigerians agitating for state creation to reach out to elected representatives and groups from other geopolitical zones in the country.
This, he said, was to get support of legislators, groups, as they were key in determining if such demands could scale through in the ongoing constitution amendment exercise.
Yomi Odunuga, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement indicated that Omo-Agege made the call when he played host to members of the Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU), in Abuja on Wednesday.
Omo-Agege, who is Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review said:
“Let me also make this clear that the constitutional review exercise is not a tea party by any means.
” It is a very tedious exercise. If you check Section 9 of the Constitution, it lays out a very difficult procedure that you must go through before you can achieve success with respect to the amendment.
“I don’t know what is in your submission but what I hear from the grapevine is that there is likelihood that UPU is asking for a state.
“If that is right, I am sure you also know the provisions of Section 8 of the Constitution.
“That is even more tedious than every other procedure because unlike other sections of the constitution that recognises a constitution amendment bill to pass with two-third majority of both chambers here it adds two-thirds majority of state assembly, for state creation, which is under Section 8.
“It requires four-fifth of majority. Even more majority than the regular two-third.
“But that is not to say it is impossible, If the demand is genuine and legitimate, there is no reason it should not succeed.
“But you have to do the needful,you have to reach out to others,you have to lobby as to why this should be the case.
“As the chairman of this committee, I am not supposed to take a position,you have to reach out to people, different geopolitical zones and make your case.
“If they see the merit in your argument, then they can, acting through their members in the house of representatives and senate, go with you and vote in support.
“You have to go out and lobby. You don’t stay at home and they reward you with a free state.
“It is only in the military that states are created by Fiat. But under democratic setup in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the procedures are well laid out under Section 9 of the constitution.
“So I like to believe that before making this submission, I assume you have your Legal Adviser in the UPU, who may have taken you through some of the processes that you have to go through.
“But as for us in the national assembly, you can always count on our support because you sent us here,” he said.
He assured the UPU representatives that federal lawmakers from the area would not support anti-Urhobo legislations in the national assembly.
He said: “As the representative of the people, we recognise and acknowledge that sovereign power resides with the people at home. They are the ones who sent us here.
“Without them, there will be no deputy president of the senate, there will be no member representing Okpe/Sapele/Uvwie Federal Constituency, neither will there be a member representing Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu Federal Constituency.
“So, power resides with our people.
“The consequence of that is, we will do what our people want. We will do what is expected of us. We will be guided by the content of your submission,” he said.
Members of the House of Representatives from Delta Central including Rep. Francis Ejiroghene Waive (Ughelli North/Ughelli South/Udu Federal Constituency) and Rep. Efe Afe (Okpe/Sapele/Uvwie Federal Constituency) joined Omo-Agege in receiving the guests.
Earlier, Leader of the group and Okobaro of Ughievwen Kingdom, Dr Matthew Ediri, said they decided to pay a courtesy visit to the deputy president of the senate after submitting their memorandum to the Secretariat of the Constitution Review Committee.
He urged the lawmaker to always protect the interests of Urhobo, using his position as the nation’s number six citizen.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Donald Ugwu
Lawyer advocates leadership training for youths
An Ilorin based legal practitioner, Mr Suleiman Ahmed, has advocated the need for the training of youths on leadership skills to help reposition Nigeria’s future.
Ahmed, who spoke in Ilorin on Saturday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , agreed that youth’s development remain critic in nation building.
He said it has become necessary for Nigeria youths to be equipped with leadership skills in order to do things differently from the past.
“Bad leadership in the past has put Nigeria in a serious mess. Our youths should be shown the way to manage the God’s given abundant resources at hand.
“Nigeria is blessed, but we have people in the past, who lacked those leadership skills in the corridors of power.
“With proper orientation and leadership training for the youths, we can get it right and place the country on the right path.
“We cannot afford to make the same mistakes of our past leaders. We cannot claim to be giant of Africa and see our people dying of hunger and poverty,”he said.
The legal practitioner however called on NGOs and the three tiers of governments to ensure leadership training were organised for the youths.
He advised that the future of the country is at stake if the youths are left out and not well prepared and equipped for leadership position.
“We cannot allow the youths to emulate the past trend. We want them to do things differently and safe the future of the country,”he said.
He also advised Nigerian leaders to stop being selfish, show love and care for the people for them to be proud of their country.
Edo election: Security team investigates reports of gunshots
Heads of security for the Edo governorship election announce on Saturday that they have set out to investigate various areas and polling units where cases of gunshots were reported earlier during accreditation and voting.
Mr Adeleye Oyebade, Deputy Inspector-General of Police, who heads the Edo election Security Monitoring Team, told the News Agency of Nigeria that they were moving to areas where they had earlier received complaints of gunshots.
Oyebade added that their visit was to also ensure that election activities were going on according to electoral laws.
NAN reports that though the electoral process has been peaceful, there were cases of gunshots in the morning of Saturday at Oza community, near Abudu in Orhiomwon Local Government Area, and Ologbo, a border town between Edo and Delta.
A member of one of the political parties at Ologbo in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area was said to have been allegedly shot by a suspected thug.
But the Enogie (traditional Head) of Ologbo Jason Akenzua, who confirmed hearing gunshots, said that the Divisional Police Officer for the area told him that the gunshots were from security operatives to disperse the unruly crowd in the area.
Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Kayode Olaitan
Edo poll: Gov. Obaseki faults INEC preparations
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, said he expected better preparations from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Saturday’s governorship poll, after queueing for over an hour before voting.
Obaseki, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the election, stated this, shortly after he cast his vote at 11:48a.m, having joinied the queue for hand washing at 10:24a.m.
According to him, to wait for one and half hours on the queue before exercising his franchise is a bit disappointing.
“Given that this is a sole day election, I expected a bit more planning and preparation, and resources should have been put into this election.
“During the last presidential election in my polling unit, there were two polling points which helped the body on voters. You all are witnesses of how long this has taken.
“The card reader is working very slowly, and this is the situation in all the major voting centers in Oredo Local Government Area of the state as I speak.
“In Garrick Memorial Secondary School, I understand that over 500 voters are already stranded because they can’t vote because of the slow processing of the card readers.
“One would have expected that INEC will have deployed more card readers and more voting points in highly numbered polling centers,” he said.
On the issue of vote buying at polling units, the governor said that the security agencies were not doing what they assured Edo people and Nigerians of, before the election.
“The security agencies assured us that they won’t allow anybody who don’t have business of voting in a particular place to be there, but they are working on the contrary to what they promised us.
“You can see cars parked with a lot of cash being disbursed to people and it seems to be normal practice, but we are not perturbed. People know what to do; cash can’t buy their future,” he added.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ejike Obeta
Flooding: Kebbi Gov’t assures farmers on dry season farming
Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has assured farmers in the state of necessary support to engage in dry season cultivation, taking cognisance of areas affected by flooding.
The governor gave this assurance at the palace of the Emir of Yauri, Dr Muhammadu Zayyanu-Abdullahi, during a condolence visit to flood-hit communities in the Emirate.
Bagudu commiserated with the people on the losses they suffered, a statement made available to newsmen by his Chief Press Secretary, Abubakar Dakingari, on Saturday said.
He sympathised with them on the recent fatal boat mishap in the area, praying Allah to grant mercies to those who perished.
The governor also conveyed the sympathy of President Muhammadu Buhari, which he sent through the Ministers of Agriculture and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Muhammadu Sabo Nanono and Sadiya Umar Faruk, respectively.
The duo had led a separate delegation to Kebbi to reassure the flood-hit communities of the Federal Government’s commitment to bringing succour to the people.
Bagudu told the Emir that he used the opportunity of the visit to inspect facilities at the Gafara GB Food Factory and areas affected by the flood.
“I have approved the release of between N15 million and N20 million to the local governments affected by the disaster, according to the level of devastation.
“I commend the Emir for his continued support and loyalty to the incumbent administration and assure him that the government will continue to uphold respect to traditional institutions,’’ Bagudu said.
In response, the Emir thanked the governor for the visit and the provision of relief materials to affected persons, which he said, would help to cushion the effect of the flood.
The monarch also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for his benevolence to the people of Yauri, especially with the establishment of an electricity sub-station in the town and ongoing roads construction.
“The electricity sub-station has improved economic activities in this area, and I know that the road will no doubt ease the transportation of goods and services.
“I, however, urge the Federal Government to fulfil its pledge of dredging River Niger from Baro to Yauri, to enhance operations of the inland waterways in the area,’’ Zayyanu-Abdullahi said.
He advised all relevant authorities to ensure that dams, rivers and lakes in the country are dredged annually, to remove obstacles hindering free flow of water that could result to flooding.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Idonije Obakhedo