By Emman Ovuakporie
This week’s TheNewsGuru.com, (TNG) snippets will focus on how Cross River Governor Senator Ben Ayade co-sponsored Femi Gbajabiamila speakership ambition while in Peoples Democratic Party PDP in 2019. Other issues of the week:
- Stop giving states monthly feeding bottle, embrace true federalism, Rep Chinda tells FG
- Gbajabiamila’s Bill seeking to compulsorily recruit disabled persons scales second reading
- The battle ahead as Senators consider Electoral Act Amendment Bill without electronic transmission of results.
Reps expose how Ayade as a PDP Governor co-sponsored Gbajabiamila speakership ambition in 2019
…. insist two defected Cross River lawmakers were never with us since 2015
…they were PDP only at daylight by midnight they were active APC reps
It was revelations galore on Tuesday as two PDP members defected to APC leading to the exposure of the roles both lawmakers and their governor played during the 2019 Reps speakership race.
This came to fore after two Cross River lawmakers defected from PDP to APC last Tuesday as other PDP reps even celebrated their defection as they were both known to be midnight members of APC.
Some of the PDP Reps who spoke to TNG under the condition of anonymity said unlike when other colleagues defected there was reaction but in their case there was relief that their Midnight’s colleagues had finally pitched their tents with APC.
One of the lawmakers from the north ce ntral geo-political zone said”we knew from 2015 that they were not part of us that was why we celebrated their exit.
“In 2015 they both voted against PDP candidate in the person of Yakubu Dogara and in 2019 they voted against the party’s candidate.
“You must have noticed that when their defection was announced we just ignored them because they were never part of us.
Another lawmaker from the north east geo-political zone spoke in the same vein declaring that”we have no regrets they were obviously moles since 2015.
“In the 2019 speakership race one of them took Gbajabiamila to Ayade and Ayade as a PDP Governor co-sponsored the current speaker.
“We are even celebrating their departure, we wish them the very best with their governor in APC.
TNG recalls that Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday announced the defection of Lego Idagbo, who represents Beckwara/Obudu/Obanliku Federal Constituency and Michael Etaba of Obubra/ Etung Federal Constituency.
The two lawmakers, in separate letters read by Gnajabiamila, cited the crisis in the PDP as the reason for the defection
Also, Ayade had defected to the ruling APC barely three months ago.
Stop giving feeding bottle to states monthly, embrace true federalism Rep Chinda tells FG
The House of Representatives caucus leader of the PDP, Rep Kingsley Chinda has advised the Federal Government to stop giving feeding bottle to states as embracing true federalism will make governors stand on their own.
Chinda said”the way we run this federation is like a feeding bottle approach by the Federal Government as states on a monthly basis are fed like babies.
He ecplay that “For me that is one thing I also say. I have heard the president passionately talking about local government autonomy, in fact instructing council chairmen to either use their money or go to jail if they release it to their governors, I don’t know whether he said so but I read it on the social media. Wonderful, beautiful, in fact that is the content of our constitution.
Now when we are talking about restructuring, is the federal government to also do the same when it comes to her relationship with states, not just the states and the local government.
So if the president is the champion for local government autonomy, the president should also be the champion for state autonomy which is the whole essence of restructuring.
This is a federation, Nigerian portends to be the federal republic of Nigeria, not unitary republic of Nigeria. So Mr President should act that way.
The constitution has made it clear when it comes to the powers of the federation, all we are saying is that there are things that we see as unnecessary baggage on the shoulders of the federal government, that federal government should shelve and allow states to run these issues.
We take things like education, federal government has no business in education. Now go back to history, the west today you see them as people who are advanced in education and the north appears to be slightly backward in education why the allowed education for the regions. If we had the system we have today, the west would not have enjoyed that advantage.
You know, if these things are moved out of the shoulders of the federal government, the north might even overtake the west when it comes to education.
The entire society is moving, life itself is dynamic, we cannot continue with this feeding bottle system, states running to Abuja for allocation and then thereafter you go back; and federal government frittering away monies because of projects that they cannot even monitor.
So let us begin to run a federation that is the essence, that is the entire thing about restructuring. The things that we think are not necessary for the federal government to overburden itself shelve it for states to handle. The ones that local governments can handle, let local governments handle under the constitution.
We take things like security, we have been battling with insecurity in Nigeria. The structure of our constitution does not help us. The police man in your village will take instruction from the commissioner of police who will take instructions from the IG who will take instructions from the commander I chief and so before those instructions come down, the situation is beyond control.
All we are saying, things like security let the states that can afford have their own state police. Local governments that can afford should have their own local government police and all of them will have different functions.
There are crimes that will go to federal police, there are crimes that state police can handle, there are crimes that local government police can handle. There is no way there cannot be improvement in the security system.
You come to the health sector; states should be allowed to manage that sector. The federal government cannot be investing in everything and that is why you have duplication of agencies, functions everywhere because it is so much and so it is not thorough.
So when we talk of restructuring, perhaps people look at monies and all that, we are talking about states managing their resources. Perhaps the south or Niger Delta that produces oil will now have the whole of the oil money and I think that is the pain, it brings us back to the issue of let us look at Nigeria as a state, as our state and let the interest of the country be uppermost in our minds.
It will even challenge states if you say look, you get what you generate and pay tax to the federal government; every state will begin to generate resources. Little did we know that we have so much gold in Zamfara, so why won’t that be made a formal thing, let the state get a formal resources from that wealth and pay tax to the government. Every state in this country is blessed but we are only being lazy by the system of government that we practice.
Gbajabiamila’s Bill seeking compulsory employment for disabled Nigerians scales second reading
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila’s Bill seeking an insertion into the constitution to provide employment for physically challenged Nigerians passed second reading.
The speaker since he emerged has a passion for the physically challenged and this was displayed as he personally promoted a Bill to provide for the disabled.
Although the percentage was not expressly stated in the Bill but it was passed though Hon Uzoma Nkem-Abonta had requested that it ought to have been stated.
Electoral Act Amendment: Senators set to consider Bill without electronic transfer of results
The Senate is set to consider and adopt the controversial Electoral Act Amendment Bill without electronic transfer of election results.
TNG feelers point to the fact that just like the PIB that didn’t get any major apposition during consideration last week, this Bill that suddenly appeared without electronic transfer of election results may just fly like other executive Bills.