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Rise Above Petty Politics, Sign Electoral Bill Now —- Saraki Tells Buhari

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The Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to heed the advice of the anti-democratic elements who have now populated the political space and putting pressure on him not to give assent to the 2018 Electoral Bill.

Saraki in a statement in Ilorin on Wednesday, signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the President to rise above petty politics and act without further delay in the best interest of the country and its democracy by signing the Electoral Bill into law.

Saraki noted that he had been inundated with telephone calls and discussions by members of the National Assembly who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law of the Electoral Bill as the one month period provided by the law for the President to sign a bill presented to him by the National Assembly is about to expire in the next few days.

He added that many of the legislators who contacted him were particularly disturbed that certain individuals who are said to be chairmen of political parties had approached the Federal High Court to stop the President from assenting to the bill.

He noted that the jaded tactic employed in the 90s to scuttle the return to democracy when groups like the Association for Better Nigeria went to court to frustrate the announcement of the results of the June 12, 1993 elections is now being adopted by some masked groups and individuals to stop the signing into law of the Electoral Bill.

He urged President Buhari to dissociate himself from these ugly antics and sign the bill, which he said has comprehensively addressed issues that usually clog the process of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.

Saraki said: “It is the prerogative of the President to either sign a Bill into law or refuse it assent. He is free to exercise this prerogative the way he likes in this case. What I found surprising is a situation where some people now want to adopt a wrong tactic of abusing the court process to stall the matter. That will be unacceptable and I am sure our judiciary will rely on the lessons from the past and not allow itself to be used.

“We do not want the President to allow the setting of a bad precedent in which somebody will go to court in future to stop the passage of an Appropriation Bill or any essential law which will be important to the development of the country.

“My position remains that the President, his aides, the entire country and the international community are aware that all the concerns raised by the President on the past three occasions he withheld assent to the bill have been addressed by the legislature. We bent backward on each occasion to accommodate the wishes of the President. We started work on this law since 2016 to prevent a situation where it would become part of the election controversies.

“Every sincere commentator, observer, and analyst know that what we have done with that bill is to raise the level of transparency, credibility, and acceptability of our electoral process. We made sure that the law if assented to and honestly applied by INEC and all those concerned, will give us an election that will be better than what we had in 2015.

“The President should know that the survival of democracy, its development and the future of Nigeria are far more important than the ambition of any individual or party. I am using this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put a stop to this uncertainty in the political process by signing without delay the 2018 Electoral Bill so as to allow INEC and the concerned parties know how to prepare for a credible process.”

BIG STORY

My Administration Has Brought Visible Developments To The State, Lagosians Will Re-Elect Me In 2023 – Sanwo-Olu

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said he is confident that the electorates in the state will re-elect him to steer the affairs of the state for another four years given his record of achievements.

He spoke during a chat on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics program.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, alongside 14 others, will be jostling for the governorship seat in 2023.

He said his administration had brought in development that can be seen and felt by the state’s residents.

“I managed the emergency of the city. Today alone, there are emergencies that have been reported today alone. I’ve recruited over 650 fire service men. I’ve bought 64 brand new trucks that you will come, I will invite you for commissioning.

“I spent over a billion to take off the refuse in Lagos. We’re creating a sanitary landfill site. That’s what we’re doing. We’re building 1618 kilometres of rigid pavement road that runs to tens of billions. We’re building the biggest market in the country because that’s what we’re doing.”

When he was asked if he saw one of his challengers, Olajide Adediran of the PDP, and his deputy, Funke Akindele, a filmmaker, as a threat, Sanwo-Olu said he is the most preferred candidate because he is more experienced.

“So you know, like I said if you have an emergency, who would you call? What are your chances? Do you call the man that has the experience that has gone through the trenches before that has lived with it that understands what the issues are,” he said.

“That appreciate what challenge you have even at 3 a.m. or will you leave your chance to someone that doesn’t know where the dial is or that doesn’t even know what the issues of governance are? This is Lagos.

“This is an informed audience. This is not a tea party. We’re talking about real governance. We’re talking about the lives of 20-plus million Nigerians.

Sanwo-Olu added that Lagos cannot be left in the hands of someone who “cannot run a business that has 100 people.”

The Governor noted that traffic robberies and accidents have significantly reduced following the directive on motorcycle (okada) transportation.

Okada riders were banned by the governor from plying in six local government areas in the state – Eti-Osa, Ikeja, Surulere, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Apapa and nine local government councils areas.

It is not the first time the government would impose the measure.

In January 2020, the government banned the operation of motorcyclists in 15 local councils across the state.

The governor said that since he gave the directive to restrict the motorcyclists in certain areas of the state, residents have written to him commending the development.

“We’ve also seen a significant drop in accidents. You know, we don’t see people being lame, you know, cutting off limbs in our hospitals again, because these were reckless driving that usually terminate people’s life, unexpectedly,” he said.

“We’ve seen tremendous improvement in that statistics to support. In terms of death drop in the last two months. At the peak of it, we saw about 550 Okada-related accidents at the peak of it in January for over a month.

“Now, it’s coming down to less than 100 direct Okada accidents that we’ve seen, from our hospitals.”

On Amotekun, Sanwo-Olu said there is no need to replicate the Western Nigeria Security Network called in Lagos.

He said the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corp is a replica of the security outfit which “works closely” with the Nigerian Police Force.

“We have the Lagos State Neighbourhood Watch, which are almost 7,000 men that have been trained, that have been energized and are working day to day in the state,” he said.

“There’s no need to reinvent the wheel.”

Since its establishment in 2020, the security outfit has been operational in five states in the South-west except for Lagos.

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BIG STORY

Buhari’s Nephew In House Of Reps, Dumps APC, Reason Undisclosed

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A member of the house of representatives, Fatuhu Muhammed, has resigned his membership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Muhammed, who is President Buhari’s nephew, represents Daura/Sandamu/Mai’adua federal constituency in Katsina state in the lower legislative chamber.

In a letter dated July 13 and addressed to the ward chairman of Sarkin Yara A ward in Daura, Mohammed said his resignation from the party takes immediate effect.

The lawmaker did not give any reason for leaving the party.

“This is to notify you that I have resigned my membership from the All Progressives Congress (APC) with immediate effect commencing from Wednesday the 13th day of July 2022,” the lawmaker said.

“Attached herewith is my Party Membership Registration slip with slip No.KT/DRA/10/00002, while I thank you and the Party for the opportunity given to me to serve the interest of the people of the Daura/Sandamu/Mai’Adua federal constituency while working with the party, accept my best wishes please.”

The letter was copied to the chairman of the APC in Katsina.

Muhammed had, in May, lost his bid to seek re-election into the house of representatives on the APC platform.

Meanwhile, in April, Ahmed Babba Kaita, senator representing Katsina north, resigned his membership of the ruling party.

The senator, who represents the president’s senatorial district, defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita is not a bandwagon politician,” Abdulkadir Lawal, Kaita’s aide, had said in a statement.

“His exemplary and robust representation in the Nigerian Senate is to the admiration of all, and with significant, visible impacts in the areas of infrastructural and human capital development across the three Senatorial zones of the state. There is room to do more.

“The fresh page from the decision to join the PDP represents the ideals of representativeness in the mandate, goodwill and an even more determined desire and opportunity to provide succor, comfort and the much-needed dividends of democracy to the people.”

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BIG STORY

Osun Poll: My Mandate Can’t Be Stolen Again, My Victory Will Be Defended, Retained – Adeleke

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The Governor-Elect of Osun state, Senator Ademola Adeleke has vowed to defend and retain his electoral victory before the election petition tribunal, declaring that his emergence as Governor-elect is entrenched in total compliance with the law and will of the people.

In a statement issued on his behalf by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, the Governor-Elect declared that the July 16th election was one of the most transparent election in recent Nigerian history, assuring that people’s mandate freely given against overwhelming odds will be defended and validated.

According to the statement, Senator Adeleke said PDP legal team is taking appropriate action on the filing, calling on his supporters at home and abroad to remain calm as “this divine victory cannot be stolen through the backdoor…”

“I urge the good people of Osun state who voted massively to reject bad governance to remain calm. We are doing the needful to defend their mandate. We will do all within our powers to ensure judicial validation of our victory as this is an election globally certified as a great advancement in electoral transparency and integrity.

“We also want to reaffirm our faith in the judiciary as a bastion of hope and justice. We have unshakeable trust in God that this election petition shall end in another landmark victory for us and the resilient people of Osun state”, the statement concluded.

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