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In Katsina, Obi Promises To End Insecurity, Poverty If Elected

The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi has vowed to end insecurity and poverty if elected.

Obi said this on Monday during his party’s presidential campaign rally at the Muhammadu Dikko stadium in Katsina.

The LP candidate said if elected president, he will work towards ensuring the well-being of citizens.

“Nigerians have been deceived for the past 24 years. I want to urge you to vote for the Labour Party in the forthcoming elections. We have come with the promise of ending the bloodshed, and poverty, and restoring peace in all parts of this country,” Obi said.

Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed, his running mate, also attended a town hall meeting with women and students drawn from various universities in the state.

The LP candidates said it is time for change in the country, adding that they are committed to building a new Nigeria.

“We want to build a Nigeria where there will be security of lives and property; nobody will be in IDP camp; your children will be secured and they will be in school. I will seek your support for that,” Obi said.

“You have been deceived for the past 24 years, that’s what we want to change. Let’s have a new Nigeria.”

In his remarks, Datti Baba-Ahmed said the LP has all it takes to tackle the challenges troubling the country.

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Senate Passes N57bn Police trust fund budget

The Senate has approved N57,014,287,532.00 as the budget of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund for 2023.

It approved the budget during plenary in Abuja on Tuesday, presided over by the President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.

The Capital Expenditure component of the budget is N47,024,803,541.18. Total Recurrent Expenditure is N9,989,483,990.00.

The budget was approved after the consideration and adoption of the report of the Senate and House of Representatives joint Committees on Police Affairs.

The committees had earlier worked on the NPTF budget before the Senate passed the report on Tuesday.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Senator Ahmed Mallam-Madori, had presented the report to senators during plenary.

In the joint report, both the Senate and the House observed that the NPTF had received four budgets since 2019.

It noted, “That the NPTF is currently carrying on with the implementation of its 2022 approved budget.

“That the 2023 accrued revenue of the NPTF is as follows: 0.5% of total revenue accrued to the Federation Accounts amounting to N56,205,355,774.00

“0.05% of the net profit of companies in Nigeria is N308,931,758,00; aid, grants, and donations generated the sum of N500,000,000.00.”

Senators approved the budget in a unanimous resolution.

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Senate Rejects Electoral Act Amendment Bill

The Senate has rejected a bill seeking to replace a member of the Legislature in the event of resignation, death or vacancy by simply nominating a replacement as against conducting a fresh general election to fill the vacancy.

The Legislature herein referred to includes the National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly.

The bill, a proposed amendment to the Electoral Act, 2022, was sponsored by a senator representing Kogi-West Senatorial District of Kogi, Karimi Sunday.

It was presented on the floor of the Senate for a second reading on Tuesday in Abuja.

The long title of the bill reads, “A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act, 2022 to allow political parties to nominate and replace validly elected candidates in the event of resignation, death or vacancy (of seats) of serving members in National Assembly and State Houses of Assembly and for connected matters therewith, 2023.”

The bill’s key provision is that the political party on whose platform the candidate contested election should simply nominate a replacement if vacancy occurs, as against conducting a fresh general election to fill the vacancy.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, Sen. Sunday, argued that the votes that produced the candidate belonged to the political party, not the candidate; hence the same party could nominate the replacement.

However, he added that the political party could organise a primary election to pick the replacement from the persons who originally participated in its primary for the initial general election.

Sen. Sunday stated that the idea was to save the huge costs that would have been incurred by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election to fill the vacancy.

He said, “Why the bill? It’s about saving the nation from unnecessary spending.

“Upon the death or resignation of a member, there is no need to conduct a fresh election. A replacement will simply be nominated by the political party from among its members, who are duly qualified.

“A political party may hold a primary to nominate the replacement. The purpose is to eliminate waste in conducting a fresh by-election by INEC.

“This is the practice in other democratic jurisdictions, including the USA.”

But, the bill failed to progress beyond the second reading stage on Tuesday, as the majority of members rejected it.

The President of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, made the first observation by advising the chamber to proceed with caution by ensuring that the bill was not in conflict with other provisions of both the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.

Akpabio further observed that in some of the jurisdictions Sen. Sunday referenced in the bill, members of their legislatures were nominated to office and not by election.

He explained that in such jurisdictions, it might not be a misnomer for a vacancy to be filled by nomination since it was the tradition there.

Sen. Suleiman Kawu (Kano-South) vehemently opposed the bill, saying that Nigeria, being a presidential democracy, would not accommodate the proposal of the bill.

“Yes, the ticket is for the party but the vote is for the candidate. How can a few people nominate a candidate in a constitutional democracy?

“This bill should be withdrawn to save legislative time,” Kawu told the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, also pointed out some procedural errors in the manner his colleague (Sen. Sunday) presented the bill.

For instance, he said the bill was not accompanied by a brief on its merits and demerits to guide senators in making contributions to the debate.

Although Sen. Sunday was advised to withdraw the bill, he refused to do so, insisting that it should be forwarded to the ad-hoc committee on constitution alteration.

When Sen. Akpabio put the bill to a voice vote, senators responded by rejecting it overwhelmingly

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Tinubu Sends Message To Senate On Presentation Of 2024 Budget

President Bola Tinubu has transmitted an executive communication to the Senate, indicating his intention to present the 2024 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly tomorrow, Wednesday, November 29, by 11 am.

President Tinubu’s letter of intent was read by Senate President, Godswill Akpabio at the plenary on Tuesday, November 28.

THN reported that Monday’s Federal Executive Council meeting approved the N27.5 trillion 2024 appropriation bill.

Minister of Budget and Economic Planning Atiku Bagudu explained that the budget was shored up from N26 trillion to N27.5 trillion due to foreign exchange rate changes.

As required by the Constitution, Tinubu is expected to present the 2024 appropriation bill before the National Assembly.

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