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Palliative: We are yet to receive rice – S/South NASS members

NASS Transmits Constitution Amendment Bills To State Assemblies

Some members of the National Assembly in the South South have stated that no rice or fund was released by the Federal Government for constituents in the areas during the yuletide.

Reacting to the viral video making rounds on social media, the legislators and residents in Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers said they were yet to receive such Christmas gifts.

The video claimed that the members of House of Representatives received N100 million while the Senate received N200 million for rice to be shared to their respective constituents.

The video showcased Mr Dekeri Anamero, Member Representing Etsako Federal Constituency in Edo inspecting truckload of rice meant for his constituents, while appreciating President Tinubu for 2,400 bags of rice for the people of his constituency.

But the lawmaker, representing Abak federal constituency in Akwa Ibom, Mr Clement Jimbo said that President Tinubu was yet to release N100 million to the Lawmakers as speculated in the video.

According to him, President Bola Tinubu or the Federal Government of Nigeria has not released any N100 million to the House of Representatives members or N200 million to the senators.

“I am a house member, the person in question is my colleague and the video is a lie because no such things happened.’’

Jimbo alleged that the Anamero was aspiring to be the Governor of Edo state, which made him bought rice and shared to his constituents .

He further alleged that the lawmaker tagged the rice with the President to curry favor from him and the party for his personal ambition of becoming the governor of Edo state.

Jimbo, however, said that the President and the federal government had plans to give the lawmakers palliatives for their constituents but the plans were yet to be actualized.

He added that the process had not been concluded to release any money or palliatives to the lawmakers, stressing that ‘’when it is done and money released, Nigerians will be informed.’’

Similarly in Cross River, Sen Asuquo Ekpenyong, representing the state’s Southern Senatorial District, said that no NASS member from Cross River received any rice consignment from the Federal Government as palliative for the festive season.

Ekpenyong, who spoke through his Media Aide, Mr Charles Ekanem in a telephone interview said that he distributed close to 2,000 bags of rice during the Yuletide in his senatorial district,

He explained that the rice was not from the President but from his personal expenditure and a gift for his constituents for the festive season.

“I contracted someone in Cross River who is a rice miller to package close to 2,000 bags of rice which were shared among my constituents, that was from my personal expenditure.

“The purported one from the President to the house of representatives members and senators has not been delivered yet, it is still in the pipeline.

“Although some house of representatives members have gotten theirs, I think it is those that have fulfilled the logistics requirements for the rice and it has been delivered to them, not everyone has received it,” he said.

On his part, Mr Bassey Akiba, member representing Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency said he had not received any rice consignment from the Federal Government.

According to him, when he does, he would make it open to the public in line with his policy thrust of transparency and accountability.

He added that what he distributed to his constituents during the Yuletide as gift was a personal act of love and compassion and not from the Federal Government.

In the same vein, some residents in Rivers said they were yet to benefit from alleged ‘Palliative Rice’ from the federal government.

Mr Titus Jones, Vice Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers, said that there was no Presidential palliative from the lawmakers during the yuletide celebrations.

According to him, we heard that President Bola Tinubu had requested the federal ministry of agriculture to disburse rice equivalent to N100m and N200m respectively to House of Representative members and the Senators.

“We are yet to get confirmation from the lawmaker representing our constituency as to when we should expect our disbursement, that’s if the rumour is true,” he said.

Similarly, a traditional ruler who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that some bags of rice were distributed during the general meeting of Chiefs’ Council held on Dec. 28.

He noted that such rice distribution during the yuletide celebrations had since been understood as a demonstration of benevolence by politicians and well-meaning individuals.

“Last year, we got some bags of rice from some politicians, the governor, Siminialaye Fubara and even the former governor, Nyesom Wike.

“None of the grains distributed was said to have come from the Presidency,” he added.

On his part, Rivers Information Commissioner, Mr Joseph Johnson said that he was not aware of a presidential palliative during the festive season.

He, however, said that he was also looking forward to seeing the state benefit from such support from the Presidency.

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Presidency solidly behind Ganduje – Kano APC

The leadership of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kano, on Friday, declared that the Presidency is fully backing the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in the current political war being waged by his detractors to unseat him.

The party said that the Presidency has been giving Ganduje every support and encouragement he deserves to retain his seat and continue his assignment as the helmsman of the APC at the national level.

The spokesperson of APC in Kano, Alhaji Ahmad Aruwa, denied accusing the Presidency of fueling the crisis against Ganduje.

Aruwa who was quoted in a short video that went viral on social media pointing accusing fingers at some element in the presidency igniting the confusion that led to the purported suspension of Ganduje insisted he was quoted out of contest.

He said he has firm loyalty to President Bola Tinubu led Federal Government which accounted to the overwhelming support the president received in Kano during the last general election.

He made the clarification on Friday while reacting to media report that quoted him accusing the presidency of sabotaging Dr. Ganduje on the purported suspension of his membership from APC.

Aruwa maintained that those trying to reconstruct his comment on the persecution of Dr. Ganduje were the enemies of the party who have invested resources to destroy the mutual relationship between the president and the former Governor of Kano.

He insisted he has no intention to and would not constitute any act that would, damage the loyalty and mutual respect that exit between the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ganduje and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Kano APC spokesman further asserted that Dr. Ganduje remains the only strong pillar and dependable defender who can guarantee the future political success of president Tinubu’s political in Kano.

According to him: “We have high respect for our president and leader of our party, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and he remains our choice of leader in Kano. We have demonstrated our commitment to the political ambition of president Tinubu in the last general election and we are ready to do more in subsequent election.

” We equally want to declare that our leader and national Chairman of our great party Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is committed and remains loyal to the president regardless of whatever anybody may want to ochestrate. No amount of plot will divide the mutual relationship between the president and Ganduje.” ( PM)

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Damagum remains PDP acting national chairman

Alhaji Umar Damagum, will continue as the Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic party, pending the election of a new chairman in August, the National Executive Committee (NEC) has said.

This, the party said was to ensure reconciliation and to take care of other issues within the party.

“We will look at the issue of leadership and look at the issue of our constitution where it will be and we will do it without rancour,” chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State told journalists at the end of the 98th NEC meeting of the party on Thursday in Abuja.

“In the next two months we will see a lot of activities, leadership is a responsibility. We said in September that we would have come out from our congresses.

Bala added that the successful conduct of the party’s NEC meeting was an indication that there was no dissension and rancour within the leadership.

“It was planned that the party will have an explosion. PDP is more than that, we have gone beyond all these ideocracies. This party is a united party that is guided by experience and constitutionality.

“There were a lot of permutations and mischievous thinking outside there. But we looked at all the issues and we worked along our guidelines and constitution. There is no problem or dissension and problem among members,” he said.

Also speaking, Damagum said that the leadership of the party was not a do or die affair.

“This is not a matter of life and death. I am still an elected member of this NEC. Even if I revert to deputy national chairman I’m still a member of NWC. The issue of surviving or not does not emerge,” he said.

Also, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba said that issue of the party leadership would be considered in August.

“Our party emphasizes the need for reconciliation and stability within the party at this time. Therefore, the issue of the National Chairman, Damagum, has been deferred to the next NEC meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for Aug. 15,” he said.

Ologunagba later read the communique at the end of the meeting, saying that the NEC tasked all organs, leaders, stakeholders and members of the PDP to close ranks and put aside their differences and work together to reposition and return the PDP to power.

He said that the NEC also received and approved the timetable for the party’s congresses across the country.

“NEC also approved the Reconstitution of the Party Disciplinary and Reconciliation Committees to further ensure the stability of the Party.

“Similarly, NEC approved the extension of the life of the Party Constitution Amendment Committee to allow it to receive new amendment proposals for inclusion in its deliberation and final report for consideration by NEC.

“NEC commended the efforts of the National Working Committee in its effort towards rebranding the Party including the new look PDP Logo which is widely accepted by Party members and Nigerians in general.

“NEC charges all Party members to continue to work together for the success of the PDP for the benefit of Nigerians and sustenance of Democracy in our country,” he said.

Ologunagba said that the NEC advised President Bola Tinubu to convene a special National Security Council meeting to proffer a holistic solution to the current security challenge facing the country.

He said that the NEC also urged Tinubu to rejig his economic team to include individuals with proven integrity and competence to assist in repositioning the economy.

“NEC further demands that the Federal Government should review all policies and programmes which are stifling the economy with suffocating effect on the lives of citizens; including the increase in price of fuel without cushioning measures, hike in electricity tariff, increased taxation and implementation of adverse fiscal policies,” he said.

The meeting was attend by former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr Nyesom Wike, NWC members, BOT members, serving governors and members of the National Assembly.(NAN)

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Kano court reverses Ganduje’s suspension

A Federal High Court in Kano has halted the suspension of the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The ruling came on Wednesday after Ganduje filed an ex parte motion seeking to enforce his fundamental right to fair hearing.

The respondents in the application are the Police, Department of State Services, DSS, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, and nine others.

On April 16, APC executives in Dawakin Ward, Tofa LGA of Kano State, suspended Ganduje over alleged corruption.

However, the State Working Committee, SWC, of the APC in Kano nullified the suspension and punished the ward executives.

But a Kano High Court presided by Justice Usman Na’Abba upheld the suspension.

In the ex parte order delivered on Wednesday by the Federal High Court and made available to newsmen on Thursday, a Kano High Court presided by Justice A. M Liman ruled that the suspension should not be implemented until the case filed by Ganduje is heard and determined.

“All the respondents, their servants, agents or privies are hereby restrained from implementing and/or giving effect to the purported decision reached during the purported emergency meeting of the alleged executive members of APC Ganduje Ward, held at Ganduje Ward of Dawakin Tofa Local.

“All the parties are hereby mandated to maintain status quo before the purported emergency meeting of the alleged executive members of APC Ganduje Ward, and to stay action in respect of this matter pending the hearing and determination of the substantive application,” Justice Liman said.

The judge subsequently fixed April 30 to hear Ganduje’s suit

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