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CONSTITUTION REVIEW: WE’LL CONTINUE TO ENGAGE GULAK’S CHAMBERS – SENATE

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DEP PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, SEN. OVIE OMO-AGEGE, ADDRESSING HAJIA JEMILA GULAK, WIDOW OF THE LATE ALHAJI AHMED GULAK
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Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has explained that a successful outcome of the ongoing constitution review by the 9th Assembly would be an unforgettable tribute to the memory of the late Alhaji Ahmed Gulak who was killed in Owerri, Imo State while on national assignment.

Omo-Agege who made this disclosure when he led a delegation of the National Assembly leadership on a condolence visit to Hajia Jemila Gulak, widow of the slain lawyer and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, described the death as a personal loss going by his deep and close relationship with Gulak spanning several years at both political and professional levels.

Members of the delegation included the Senate Leader, Senator Abdullahi Yahaya; Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Omo-Agege, while disclosing that Gulak was one out of the three consultants that were in Owerri for the Constitutional Review zonal public hearing, assured the family members that the professional services of Gulak’s chambers would still be retained by the committee, assuring that everything would be done to cushion the effects of the loss on the family.

He said: “Before the unfortunate incident involving the demise of our friend and brother, we engaged him as a consultant to the committee and he had, on our mandate, gone to Owerri as one of three consultants to assist members of the committee that were sent to Owerri to conduct the zonal hearing. So, he had been there in his capacity as a consultant during this unfortunate incident that occurred. He was on national assignment on behalf of the National Assembly.

“We would have come to condole with you much earlier, but a lot of us here have very personal relationship with Gulak and for me, it was so many years with him and we find it very difficult to confront the fact that we have actually lost him. It is easy for others to condole and just move on but most of us are in denial and that is why we kept away until this time but it is something we must do. We cannot shy away from the fact that we lost him and we thought that as leaders of the committee, it would be proper that we come in today and condole with you.

“In the course of his services to us as a committee, he was everything we expected. He wasn’t there because of political relationships but in his capacity as a brilliant lawyer, apart from being the former Speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly and Political Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

“I knew him in terms of those capacities but more importantly that he was a member of my own legal profession where he excelled and finally, it was in that capacity that we engaged him into the committee. So, this is a very deep, personal loss to me, to all of us and frankly to the country”.

The Delta Central lawmaker said the best tribute the National Assembly can give the deceased is to ensure that the Constitution Review exercise meets the yearnings and aspirations of most Nigerians.

“He (Gulak) wanted us to have a very thorough, professional constitutional review job and I think that is the least we owe him and we are determined to ensure that his memory will be remembered at the end of the exercise.

 

“So, on behalf of the President of the Senate, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the whole family. I want the family to know that we are always here; always feel free to stay close and don’t let his demise be the end of that relationship,” Omo-Agege added.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Senator Abubakar Umar Gada, a personal friend to the late Gulak, tasked the delegation on the need to assist the family and immortalise his name by ensuring that nothing is done to frustrate the outcome of the amendment of the Constitution.

His words: “We cannot use any words to express our appreciation and gratitude for this visit. It shows the importance and caliber of the person the nation has lost and the nation mourns his demise but we are submitting ourselves to the will of Allah.

“There is not much to say because the leader of the delegation, His Excellency, the Deputy President of the Senate has already spoken”.

With Gada were Ambassador Umar Damagum, Alhaji Mainasara Sokoto and two children of Gulak, Dr. Mustapha Gulak and Zainab Gulak Esq.

 

 

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Nationwide Strike : TUC Faults NLC

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NLC and TUC logo
NLC and TUC logo
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The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has raised alarm that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)  not carry it along before declaring a two-day nationwide industrial action planned for February 27 and 28, 2024.

TUC Secretary General Nuhu Toro, in a letter to the NLC leadership dated February 19, 2024, expressed disappointment that the Joe Ajaero-led labour group did not carry the Festus Osifo-led trade association along before declaring a planned strike despite that the two groups unanimously issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement its agreement with the Organised Labour and address the mounting economic crisis of survival in Nigeria.

The TUC said the 14-day ultimatum will expire today (Thursday) and both centres ought to agree on the next step but the NLC on February 16 declared a two-day protest to commence after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum it jointly issued to the government.

The TUC general secretary said, “It is important that this is the third time that such unilateral declaration is happening under your leadership, we are therefore constrained to formally put this on record as various discussions, communications and interventions have failed. First and second time could pass as human error but a third time would in our opinion translate to an intentional act to undermine us.

“Also note that we are not averse to the issuance of your resolution because our members equally feel the pain, even if it’s a weeklong national strike, but we have a huge problem with the unilateral declaration for a process we both muted and agreed, because our members are equally concerned about the rising cost of living and not particularly the ultimatum, why can’t we see through the ultimatum that expires within the same period before jointly addressing other issues of mutual concern or at worst consolidate them?

“For the avoidance of doubt, we fully understand that NLC is an independent labour force centre that has the right to take independent decision, it is pertinent that when such decisions are taken unilaterally, there is need to go ahead and implement unilaterally.”

The Department of State Services (DSS) has since urged the NLC to shun the planned strike, pursue dialogue and negotiation, instead of engaging in actions that could escalate tensions but the Ajaero-led group has insisted on going ahead with the industrial action.

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National Assembly To Consider Fresh Legal Framework For State Police – Bamidele

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Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The National Assembly has disclosed that it will consider a legal framework for the creation of state police and for the gathering of local intelligence about the activities of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists.

The legislature also challenged the local government council authorities, traditional rulers and community leaders to mobilise local vigilantes, hunters and able-bodied youths in defence of their communities and territories.

The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele made these remarks on behalf of all the recipients of honorary doctorate degrees at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti on Saturday.

Apart from Bamidele who received Honorary Doctorate Degree in Private Law, the university conferred similar honours on Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Olamilekan Adeola and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Navy, Hon. Yusuf Daji, among others.

Speaking on behalf of all the awardees, Bamidele revealed the resolve of the National Assembly to develop a legal framework and support local intelligence gathering to tame the tide of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism.

Specifically, the senate leader pleaded with the critical stakeholders – traditional rulers, community leaders, vigilante groups and able-bodied youths – on the need to provide useful information to the state security services on the activities of criminal elements disrupting our national peace.

According to him, all the state security services require community, group and individual support to decisively confront the menace of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism across the federation.

Bamidele said: “More than ever before, the National Assembly is working tirelessly to provide the necessary legislative framework to strengthen community policing and multi-level security architecture.

“Developing such a legal framework has become imperative at this time in our history. This plan is in the overriding public interest of safeguarding the security of lives and property, the stability of our democracy and the progress of our fatherland.

“The cases of abduction, killings, maiming, population displacement and disruption of socio-economic activities in Benue, Ekiti, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Ondo, Plateau, Sokoto and Zamfara in recent times have called for an urgent and decisive action by all state actors and other stakeholders.”

He expressed dismay with spate of insecurity in the country, saying Justice would duly be served to those were complicit in the recent abduction of pupils of Apostolic Faith Nursery and Primary School, Emure-Ekiti and their teachers and the gruesome killing of two of two traditional rulers – Onimojo of Imojo Ekiti, Oba Olatunde Olusola and Elesun of Esun-Ekiti, Oba Babatunde Ogunsakin in the Oke-Ako area of Ikole Local Government.

He further warned that the day of reckoning “is already at hand for those behind abduction, maiming and killing in Ekiti and other states of the federation. None of them will escape the long arm of the law. In Ekiti, we are peace-loving people. But nobody should take our spirit of good neighborliness and accommodation for granted for any reason.

On the economic crisis, Bamidele reassured Nigerians that relief is already in sight soon considering strategic reforms the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been taking to revive the economy.

Also at the convocation, Adeola vowed to give priority to the country’s educational sector, especially where and whenever he had the opportunity to make such contributions.

Adeola, currently representing Ogun West in the Senate, thanked the leadership of the institution for bestowing the honorary doctorate on accountancy on him.

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Uba Sani Blames Poverty, Hopelessness, Others For Insecurity In North-West   

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Kaduna State Governor, Uba Sani
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The governor of Kaduna State, Uba Sani, says poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and lack of education are the major reasons insecurity is festering in the Northwestern part of the country.

Sani, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday, monitored in Abuja  said that the issue of banditry and kidnapping in the North-west is different from that of insurgency in the North-East.

“The North-West crisis has to do with banditry and kidnapping, it is economic problem. When you look at the situation critically, you will agree with me that most of those bandits always kidnap innocent people and ask for ransom and whenever they are given money, they will release the victims in many cases and some cases when there is a delay they end up taking the lives of those victims.

“And when you look at the situation, you also look at the problem of poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and lack of education particularly in the Northwestern part of Nigeria, that is the reason why a lot of these incidents happen,” Governor Sani said.

The governor maintained that statistics has proven that greater percentage of people living in the North-West are living below poverty line, adding that a lot of out of school children in the country are also from the North-West zone.

“The last time I checked, and you can confirm from the SDGs recent report, you would agree with me that about 80 to 90% of the people living in the Northwestern part of Nigeria are living below the poverty line and of course if you look at the statistics of out of school children, you can see that a lot of the are from the Northwestern part of Nigeria,”he said.

Governor Sani said that bringing the criminals and pardoning them when they surrender is only one aspect of non-kinetic approach of ending the insecurity which according to him, is not the most important aspect.

The most important approach to ending the menace as he noted, is looking at the condition of the people generally which includes the poverty, unemployment and hopelessness.

 

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