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FG’ll Go After Economic Saboteurs Next Year, Bamidele Reveals



Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
Senate Leader, Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele

Insists N’Assembly will pass 2023 appropriations bill on Dec. 30

The Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele has revealed that the federal government will, from next year, go after economic saboteurs who made lives difficult and unbearable for Nigerians.

Bamidele, also Chairman of the Southern Senators Forum in the ninth National Assembly, insisted that the National Assembly would pass the 2024 appropriations bill on December 30 to sustain the January-December budget cycle.

He made this disclosure at a session with journalists in Iyin Ekiti on Monday, saying all federal lawmakers would have to cut short their holidays to ensure speedy passage of the 2024 appropriations bill.

At the session, Bamidele expressed grave concerns about the activities of economic saboteurs who were doing everything to keep exchange rates high against the Naira or trying to make the Naira unavailable to the people who kept their money in banks.

He therefore revealed that the federal government “will, from next year, go after economic saboteurs who are making life difficult and unbearable for Nigerians. The federal government will charge, prosecute and punish them for their acts of economic sabotage.

“All these will take place next year. In the long run, those who mopped up the Naira and Dollars from the markets will face the consequences of their actions. Those who mopped up the Dollars to keep commodity prices will definitely not escape justice.

“Those who are speculating are also on the watch list of the federal government. At some points, the federal government will have to go after them,” the senate leader revealed the plan of the federal government.

Beyond all these activities of economic saboteurs, Bamidele assured Nigerians that Nigeria would witness a true era of Renewed Hope that would herald development, progress and prosperity, citing diverse plans the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had put in place to transform the national economy.

He revealed the plan of the federal government “to invest heavily in agriculture and agro-allied industries. We are equally doing all we can to harness our solid minerals potential as much as what we derive from the sale of crude oil. We are determined to sustain the daily production of 1.7 million barrels.”

Providing further updates on the 2024 appropriation bill, the senate leader assured Nigerians that the National Assembly would pass the budget on December 30.

“To ensure the passage of the budget, We abridged time to make all ministries, departments and agencies appear before the joint sitting of all the relevant committees of both the Senate and House of Representatives.

“This has already reduced the time for the budget defence process by half rather than appearing before the Senate first and House of Representatives later. The resolution has also removed the need for harmonisation. In essence, we have been able to save time.

“We have also been sitting beyond our regular sitting days. We have sat on Saturdays. We may even sit on Sunday as we are approaching another year. We only give ourselves three days to go home and celebrate Christmas.

“We are reconvening on December 29. Our hope and determination is to pass by December 30. On January 1, 2024, Mr President will have the 2024 appropriation bill at his desk for assent so that its implementation can take off in earnest,” Bamidele explained.

Speaking about the consequence of fuel subsidy removal, Bamidele said the federal government was not unmindful of its impact on Nigerians, though defended the decision of the federal government to it.

He explained that the federal government took the decision in the best interest of Nigerians because Nigerians were not really benefiting from the fuel subsidy regime.

He said: “We are not unmindful of the immediate impact of the fuel subsidy removal. But we are convinced subsidy removal is a right decision taken because no other person than a cabal in the oil and gas industry and their promoters in the government were benefitting from the fuel subsidy regime.

“No one else is actually benefiting from the fuel subsidy. It was not about the people because the masses were not benefitting from it in any way. It was a major source of bleeding in our economy.

“This administration did the right thing by putting an end to the fuel subsidy regime. Part of what we have seen after the fuel subsidy removal was a fight back from those who were the beneficiaries of the fuel subsidy regime.

“They are doing everything possible to make sure the pump price of premium motor spirit goes up because we are more of a consumer economy. We do not produce. A lot of things we are consuming in Nigeria are imported.

“What this means is that if Naira is devalued either consciously against the Dollars or commodities imported to Nigeria, we have to spend more to bring these things. The supplier will have to sell them at a higher rate. This trend is making commodity prices go out of the reach of the Nigerians.

“People’s income has not increased. Yet, they have to pay double for a bag of rice today compared to what they paid one or two years ago. This is extremely painful for all Nigerians. How many Nigerians can afford a bag of rice today without a corresponding increase in their income?

“Nigerians are working so hard. But the prices are rising out of their purchasing powers. These are some of the immediate effects of very drastic economic decisions taken by the federal government. But its long term effect will, God’s grace, stabilise the economy.”

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Supreme Court Judgement: Senate Leader Faults Stampeding Judiciary into Partisan Politics



President Bola Tinubu
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu


…Celebrates Tinubu’s victory at the Supreme Court

As the Supreme Court Thursday affirmed the election of President Bola Tinubu unanimously, the Leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele warned opposition parties and their candidates against stampeding the judiciary into partisan politics through disinformation, mal-information and misinformation.

Bamidele, who chaired the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters in the ninth National Assembly, kicked against how they unduly dragged the judiciary into partisan politics in pursuit of their selfish interests at the expense of the collective interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.

He expressed these grave concerns in a statement his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs issued on Thursday in Abuja following the decision of the apex court that affirmed the election of President Tinubu.

While celebrating the victory of the president at the apex court, Bamidele condemned the undue blackmailing of the judiciary even before the petitions of the opposition parties and their candidates were decided.

He observed that the judiciary “is one of the most consistent, dependable and reliable democratic institutions that still stands for and with the oppressed in this federation. It is therefore amoral and immoral for any political actor or party to subject the judiciary to media trial rather than abiding by the rules of law.

“Judiciary has never been vilified in the recent history of this federation by petitioners who at different times benefitted tremendously from the independence and neutrality of the judiciary,” the senate leader noted with grave concern.

At the inception, Bamidele noted that the petitioners “claimed to have won the 2023 presidential elections during their separate world press conferences. But when they failed to prove their cases, they selfishly resorted to blackmailing the time-tested institutions, especially the judiciary

Beyond their campaign of calumny, he observed that the decisions of the appellate and apex courts “have clearly shown that the last elections are the most credible since the beginning of the Fourth Republic with the deployment of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, which the Independent National Electoral Commission used for the conduct of the elections.

He, therefore, commended the apex court for standing for the truth and truth alone amid ferocious, needless and relentless intimidation of judicial officers by the petitioners, who trampled upon the national interest in pursuit of their self-centric political agenda.

Now that Judiciary has concluded all the presidential election petitions in favour of President Tinubu, Bamidele warned all political actors, interests and parties “to henceforth stop playing politics with the rule of law and the integrity of the judiciary.”

He, also, warned them “against the perverse culture of stampeding the judiciary into partisan politics. As far as Nigeria is concerned, judiciary remains an unbiased arbiter wholly committed to the dispensation of justice without regard to any ethnic, economic, political, religious consideration.

“It is therefore unfair and uncalled to paint the judiciary, the only source of hope for the oppressed, black in the eyes of the whole world. This does not harm the judiciary alone, but also portray all of us, Nigerians at home and in the diaspora, bad before the eyes of the whole world. This is completely unacceptable! And it must be stopped!”

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Professor Soyinka Remains A Source Of Inspiration, Says Tinubu



Prof Wole Soyinka


President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has poured encomiums on Nobel Laureate and elder statesman, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on his 89th birthday, describing him as a veritable source of support, inspiration and encouragement.

Tinubu’s praises for the Laureate was contained in a statement on Thursday by his spokesman, Dele Alake.

The President, who called Professor Soyinka a brother and comrade in the struggle for the restoration and entrenchment of democracy and good governance in Nigeria, commended him for his immense contributions to the country’s development.

“Today, I celebrate Nobel Laureate, elder statesman and pro-democracy activist, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on his attainment of 89.

“Renowned playwright, poet, novelist, Professor Wole Soyinka has done a lot for Nigeria. In the literary world, he remains a giant, an Iroko. Importantly, his contributions to the struggle for the restoration and institutionalization of democracy and good governance in Nigeria are indelible.

“Together, along with other activists, we fought for democracy under the aegis of NADECO at great risks to our personal lives.

“Professor Soyinka remains a beacon and a source of inspiration and support to many of us.

“As he attains 89 today, we pray that God Almighty grant him more years and strength so he can be around to witness the new Nigeria we are building in line with our Agenda for a Renewed Hope for the country, where security, prosperity and economic development will reign supreme.”

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