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ECOWAS: 31 of 35 Nigerian MPs absent for their country report



Members of ECOWAS Parliament seated with some empty seats mostly belonging to absent Nigerian MPs

Members of ECOWAS Parliament seated with some empty seats mostly belonging to absent Nigerian MPs

Only four out of 35 Nigerian representatives to the ECOWAS Parliament were on Wednesday present at the presentation of the Nigerian Country Report at the First Session of the Parliament.

The absence of the 31 representatives is coming days after only 19 of 35 representatives were reported to have attended the opening session of the Parliament.

During the Ordinary Sessions of the Parliament, the 15 ECOWAS member nations present reports on their countries. The report bothers on the Political situation, Economic situation, Human rights situation and many more relating to their countries.

Our correspondent reports that only two representatives Hon. Ibrahim Sadiq who read the report and Hon. Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi were sighted on the floor of the ECOWAS Parliament.

However, a member of Parliament from Ghana, Hon Opare-Ansah Frederick who observed the embarrassing absence of Nigerian representatives expressed displeasure that only four Nigerians were present for the report.

Fredrick particularly expressed displeasure at the absence of the Nigerians especially on a day when the Nigerian Country Report was being presented.

“Mr Speaker, on a day when Nigeria is presenting her country report, one would have expected that the representatives from Nigeria would be well represented.

“We see them here, but on a day when we are taking their report only four of them are here. In fact I saw one of them leaving right after the report,” he said.

On the issue of community levy, the Ghanaian MP joined many other members to call on Nigeria to play her big brother role and pay her community levy stressing that Nigeria was the biggest economy on whose shoulders the success or failure of ECOWAS laid the most.

Our correspondent reports that the issue of poor attendance by Nigerian representatives has been a recurring decimal.

At the last session of the Parliament in 2017, the Speaker of the Parliament Moustapha Cisse Lo particularly frowned at the low attendance by the Nigerian representatives.

Our correspondent reports that rather than step up their attendance, many Nigerian representatives still shunned the parliament. Some of them only come in, sign the attendance and leave story.

A particular Nigerian Representative from the South-South has gained popularity for coming late: and rather than sit and contribute to plenary, goes about exchanging pleasantries with other Members of Parliament who are going about their businesses.

Reacting to the interventions by other members of parliament, Nigeria representative, Hon. Lafiagi apologized for the very low turn-out of Nigerians.

He explained that the low turnout was almost unavoidable as the 2018 Budget of Nigeria was scheduled for passage in both chambers of the Nation’s National Assembly.

“It is particularly very bad today because budget this year had been delayed, the budget is being passed today in both houses. That is one reason why a lot of us are absent today.

“Another issue that causes this is because we are based here and the parliaments meet at the same time, that is why many of us go to attend, especially on a Wednesday when it is on live TV

“Saturdays’ attendance was poor because congresses were going on, so members have to go to their constituencies to organize for the congresses.

“I must also apologise for the absence of a lot of our colleagues. We will convey the message to let them know that their brothers are missing them,” he said.

Speaking on the non-payment of the community levy, Lafiagi stressed that the delay in the passage of the nation’s budget had affected the payment.

He however assured that Nigeria was committed to meeting up with its obligation with regards to the payment of its levies.

Below is a list of Nigerian federal lawmakers (Senators and members of the House of Representatives) who are members of the ECOWAS Parliament.

Sulaiman Lasun Yussuff

Mohammed Ali Ndume

Foster Ogola

Ibrahim Danbaba Abdullahi

Gershom Otu Bassey

Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah

Mao A. Ohuabunwa

Yele Omogunwa

Tijjani Yahaya Kaura

Mustapha Bukar

Biodun Christine Olujimi

Ahmad Moallahyidi Abubakar

Isah Misau Hamma

Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi

Joshua Chibi Dariye

Rilwan Adesoji Akanbi

Nelson Asuquo Efiong

Adamu Dali Usman Kamale

Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu

Mani Aminu Ashiru

Dickson Dominic Tarkighir

Shehu Garba Sarkin-Noma

Salisu Garba Koko

Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi

Sani Mohammed Aliyu Rano

Sadiq Ibrahim

Olatunbosun George Oladele

Abdullahi Balarabe Salame

Magaji Dau Aliyu

Bassey Eko Ewa

Sulaiman Romo Aliyu

Abdullahi Idris Garba Kontagora

Solomon Ahwinahwi

Asabe Vilita Bashir

Emmanuel Isaac Ukoete

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Curfew in Bauchi after violence



Gov. Mohammed Abubakar

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar

Violence that erupted over a disagreement at a birthday party has forced Bauchi State government has imposed a curfew on Yelwa community, a suburb of Bauchi metropolis.

Gov. Mohammed Abubakar announced on Tuesday in Bauchi that the restriction of movement from 7 p.m to 6 a.m until normalcy returns to the affected area.

A minor disagreement at a birthday party by some youths in the community turned violent.

The fracas claimed at least three lives while two houses and a car were burnt early Nov. 19, the state police command confirmed.

“The government has decide to impose a curfew from the hours of 7.00pm to 6.00am from today, Tuesday, 20th November 2018, until further notice in the following areas of Yelwan Tsakani, Unguwan Kusu, Unguwan Gas, Lushi and Kagadama,” the governor said.

He explained that the measure was taken to ensure peace among the communities and to prevent hoodlums in the affected areas from further escalating the disturbance from spreading to other parts of the state.

Abubakar regretted that the unfortunate incident had resulted in affecting the relative peace enjoyed in the state since inception of his administration.

“This had come at a time when Federal Government is taking necessary measures to restore peace in some parts of the country ravaged by communal conflicts.

“We must therefore not allow ourselves to be used by disgruntled elements who may want to plant seeds of discord among us,” he urged.

The governor however appealed to traditional rulers, community and religious leaders to preach tolerance, peace and respect for one another to their followers.

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Ex-UK Secretary warns international investors to be careful about investing in Buhari’s Nigeria



 Priti Patel

Priti Patel

A former United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, has warned international investors to be careful when deciding to invest in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Conservative Member of Parliament delivered a severely critical review of the Nigerian president’s economic policies in an op-ed she wrote for City A.M. which was published on Monday, November 19, 2018.

Patel accused the Nigerian government of seeking international investment while it has continued to flout international law and convention.

To illustrate the president’s hostile actions towards investors in the country, Patel pointed to Buhari’s decision to cancel a deal the previous government had made with Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) while also refusing to honour court decisions over the resulting conflict.

She wrote, “However, as with all investments, investors should know of the corrosive effect of corruption, as well as the lack of transparency and associated difficulties of doing business in certain countries.

“In Nigeria, the unhappy experience of the firm founded by two Irishmen, Process and Industrial Development (P&ID), is a case in point, and demonstrates the risk that businesses will face in Nigeria.

“In 2010, P&ID signed a 20-year contract with the Nigerian government to create a new natural gas development refinery, but the project fell through after the Nigerian government reneged on its contractual commitments.

“Upon taking office, President Buhari promptly cancelled a compensation settlement, and has done his level best to pretend Nigeria’s obligations to P&ID do not exist.

“Since Buhari reneged on this deal, P&ID has undertaken legal efforts to affirm a tribunal award, first decided in London. It also made several attempts in court to force the Nigerian government to respect its obligations.

“The most recent court decision at a London tribunal confirmed that the Nigerian government owes P&ID almost $9bn for the initial breach of contract, loss of income, additional costs, and interest accrued after five years of non-payment.

“However, the Nigerian government has continued to flout international law and convention, and it refuses to respect the various court decisions.”
She noted that Nigeria’s 145th place on the world’s ranking for ease of doing business “demonstrates the risks of investment into Nigeria”.

She further cast doubts over President Buhari’s ability to fight corruption, noting that it has gotten worse under his administration according to Transparency International’s ranking. She concluded by saying investors should be wary of doing business in Nigeria.

She wrote, “President Buhari currently faces serious allegations, which include staging show trials of opponents of a regime that is accused of corruption and graft, while simultaneously shielding his own party members and inner circle.

“We should all welcome international efforts to attract international investment into developing economies. However, to do this successfully Nigeria must seriously tackle corruption, rather than use it as a smokescreen. It must honour its obligations to companies like P&ID.
“Until then, investors inevitably will be very wary of investing in Nigeria.”

President Buhari has been accused in several quarters of taking economic decisions that have made conducting business in the country a nightmare. His handling of the economy is a major issue going into the 2019 presidential election as he seeks a second term in the Presidential Villa.

His biggest challenger, Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, is running largely on his self-proclaimed ability to strengthen Nigeria’s economy and ease the nation of the burden of 88 million people living in extreme poverty, the highest in the world.

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CAN urged to sanction members fueling insecurity, making hate speeches in Nigeria



A group, Christians Without Border, has called on the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to sanction members fueling insecurity in the country.

The group said the idea of promoting hate speeches from the pulpit was fast becoming a normal trend among ordained Messengers of God these days, development it said is bothersome.

CWB also chided the leadership of CAN for maintaining undignified silence; by failing to caution its members and Pastors who are in the habit promoting hate speeches and making provocative statements from sacred altars.

“Not even an ordinary condemnatory statement has been issued by CAN to denounce such hate sermons,” Elder Simon Ainoko, President lamented at a press conference on Tuesday.

Elder Ainoko said the group was also uncomfortable with the recent demand for the removal of service chiefs by the leadership of CAN led by its National President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle during a visit to President Muhammedu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He bemoaned that the current leadership of the Christian body was gradually deviating from the dream of the founding fathers of the association who were apolitical.

It, therefore, charged the body to sanction any member of pastor caught making inflammatory comments that could unsettle the peace of the nation.

His words, “The Concerned Christian Forum is uncomfortable with some of the issues raised with Mr. President at the visit by the CAN leadership. By our interpretation some of the views canvassed by CAN have partisan flavor, which we have reason to believe is unhealthy for the Body of Christ.

“CAN is expected to be neutral and impartial on the affairs of Nigeria, especially sensitive issues. We suffered greatly in recent history, when the immediate past leadership of CAN dragged the Body of Christ into partisan politics. One of the repercussions was that the Roman Catholic Church, one of the major blocs, suspended its membership of CAN because of the apparent embarrassment the partisan indulgence caused Christians in Nigeria. We cannot afford a relapse into this era of disunity and lack of cohesion within the Body of Christ, hence the need for caution.

“We do not think, it is appropriate for CAN to dabble into how Mr. President should appoint his security chiefs or how long they should serve in that capacity. It appreciated the efforts of the Security Chiefs in curtailing the menace of Boko Haram terrorism and other insurgencies.

“For CAN to posture in a manner indicative of indicting the Presidency on such crisis especially in states like Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna and Zamfara states depreciates the dignity they ought to embody. CAN’s utterances and comments on such sensitive issues should be more of supporting government to enthrone peace and unity.

“In the year 2017 alone some Pastors and CAN members stood on the sacred altars of their churches and spewed hate speeches’, directing their members to go out and kill Fulani herdsmen at sight. A few examples will illustrate us better and how CAN is failing us.

“Apostle Johnson Suleiman of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, boasted of directing his congregants during the service of Sunday, January 15th, 2017 that “I have told them in the church here, that any Fulani herdsman that just entered by mistake, Kill him, Kill Him. Cut his head. If they are busy killing Christians and nothing is happening, we will kill them and nothing will happen,” and the video went viral on social media.

“And also last year, a Senior pastor with Mountain of Liberation and Miracle Ministries, Mr. Chris Okafor, said this during a church service, “Enough is enough, no Christian must be killed anymore, if you want to kill one Christian, we are going to reply, we will defend ourselves”

“So, we advise the Body of Christ to be more circumspect in their utterances, least, they be misconstrued as extending support to forces against the progress of Nigeria.”

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