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APC Faulty Zoning: Being in Speakership Race Not Disloyalty to Party – Hon. Dyegh

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APC Faulty Zoning: Being in Speakership Race Not Disloyalty to Party - Hon. Dyegh
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As the race for the Speakership position of the Green Chamber toughens up, there are many interests from different viewpoints which comprises of Party interest, Regional interest, Personal interest and others to mention. Above all these interests, the interest for a quality representation of the general populace supersedes them all.

On these backdrops, expectations are high of anyone who emerges the Apex Leadership figure of the Statutory Lawmaking Body as the Speaker of the Federal House of Representative. We took a tour to the office of one of the Speakership contestants, Rt. Hon. Dr. John Dyegh (Speaker for Justice & Fairplay), representing Gboko/Tarka Federal Constituency of Benue State at the Federal House of Representative.

Rt. Hon. Dr. Dyegh, made it clear in a media chat  with some journalists in Abuja recently that what drew his interest into the contest are the many questions 2019 electioneering year threw up. One of the questions like he pointed out is, ”why is there so much concentration and interest about South-West, over and above other regions?” He went on to state that South-West have Deputy Speaker position, they have the House Leader position, they also have the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, and now the Speakership position for the incoming 9th Assembly has been zoned and Micro-zoned to South-West. And this raises a question that need to be properly addressed.

Analysing the wisdom behind the decision of his Party (APC), he faults the zoning process that took away the Senate President position from the North-Central to the North-East, and the Speaker which was zoned to the Northeast to the Southwest, instead of zoning it back to the North-Central where the Senate position was taken away from. In his own words, Dyegh said, “I look at that as a mistake, and we are trying to make the Party correct that mistake”.

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Nigeria has Six Geopolitical Zones with a Constitution that clearly stipulates equal representation of the Six Zones in Governance. The President is from the North-West, North-East has been zoned for the Senate President, South-West has also sadly been zoned for the Speakership position, leaving North-Central with no principal officer of the Nation. This throws up a big question of, Where is the North-Central in the APC Government? Citing Section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which states that; “the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its Agencies and the conduct of its Affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and also to command National loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its Agencies”.

The Lawmaker reiterated the overwhelming contributions made by North-Central region in making APC Federal Government re-election a reality. He recounted that his Region after North-west and North-East, took the third position, over and above the Southwest that is being loaded with Political offices. Thus saying, “it will be fair if the position of the Speaker is given to the North Central, having taken away the seat of the Senate President to the North East”.

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The Aspiring Speaker refuted the rumour claiming his purported plan to step down, he categorically said; “I have not step down, I will not step down and I shall not step down. I have not seen any reason why I should ever step down for anybody outside North-Central”. He vowed to stand his ground in one voice with his people in the North Central who share same opinion that the party has made a mistake that should be corrected, “I insist, we in the North Central, we insist

Hon. Dyegh explained that his decision and that of his people from North Central not to back out of the race is not borne out of disloyalty or disobedient to Party decision, but the party has made a mistake and that needs to be corrected”. He reiterated his full support and unchangeable loyalty for President Buhari, and by extension his party (APC). While asking that the Party take advantage of the fact that North Central has entered the race for Speakership position and correct the mistake they made in zoning the post to South-west. This he believes is Justice and Fairplay, and would give the party a common front in securing the Speaker position against other parties.

He acknowledged the importance of each and every vote coming from the 360 Members in choosing the Speaker of the House. Saying that “the 9th Assembly is one Body, irrespective of party affiliation”, hence the need to canvas for votes across Party-Lines. He made bold to say that “it’s only a foolish man and a stupid man that will go into the race for a Speaker and will not talk to the opposition”.

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The Speaker-to-be and a CUSTODIAN in the act of Legislation, initiated for implementation a 7-Point Evidence-Based Legislative Agenda, where he called his Honourable Colleagues to key into the House Project for Harmony, Justice and Fairplay. Reminding all that the Project is a Pan-Nigerian Project, not driven by selfish Agenda.

He went further to commend the achievements of the 8th Assembly, pointing out areas of their quick intervention in issues of utmost and urgent National importance.

RT. Honey. Dr. John Dyegh,  “a thorough bred grass roots experienced politician remains one of the richest, having taken roots from the lowest ebb of the society” and is fully equipped intellectually to take the Federal House of Representatives smoothly to the Next Level on a platter of Peace and Harmony.

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Mercenaries Will Help Tackle Banditry, Terrorism – Hon Monguno

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The Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Hon Tahir Monguno, Member representing Marte/Monguno/Nganzai federal constituency Borno State has reiterated the need to bolster up the security architecture with mercenaries in order to bring the issues of banditry, insurgency and terrorism to nought.

In a chat with Informavores’ Ogechi Okorie, Hon Tahir Monguno talked about the just concluded APC convention, concerns for security, his constituency projects among other things.

The excerpts:

Honourable, some people were of the opinion that people were coerced into agreeing on a consensus in the just concluded APC convention. What is your take on that?

Being part and parcel of the process, and being one of the leaders of the party, I can assure you that nobody was coerced into accepting any consensus arrangement. In the first place, the positions were zoned into various geographical political zones and the geo political zones were asked to go and meet and then come up with names that they have agreed for each office that was allocated to them. it was based on this, (for example, the North Eastern part of the country, were given the position of deputy Chairman North. So all the leaders from the North Eastern part of the country met under the leadership of the Senate president and then decided to allocate to the various sets all the offices that were allocated to the North East zone e g We gave Adamawa State the position of Vice Chairman North East while Borno was given the deputy National Chairman North and then in Borno, haven been given that position of deputy National Chairman North, we agreed to give Senator Abubakar Kyari to occupy that position while Adamawa that was given the position of Vice Chairman North East, sat down and agreed on a particular candidate so that is how all the consensus candidates emerged.

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Nobody was coerced and nobody was forced to withdraw his contest for a particular position. Everything was done under their freewill and under their own volition. Nobody was forced to withdraw.

So it is purely a consensus arrangement having zoned the offices to various geo political zones and then the geo political zones met and micro zoned these offices to various states. That is how the leadership emerged.

Honourable, with the rate of insecurity and the general situation of the country right now, what do you think are the chances of APC come 2023 election?

The chances APC winning at all level, whether the state Houses of Assembly, the Governorship, the National Assembly and most importantly, the presidency, I assure you that APC will continue to maintain its winning streak against the backdrop of the various developmental programs that APC has embarked upon and also the various programs like N-PowerSUBEB, MARKETMONI, TRADERMONI etc and all the programs that directly impart on the lives of people and based on these programs, I am convinced that APC is still going to form a Federal government and retains its majority in the National Assembly.

It is obvious we have serious challenges especially with regards to security but again, government is not lying on it’s oars. We are doing everything possible to address the situation just like government dealt with Boko Haram insurgency in the North East to the extent that it has drastically reduced.

I believe government will continue doing everything possible to make sure that the problems we are having in the North Central and North West will also be tackled head-on in the way and manner that it tackled Boko Haram insurgency was tackled in the North East.

Honourable, it seems Nigeria is on a time bomb. Not too long ago, a train was attacked in Kaduna and is in this vein that Governor El-Rufai suggested the use of mercenaries to fight terrorists, Because it seems, every effort made by the federal government has not yielded any result. 

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Do you think hiring of mercenaries will solve the problem of terrorist activities in Nigeria.?

Before now, I advocated for recruitment of mercenaries to assist in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and during the time of Goodluck Jonathan, mercenaries were deployed in the fight against insurgency in the North East and I have consistently supported the idea of recruiting mercenaries. At this juncture the Nigerian military are overstretched. Ordinarily all these functions that are being done by the military, are supposed to be done by the police.

Their duty is to defend the territorial integrity of this country, but now that they are fighting insurgency in the North East, North West, North central and practically everywhere, and i am of the opinion that we should seriously consider the idea of recruiting mercenaries to aide in the fight against banditry, insurgency and all forms of criminality.

Honourable, i am aware this is your record 5th time in the House of Representatives, what have endeared you to your people in order for you to achieve this feat?

I will simply say it is the grace of God because power is from God. He gives to whom ever he wishes. Secondly you should be closer to your people and should always identify with their problems. You should be responsive and responsible to their yearnings and aspirations and try as much as possible, to resonate with that. That is the secret. Try the much you can to bring dividends of democracy to them, identify with them, empathise with them.

Honourable, Informavores gathered that you did a massive Constituency outreach some months ago in your constituency in Borno State. Can you put through some of the projects you executed?

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I had series of trainings and empowerment programs and this was initiated against the backdrop of the fact that my constituency is one of the constituencies that was ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency and also our governor was determined to return our people back to their respective constituencies and the gallantry display by the military of liberating these places from the strong hold of Boko Haram and as a result of this, our people have started going back to their respective communities and as a result, there is need to empowerment so that by the time they go back to their communities, they will pick back the pieces of their lives.

So I embarked upon this empowerment programs to help them get back on their feet. I also did a training on various aspects of Agriculture, Aquaculture etc.

A lot of infrastructure were destroyed as a result of activities of insurgents and I am constructing a big water works worth(560,000 000) five hundred and sixty million naira each in 2 local governments to provide water to the inhabitants of the 2 local governments particularly, the local government headquarters.

I also constructed clinics, schools etc just to bring about normalcy back to the lives of the people.

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Hon Beji Reiterates Displeasure Over Neglect To Recognize Young Soldier Victims Of Insecurity

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Hon Shehu Barwa Beji is a Nigeria House of Representative member representing Bosso/Paikoro Federal Constituency, Niger state. In this short media chat with Informavores in Abuja, Honourable Shehu Barwa, expressing displeasure over neglect to recognize young soldier victims of insurgency, bare his mind on issues bordering insecurity, empowerment, and the COVID-19 vaccine, among others. The excerpt:

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Hon. Insecurity in Nigeria, has gotten to an alarming state. Banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery has become the order of the day. Do you think the federal government has not been handling the issue very well?

If you are conversant with the happenings in the house, I moved a motion last year that has to do with removal of the service chiefs and what prompted me to do that was because, I felt that the security structure should be rejigged and when the people at the helms of affair, are not getting the job done, there is a need for a change. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Again, Banditry, Armed robbery and kidnappings has crept inside FCT and when we have that kind of situation, it is a matter of National emergency.

In the same vein, Niger state which I am representing the good people of Bosso/Paikoro Federal Constituency, has also been victims    of these incessant attacks. When I was campaigning for the removal of the service chiefs last year, I felt that the tactics they were using was not working. The military deploy their planes to fly over the areas to monitor what is going on but I have always believed that the best way to handle this issue, is military base/camp are set up in those areas that are known to be the den of this bandits /terrorist.

Sometime ago, some military personnel were killed by bandits and a colonel was among the people killed but sadly, only the colonel was given recognition. These people are young men who risk their lives on regulation basis to protect the lives of citizens so, when something like this happens, I think they deserve to be recognized and even honored be you a colonel or a junior officer. They have families and friends who they left behind so they shouldn’t go unrecognized as if they never existed.

So when that particular incident happened, I expressed my displeasure and I got commendation by some of these junior officer. The point here is the issue of security is a very serious one. I am a member of the ruling party but security matters, goes beyond politics and in one way or the other, everybody is being affected by this regardless of party affiliation or politics.

Hon. Many people are skeptical about taking the COVID-19 vaccines. What are your thoughts about that?

I am not a medical personnel but I am somebody that reads quite a lot. If people are skeptical, they have reasons to be. In the first place, normally it takes a couple of years for vaccines to manufacture but in this case, it took around 12 months to have the COVID-19 vaccines ready. Although the peculiarity of this deadly virus, it facilitated in the quick and early development of this particular vaccines. Though there has been some theories of reducing the black population, I don’t see any truth in that. As far as I know, 70% of the drugs we use in Nigeria, are imported from the western world so how come they have not used that particular avenue, to reduce the black population and as long as we cannot produce drugs ourselves, anyone (drug) that has been certified internationally by reputable organizations, will suffice.

I am yet to take the COVID-19 vaccines but I will definitely do so because I believe it is everybody’s interest to be vaccinated. I will also take my own vaccine publicly.

Let us come back home Sir. You must have made some campaign promises before you got elected into the federal House of Representatives. What have you been able to do for you people?

Before I came to National Assembly, I have been a Local Government Chairman and Vice Chairman back to back and secondly, I am not the kind of people who make so many promises. I rather believe in action. I believe that because of the confidence and trust my people have in me, I have been able to maintain the position of both vice Chairman and Chairman of Local government (a position I held several times) before coming to the House of Representatives.

The people of my constituency are basically farmers and understanding their needs, I made provisions for farming instruments for them. I made my people understand that the areas I will concentrate on, is Health and Education and also promised to tackle unemployment which I did through various youths empowerment.

This is my first time as a member of the House of Representatives and in my second year in the Ninth Assembly, I am happy to say that I have been able to touch these areas that I have mentioned already. Last year, I did empowerment program for youths and women in my constituency and after the program, I gave out materials to some tailors, barbers, welders and etc. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I realized the immediate needs of my people and quickly swung into action. I purchased drugs worth millions of naira and those drugs were distributed to all the clinics in my constituency to be given free of charge to my people and as I am talking to you, some of those drugs are available in some of the clinics in my constituency. During the COVID-19 lockdown, I started a community clinic in my community and any moment from now, I am going to officially declare it opened.

I have an upcoming empowerment program and I have provided sewing machines, grinding machines etc. I am going to give out those items to the beneficiaries. I am going to concentrate on people who have acquired the knowledge and needs the materials to start up.

Thank you very much Honourable.

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How Helping an Out of School Boy Spur Me into NGO Work – Lidwine

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Founder Lea Global Welfare Initiative Lidwine-Lea Olivier Ameh
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In the wake of COVID-19 Pandemic that is ravaging the entire world, activities were almost brought to total halt with enormous humanitarian crisis. In this interview with the founder of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Lea Global Welfare Initiative, Lidwine-Lea Olivier Ameh, the Online Editor and Social Media Strategist, AbdulRahman Obaje, peruse the extent of impact the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the Lockdown had on her NGO. Excerpts:

My name is Abdulrahman Obaje, an Online Editor and Social Media Strategist, may I meet you?

Thank you very much my name is Lidwine-Lea Olivier Ameh, I am the founder of Lea Global Welfare Initiative. An initiative that has been on for the past 3 years now. We have been working and working committedly and dedicatedly to ensuring that the welfare of Nigerians children, women and youths, and other people in Africa are being met. We have done that by reaching out to children, reaching out to the youths and reaching out to women.

We have very strong passion for widows and we have from our program, reached out to as much widows as we can, women, children this we are doing with individual help. We are organization that have decided to open up that light and make people realize that the welfare of every individuals matter.

When you ignore the welfare of an individual, it affects the person in question, it affects the society, and it affect the nation.

So we took this project and started it with one person and in the last couples of years now we have been able to reach out to as many children we know

For how long have you been in existence?

We have actually being officially in existence since 2018 but unofficially, we started our activity in 2017.

So, within this 3 years of your operation, what are your achievements?

Since 2017 we started, we have been able to create a back to school program. We have run several programs, one of which is our back to school program where we have been able to send back children that are out of school back to school and also children that are in school, we have created motivational program for them. Engaging them in intra-inter-school competition.

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This has been able to help and gear up those that are in school and for children totally out of school, they have been put back to school, with their school fees paid, uniforms, books and every necessary things they need to get back to school. That is in the area of children.

Where women are concern, we created training programs for women which we tagged ‘Teach Them to Fish’. We teach them how to setup their own businesses, in the areas of Agriculture, teaching women basically from a small means.

For those that does not have any skill at all, it could be from knitting, to sowing, to hairdressing and to as, any things as what they can use to help themselves.

And for the youths, we embarked on different school leadership program so that they can know the importance of being leaders of our tomorrow.

In your profile, there is a boy, Benjamin, Did you said that Benjamin was the motivation, I mean how did you got started with the NGO work?

The NGO work actually started in 2017 with just that very, boy, Benjamin Nahari. Benjamin was out strolling at school hours looking for a means, something to do, a job to do and when he was questioned by the NGO, he said he needed to work, whatever he could do, from cutting grasses to washing plates for people, so that he could pay up his school fees.

Benjamin was taken up and he was put back to school and his school fees was paid.

And that was a motivating factor for me. And having done that, we realized that there are over a hundred people like Benjamin out of school and we started one by one assisting those we could help back to school with a means we could start with.

At what age did you helped Benjamin and where is Benjamin now?

Benjamin at that age was nine. Benjamin currently and at that time Benjamin was in primary four. Benjamin has finished his primary school and he was a boy who was living with his grand-parent. Apparently, his mother was late and his father was living back in Taraba State. So Benjamin after his primary school was able to successfully go back to his father to continue his secondary.

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Benjamin assistance continued until he finished his primary school.

So, how is the COVID-19 Pandemic affecting your operations, looking at its ravaging effects on the entire world; and how have you been coping?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health challenge that affected every organization, every sector, both government and private, and we are not left out.

This made it to be very difficult for us to access donor agencies and most of our beneficiaries. Our activities slated for the year 2020 has be grounded and shifted to the next year. So, I would tell you that things has not been easy in the face of the pandemic and the lockdown.

What is your take on the recent #EndSARS protest?

Looking at the protest, I would say it was a peaceful protest and their demands were actually legitimate. Looking at the demands of the people, protesters. But when you look at it holistically, you also look at the part of the government. The government has also been able to do something to an extent but I believed that the government can still look deeper and do more. They are trying but I believe they can still take a mile step forward to meeting and being able to sorting everything out.

Are you aware that there are different government programs, something like the CBN AGSMEIS, what is your plan in accessing this programmes for your beneficiaries and what are your constraints?

Thank you very much. We as an organization and as a body, intend to partner with the government and other stakeholders to let them come in and see what we are doing. Why? Because, the training we take on especially in the agricultural sector need the individual and the parties involved including the government to come in and see what we are doing and support what we are doing financially and what have you.

We need as much supports as we can get from them because it would go a long way to sorting lot of issues that is on ground right now

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So, what is your message to the government and the people?

My message to the government is that I have a laid a carpet down, inviting the government to come in and support Lea Global Welfare Initiative. Why should government support Lea Global Welfare Initiative? Government should support us because Lea Global has the access to the youth that are out there hanging out not doing anything. Lea Global is able to annex them together put them on training and be able to move them forward. Give them the leadership skill they need to be able to work with government

And for the women, we have the platform to organize as many women as possible. We are reaching out to as many widows and through our organization, the widows would see also what the government is doing for them.

For the individuals, we are inviting them also to come in and partner with us to support as many women, as much youths and as many children that are outside there, out of schools. On your own, you can’t do it, but when you come together as a body, you can be sure that your support is getting somewhere.

Our watch word is transparency, so you know that what you are putting in, you are getting back. Thank you.

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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