Unless citizens are treated in every part of the country with justice and equity. Nigeria would continue to experience agitations and the emergence of ethnic campaigners Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has declared.
He therefore canvassed for a return to the constitutional foundations of a federal structure as laid down by the founding fathers to guarantee a peaceful, secure, and prosperous nation.
In a keynote address delivered in Lagos on Wednesday at the 2021 Law Week event of the Ikeja branch of the Nigeria Bar Association, (NBA), themed “Building a Nigeria of Our Dreams”, Ekweremady also called for a hybrid of presidential and parliamentary systems of government for the country.
He explained further that while the presidential system remained ideal for holding a vast and pluralistic nation like Nigeria together, features of parliamentary system, such as appointment of ministers from the parliament, “Question Time”, as well as removal of a head of government by a “Vote of No Confidence” rather than a tortuous and convoluted impeachment process in a presidential system, would help to curb presidential excesses and create greater overlap and cooperation between the executive and the legislative arms of government.
Ekweremadu argued that rotational presidency with single tenure, and bicameral legislature s imperative in the African environment where ethno-religious and sectional sentiments are still high.
So, in the short and long-term national interest, it is time to entrench the idea of rotational presidency in our constitution.
“Also, a single presidential term of five or six years as I have advocated over the years will help us circumvent the distractions, manipulations, divisiveness, and excesses that come with the quest for a second term of executive offices as well as to ensure that power rotates more frequently among the various sections and groups.
“Besides, it is better if every President or Governor understands that he or she has only a term to begin and complete all his or her good works.
“It is also high time Nigeria went for a unicameral legislature, which is far less unwieldy and also cheaper to run. “However, in order to maximise the benefit of unicameral and bicameral legislature, membership of such a unicameral federal parliament should be based on equal representation, which is the wisdom behind the creation of the Senate as a second chamber. That way, we will kill two birds with a stone”.
He advocated for a better management of the nation’s diversity, emphasising that “the turbulence in the country today derives from the concerns of some parts of the country that they have been sidelined and that the Federal Government has failed or even refused to protect them”.
Also on reinventing Nigeria, the former deputy senate president further canvassed devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, decentralised policing, restructuring of the local government system, and a return to regionalism with the geopolitical zones serving as the federating units, while the states serve as provinces
PSC suspends DCP Abba Kyari, asks IGP to keep Commission updated on findings
Following the recommendation of the Inspector General of police, the Police Service Commission has suspended Abba Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force from the exercise of the Powers and functions of his office.
Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31st 2021 and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States .
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, had written a letter to the Police Service Commission recommending for the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari.
The Commission thereafter, also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The Commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the Commission for the Commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Major crisis looms in the health sector as Nigerian doctors down tools
A major crises in the health sector is about to happen as the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD), have concluded plans to embark on an indefinite strike starting from Monday.
This is happening at a very critical period when the nation is currently experiencing a rise in COVID-19 infections amid the third wave of the pandemic.
The doctors after their National Executive Council (NEC) meeting attended by over 50 members across the country announced the decision
They explained that the Federal Government have reneged on the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with them after over 100 days.
President of the NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, who gave the indication in a statement at the weekend, demanded immediate withdrawal of the circular removing House Officers from the scheme of service, which was not implemented.
The statement reads in part, “We are embarking on a total and indefinite strike on August 2, 2021 [Monday]. You can recall we had a memorandum of action on March 31, 2021, and had an addendum to it on April 9, and since then, we still have had irregularities in the payment of salaries to the house officers.
“We had issues with them being non-regular payment and as part of the memorandum of action, it was said that they should be captured back into the IPPS platform.”
Kaigama says high cost of foodstuff also taking its toll on his home
**Advises Nigerians not to abandon grandparents, elderly cos of COVID – 19
***Condemns lavish funerals by Nigerians
The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja Diocese, Ignatius Kaigama has said that the escalation in the prices of foodstuff was also biting hard in his home.
He also called on Nigerians not to distance themselves from grandparents and the elderly due to social distancing over COVID – 19 because they are a source of wisdom.
The cleric also described as sad the fact that Nigerians throw “lavish funerals organised for departed ones after they were allowed to live a life of loneliness, misery and neglect.”
Kaigama stated these in his Homily delivered at St. Luke’s Parish, Kubwa in honour of grandparents and the elderly with readings taken from the Old Testament including 2 Kings 4:42-44 and John 6:1-15.
According to him, the N12.3 billion agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government meant form2.2 million farmers should not be diverted like other interventions or palliative measures.
He said, “The escalation in the prices of foodstuff today has made it difficult for the poor among us to feed. My cook, Sunday Emola, showed me some current food prices from Garki market in Abuja: one measure each of garri costs N500, beans – N1,000, rice – N1,000, 1 bag (10kg) of semovita – N5,500, one bottle of groundnut oil – N1,600, one bottle of palm oil – N1,300, one tuber of yam – N1,300, a medium basket of tomatoes – N3,500, 1 gallon of kerosene – N2,000, Alebo – N500, etc.
“The problem in Nigeria is not whether we have resources to share, but the willingness to share them fairly, honestly and charitably. Both first reading and the gospel emphasised the fact that the power to end the hunger and suffering of other people lies in our ability to share the little we have.
“We often forget how far-reaching the little we each possess shared generously can satisfy the needs of other people. Often, we assume that it is the task for the government or the United Nations or NGOs.
“But a lot can be done with our little if we focus on the person in need and the intention rather than the quantity of what is available. I understand that 2.2 million farmers will soon receive N12.3 billion as agricultural subsidy from the Federal Government.
“We hope that the money of this laudable initiative will get directly into the hands of the farmers and not to be diverted like other interventions or palliative measures.
“The elderly are assured of the abiding presence of God who continues to accompany them on the journey of life, despite the difficulties and challenges associated with old age. They are reminded to tenaciously hold on to the faith and to pass it on to the young.
“Grandparents and the elderly are a source of wisdom. By passing on their knowledge, morals and values, they play a great role in the formation of a decent society. They are a strong link between the past, the present and the future.
“We must respect them and pray always for those of them who are sick and weak or suffering conditions associated with aging. Our practice of social distancing due to COVID – 19 should not distance us from them. It is sad today to see lavish funerals organized for departed ones after they were allowed to live a life of loneliness, misery and neglect.
“In these times of moral and social decay, grandparents and the elderly can teach us how to heal our wounded humanity; the spirit of sharing, in a nation where selfishness, corruption and the spate of crime and insecurity deprive many of the basic necessities of life; a nation that continues to take mind boggling financial loans without any corresponding impact on our quality of life; only to leave a fragile and perilous future for generations of our youths.
“As grandparents and the elderly continue their earthly pilgrimage, we expect the government to provide good social security for them even as we entrust them to the intercession of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and grandparents of Jesus.”
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