Politics of Lagos State popped up my desire to serve says Kogi Speaker
The new Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly held sway in the hay days of the crises of the Assembly as a factional speaker leading the controversial group of five that impeached the former speaker Momoh-Jimoh Lawal.
He was later elected as Speaker after the reconciliation that brought the members back as one House from the minority APC, Tinubu style lured him into politics.
How did you come into politics.
Truly I came in to politics accidentally, I did not believe I can impact my society through politics, in fact I detest politics particularly because of the way Nigeria politicians have actually played their game. It kept many of us out there afraid of getting involved. Having worked and schooled in Lagos, what I witnessed in the development and progress in Lagos State after the military interregnum show that through politics really a lot can be achieved in development. I witnessed the Tinubu administration during his tenure and his ability to prepare ground for a smooth takeoff for Raji Babatunde Fashola his predecessor who indeed continued from where Tunubu Stopped. That really encouraged me to see that yes politics can actually make me impact on my people differently from what I knew about politicians. I had been approached severally since 2003 but at different levels I refused to come. I also had a knack for philanthropism. I have a scholarship scheme that I have been running for the last 15 years, I also have some skill and vocational centers where the youths drawn from the society go to acquire some skills after which they graduate to be able to start something for themselves a and their families.
When I was persuaded to come into politics I already had the moral suasion that if I should take to politics I would achieve more than I am already achieving at the individual level. It is service to humanity at a higher pedestal that encouraged me to venture into politics
Your emergence as speaker did you envisage it?
We had expected APC to dominate the House if that had happened, I was not going to be the Speaker because I come from the West and the Deputy Governorship candidate was from the west. That is to underscore the fact that I was not having the ambition of becoming the speaker. As it turned out the Governorship election came and APC formed the Government and the Governor came from central and his deputy from the east so naturally the speakership went to the West. Even at that the APC was in the minority in the House so I knew the chances were there. Prior to that period there was a botched attempt to impeach the then speaker, naturally since I was the only one from the west who actually stood by him, when the necessity came for him to relinquish his position to pave way for his brother who had become the Governor and to also respect the sharing formular in appointments between the East, Central and west he had to give way for a more superior position so that came back to the west and of course it was like one good turn deserving another so he supported me to be chosen as a speaker.
Why did you engage the Screening review committee committee?
People were surprised that we actually did what we did. No doubt that we had a long recess and following the renovation work going on at the Assembly complex. We were itching to resume so that we could actually intervene to bring succor to many of our suffering civil servants.
We brought to the floor the screening review committee and we took them for about four hours grill and in our own submission as a house we passed our resolution and gave some specific guide to put an end to the effect that even though they were doing good job those who are genuine workers who were not found wanting should as a matter of urgency be paid. They also promised to wind up the exercise by the end of this September but suffice it to say that we had actually asked that as they go along they should pay the salary of those genuine workers who have been cleared. If you followed immediately after that order many were paid. Some were paid five months or so but there are still issues with those who were not yet cleared; local government workers and the pensioners some of who were not screened yet. We are meeting with the review committee at the committee level so that by the end of their month a lot would be achieved in terms of salary payment.
Kogi marked 25th anniversary has the Stated fared well?
In terms of development I thought a lot supposed to have been achieved but in terms of of progress as an historian I would say we have made progress because progress is relative. You cannot say that Kogi State was like this before creation. As an historian I believe that progress has been made since the last 25 years. More would have been achieved if the pioneer administrations had a master plan for the State. This is because the State was created by the military with military administrators who were not administrators so to speak and of course they would not have had that benefit of starting off a State by so doing.
In terms of civil governance we have had 16 years approaching 17. This is also not to say that within the 17 years we would not have achieved more but we have achieved.this can only be brought about by the character and quality of the leadership and probably we have been grossly suffering from the deficit of such leadership. My own study in the academics shows that State development does not mean that all the elements must be necessary in place.
For instance there is what we call elements of State power in strategic studies and they are fourteen in some books they are eleven because they have put the geographical elements together that is to do with strategic Location, mineral resources and all that. There are so many including the economic viability of that State. What is the most important is able leadership. If you follow you will find out that there are nations that do not have these elements but they are today where they are because looking into their development as a nation they were able to have quality leadership and that became the magic that turned around their fortunes irrespective of their deficiency in the other elements. We can mention Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Singapore had nothing, in fact it is a landlocked country but today Singapore stands at par with the first nations of this world because Inn their developmental history they had a character in Lee Kuan Yew who actually personified able leadership the same with some other countries. So we today as a nation has that character in Muhammadu Buhari that is why I believe that if we give him the necessary cooperation he can actually be the Lee Kuan Yew, the man Setong of this world. Bringing it to our State I believe the present Governor has such mind set I believe strongly that following his blueprint which I align with to give him all the necessary support for him to succeed in the screening exercise.
So 25 years of our statehood I can only describe the development as fitful but there is progress.
What is your.oulook on the master plan and orderly development of Lokoja?
I said if when the state took off we had seasoned administrators who would have helped planned the State particularly Lokoja the State capital it would have had a befitting status.
Nobody who is from Kogi is happy with what is on ground today as State capital, the landscape is so distorted and with half hazard arrangement. As you can see it is a one way in and you are out of the State capital. We want to have a symbol of our State where we can all as Kogites be proud to invite our friends to come and celebrate our festivals with us. That is why I said the blueprint of this administration has given me some hope because it touches on the landscape of the State such that by the time we have this deliberate plan to actually follow the master plan that is on ground with a leader who has the political will to carry out those plans we can only have a better State capital. I have discussed this with some of my colleagues and I am encouraging any member to come up with a bill called Kogi State Development Authority bill so that we can in the end have a law that can bring that about. In some other States they have similar agencies that can take care of the issues you raised regarding half hazard building without plan it is the responsibility of such agencies to ensure the master plan of the town is respected and defaulters can be brought to book. Only through that we can have a well planned landscape that would be a beauty to behold as a State capital and without that law to support it, it would be difficult to curtail the violation of the master plan hence things would continue to be done haphazardly. So I am hoping that by the time that bill is passed to law it would further enable the Government to carry out the Kogi State master plan to the fullest.
What is the way out of the crises in the APC house in Kogi?
The problem actually started when our late leader Prince Abubakar Audu died when he was yet to be declared Governor. The party became divided along interest lones; first group pitched their tent with Honorable Faleke who was the running mate to the late leader, the second ground who had to obey party supremacy where I also belong and some of my colleagues pitched our tents with the party’s choice. Which was the second runner up in the primary in the person of Alkali Yahaya Bello and that was because the party had taken superior legal advise from senior lawyers and of course it paid off, if it had were otherwise the party would have.lost to PDP. The differences in the party is not crises but natural. The hope is that now that the case at the Supreme Court is done with there is going to be reconciliation and indeed the Governor would have the necessary support of the party to assist him in translating his blueprint to success.
Presently there is no doubt that these divergent interests and group within the party have seriously impacted negatively on the party’s fortunes and if it continues it will embarrass us but we are hoping that very soon there will be light at the end of the tunnel..
Coalition of civil Societies calls for Sack Of SP Mohammed Musa for gross Misconduct
Coalition of civil Societies calls for Sack Of SP Mohammed Musa for gross Misconduct
Following several allegations of gross misconduct and breaches capable of undermining discipline and good faith amongst officers and men of the Nigeria Police, a coalition of civil societies, Nigeria Initiative For Security, NIFS, has called for sack of Mohammed Musa, a Superintendent of Police.
The coalition in a statement in Abuja, Monday, accused Musa, formerly of SPU Base 2, Lagos State, but now serving in Yobe state of undermining the police hierarchy and leaking information to the media.
In the statement signed by Odey Ochaba and Mallam Isah Usman, they noted that Musa had been queried by the police authorities via petition No. AP.105697/FS/FHQ/6 bordering on; Disobedience to Constituted Authority; Absence from Duty; Divided Loyalty; Refusal to Accept Posting; Discourteous Behaviour to the Public and, Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Officer.
“It is regrettable to note that rather than respond and await the review of his gross misconduct, SP Mohammed Musa, has continued to use his friends in the media with the intent to undermine and disrespect not just the Office of the Inspector General of Police, but the Nigeria Police Force as the primary security architecture in the country,” part of the statement reads.
The duo further noted that “it is unfortunate that an officer, who was once just a driver at the Police Service Commission will ignore and refuse to appear before the Force Disciplinary Committee, have become a danger not only to himself, but the NPF as a whole.
“Let it be known that it is compulsory for every policeman that has been issued query to appear before the committee as it serves as an avenue to explain and exonerate themselves but because SP Musa believes he is larger than life, he shunned the committee and he couldn’t be reached because he turned off all his phones.
“For the avoidance of doubt, all the DIGs as well as the Force Secretary are members of the committee,” the coalition said.
According to them, to maintain discipline and safeguard others from undertaking the perilous path, the coalition urged for the “immediate sack of SP Mohammed Musa given that his litany of woes are innumerable and such a character known to take advantage of the system should not be allowed to infect others.”
My becoming Governor is an act of God, so no one could truncate it, says Diri
My becoming Governor is an act of God, so no one could truncate it, says Diri
Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa, has indicated that it is only God that made it possible for him to be Governor considering the unusual circumstances that threw him up as the winner of the election.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah.
The statement quoted the Governor to have spoken on Sunday when he joined other Christians in his state to offer praises to God for witnessing the first Sunday of 2021 he said people must continue to thank God for everything they own daily.
Diri, who worshipped at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Sampou, his hometown, told the congregation that he never knew the community would produce a governor, while he was supporting the governorship aspiration of others.
He indicated that when it was time for God’s destined purpose, nobody could stop it.
He said: “Sometimes I wonder that all the time I had been supporting the governorship aspiration of others, I did not know that God had destined me, even before I was born, to be governor. So when your time comes, nobody can stop it.
“If the same God could do this for me, He will do it for you. Just be faithful, have a free mind and He will do it again and again,” he said.
The governor urged Christians to be faithful to God in order to unlock more earthly blessings, just as he called on the people of the state to always give thanks and pay less attention to their worries.
He commended the people of Bayelsa for taking out time across the state to thank God today.
“What can you offer to God other than to say ‘thank you’ to Him?
“He has the gold and silver. He also has the power, as power comes only from Him.
“I, therefore, join the rest of the people of Bayelsa to say thank you Lord for keeping us to see this first Sunday of 2021,” Diri said.
He also urged the citizens to realise that they were special in the sight of God, adding that He always manifested Himself in the affairs of the state, whenever the agents of evil tried to plunge it into darkness.
“For us in Bayelsa, we are a special people, and until we realise that we are special, we will continue to give room for darkness,” he said.
Ex Buhari’s ADC accuses him of being remotely controlled by nephew
Ex Buhari’s ADC accuses him of being remote-controlled by nephew
In recent times, President Muhammadu Buhari has come under severe critisms from many sections of the country for ineptitude to govern the country, this time around his former ADC during his military regime Mustapa Jokolo has indicated that he is being remotely controlled by his nephew, Mamman Daura.
The former emir of Gwandu in a piece said the President Buhari cannot wriggle himself out of the woes the nation was going through since he has allowed himself to be criticised on every side.
He alleged that Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura was manipulating him, saying that the best thing is for Mamman Daura to be moved from the villa to Kaduna so that the President could have a breathing space to do what is right and just.
He said there is something fundamentally wrong for President Buhari to be ignoring wise counsel without.
He advised Buhari to dissolve his cabinet for a rejig, even as he listed those he should give attention, once they advise him.
“As for President Muhammadu Buhari, though I personally believe he is under spell and total control of the cabal led by his nephew, Malam Mamman Daura, he cannot exonerate himself from the atrocities happening in Nigeria.
“Everyone, high and low have offered wise counsel which he is turning deaf ears to. He will not only answer to the Nigerians but worse, he will answer to the divine and Supreme Judge, Almighty Allah SWT here on earth and the hereafter.
“The way he came in supported by majority of Nigerians no other leader in the past had it (17 out of 19 States in the North; 5 out of 6 States in the South West; Edo State in the South South and Imo State in the South East).
“He should kindly listen to the advices given him by such notables like Dr Junaidu Muhammad, Hajiya Najaatu Muhammad, Major General Ishola Williams, Col Abubakar Dangiwa Umar, Simeon Kolawole, Chief Duro Onabule, Dr Ahmad Gummi (when he is not too personal ) Sheik Dahiru Bauchi, Sheik Sherif Saleh, Engineer Daura, Alhaji Tijjani Zangon Daura, Sheik Yahaya Jingir and scores of others too numerous to mention.
“He should send Mamman Daura back to Kaduna, drop two thirds of his ministers, change his Security Chiefs (except DG DSS), change his Personal Staff. All Boards of Parastatals that need change should be changed.
Jokolo also lampooned former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the former Chief of Defence Staff, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, describing the elder statemen as “rotten eggs”, for consistently attacking the present administration.
“Recently, President Obasanjo has been relentless in his personal attacks on President Buhari even predicting that Nigeria will soon go to war.
“Recall that in 1983 these same Generals denigrated President Shagari which resulted in the 1983 Coup de tat. We have not forgotten their atrocities in Odi and Zaki Biam. Now they have Bishop Mathiew Kukah and Dr Ahmad Gummi in their sustained call to arms preaching against President Buhari.
“We will not expose their plans and treacherous ploys if they had been honourable, sincere and patriotic. But the whole plots are only self serving and not in the interest of Nigeria!
“Which rulers committed more atrocities in the history of Nigeria like the duo of Olusegun Obasanjo and T.Y Danjuma? We are tired of these rotten eggs continuously messing us up.
“While making new appointments, he should reflect Federal Character as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria.
“He should also initiate a Constitutional Review to reduce the preponderance of the National Assembly Members to one Senator per State and one Representative per Senatorial District.
“He should also ensure the compliance of his Executive Order whereby the State Governors should hands off Local Government and State Judiciary Funds. No State Governor should leave his State except on very dire circumstances.
“All State Governors’ Lodges must be sold & funds returned to the State Treasury. Abolish State INEC to allow people choose their representatives without the control of the Governors.
“Monitor the Judiciary and Lawyers at all levels closely and get rid of the bad eggs. Encourage InterFaith Relationship by strengthening NIREC.
“Establish a National Traditonal Rulers Council with State Council of Chiefs Chairmen as members.
“Also have a Commission to discipline the Traditional Rulers like the National Judicial Council is rather than the State Governors . Establish Zonal Presidential Liaison Offices to monitor the Federal and State Activities, to avoid embarrassments like the State Governors hoarding Palliatives, unknown to the Federal Government.
“There should also be Committees at Federal, State and Local Governments Levels charged with moral discipline and prayers for Almighty God’s Salvation and Divine Intervention. May Almighty God defend, protect, guide Nigeria and Nigerians, amen.”
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