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We Are Hungry, Thirsty To Receive 2020 Appropriation Bill – Lawan

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The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said on Friday that the National Assembly is eager to receive the 2020 budget proposals.

“We are hopeful and optimistic, as well as hungry and thirsty, to receive the 2020 appropriations bill,” Lawan told reporters shortly on his arrival from a private visit abroad.

Lawan seized the advantage of the National Assembly current recess to travel on a private visit to Morocco and Germany.

“I am aware that the executive arm of government is working assiduously to ensure that the appropriation bill for the year 2020 is presented to the National Assembly by the end of this month.

“The National Assembly will work so hard to ensure that the 2020 budget is passed before we go on Christmas break,” Lawan said.

The Senate President said budget is one issue that the National Assembly will take head-on to ensure that the undesirable trend of the budget is reversed.

“We believe this can be achieved, as doing so would make the economy better and predictable.

“We also think an early passage of the 2020 appropriations bill will have a desirable impact on Nigerians,” Lawan said.

Lawan also disclosed that the executive has forwarded to the Senate the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which will be considered when the Senate is back from its recess next week.

“We hope to take on the MTEF within the first legislative week. Our committee on Finance will be saddled with its first major responsibility that it works expeditiously on the Fiscal Strategy Paper/Medium Term Expenditure Framework’s request of the executive arm of government and thereafter the budget will come after that.”

The Senate President said the ninth National Assembly would work assiduously with the executive arm of government to improve the security situation of the country.

The Senate, he added, will also evaluate the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa.

“In the eighth Senate, we had an Ad-Hoc Committee that I was privileged to chair, to review the security architecture of the country. We are going to look into that report, and in addition, other contemporary issues that affect security in the country.

“We are also going to look into the crisis that affected Nigerians living in South Africa.

“You recall that this issue was reviewed before we went on recess. The Senate felt as an institution that our citizens’ diplomacy must be protected where ever they go in the world.

“The government must be there for them, and I’m happy that after the xenophobic crisis, the Federal Government was able to take a position.

“We need to be much more resolute, whatever the situation is; our citizens must be protected. If someone runs afoul of the laws of a country, there are processes and procedures on how such a person can be prosecuted.

“Therefore, we must try to protect our citizens. I also think we must be proactive to tell our citizens that if they choose to live in any country, they must ensure to stay within the limit of the laws of that country, just as we expect of foreigners in ours,” Lawan stated.

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Collation Of Results For Edo Governorship Election

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More results arriving at the INEC collation centre for the Edo Governorship elections.

The remaining results from the Edo election are still being ferried into the central collation centre.

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Edo Election: INEC Official Shot, Another Injured In Etsako Central

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An official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been shot and critically injured.

The incident occurred on Saturday while the electorate were voting in the governorship election in the state and was confirmed by Professor Godswill Alan Lukman, the Collation Officer in Etsako Central Local Government Area where the incident took place.

Professor Godswill made the disclosure on Sunday at the collation centre in Benin City, while giving a situation report on the election conducted in the LGA.

He, however, stated that the victim was not dead but in critical condition at a hospital in the state.

The collation officer, who noted that the incident occurred due to violence at the venue of the election, added that another ad-hoc official was cut in the face.

He explained that some hoodlums suspected to be political thugs stormed the venue and disrupted the exercise, forcing the electorate who have come to vote to run to safety.

As a result, the election could not be concluded at the polling area.

Giving a general update on the election in Etsako Central, Professor Godswill said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 7,478 votes while the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 8,359.

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BREAKING: Trouble Looms for Ordinary Ahmed Isah as Stakeholders Condemn Unguided Utterances Against Nigerian Army, Draw NBC’s Attention

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Stakeholders made up of Civil Society Organisations, Journalists and Security experts have expressed their displeasure over what they termed inciting utterances by radio broadcaster and Chairman of Human Right Radio, Ahmed Isah, popularly called Ordinary Ahmed Isah against the Nigerian Army’s discipline on Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini who was allegedly detained by the Nigerian Army for making a viral video criticising the Nigerian Army and President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria. They said the “Ordinary President” as he is fondly called should have known better, that as a broadcaster who is billed to explore the “freedom of information act” should have have been professional and avoid setting the tone for loss of confidence on the Nigerian Army, who on their part are sacrificing all to ensure peace, stability and security in the country.

The Executive Director, Coalition of Civil Society Group for Good Governance (CSGG), Comrade Dominic Ogakwu made this known in a telephone interview with journalists in Abuja on Saturday.

In trying to make case for Lance Corporal Martins, the Ordinary Ahmed alleged that some persons in the Nigerian Army are making a fortune out of the the current insecurity situation of Nigeria.

“….Ahmed Isah is well respected by Nigerians and I will expect that given the fact that he knows a lot on the value of security, and what the Nigerian Army represent, he should rather make an attempt to reach necessary authorities to gain more knowledge to avoid making unguided statement that can trigger issues of insecurity the more…yes we agree that there are issues but the Army are doing very well to solve them and I think that the Onus is on Ahmed Isah as a lover of Nigeria and as a populist, to ensure that his utterances did not instigate some miscreants against the most revered and respected and sustaining institution like the Nigerian Army….” Ogakwu said.

“….So I will advice that he should as a matter of urgency readdress that matter by getting the necessary clarifications and verifying all the necessary facts to avoid making statements in error…yes a lot of rumours are being peddled against the Nigerian army, but it behoves on the media especially the one that is very close to the people to ensure that it did not rise on the waves of the moment on emotions, they should not “emotionalise” reportage….” He added.

He said “…reports must be balanced in perspectives and they must see to all sides, before actually drawing to conclusions, so as a matter of urgency I think the most respected Ahmed Isah should have known better that Nigerians are listening to him and as a man who is patriotic, who loves this country he should not be too emotional when it come to issues of security because he understands that in his programs, he explores all sort of emotions and that to me even though the people love it but then issues of national security, sensitive issues, issues that can set this country ablaze should be very guided….”

Undisclosed sources from the Nigerian Army who also frowned at the inciting utterances by Ahmed Isah threatened that the country’s Army will be forced to take legal action against the broadcaster if he continues in that unpatriotic line.

“….the drive by the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) to obliterate hate speech should be exercised on this issue, this is outright incitement, Ahmed Isah must put himself together and desist from sabotaging the Army’s efforts…” the source said.

For investigative journalist and “Accountapreneur”, Emmanuel Bagudu, “…the Nigerian Army is a family and any attempt to come in between a family amounts to incursion….” “….The “Ordinary President” is duty bound to be diplomatic. He must know that as a relevant stakeholder in this country that patriotism is key in his business. He must join in the quest for boosting the morale of the troops as well as advocating for trust and support for the Nigerian Military as a whole….” Bagudu said.

Youth Ambassador for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Austin Peacemaker shares the same thought “…. Ahmed Isah should not forget that the Nigerian Army is playing a very significant role in sustaining our beautiful democracy and strengthening our national security, even at the ECOWAS regional level, as such deserves our honour, respect and fairness, especially when reporting issues around National security. They deserve balanced reportage from Journalists including Ordinary Ahmed Isah, who is well respected by many of his listeners….” Peacemaker said.

“…He shouldn’t lose that respect by misleading or misinforming his listeners and Nigerians, in a bid to make his programme entertaining and exciting. Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini broke the very code and ethics of a regimented institution he swore and took oath to abide by, and also defend. There are measures to channel your grievances in any organisation, and not by doing a video and uploading on social media. That is the highest form of indiscipline for any soldier. No father, CEO, Boss or Employer will condone that in any revered establishment.”

“…Let’s be fair in our judgment. No matter what he has to say for me he has discredited himself first by insulting all his superiors, even down to the President. My investigation reveals that Lance Corporal Martins is a ceremonious soldier in the music band of the Army who has never been to any battlefront, so doing a video to discourage and dampening the morale of his brave colleagues in the battlefront equals treachery, sabotage, and lack of patriotism for his country. We should not forget that Nigerian Security Forces are respected across Africa and the world at large, if we downplay their efforts, successes and sacrifice to our motherland then we are unknowingly running down ourselves and Nigeria as a country….” Amb. Austin Peacemaker said.

Recall that Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini was reportedly arrested in June 2020 shortly after he made a viral video where he allegedly said that the Nigerian Army and other security services are not doing enough to end the Boko Haram war. He also insulted the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

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