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Matawalle: I’m Still In PDP, Let Matawalle Be, Tambuwal, Wike, PDP Govs Tell APC, Donate N100 m To ZMSG Over Mart Inferno

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Six governors under the auspices of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF) led by Gov.

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Wednesday urged the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to steer clear of its Zamfara turf.

Gov. Tambuwal who led the PDP governors of Rivers, Taraba, Bauchi, Adamawa and Oyo to commiserate with the government and people of Zamfara state over the recent fire incident gutted recently, appealed to leaders in the country not to take advantage of misfortune to play politics.

Announcing the donation of N100 million to the victims of the Tudun Wada market inferno in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State, Tambuwal asked: Where were some of these visitors when all that has been happening to the people of Zamfara?

“No life was lost during the inferno.

How many lives were lost from the time when APC was in charge of this Government House till now? How many of them came here to commiserate with my people of Zamfara State even those of us who are neighbors?,” he further asked.

Lamenting the ‘shackling’ poverty level and the bogus fight against corruption by “the APC government of the Federal Government,” he regretted that “we are busy playing politics.”

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“That is wrong. We must not take advantage of misfortunes to come and play politics,” stated, emphasizing that: “We the Governors’ of PDP, this is our home. We are not visitors. No visitor can come and surplant us here. We have come home and I will take off my mask so that you can see me well, not as visitors but owners of this home, to commiserate with our own people that have been affected by this inferno.”

“I pity any leader who seeks to take advantage of his people’s misfortune to play politics. We as leaders must always remain as leaders and provide leadership. And, know where, when and how to play politics.

“So, I appeal that as leaders we must demarcate between politics and leadership; and when it is time for us to come together, to work together, irrespective of party, to save our people from the excruciating level of insecurity, particularly in Zamfara State; and even in Katsina State,” he noted.

He called on “the people of Zamfara State to know who their friends are. “You should know who your brothers and friends are. And, we are here as your friends and brothers. We are here as your genuine friends to commiserate with you and tell you; and we are telling our brother that come rain, come shine, we will not tolerate any intimidation,” he affirmed

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“You know me. Can I be intimidated… Not by any federal might. And, you know it, because we believe in God. No fly zone. Fly in, fly out will not take power,” he further affirmed.

Also speaking, Rivers state Governor, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike cautioned the APC not to ‘poach’ Gov. Bello Muhammad Mutawalle of Zamfara State.

“When people fail they don’t talk about their failure. Our Chairman may not have nailed it directly. I will say it directly. A party came and told Nigerians that you should vote for them. And, that party is APC. Is it not?,” Wike asked.

Chastising the ruling party for being unable to checkmate insecurity, reduce poverty, create employment opportunities for citizens and failing to stabilize the free fall if foreign exchange in the country, Wike said it is busy moving around the country ‘poaching’ people.

“You can imagine the insult. A party in Federal Government that declared Zamfara a ‘no fly zone.’ The same party is coming to woo you to join them. I don’t understand this. You caused crisis in a state and you come back to come and woo, which means you the one causing crisis. If you go, they will now say you can fly. The people of Zamfara, shine your eyes,” Gov. Wike stated.

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Responding, Gov. Mutawalle thanked the forum for the timely visit and the support to the victims of the fire incident, stressing that he is still a member of the PDP.

 

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Former Vice Presidential Candidate, Hajiya Umma Getso Bags International Award

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Former Vice Presidential Candidate, Her Excellency Hajiya Umma Getso bagged international award.
IWOC Award recognizes women from around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, and women’s empowerment – often at great personal risk and sacrifice.

The award was conferred on her for her relentless efforts towards nation building, human capital development, peace and capacity building.

She received the international Women of courage award on the 13th April at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels in Abuja in the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory.

See pictures below:

 

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Senate Summons Finance Minister, AGF Over N7.5 Bn Withdrawal

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The Senate Committee on Public Accounts, yesterday, summoned the Minister of Finance, Ahmed Zainab and the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris over secret withdrawals.

According to the Senate Panel, the two public servants allegedly withdrew secretly N7.5 billion from the two percent National Automotive Design and Development Council ((NADDC) Levy Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to the report of the Auditor-General, which was being considered by the Committee chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, the first N3.8 billion was withdrawn in two installments of N2.8 billion in 2005 and N1 billion in 2006.

The second installment being N3.7 billion, the report said, was withdrawn between March – December 2000 in three separate payments of N725 million, N1 billion and N2 billion.

When the Committee asked the Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council, Aliyu Jelani, about the withdrawals, he said that the money was withdrawn without the knowledge of the agency. He also noted that the agency had been writing to the Accountant-General and the Ministry of Finance on the need to refund the money, but there was no response.

Angered by this development, the Committee, therefore, resolved to summon the Minister of Finance and the Accountant- General of the Federation to give explanation on the fund. The query reads: “A total sum of N3,836,000,000.00 (three billion, eight hundred and thirty-six million naira) was irregularly withdrawn from the 2% National Automotive Design and Development Council Levy Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja in two installments of N2,800,000,000 (in 2005) and N1,036,000,000.00 (in 2006) by the Accountant- General of the Federation and the Federal Ministry of Finance as car loan to be granted for the Security Personnel Car Purchase Scheme Loan.

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The transaction was carried out by the Presidency in collaboration with the Bank of Industry, the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Accountant- General of the Federation without the involvement of NAC, the account owner. “However, the principal and the accrued interest from the fictitious loan have not been paid back nor are records available on the beneficiaries, agreement documents, moratorium, duration of the loan, the yearly interest rates accruable and how the fund will be paid back by the beneficiary.

“The Director General has been requested to intensify correspondence with the Honourable Minister of Finance, Accountant- General of the Federation and the Presidency to recover the fund (‘loan’).” On the 3.7 billion, the report said the sum was “irregularly withdrawn from the 2% National Automotive Council Levy Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria between March-December 2000 in 3 separate payments of N725,000,000; N1,000,000,000 and N2,000,000,000 as ‘loan’ to NAFCON vide the Accountant General of the Federation internal memo to the Permanent Secretary, Budget Office of the Federation Ref No: DD/(R&F)22.Vol. 1158 of 27/5/2003. “The ‘Loan’ Principal and the accumulated interest are yet to be paid since the year 2000.”

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NASS mgt, legislative aides head for showdown over salary arrears, others

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National Assembly legislative aides on Monday grounded their activities temporarily following a peaceful protest over nonpayment of their 2019 salary arrears and other entitlements.

Numbering about 2500, they have resolved to commence a total showdown with the management of Ninth National Assembly to pursue their demands to a logical conclusion, OBSERVERS TIMES report.

The action, which took the aggrieved staff to the entrance of the Green and the Red Chambers of the legislature, did not disrupt the proceedings of the lawmakers who however suspended, shortly after their resumption, the plenary sessions and other businesses of the National Assembly for 24 hours to mourn the demise of members of the House of Representatives in line with the executive convention of the legislature.

In a press statement, the irate aides decried the “series of infractions and acts of impunity” that had be perpetrated by the management of the assembly against them.

The statement signed by Zebis Prince, Tony Omail, Waziri Anaba, Adebisi Kilanso, Chinedu Nwokeukwu and Audi Alaso, further expressed their “great displeasure at the miserable and inhuman working conditions” in the assembly.

Some of these capricious acts include non-payment of the routine Duty Tour Allowance (DTA), lack of training, non-implementation of the National Minimum Wage and the Consolidated Legislative Aides Salary Structure (CONLESS); benefits that are already being enjoyed by other workers in federal establishment. We are wondering why the money is being withheld by the CNA even after management had long admitted that the funds were available.

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“Let it be on record that having exhausted our patience and internal dispute resolution mechanism, we have resolved to pursue our grievances using all legitimate tools at our disposal. Apart from this sensitization campaign, we also intend to embark on sustained social media campaign, petition relevant agencies and NGOs to look particularly into legislative aides account and how it is bing administered.

“As a last resort, we may approach the National Industrial Court not necessarily on the vexed arrears alone but on other entitlements that have been denied us. We have been pushed to the walls but we have the resolve, resources and documents to pursue these matters to a logical conclusion. We will continue our sensitization rally for as long as it takes,” they stated.

The aides, who also revealed that they were determined to down their tools last December but for the intervention of the NASS Director of DSS that prevailed on them to stay action, expressed regret that, as usual, the assembly management failed to keep its words.

“On account of this breach, we have set machinery in motion to bring our plight to the attention of all relevant stakeholders and agencies,” they vowed.

OBSERVERS TIMES  recalled  that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Demi Gbajabiamila, had promised to wade into the matters to ensure speedy payment of the long overdue entitlements.

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