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NASS Speaker Reiterates Reps’ Determination To Empower Nigerian Youths

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The House of Representatives is determined and ready to empower the Nigerian youth to make them competitive globally, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Wednesday.

In a statement on Wednesday signed and made available to Journalists by Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, said Gbajabiamila said issues concerning the Nigerian youth have been a priority to the 9th House, which was the reason behind several proactive measures to address them, even before the outbreak of the recent youth protests around the country.

This emerged when Speaker Gbajabiamila met with a group of young lawmakers from the House under the aegis of ‘Young Parliamentarians Forum’ of the National Assembly in his office, where he reiterated that some of the demands of the youth following the EndSARS protests would be addressed constitutionally.

“All of us, every segment of the government, especially the House of Representatives, that before the protests took the initiative, debated motions and took far-reaching decisions on the floor.

“Part of the decision was to reform the Police to accommodate a better, more reformed Police.

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“We gave ourselves 30 days, and since then, we’ve been working night and day, especially with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

“We thought the best way to go about it is that we amend the Police Service Commission Act, and that has been done and the report has been concluded and soon, it will be published and be on the floor.

“We are determined to resolve the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) matter, and if we can resolve two out of three issues, I think we would have gone a long way to help the lecturers who are on strike.

“There’s a bill on vocational education, I think from the 8th Assembly that was even my bill. We’ll pick it up again and pass it to you (Young Parliamentarians Group) to polish it up and add it to whatever ideas you have”.

On youth empowerment, the Speaker said though a lot still needs to be done but that the present government has done a lot.

“I make bold to say that no government, in Nigerian history from inception, and I stand to be corrected, has put in as much in youth empowerment as this present government.

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“Facts don’t lie, a government that has devoted N500bn to youth empowerment every year. There’s Trader Moni, N-Power, and several others, they are all there.

“This government has done a lot about youth empowerment and is ready to do more. We can never be bereft of ideas. If you have anything that we need to look at, the House is willing and ready to add to those ideas.

“We will be happy to accelerate bills on youth development”.

Earlier, the young parliamentarians commended the leadership quality of the Speaker for his various interventions on national issues.

The leader of the delegation, Rep. Kabir Tukur a, noted in particular, the proactive measures taken to address Police reforms and EndSARS demands.

The young federal lawmakers also commended the Speaker for his interventions on labour issues in health, education and power sectors.

While presenting the demands of the group to the Speaker, Rep. Tukura said their major concern was a lasting solution to youth restiveness through the allocation of more resources to youth-related matters as well as education, especially vocational training.

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The group also noted that the youth should be given a sense of belonging in government through better representation to enable them to bridge the existing gap, which was part of the reasons for the recent unrest.

To this end, he said, the group would be seeking the amendment of Section 171 of the Constitution to reflect federal character in accommodating the youth and people living with disabilities.

While informing the Speaker of the group’s request for an emergency session of the House to discuss its demands, Tukur also added that the group would be seeking his support for the group’s push for the establishment of a National Youth Development Commission.

Others at the meeting included Deputy Chief Whip, Peter Akpatason and Chairman, Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Relations, Rep. Zakariya’u Galadima, while Rep. Onofiok Luke, Rep. A. G. Suleiman, Rep. Shehu Kale and Rep. Saidu Abdullahi represented the Young Parliamentarian Forum.

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Gov Sule, Speaker Balarabe Pays Tribute To Slain State APC Chairman, Says Killers Will Not Go Scot-Free.

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Nasarawa Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, said the state has lost a rear gem whose contributions would be greatly missed, stressing that the late Philips Tatari Shekwo deserves a befitting burial owing to the virtue he represented in the society.

The Governor who was speaking when members of the state assembly led by the Rt. Hon. Speaker Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi paid him a condolence visit at government house Thursday in Lafia, the State capital.

The slain party Chairman’s burial is scheduled to hold Friday in his country home, Yelwa in Toto Local Government Area of the state.

The governor commended the Speaker and members of the Assembly for sharing in the moment of grief, noting that the breakthrough made by the military in rescuing a brother to a member of the state assembly who was abducted by yet to be identified gunmen in Nasarawa Eggon was highly appreciated and assuring that the killers of Shekwo will be exposed.

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Leading other members of the state assembly, the Speaker, Ibrahim Balarbe Abdullahi in an emotionally laden voice explained that the death of the APC Chairman is a great loss to the Governor, Government, the APC and people of Nasarawa state.

The Speaker who noted the selfless attributes of the late Philips Shekwo said his death in the hands of his assailants is uncalled for, hence the need to double up effort towards apprehending those behind the heinous crime.

Governor Sule of Nasarawa State and Speaker Balarabe

Although it was condolence visit the speaker used the medium to congratulate Governor Abdullahi Sule for welcoming a new set of twins by his wife, Farida Abdullahi Sule among other achievements the state has recorded in recent times.

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FHC Fix Friday To Decides On Ndume’s Bail Application After Spending Days In Kuje Prison

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The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed Friday for ruling on the bail application filed by Borno South Senator, Ali Ndume, who has been detained in prison since Monday over his suretyship for Abdulrasheed Maina believed to have jumped bail.

Our Correspondent gathered that Senator Ndume is currently detained at Kuje Prison. Justice Okon Abang adjourned for ruling after Ndume’s lawyer, Marcel Oru, argued the bail application, which was opposed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s lawyer, Mohammed Abubakar.

Maina, a former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reformed Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on charges of money laundering involving N2bn. On November 18, 2020, Justice Abang revoked the bail granted him, ordered his arrest, and directed that his trial would proceed in absentia.

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The judge also on Monday remanded Ndume in prison until he produced Maina or paid the sum of N500m bail bond to the Federation Account. Ndume, through his lawyer, Marcel Oru, had on Tuesday filed an appeal against the remand order at the Court of Appeal, along with an application for the bail of the defendant filed before Justice Abang.

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Restructuring Of Nigeria: Northern Elders Forum Expresses Dissatisfaction With El-Rufai’s Claims

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The Northern Elders Forum on Wednesday distanced itself from the comments credited to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State that selfish Northern leaders were opposing the restructuring of Nigeria.

The organisation said the governor could not have been referring to its leadership under Prof. Ango Abdullahi because it had campaigned restructuring more openly and more vigorously than any group or interest in the country.

The NEF Director, Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said these in an interview with Punch.

El-Rufai had during a session at the 26th National Economic Summit said Northerners kicking against calls for the restructuring of Nigeria were not speaking for the North.

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But Baba-Ahmed said, “The Governor of Kaduna State could not have been referring to Northern Elders Forum under the leadership of Prof. Ango Abdullahi. Our Forum has campaigned for restructuring more openly and more vigorously than any group or interest in the country.

“There are records of many statements made by the Forum or in conjunction with other groups in support of the imperative for restructuring as a vital requirement for the survival of our country as a united, functional, and just entity.

“We believe the North will be a major beneficiary of major changes in the manner our federal system is designed and functions.“We do not know of any serious northern group that is against restructuring. If there are such groups, they must be speaking to the Governor in private, and they certainly do not represent the interests of the North.”

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