Senate President Bukola Saraki
The Valentine’s Day celebration hit the Senate chamber in a dramatic form on Wednesday.
The day’s plenary began on a dramatic note when the Majority Whip, Senator Sola Adeyeye, was calling members of the chamber to order for the session to start properly.
Adeyeye called the attention of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to three senators – Dino Melaye, Oluremi Tinubu and Monsurat Sunmonu – who were in red to reflect the Valentine’s mood.
Celebrators of the day are usually dressed in red and white.
The Chief Whip said, “Senator Oluremi Tinubu from Lagos-Central; the original ‘Ajekun iya’ from Kogi-West, Senator Dino Melaye; and from from Oyo-Central, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu are reflecting the Valentine’s spirit. The chamber is now set for today’s session.”
Opening the session, President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said, “Thank you, the Chief Whip, for your observation.”
Saraki later asked Melaye to move a motion for the adoption of the Votes and Proceedings of the last legislative day (Tuesday).
Doing so, Melaye said he was moving the motion himself and in collaboration with Tinubu.
Saraki then asked Tinubu to second the motion, saying, “Ranking Senator Oluremi Tinubu, the Valentine’s of the chamber.”
Rising to second the motion, Tinubu said, “Mr. President, thank you for inviting me but I should be the one to move the motion because, one, I’m a ranking senator, senior to your beloved son (Melaye).”
She accused Saraki of being partial as she was the best dressed. According to her, paper from the touch of red on their dresses, her dress particularly had red rose prints on it.
“If you look at me, I have roses all over but he doesn’t even have a single rose. But since I am not your son, I will still gladly second the motion as ably moved by your beloved son.”
Melaye was dressed in red jacked, black pant and black bow tie; Tinubu was in a black gown made of Ankara fabric with patches of rose together with a red scalf; Sunmonu was in a formal red dress with black collar.
BREAKING: PDP NWC members visit Babangida’s Minna home
Consultations for the 2019 general elections have begun in earnest as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national leadership of has been consulting with elders of the party in recent times.
Today, the party’s National Working Committee lead by the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, visited the home of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd), in Minna, Niger state.
Among those in the PDP NWC delegation to Babangida’s home are the deputy national chairmen for the north and south, Senator Gamawa Babawo Garba and Elder Yemi Akinwonmi.
Others are the national secretary of the party; Senator Ibrahim Tsauri, national publicity secretary; Kola Ologbodiyan, national legal adviser; Barrister Emmanuel Enoidem among others.
Two days ago, the PDP national chairman led the NWC members to a consultative meeting with Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
He recently boasted that the party is re-positioning to take over power in the 2019 general elections for a better Nigeria.
He said this during a grand rally, as part of activities to mark Governor Seriake Dickson’s six years in office in Yenagoa on Wednesday, February 14.
Governor Yari says police failed to act on warning before attack
Yari said security agencies have failed to tackle the problem of cross border bandits and terrorists tormenting communities in Zamfara.
Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari has accused the police of ignoring the government’s alert of the plot by armed bandits to invade communities in the state.
On the night of Wednesday, February 14, 2018, gunmen stormed Zurmi local government area of the state, killing 39 people.
Speaking on Friday, February 16, when he led five Northern Governors on a sympathy visit to the palace of the Emir of Zurmi, Yari said the state government gave security agencies gave security agencies heads up 24 hours before the attack
He said the security operatives have failed to tackle the problem of cross border banditry and terrorism tormenting communities in the area.
He said, “Whatever humanly possible that needed to be done, we as a government have done to mitigate this disaster. But it does appear that security agencies are failing in their responsibilities.
“I feel let down facing the people of this state whenever I remember the promise I made to them that when they elect President Muhammadu Buhari into power, these killings will end. But unfortunately, things are now getting worse.
“As such, I urge you security agencies to up the ante so as not to lose this war. If you let us take issues on our hands, anarchy will reign which is not what we hope us.
“On this particular incidence, we had intelligence reports 24 hours before it happened that the bandits were grouping and ready to attack. I alerted the security agencies but unfortunately they sent inadequate personnel to confront these people from where they came from.”
In his remarks, the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, buttressed Yari’s submission.
He said if not for the bravery of vigilante groups who confronted the bandits, the casualty figures would have been higher.
Recalling the incidents, the emir alleged that 600 bandits attempted to invade Zurmi but were repelled by vigilantes.
Emir Abubakar, who was said to be visibly angry, said, “They came on 200 motorcycles with three persons on each bike. Each of them was well-armed. We stationed 500 vigilante members who stood their ground and gallantly fought the bandits. Unfortunately, these same bandits turned their anger on travelers and other villagers on their way here, that was why we had 39 people killed.
“These terrorists are known to us. Their major hide-out is in a village called Kagara, very close to Bafarawa in Sokoto State, and a few kilometers from Shinkafi in Zamfara State. But despite several appeal to security agencies to storm the area, our appeals have failed.
“I need to state here that majority of weapons used by bad people in this country are brought in from this area.
I had reason to personally inform Zamfara State Director of SSS sometimes back of a large cache of weapons being brought into the country but no concrete action was taken until the containers were moved away.
“I am happy that other Northern Governors are here because we believe the solution to this problem lies in cooperation among all of you.
“I don’t need to repeat here that we need a full battalion of soldiers here and in areas surrounding Maru, Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs.”
He added that the people have been pushed to the limit and a negative reaction from them will have a devastating consequence on the continued peaceful coexistence of all communities in the area.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima urged the people not to lose patience.
He sympathized with the victims and prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest.
Other Governors on the entourage, apart from Shettima and Yari, were Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi and Umar Al-Makura of Nasarawa States.
Nigerian customs seizes high class Range Rover, other cars and goods in Ogun state
The Nigerian Customs Service has announced some major breakthroughs in its operations carried out by its men in the Idiroko axis of the Ogun area command with a series of seizures including cars, rice, vegetable oil and other smuggled items.
Among items seized by the command are 13 second-hand vehicles, 12 means of conveyance, 21 motorcycles, 1,168 bags of foreign rice (50 kg each), 221 kegs of vegetable oil (25liters each), five sacks secondhand shoes and two sacks of secondhand bags with a total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N153, 858, 579, 153.00.
Some of the vehicles smuggled. Credit: Nigerian Customs Service
“Most spectacular among the seizures is a brand new Range Rover (velar) 2018 model seized and tagged ‘the seizure of the month’. The said vehicle has a DPV of N51, 285, 154,” AA Maiwada, the public relations officer for the command, said at a press briefing.
Maiwada also relived the incident that happened on February 7, when an officer was almost killed around the Ibeji River after he intercepted a Toyota Highlander (2014) suspected to have been smuggled into Nigeria.
“In the process, an officer received a life threatening injury from smugglers on his arm and fingers, although he is responding to treatment.
Some of the seized rice. Credit: Nigerian Customs Service
“Full scale investigation is ongoing to ensure that such mindless, irresponsible and unpatriotic criminals are brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.
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“However, officers will continue to exercise their functions in line with the rules of engagement with caution, but will respond appropriately on armed smugglers and economic saboteurs in a life threatening encounter,” he said saying the incident was a pointer to the fact that the media, traditional rulers and eminent personalities should play a greater role in exposing the grave danger customs officers face in the discharge of their duties.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the Zone A Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) , recently said it has deployed armed officials with a number of gunboats in surveillance of inland waters in Lagos and Ogun states so as to check the alleged diversion of petroleum products to nearby countries.
Aminu Dahiru, the assistant controller general and zonal coordinator in charge of Zone A, remarked in his speech in Lagos, that the zone is also prepared to outdo the N851bn revenue it made in 2017. Dahiru also stated that the service will ensure that all offenders of various customs are made to face the full weight of the law.
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