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Nigeria experiencing intimidated opposition – PDP, LP cry out

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With the petitions arising from the conduct of the 2023 general elections almost concluded, Nigeria inches towards a one-party state.

This was recently acknowledged by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, though it heaped blame on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

The Labour Party, LP, on the other hand, believes that the core institutions responsible for fashioning democracy in the country have been bought over completely by the executive.

The PDP lost its position as ruling party in 2015 and is now the recognised leading opposition party.

However, the party seems to be far from assuming its role as the opposition voice in the country.

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The mass sack of several members of the PDP and the LP has worsened the situation, with the surviving lawmakers appearing less ready to play the role of vibrant opposition.

Speaking to DAILY POST on the losses suffered by the PDP through the judiciary and how vibrant opposition is needed at the moment, the national publicity secretary of the Labour Party, Dr. Aliyu Danko, said the Appeal Court has done a great disservice to Nigeria by some of their decisions.

“The Court judgements have not helped Nigeria in any way. In fact, they’ve muddled up some of the judgments in our electoral process,” he said.

“And that is a fact. We’ve seen situations where at a point, we thought that there are individuals being bribed to do things against the state but gradually, the institutions are being bought over completely.

“For example, the Nigeria Police has a big challenge regarding doing the right thing. We are alleging that the Nigeria Police is now under the pulpit of the executive and not in the hands of the Nigerian people, who pay their salaries through taxpayers’ money, anymore.

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“Similarly too, the Independent National Electoral Commission, became the conduit pipe through which certain unpopular legislators are elected.

“You now have the judiciary which was supposed to be the hope of the common man, they have faded away completely into the thin air.

“They are no more independent of themselves and can on longer adjudicate on matters clearly but show serious contradictions to the Nigerian people.

“So, all of these have culminated into the decay you are seeing already in the system. This is why even when the President visited the national assembly to present the budget, instead of them scrutinising and criticising the document as presented, they were busy hailing the President on his mandate that they’ve already legalised illegally.

“That is to tell you they are still under the euphoria of the issue of illegality which they want to internalise. That is why you may not see a robust debate, challenge or a clear-cut argument in the National Assembly except for a few from the other political parties…who may be willing to do their democratic duties.

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“But for now what we’re seeing is a jamboree of interest trying to legalise illegality. What I’m seeing is an intimidated opposition. Though some of them may be strong. You will see it is an intimidated assembly, not necessarily too weak.”

Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Debo Ologunagba told DAILY POST that what should matter most to Nigerians at this point was fixing the electoral system.

“What I’m concerned about is that democracy is under threat as it is being done particularly with the compromise and the responsibility of INEC.

“As the institution that keeps democracy going, INEC has shown and demonstrated its lack of integrity in the running of elections in this country.

“And when you go to court, INEC is equally complacent in those issues. The bigger question is the threat to democracy.

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“What is going on, we’re drifting gradually to totalitarianism and a one-party state, which is not good for democracy. We expect that the court too would do their job… but the major challenge is the institutions that conduct the elections.

“Why was it so easy for an incumbent President to accept defeat? It was because the election was free, fair and credible. We had the electoral body being neutral for what it should be.

“The judiciary must on its own be willing to be a very strong arm of the government and an institution that will help develop the culture of democracy in ensuring that rule of law is preserved.”

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Edo Assembly approves N409.2 billion supplementary budget for Obaseki

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Barely five months after assenting to the 2024 appropriation bill by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, the State House of Assembly has shored up the budget to N409, 217,894,248,87 billion.

DAILY POST reports that the governor had on December 22, 2023, assented to N342.825,969,909,21 billion appropriation bill, which was N17.5 billion higher than the N321.4 billion earlier presented to the House.

DAILY POST noted that the raising of the budget to N409.2 billion was sequel to the House’s consideration and approval of the Governor Obaseki’s letter requesting a revision of the 2024 budget.

The lawmakers, while speaking in favour of the revised/supplementary budget, noted that it would enable the governor to finish his eight-year administration of the state well.

Moving the motion, Charity Aiguobarueghian, the Majority Leader of the House, noted that the supplementary budget was necessary for the state government to get legislative backing for the implementation of the N70,000 new minimum wage approval for the state’s workers recently.

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Charity, also opined that it would also allow the governor to complete all the ongoing projects awarded.

Other lawmakers that spoke in favour of the supplementary budget include, Maria Edeko (PDP), the deputy speaker, Eric Okaka, (APC), the minority leader of the House, Eigbiremonlen Fada Sunday, (PDP), Esan Central and Ugabi Kingsley Oghenakhogie (APC), Etsako East constituencies.

They all noted that, if approved, the revised supplementary budget would give the government the financial enablement to complete all ongoing projects and thereby eliminate cases of abandoned projects.

The House, at the committee of the whole, however, shored up the 2024 fiscal year budget to N409.2 billion, an increase of N66.4 billion.

In the new supplementary budget, recurrent expenditure is now N182, 446,255,325, 16 billion, while capital expenditure stood at N226, 771, 634, 923, 71billion as against the earlier assented budget of N154, 276,225,868,96 billion and N188,549,744,040,26 billion, respectively.

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The Speaker of the House, Blessing Agbebaku, who summed up the deliberation, said a clean copy of the approval will be sent to the state governor for his assent.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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2023 Deputy guber candidate, Jasper Uche dumps PDP in Abia

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Dr. Jasper Uche, who served as the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia State during the 2023 elections, has tendered his resignation from the party.

In a letter addressed to the PDP Chairman of Umuaku Ward in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State, Dr. Uche formally announced his decision to resign from the party. The letter, shared with DAILY POST on Tuesday morning, was also copied to the PDP Chairman of Umunneochi LGA and the State Chairman of the party.

The resignation letter stated: “I am writing to formally announce my resignation from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), effective immediately. This decision comes after careful consideration and extensive consultations.”

Dr. Uche expressed gratitude to the party for providing him with a platform, which led to his nomination as the Deputy Governorship Candidate in the 2023 general elections.

Similarly, Hon Ikechukwu Nwabekee, a former member of the Abia State House of Assembly representing Osisioma Ngwa North constituency, has also parted ways with the PDP.

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In a letter addressed to the party chairman of Amasaa Ward 5 in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of the state, Hon Nwabekee formally communicated his decision to leave the party. He emphasized that his decision was reached after thorough consultations and personal conviction.

Hon Nwabekee expressed appreciation to the party for the opportunity it provided him to serve, including his tenure as Chief Whip of the Abia State House of Assembly. He noted that his resignation was a step towards seeking new challenges.

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Ebonyi ex-Reps member, Ogbaga dumps PDP

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Former House of Representatives member, Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga, has officially stepped down from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Ogbaga, who represented the Abakiliki/lsu federal constituency of Ebonyi State from 1999 to 2023, made this announcement through a resignation letter dated April 24, 2024. The letter was addressed to the Chairman of the PDP Anmegu Enyigba ward and was also sent to the local government area (LGA) and state chairmen of the party.

In his resignation letter, Ogbaga stated, “I am writing to officially inform you of my resignation from the PDP. After careful evaluation and consideration of the current political climate within the party, I have decided to take a step back. Since 1998, I have remained a steadfast member of the PDP, contributing significantly to its growth with unwavering dedication and support.”

He emphasized that his decision to resign was personal and expressed gratitude for the leadership and support he received within the party. Ogbaga concluded his letter by wishing the PDP well in its future endeavors.

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